Category Archives: Wisdom Teachings

Healthy Commitment to Self and Other

Sneak preview book excerpt from “You Were Not Born To Suffer” by Blake D. Bauer who will be presenting Unconditional Self Love, Qi Gong & Meditation at Hollyhock Aug 9-13, 2017.

Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames. – Jalaluddin Rumi

Wherever you are, please take a few slow, deep breaths into your
belly. Feel your whole body, from your feet all the way up to the
crown of your head, and then down to your fingertips. Please relax any tension you feel and let yourself be. Using each inhalation to open your body and create inner space, welcome everything you’re thinking, feeling and experiencing here in this moment. Please be present to your body and your breath.

Before any form of external commitment can begin or remain healthy, we have to commit to being true to ourselves completely. Until we commit to ourselves – to saying our deeper feelings, values, needs and aspirations matter now – our personal and professional commitments will always result in stress, confusion, struggle or heartache, especially our intimate relationships. If you’re currently having trouble committing to an intimate relationship, it’s important to be kind to yourself as you navigate your next steps. You are feeling this way for a reason. No one wants to feel insecure,  fearful, owned, controlled or limited in a partnership.  However, it is equally important to become aware of why you feel as you do. For this reason, it’s empowering to know that the main reason we struggle with commitment, whether we’re starting a new relationship or questioning an existing one, is because we still have not fully committed to ourselves, which ultimately entails learning to value and be true to ourselves in all our interactions. This is a major
challenge for all of us, but it’s the only road to lasting peace,
happiness and freedom – whether we’re seeking lasting
true love or not.
Continue reading Healthy Commitment to Self and Other

Five Steps to Dispelling Bad Moods

By Jude Bijou of Attitude Reconstruction

  1. Trace back in time to identify when the mood began by looking at various past time-frames and determining if you were feeling it then. No matter its magnitude or duration, something upsetting happened that triggered your mood or pervasive feeling. It could have been as simple as an edgy interaction, an intense argument, or change of plans disappointment. Pinpoint the event by asking yourself, “When did I start feeling like this?” or, “When was the last time I remember feeling okay?” 

Sam asked himself, “How was I feeling three weeks ago when my friends visited from out of town? How about last weekend at the wedding of his college roommate? How about Wednesday evening?” As he checked in about how he felt at various points in time, a light bulb went off in his head. Sam realized his mood started Wednesday morning after his wife made a snide comment about how he never did anything around the house. At the time he didn’t say anything, but pulled away emotionally and started feeling distant. Voila. That was the culprit.

Continue reading Five Steps to Dispelling Bad Moods

The Mindful Life: Awakening World Dharma: Finding Liberation Through Living

Written by Anahata Giri, www.oneheartyoga.com.au
Impressions from a talk by Alan Clements

“Never been done before freedom” – Alan Clements

Alan Clements is an author, activist and meditation teacher and trained with Mahasi Sayadaw and U Pandita in Burma. He is passionate about humans rights and has been a long-time supporter of Burma’s nonviolent campaign for freedom, justice, and democracy. Alan co-authored The Voice of Hope, a collection of conversations with Burma’s Nobel Peace Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi.

It is a personal passion of mine to bring our spiritual practice into the world, so I was looking forward to hearing the insights of someone who has fully lived a potent combination of spiritual practice and social change.

We are an intimate audience of less than 40 people, poised expectantly as Alan Clements introduces his talk as a distillation of his meditation practice since 1968, more than 40 years. He talks clearly, passionately and is naturally articulate, with fluid gestures and expressive hands. Continue reading The Mindful Life: Awakening World Dharma: Finding Liberation Through Living

BOOK REVIEW: ‘Carry Me,’ by Peter Behrens

The narrator in Peter Behrens’s 2011 novel “The O’Briens” speaks of “a restless instinct in the family, an appetite for geography and change.” The German couple at the center of his new novel, “Carry Me,” share a similar, near-mystical pull toward the American landscape they read about in their youth. “In my most daring ­fantasies,” Billy writes decades later of the woman he loved, “she and I were riding across boundless open country together, Texas or New Mexico, under wide blue sky.” This yearning sounds through the novel’s pages like a refrain, and it will deliver Billy Lange and Karin ­Weinbrenner, though not wholly intact, from the terror of Kristallnacht to the untamed promise of the American West.

PeterBehrensOf Irish-German extract, Billy’s an outsider wherever he finds himself. He knows suspicion and discrimination as a boy in Ireland and England, where his German father was interned during World War I. Now in Frankfurt in 1938, Billy works for the export sales department at the chemical firm IG Farben. He is an observant and deferential narrator for the most part, and in love with Karin, the daughter of a wealthy Jewish industrialist for whom his father has worked for decades. Karin’s distant and oblique presence haunts him; she is perhaps lesbian and, Behrens hints, quite possibly in love with a popular female scriptwriter in Berlin.

When Billy gets Karin pregnant, the prospect of bringing “one more ­German” and “some sort of Jew” into the world weighs on them. “We were jumpy from doubts, fears, dreams of America, the prospect of ourselves as parents.” Structured around the autumn of 1938 as they organize passage to America, the narrative wanders back in time to excavate lengthy tracts of family history that hobble the novel’s pacing a bit. (Archival documents loaded between sections, said to be housed in “Special Collections, McGill Library, McGill University,” seem especially adrift, uncommented on as they are by a narrator who is in a position these many years later to offer analysis and context.) But the weeks leading into Kristallnacht tighten the focus, and it’s here that Billy becomes a fully engaged protagonist. Karin’s father, trapped in a coma after being set upon by a gang of thugs, is the last obstacle between the lovers and their dream of the American West. Only a terrible act of mercy will guarantee their freedom.

Behrens captures his narrator’s naïveté and the casual anti-Semitism of the times with great skill and intelligence. Billy remembers that in the years before the full catastrophe of the age pronounced itself, “we were mostly concerned with ourselves, each of us with sex, love, loneliness probably foremost in our minds.” Contrasts expose striking truths. When he witnesses a Hitler rally in Heidelberg on the same day he loses his virginity to a prostitute, his mind is not focused on momentous historical pronouncements. He’s a kid who’s just scored, after all. “After the first 10 minutes or so I gave up trying to listen. I tuned Herr Hitler out, watched bats fluttering around the rafters, scanned the crowd for my companions and daydreamed exciting sex with Lilly.” As he stares into the eyes of history he sees, instead of portent and impending chaos, little more than his own yearnings, which seems to me as true an observation about human nature as there is.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 2.24.22 PMJoin Peter Behrens for Memory & Myth: Transforming Personal History October 14 – 19, 2016.

The Deeper Spiritual Purpose of Pets

By Robert Schwartz, who will be presenting Your Soul’s Plan: The Spiritual Meaning of Your Life at Hollyhock on September 11-14, 2016.

The process of placing our energy within a body, and in so doing forgetting that we are vast, majestic, Divine Beings made literally from the energy of Unconditional Love, is akin to being struck on the head by a heavy tree branch and rendered unconscious, only to awaken with no memory whatsoever. What would happen if you actually had such an experience? All who love you, each member of your family, every dear friend, would come to your side and express great love for you. Though you would recognize none of them, their powerful outpouring of concern and affection would touch you deeply. You would conclude that only a truly loving person could be so beloved. And in that instant of realization, you would know, beyond any doubt, your true nature.

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