Is that so?

There is a story about a Zen master that goes like this:

“The Zen Master Hakuin lived in a town in Japan. He was held in high regard and many people came to him for spiritual teaching. Then it happened that the teenage daughter of his next door neighbor became pregnant. When being questioned by her angry and scolding parents as to the identity of the father, she finally told them that he was Hakuin, the Zen Master. In great anger, the parents rushed over to Hakuin and told him with much shouting and accusing that their daughter had confessed that he was the father. All he replied was, “Is that so?”

 News of the scandal spread throughout the town and beyond. The Master lost his reputation. This did not trouble him. Nobody came to see him anymore. He remained unmoved. When the child was born, the parents brought the baby to Hakuin. “You are the father, so you look after him.” The Master took loving care of the child. A year later, the mother remorsefully confessed to her parents that the real father of the child was the young man who worked at the butcher shop. In great distress, they went to see Hakuin to apologize and ask for forgiveness. “We are really sorry. We have come to take the baby back. Our daughter confessed that you are not the father.” “Is that so?” is all he would say as he handed the baby over to them.”

From Eckhart Tolle. A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose

This Zen Master responded to falsehood, truth, bad and good news the same way, “Is that so?” He didn’t show any resistance, he didn’t participate in the drama. He was completely at one with what happened, so what happened had no power over him.

How would you have reacted to the different stages if this were you?

What this is showing us is that “Bad” turns to “Good” through the power of non-resistance. He accepted what he was given, the baby received loving care, and when the time came to give the baby back, he just let go….no resistance…no drama. He responded to whatever the present situation requires, instead of getting caught up in the drama. If you resist what happens, then you are at the mercy of what happens and you are no longer in control of your happiness and unhappiness, the world controls it.

Can you say “Is that so?” today and avoid all the drama?

What man meant for evil, God meant for good


This is my tribute to my Uncle Jim.

My blogs have been more or less generic, but this one is very personal. I’m publicly paying tribute to a man I loved dearly, my Uncle Jim. Floyd ‘Jim’ Kenton continued on his journey on January 26, 2013. Please send loving thoughts of comfort and hugs to his family.

Here is a poem by James Freeman, which is a perfect tribute and a comfort:

The Traveler

By James Dillet Freeman

He has put on invisibility.
Dear Lord, I cannot see—
But this I know, although the road  ascends
And passes from my sight,
That there will be no night;
That You will take him gently by the hand
And lead him on
Along the road of life that never ends,
And he will find it is not death but dawn.
I do not doubt that You are there as here,
And You will hold him dear.

Our life did not begin with birth,
It is not of the earth;
And this that we call death, it is no more
Than the opening and closing of a door—
And in Your house how many rooms must be
Beyond this one where we rest momentarily.
Dear Lord, I thank You for the faith that frees,
The love that knows it cannot lose its own;
The love that, looking through the shadows, sees
That You and he and I are ever one!
Walk good, Uncle Jim, Walk good! We love you and we miss you!

What is ‘Namaskar’?

I have people asking me all the time what is Namaskar and it gives me absolute pleasure to explain that it literally means ‘I salute the divinity in you.’

Eric Butterworth speaks about the word in his book, “Discover the Power Within You”. I especially like when he points out that we could use the word on yourselves, especially  upon waking each day: Namaskar! I salute the divinity in myself. I am strong and able. I can do all that I need to do this day. My mind is alert, my body vital and healthy, and my way will be strewn with golden opportunities. No matter what this day will bring to me, there is that in me that is great enough to meet it, overcome it, and be blessed by it. Namaskar!” (Butterworth, 55).

So let’s greet each morning with Namaskar! Take this quote place where you will always see it, remind yourself of your divinity and in the same way, greet others with it too.


Create a Life of Joy!

I have an 8 yr old, who woke up one morning, and in her words, ‘feeling like it is not going to be a great day’. I was a little perplexed at the statement so I asked why. She said she didn’t know. So I asked how was the day before, she said actually had a great day before.

This is when my mentor mode kicked in and I told her that her day will be whatever she makes it out to be, but if she needed help in making it a great day all she had to do was think about the things that made her feel good. I was sure she wasn’t going to get it, but by George… she got it!, She looked at me and her eyes and her entire face lit up and she went of saying, ‘I think I’m going to have a great day after all!’

It is amazing how sometimes all we have to do is just shift our focus and things don’t seem so bad 🙂

Many people have a standard response to the greeting, “Hello. How are you?” For some it might be, “Fine. Thanks.” But what if we changed the response to something like, “Joyful!” Wouldn’t that be shifting your focus? Changing your thoughts? Would it change the way you viewed yourself…your life?

Choose to live every day in the joy of Spirit. To help with this, one can draw on happy memories—pictures, poems and stories, whatever makes you smile and inspires you, clippings of things you have done or want to do. Choose things that delight and excite you.

So when you are not feeling joyful, tap into your happy memories and remember everything that brings you happiness. And as you string together day after joyful day, you are creating a wonderful and blessed life.


Best Worse Thing!

Ever hear the saying, “The worse best thing that ever happened to me!”?

We all have experiences where it feels like the ground underneath our feet has opened up and the world swallowed us whole. We not only lost our footing but our entire foundation crumbled around us. It may take the form of a death, an illness, loss of a relationship or job.  Or it may be as ambiguous as the loss of a dream, our innocence or an ideal. Whatever it may be, in these times we make decisions that sometimes make life feel….different and it is not usually warm and fuzzy. Let’s now think about those situations, and I ask you, would you have made the same decisions with same knowledge you had then? I guarantee that you would!

The decisions you made were based on what you knew then and we may see it as a mistake or a result of our faulty thinking. But when we shift into gratitude mode, we shift our perception and make room for the possibility that the darkness may contain the very light we were looking for. If we face the darkness with gratitude, our eyes adjust and we notice things that were hidden in the light. We discover nuances about our strengths, our abilities, and ourselves that were concealed before. Because the darkness requires us to slow down and become more focused, we discover what is important. We get down to the absolute necessities and come to discover that we have more than enough. We discover what true contentment is and what we really value. And we discover a depth to life and a Presence that we never knew before.

What is your best worse thing? When you look back on your life or at even your current situation, can you choose gratitude in this moment? Gratitude is a choice we can make at any point along the way. It is a decision to ignite the darkness with your light and to live life fully and completely in all circumstance. Now, choose gratitude, and give thanks for everything!


Be Happy Now!

Did you know that the single most effective piece of advice ever given to anyone who wanted a life partner, is the exact same single most effective piece of advice ever given to anyone who wanted to live in prosperity?!

Which also happens to be the single most effective piece of advice ever given to anyone who wished to discover their purpose, foster peace on earth, improve their health, or dance Gangnam Style?!

And that advice is…….Drum roll please…….. “Be happy now!

Top Ten Spiritual Ways to Effect Change

2013 is almost here and we start declaring that we want things to be different, but what are we willing to do that’s different?

You can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results, just sit back and expect things to change without any input from you.

So if you want a change, first you need to be the change i.e. what can you do different, to get different results.

So here are the Official Top Ten Spiritual Ways to effect change, these ways will Defeat Boredom, Make Friends, Find Love, Trim Down, Shape Up, Discover Your Purpose, Make a Fortune, Shine Your Light, and any other resolution you may have made:

1. Take action.

2. Show up.

3. Lean into it.

4. Start anywhere.

5. Keep busy.

6. Get out more.

7. Ask for help.

8. Shake more hands.

9. Give more hugs.

10. Don’t stop.

So, are you ready for change?  No need to wait until New Year’s Day, start effecting change now. Follow the list above and you will be well on your way.

You have already started visualizing, haven’t you? 🙂