Karmacology: Mindful Living, Sacred Practice

We Are This Stream

A myriad bubbles were floating on the surface of a stream. 'What are you?' I cried to them as they drifted by. 'I am a bubble, of course' nearly a myriad bubbles answered, and there was surprise and indignation in their voices as they passed. But, here and there, a lonely bubble answered, 'We are this stream', and there was neither surprise nor indignation in their voices, but just a quiet certitude.
-- Wei Wu Wei, Ask the Awakened

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The Invisible Light

In this world where too many are willing to see only the light that is visible, never the Light Invisible, we have a daily darkness that is night, and we encounter another darkness from time to time that is death, the deaths of those we love, but the third and most constant darkness that is with us every day, at all hours of every day, is the darkness of the mind, the pettiness and meanness and hatred, which we have invited into ourselves, and which we pay out with generous interest.
-- Dean Koontz, Brother Odd

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A Stroke of Insight

So who are we? We are the life force power of the universe, with manual dexterity and two cognitive minds. And we have the power to choose, moment by moment, who and how we want to be in the world. Right here right now, I can step into the consciousness of my right hemisphere where we are -- I am -- the life force power of the universe, and the life force power of the 50 trillion beautiful molecular geniuses that make up my form. At one with all that is. Or I can choose to step into the consciousness of my left hemisphere. where I become a single individual, a solid, separate from the flow, separate from you. I am Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, intellectual, neuroanatomist. These are the "we" inside of me.

Which would you choose? Which do you choose? And when? I believe that the more time we spend choosing to run the deep inner peace circuitry of our right hemispheres, the more peace we will project into the world and the more peaceful our planet will be. And I thought that was an idea worth spreading.
-- Jill Bolte Taylor

Neuroanatomist Jill Bolte Taylor had an opportunity few brain scientists would wish for: One morning, she realized she was having a massive stroke. As it happened -- as she felt her brain functions slip away one by one, speech, movement, understanding -- she studied and remembered every moment. This is a powerful story about how our brains define us and connect us to the world and to one another.

View this lecture on video at http://www.ted.com.

I'm A New Soul

I'm a new soul
I came to this strange world
Hoping I could learn a bit 'bout how to give and take

But since I came here
Felt the joy and the fear
Finding myself making every possible mistake
-- Yael Naim - New Soul

Happy Holi 2008 - The Festival of Colors

The Festival of Colors is one of the most popular festivals of India. It is celebrated during the Spring (March 21/22 in 2008) and embodies all the festivity, liveliness and exuberance of the season. Holi is the festival of young hearts. Spraying colors, dancing to traditional Holi songs, rhythmic drum beats and wild processions are common during this festival.

Additional information about Holi:
The Happy Holi 2008 Website
Holi on Festivals of India Website

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When You Follow Your Bliss, Doors Will Open

When you follow your bliss... doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors; and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.
-- Joseph Campbell (1904 - 1987)

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No Happiness Without Action

Action may not always bring happiness, but there is no happiness without action.
-- Benjamin Disraeli, former British Prime Minister

Action is the key to change, and they key to Life. Then why is the simple act of taking action so difficult for so many people?

Perhaps because action and change often mean uncertainty. When faced with the questions, Try or Not Try, Do or Don't, many people will opt for the least change, the least risk, and the least amount of the unknown. The risk of failure or the great, shadowed unknown can be frightening. Most people will choose unhappiness over uncertainty.

Want to change that? The recipe is simple: resolve to face your fear each day. Make that phone call you've been dreading, walk into that classroom full of strangers, step out onto that dance floor. Try. Yes, it may not go as planned. But for most people, the Fear of Failure is worse than the failure itself. Take action. Succeed or fail, you will have lived that experience, that irreplaceable moment.

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The Power of Focus

One comes to be of just such stuff as that on which the mind is set.
-- Upanishads

The Power of Positive Thinking is more than a popular book from the 1950s, it is an ancient principal founded in the idea that you become what you think. The idea gained popularity in the West with the 1952 publication of Norman Vincent Peale's book, which emphasized, "Change your thoughts and you change your world." The same idea has been repackaged many times since then, including recent movements based on The Secret and Complaint-Free World. The "repackaging" seems to essentially be ways of learning, reinforcing, and remembering this concept, and staying motivated to be mindful.

This idea is the very core of Karmacology: attitude is everything. Reality is colored by your attitude, emotion and perspective. If you feel like everyone is out to get you, you'll soon find evidence aplenty to support your claim. If you believe that every breath is a gift from God, you'll find gratitude in all moments. Most of us find ourselves bouncing around in that massive in-between state, and that's healthy. The lows and highs give us contrast and perspective.

Our wiring lets us make comparisons and assign values. We can decide, and through decision, we can take Action. In the words of the wise: Stay Focused. Find Your Bliss.

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The Known and the Unknown

In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite.
-- Paul Dirac

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To Have a Great Purpose to Work For

To have a great purpose to work for, a purpose larger than ourselves, is one of the secrets of making life significant, for then the meaning and worth of the individual overflow his personal borders and survives his death.
-- Will Durant

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Allow a Solution

The greatest challenge to any thinker is stating the problem in a way that will allow a solution.
-- Bertrand Russell

Too many times we focus on a problem or obstacle and see only its constraints or how it blocks us. This can cause a setback to become overwhelming.

Other times we ratchet up the pressure to instantly find the solution, and we beat ourselves up when it doesn't magically appear. This becomes self-defeating. If our focus is on finding the solution and we immediately fail, then our focus shifts to "failure."

A more Karmic approach is to seek opportunity within an obstacle, possibility within a problem. Restate and reframe your predicament repeatedly until you see a perspective where the potential for a solution exists.

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No Worries, Mate

Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia.
-- Charles M. Schulz

Shake Off All Fears

Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.
-- Thomas Jefferson (1743 - 1826)

Everyone is Your Mirror

A loving person lives in a loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile world. Everyone you meet is your mirror.
-- Ken Keyes Jr., Handbook of Higher Consciousness