To Dream Again …

“Be not afeard; the isle is full of noises,
Sounds, and sweet airs, that give delight and hurt not.
Sometimes a thousand twangling instruments
Will hum about mine ears; and sometime voices,
That, if I then had waked after long sleep,
Will make me sleep again: and then, in dreaming,
The clouds methought would open, and show riches
Ready to drop upon me; that, when I waked,
I cried to dream again.”

― William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Don’t Leave home without your Towel!

Kitten Curled up in a TowelDon’t Leave home without your towel. While this advice may sound corney, it is not. This is to show how sometimes in life humour is needed to lighten a path that otherwise may seem gloomy.

Towels are always useful, if you are out driving and get caught in a rainstorm walking to your car, and rain gets in your car you have something to dry off with. If you need a handy pillow, then roll up your towel, and viola instant pillow. Or maybe you are taking a nap outside and do not want the sun in your eyes, then you can use your towel to cover up your eyes. Say a meteorite falls to the ground and is very hot, then you have something you can pick it up with. If you have a cat, then you have an instant cat bed.

Hopefully now you can appreciate the practicality and humor a simple object can afford. How it can bring a smile to your face, and improve your mood if you are feeling depressed.

Fear is the Mind Killer

Aït BenhaddouLately while reading Frank Herbert’s book Dune, I was struck once again by the Litany against Fear, and how powerful words can be in manifesting a state of calm in our minds. Here is the Litany against Fear for those not aware of it:

I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

This is one of the many inspiring things I have come across lately. It has the ability to free the mind and carry it to a point where all things are possible.

The Joys of Science Fiction

Sunrise over EarthLately I have taken up reading again; well, reading science fiction novels. When I was younger I enjoyed reading science fiction books, spending many a summer day out of the heat reading away. These novels influenced me in subtle ways that still flow through me today. Often when talking to people about what books they read, they will say that they only read non-fiction, that they do not like the “unreality” of fictional novels. In my opinion we need a balance in life, not to hot, not to cold. Reading only one type of book leaves our minds in an unbalance, seeking, craving the “unrealities” that make it thrive for new possibilities.

To start things back on the sci-fi reading track I chose Frank Herbert’s Dune, In my younger years of working in bookstores I remember hearing Dune mentioned frequently as a excellent work of science fiction. So I am finally reading it after watching the Sci-Fi mini-series Dune and Children of Dune. For me this is more of a coming back to my roots of my joy of reading that through the years has gone down the meandering road from fervent reading to laxidasical reading. I hope by reading this you are inspired to pick up a book (you know those paper things) and sit down and enjoy a good mental journey into the unknown.

What is Friendship?

AristotleFriendships as Aristotle saw them came in three varieties, friendships for pleasure, utility and virtue. He describes them in this manor. The cause of friendship between young people seems to be pleasure. For their lives are guided by their feelings, and they pursue above all what is pleasant for themselves and what is near at hand. But as they grow up, what they find pleasant changes too. Hence they are quick to become friends, and quick to stop; pleasure friendships are a thing of youth. Friendships based on utility seem to arise especially among older people, since at that age they pursue what is advantageous, not what is pleasant, and also among those int heir prime or youth who pursue what is expedient. Nor do such people live together very much. For sometimes they do not even find each other pleasant. Hence they have no further need to meet this way if they are not advantageous to each other. Complete friendship is friendship of good people similar in virtue; for they wish goods in the same way for each other in so far as they are good, and they are good in themselves. Now those who wish goods to the friend for the friend’s sake are friends most of all; for they have this attitude because of the friend himself, not coincidentally. Hence these people’s friendship last as long as they are good and virtue is enduring.

Aristotle commented that friendships based on virtue are rare in the world. For people need time to grow accustomed to each other; for, as the proverb says, they cannot know each other before they have shared the traditional peck of salt. The main thing to think about when thinking of friendship is; are you seeking pleasure, utility, or virtue? For we need all three in our lives at one time or another for growth to occur.

Incense

Incense in Buddhist TempleIncense has been around since man first learned of fire. Some people have an aversion towards all things incense. Usually this aversion stems from a bad experience in childhood, or maybe they were burnt at the stake in a previous lifetime; for the rest of who enjoy incense it can bring a wonderful aroma to our noses and bring back memories and experiences past, and relax the mind and body. I remember incense from days in churches around the holy times of the year where the priests would fumigate the church to purify it. The time I went to a local hindu temple and smelled the aroma of the incense in the air. Going to other sacred spaces and smelling the incense there. Incense always reminds me of healing and purification.

Here are a few of my favorite brands of incense are Shoyeido, Nippon Kodo, and the Friends of Nub Gon Monastery. Of course there are other brands that I enjoy but I am primarily fond of the Japanese and Tibetan/Nepali/Himalayan incenses. If you have another favorite, leave a comment below. I am always looking for new aromas to try!

On Suspicion by Sir Francis Bacon

Free Tail bats in Austin, TXSUSPICIONS amongst thoughts, are like bats amongst birds, they ever fly by twilight. Certainly they are to be repressed, or at least well guarded: for they cloud the mind; they leese friends; and they check with business, whereby business cannot go on currently and constantly. They dispose kings to tyranny, husbands to jealousy, wise men to irresolution and melancholy. They are defects, not in the heart, but in the brain; for they take place in the stoutest natures; as in the example of Henry the Seventh of England. There was not a more suspicious man, nor a more stout. And in such a composition they do small hurt. For commonly they are not admitted, but with examination, whether they be likely or no. But in fearful natures they gain ground too fast. There is nothing makes a man suspect much, more than to know little; and therefore men should remedy suspicion, by procuring to know more, and not to keep their suspicions in smother. What would men have? Do they think, those they employ and deal with, are saints? Do they not think, they will have their own ends, and be truer to themselves, than to them? Therefore there is no better way, to moderate suspicions, than to account upon such suspicions as true, and yet to bridle them as false. For so far a man ought to make use of suspicions, as to provide, as if that should be true, that he suspects, yet it may do him no hurt. Suspicions that the mind of itself gathers, are but buzzes; but suspicions that are artificially nourished, and put into men’s heads, by the tales and whisperings of others, have stings. Certainly, the best mean, to clear the way in this same wood of suspicions, is frankly to communicate them with the party, that he suspects; for thereby he shall be sure to know more of the truth of them, than he did before; and withal shall make that party more circumspect, not to give further cause of suspicion. But this would not be done to men of base natures; for they, if they find themselves once suspected, will never be true. The Italian says, Sospetto licentia fede; as if suspicion, did give a passport to faith; but it ought, rather, to kindle it to discharge itself.

Truth and Life

Sea of SunflowersAuthentic truth is always comprehensible to everyone, even to children. How do you know what you believe in is true? When you go through your daily activities do you react to everything or do you stop to think before you act? Does your Animal Mind control you or your Rational Mind? What is time? Time is an illusion. Time is the distance between cause and effect, between sanity and insanity. If each person were to transform the less than awesome aspects of their nature, the total sum effect could transfer the world. Our negative characteristics exist to show us where we could be more proactive in our own lives. Share with someone without expecting anything in return, and truly feel it, and see how it feels, the light it lets in. How often do we hate without knowing why we hate? How often do we live in the 1% surrounding us, without realizing the 99% of reality surrounding us. When we disconnect from that 99% of reality of light around and live in the 1% darkness we lose touch and depression creeps upon us. If you try to completely shut down your emotions you will eventually blow up. There is nothing new under the Sun. Hope these thoughts have given you some seeds for contemplation. Enjoy.

Book Review: Emotional Freedom

A Group of BooksWhat’s on the bookshelf? Well, currently Emotional Freedom by Dr Judith Orloff, MD. This book is great for finding out what emotional type of person you are. It acquaints you with all the emotional types from empaths to emotional vampires — those people who when you’re around you feel like they are sucking the life-force from you. There seem to be a plethora of self help books about emotions, ranging from the Emotional Freedom Technique which is basically just Eastern Medicine pressure points, to the exotic. This book is a happy medium in between the two extremes, while offering excellent advice.

The author brings up the importance of sleep in balancing out our psyche and for emotional well being. With interesting antidotal stories of the importance of the right mattress, and bed linens, which I can personally attest to. We often overlook how important sleep is to our well being.

The other thing mentioned in the book is a breathing exercise that helps neutralize the negative emotions that often plague our psyche and our physical bodies. The simple breathing in of the positive energy and breathing out of the negative energies in the body helps to neutralize. The oxygen breathed in also helps to alkalinize the blood which aids the body in it’s healing process. The body if given the right help always wants to go towards a state of healing and balance.

After reading the book from cover to cover, I would recommend this book to anyone looking to gain control of their emotions and understand them and be finally emotionally free.