Saturday, October 1, 2022

Freedom or Fear?

      This is the month of cooler weather, trees losing their leaves, and scary holidays.  It's a time of transition and change.  But is the change something to fear or something to anticipate and prepare for?  That's something to ponder.

     In our country, we are on the cusp of another election.  Some of us receive our ballots early so that we can vote by mail.  In this time of decision-making, are we acting out of fear or avoidance, or are we participating in positive action?

     It seems that our times are shifting away from the normal and the comfortable.  With difficult and complex problems facing our society, the different approaches to solving them can be stark.  Is your candidate offering superficial ideas, blaming others (especially minority ethnic groups), or trying to control you with fear-based ideas?  Or is your candidate acknowledging that these problems are complex and will need all of us to solve them?  Do you feel afraid or empowered when you hear the candidate talk? 

     So, in this time of decision-making, I would invite you to empower yourself and take action.  Vote for those who support positive change that would help the least powerful.  Do not vote for those who invoke fear or lies or paranoia.  Opt for those who recognize that we are all in this together and we need to work together to protect what we hold most dear:  our freedom.  

     So, if you are called as a citizen to vote, please do.  This is important.  Do not count on others to do it for you.  Every voice counts.  Even yours.  Even mine.  Please vote.

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)


Saturday, September 24, 2022

Something to Ponder


(photo courtesy of pixabay.com)

I have studied many philosophers and many cats.  
The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior.

Hippolyte Taine

Saturday, September 17, 2022

A Find in the Spiritual Fiction Caterogy, Part 3

      Here are some excerpts from The Dalai Lama's Cat.

"The purpose of Buddhism is not to convert people.  It is to give them tools so they can create greater happiness."

"Most people think that their only option is to change their circumstances.  But these are not the true causes of their unhappiness.  It has more to do with the way they think about their circumstances."

"It is the wonderful paradox," he continued, "that the best way to achieve happiness for oneself is to give happiness to others."

"Turns out that it's not so much what you're doing that makes you happy.  It's whether or not you're being mindful of what you're doing.  The important thing is to be in the direct state, attending to the here and how.  Not in the narrative state" -- he spun his index finger beside his temple -- "which means thinking about anything except what you're actually doing."

     Words of wisdom, from a fun cat story.  

 

Saturday, September 10, 2022

A Find in the Spiritual Fiction Category, Part 2

      Last week I was bemoaning the fact that book publishers seem to ignore the category of "spiritual fiction" and how hard it was to find a book in that realm.  But be happy, dear reader, because I found a very engaging book, and lucky for me, it is the first in a series.  Huzzah!

     The book I am talking about is David Michie's book The Dalai Lama's Cat.  Since I love animals, this is doubly delightful because this is told from the point of view of a cat.  A Himalayan cat, to be precise, who is saved from certain death by the Dalai Lama and is adopted by him.  The cat, who goes by many names, has a rich interior life and is eager to understand and apply various Tibetan Buddhist teachings.

     And author David Michie is a wonderful teacher.  He has written other non-fiction books on Buddhism and mindfulness, and he knows how to interweave these teachings in a compelling story.  Although I wish the copy editor had done a bit more thorough job, I still highly recommend this book.  Enjoy!



Saturday, September 3, 2022

A Find in the Spiritual Fiction Category

      I was away for a few days and wanted a new book to read, so I did a quick search in the category of "spiritual fiction."  I needed a break from some of the heavier reading I had been doing lately, and it sounded appealing.  Sadly, book publishers do not seem to offer much in this realm.

     It's a pity, really, since people seem hungry to explore spirituality in various forms, and the fictional realm lends itself to delve into how facets of spiritual traditions (or non-traditions) can work in various situations.  Not only can the reader experience a different life in a different time and place, but also the character's belief system and how it helps or hinders them.  

     That's my reasoning, anyway, in why I decided to write The Gemini Bond.  I wanted to see how various characters would react when confronted with unusual circumstances and how their belief system might evolve or change.  

     But book publishers don't seem to see the market for this and the choices were few.  However, I was lucky enough to find a book that I have come to enjoy very much.  I'll share that with you next week.


(photo courtesy of pixabay.com)


Saturday, August 27, 2022

Some Relevant Thoughts to Ponder

      Here are some thoughts to ponder for today:

Some people don't like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster.  (Elon Musk)

 If there is no struggle, there is no progress.  (Frederick Douglass)

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time.  We are the ones we've been waiting for.   We are the change that we seek.  (Barack Obama)

My friends, love is better than anger.  Hope is better than fear.  Optimism is better than despair.  So, let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.  And we'll change the world.  (Jack Layton)

 

Saturday, August 20, 2022

A Relevant Rant, Part 3

      Last week was a call to action, a plea for us to stand up and engage our Masculine energies to help our planet and those living on it.

     How can we do this?  I can think of a few ways, but I ask you to think about some additional ideas.

     Here are some ideas that I have:

  • Create a website (if one doesn't already exist) that lists companies on a scale of how they treat their workers, the environment, and their customers.  Do they put profit ahead of people?  Are they exploiting people in the Third World, paying them pennies a day?  Are they using renewable resources?  Are they egregious polluters?  
  • Vote.  Vote.  Vote.  Your voice matters.  After you vote, keep in contact with your local, state, and national leaders and let your opinions be heard.  
  • Do something that helps Mother Earth.  Pick up trash.  Recycle.  Use as little oil-based fuels as possible (bike, take public transportation, or drive EVs instead).  Encourage the use of solar or wind power by letting the people who oversee your local utility company know your opinion.  Plant a tree.  Donate to Earth-protecting charities.  
  • Keep up the vision that our world can get better.  That we, as a species, can evolve.  That we can take off the veils of ignorance and greed and power-hunger and grow up.  
     Stand up.  Take action.  The world needs you, every one of you.  The time is now.  Please.