From the BlogMeet Ron

NOV.16,2017 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

Dear Friends,
According to later Buddhist thought, human beings are fundamentally good. This is not just a theory, it’s an unmistakable meditative insight. One could say that meditation is the practice of directly experiencing our essential goodness, our fundamentally healthy and happy mind.

If we are fundamentally good, healthy and happy, then why don’t we feel this way all the time? In an early Buddhist scripture, the Buddha answers:

“Luminous is the mind, brightly shining is its nature, but it is colored by the attachments that visit it.”

We experience these attachments that obscure the natural radiance of the mind as the problems we encounter in our daily lives. 

The viewpoint of later Buddhist practice was not so much battling or getting rid of these “defilements” but rather shifting one’s focus to the luminous nature of the natural mind that saturates the problems themselves. 

When problems are seen in this way, as temporary and impermanent outcroppings of the luminous mind, everything feels more workable. 

Problems are not given extra oxygen by regarding them as defilements to be overcome, but rather as opportunities to look deeper into freedom space out of which they emerge and into which they dissolve. 

Meditation allows us to experience them as superficial sheaths covering this basic goodness. 

Seen this way, there is no flawed, wounded self that is stuck making one mistake after another. Everything becomes lighter.

It’s not that we are lacking in effort or discipline in our meditation practice, but rather a certain daring to trust our basic nature. We can’t huff and puff our way to this trust, it’s more like we relax a little more and see it’s always been there.

As we learn to relax and trust we begin to part the veils that keep us from our birthright – our fundamentally healthy and happy mind.

The North American author and photographer Eudora Welty wrote:

“My continuing passion is to part a curtain — that invisible veil of indifference that falls between us and that blinds us to each other’s presence, each other’s wonder, each other’s human plight.”

As the veils start to come apart and are seen through, we feel each other’s human plight more profoundly.

This is the Buddhist project: to see through the “invisible veils of indifference”, relish our healthy and happy mind, shout it from the rooftops, and be kinder.

I’ll leave you this week with an excerpt from George Saunder’s speech to graduates of Syracuse University in 2013, as published in the NY Times:

So here’s something I know to be true, although it’s a little corny, and I don’t quite know what to do with it:

What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. 
Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded . . . reservedly, mildly.

Or, to look at it from the other end of the telescope: Who, in your life, do you remember most fondly, with the most undeniable feelings of warmth?

Those who were kindest to you, I bet.

It’s a little facile, maybe, and certainly hard to implement, but I’d say, as a goal in life … try to be kinder.

That luminous part of you that exists beyond personality — is as bright and shining as any that has ever been … Clear away everything that keeps you separate from this secret luminous place. Believe it exists, come to know it better, nurture it, and share its fruits tirelessly.

And someday, in 80 years, when you’re 100, and I’m 134, and we’re both so kind and loving we’re nearly unbearable, drop me a line, let me know how your life has been.
I hope you will say: It has been so wonderful. 
May your day be wonderful, happy and joyous, this moment, and this one, and this one …Aloha,Tom, Katina, and the kids

Images: Top — Paul Klee, Marchen, 1929 | Bottom: Henri Matisse. Dance (II).
Just search for “Jack Kornfield” and choose his guided meditation Loving Awareness: Mindfulness of Breath & What is Present 
This is a wonderful 12 minute guided meditation as only Jack can give.

Nov.9,2017 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

Dear Friends,

It’s been a year now since Trump was elected president. No matter what your party affiliation, this year-old administration has caused many to feel trepidation and uncertainty about the future.

In his farewell address to the nation last year, Barack Obama said “at our core we will be OK.”

Driving home from work in 7 AM Honolulu traffic, I sometimes feel myself slowly getting depressed as I listen to NPR radio, realizing that the same tragedies continue a year later: the Rohingya genocide, the melting of the arctic ice, the threat of nuclear holocaust, tax reform that just makes the wealthy wealthier and punishes the middle class.

I think about what Obama said last year—not only will we be OK, but we are, at our core, OK. I flash on the words of the 14th century Christian mystic Julian of Norwich, that T.S. Eliot borrowed for Little Gidding, and which the late Indian Jesuit Priest Anthony de Mello uses here: 

 “All mystics are unanimous on one thing: that all is well, all is well. Though everything is a mess, all is well. Strange paradox, to be sure. But, tragically, most people never get to see that all is well because they are asleep. They are having a nightmare.”

This mindfulness path we are treading together, we often hear, leads to spiritual awakening – a waking up of from this sleep de Mello mentions above, which for some is one long, tedious nightmare.

I think some of the depression I feel comes from feeling helpless to do anything meaningful about what is so messed up in the world right now. I sometimes feel angry and indignant.

Robert Thurman (Uma’s father and professor of Indo-Tibetan Studies at Columbia University) wrote a piece in Tricycle Magazine soon after Bush beat Gore back in the year 2000 in which he wrote: 

“People are afraid that if they let go of their anger and righteousness they’re going to lose the energy they need to do something about the problem. But actually you get more strength and energy by operating from a place of love and concern. You can be just as tough, but more effectively tough. It’s like a martial art.”

  
I think our so-called outer work is to do something skillful, to speak meaningfully, and forcefully if necessary, but coming from a place of kindness, this “place of love and concern.” Our outer actions will have more impact because we are not coming full bore out of anger and resentment.

Thurman, again, says it perfectly:
“Hatred is so off balance. You blow your adrenals in one minute, and then you’re shaky and weak. But if you’re joyful, you’ll get an endless source of energy.” 

But how can you be joyful when things are so messed up? To be sure, this is tough work, confronting our own anger and depression. No one said finding this place of joy in the midst of the world was going to be easy.

We start with baby steps on our cushion – little by little undoing the identification with thoughts, emotions and feelings that blind us to the naturally loving and radiant essence of ourselves and others.

There will be moments when we surrender our deepest held views and opinions, and just let go and forgive.

In these moments we “summon our character” as the rapper and poet Dessa writes in her poem “Mercy” (from her book A Pound Of Steam, Rain Taxi Press) 

To forgive
is to summon your character,
red-eyed and sober
and command it to behave
against the current of your instinct,
to reach up and
take down your own flag.

To forgive is to make a snow angel out of sawdust
Beneath the bench where they are shaving down your pride.

Meditation offers us moments of grace and blessing. We just have to be open to receive them, and discover the freshness and vitality of this world free from our social media freak outs and cynicism.

I confess it has been slow going for me, like an acquired taste, bitter at first, then all the more tasty and nourishing with each bite. Joy, ease and contentment truly provide the foundation of our spiritual life.

This ultimately is joyful work.

Relish these moments of joy on and off the cushion, for the sake of all beings.

Aloha, Tom, Katina, and the kids

NOV.3,2017 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

Dear Friends,
Understanding all the main teachings of Buddhism can be a challenging undertaking. I have met several people who have dedicated their entire adult lives to studying the sutras in their original languages. 
While their ability to synthesize complex topics into understandable English is impressive, I did not feel their hearts were liberated from what we all go through: everyday anxieties, fears, frustrations, and disappointments. They seemed to react to like we all do, caught in the grips of negative mind states.
On the other hand, I have met folks who were illiterate, and only heard bits and pieces of the Dharma, orally, whose hearts were free, their countenances bright and shining, and their laughter easy and infectious.
I particularly remember one forest monk in Sri Lanka, who insisted the meditative path was actually quite easy. “All you have to do,” he said, “is feel your breath, everything else happens by itself.” 
He was fond of reciting certain scriptural passage he had memorized. One of his favorites was from the Angutarra Nikaya:
“Luminous is the mind, brightly shining is its nature, but it is colored by the attachments that visit it.”
“You just have to relax and stay with the breath, and the attachments fall away” was another of his admonitions.
He lived the power and simplicity of this message. It was a relief I didn’t have keep struggling to comprehend all the complex ideas I was taught in the monastery. 
He insisted that nibbana, the ultimate freedom the Buddha talked about, was experienced here and now as ease, as loving-kindness, as joyful connection with others, and as simple mindfulness in all we do. 
Many years later I came to savor the teachings of the Thai forest monk Ajahn Cha. I had never met him, but I felt uplifted by the words that were translated into English by those who lived with him in the forest.
In particular, he spoke about this luminous mind my Sri Lankan teacher loved to talk about, calling it “the unborn nature of consciousness.” 
Here is a short passage from his teachings, describing this luminous mind:

“The original heart-mind shines like pure, clear water with the sweetest taste. To know this we must go beyond self and no-self, birth, and death. This original mind is limitless, untouchable, beyond all opposites and all creations.” 

He insisted this heart-mind is to be experienced here and now, by dropping attachment and grasping. 

The path, then, is to become acquainted with who you truly are, here and now. You are inherently open, at ease, wise, loving and compassionate. And this acquaintance only happens now, in this moment. 
I’ll leave you this week with the words of Thomas Merton, who was speaking about seeing the inherent nature of all beings:

“Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their heart. The depths of their hearts where neither sin nor knowledge could reach. The core of reality. The person that each one is in the eyes of the divine. If only they could see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time there would be no more need for war, for hatred, for greed, for cruelty. 
I suppose the big problem would be that we would fall down and worship each other.”
May we all know this “secret beauty of the heart” and fully live from its healing depth. 
Aloha, Tom, Katina, and the kids
THIS WEEK IN THE INSIGHT TIMER app
This week simply search in the Insight Timer for the following guided meditation,
In the Insight Timer search box enter: “Gil Fronsdal” then choose:
“Guided meditation on the breath”
This is an excellent 15 minute breath meditation; it’s all you have to do
according to the teacher I mentioned above.
 
 
If the spirit moves you, please help spread the word by:

–>> sharing this email with friends who may be interested or


–>> check out our blog–>> http://alohasangha.com/

(Received this from a friend & want to sign up for the weekly emails?

Just reply and let me know, and I’ll add you, easy peasy)

Hope to see you tonight, Thursday November 2, 2017 — bring a friend.

Be safe, be well…

 
 
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OCT.26,2017 MINDFUL MEDITATION IN MANOA

Dear Friends,
When asked about the fruit of the spiritual life, the 13th century Japanese monk Dogen Zenji replied: “Enlightenment is intimacy with all things.”
Mindfulness allows us to intimately see a flower, or watch a sunset, or eat a mango, with nothing in between us and the experience.
Breath by breath we deepen our connection with life as it is. We are more present for the beauty and the challenges we encounter. We long for this connection, this intimacy with our life, as it connects us more authentically with others.
We discover a new dimension to life, as described by Emily Dickenson: 
“Life is so astonishing; it leaves very little time for anything else.”
But we discover on the cushion that our minds are actively judging, evaluating and comparing our ourselves and our experiences.
The judging mind, that meditators are so familiar with, takes us far away from this intimacy that Dogen highlights as the fruit of our practice. Although we long for this connection, we seem to be powerfully conditioned to judge.
We are “judging machines” as one of my teachers, Michelle Smith, once said.
Jon Kabat-Zinn reminds us that 
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way – on purpose, in the present moment, and without judgment.”
Consciously practicing non-judgment in meditation allows us to open up more to whatever arises, and rest deeply in the mindful presence that judging blocks out. Doing this relieves us of having to do anything in particular in the present.
We just give up grasping for more of the pleasant, resisting the unpleasant, and ignoring our life as it is.
As Larry Rosenberg puts it, by practicing non-judgment we come into the space of intimacy where we are “being with life, not just dealing with it.”
Joseph Goldstein is fond of recounting that an interviewer once asked Mother Teresa what she says to God when she prays. “I don’t say anything,” she replied. “I just listen.“ 
Then the interviewer asked what God says to her. “He doesn’t say anything,” she said. “He just listens. And if you don’t understand that, I can’t explain it to you.”
Deep listening, in silence, even if no words are spoken, is intimate. Like Mother Teresa we can’t explain this intimacy our mindfulness practice reveals.
We simply live it. 
Aloha,
Tom, Katina, and the kids
THIS WEEK IN THE INSIGHT TIMER app
This week simply search in the Insight Timer for the following guided meditation,
In the Insight Timer search box enter: “Joseph Goldstein” then choose:
“Quiet and Connected- Mindfulness Meditation”
This is an excellent 11 minute meditation that guides you to connect
with people in a full-hearted way.

OCT.12, 2017 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

Dear Friends,
In talk given recently by the Buddhist meditation teacher Gil Fronsdal on the topic of intention, he noted that “we are the custodians of our own happiness, caretakers of our inner life.”
Mindfulness helps us be present for our life in real time. With practice we can clearly notice an expanded range of choices we face.

As Victor Frankl boldy wrote:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

While mindfulness lays bare our inner life, the ethical teachings in Buddhism–the parent of today’s secular mindfulness movement–encourages us to use mindfulness to make wise choices. As Victor Frankl notes, mindfulness opens up a space that allows us to make choices that nurture our “growth and freedom.”
According to the traditional teachings, what we call the present moment is part of the stream of impermance – of change and flow, with individual moments affecting the following ones. Buddhism views the present moment as a result, essentially, of the choices we make, moment by moment.
If a person has the habit, conditioned by a long stream of similar moments, to take to Twitter every time he feels put down or unappreciated, and post false counter attacks, he will simply continue to do so (risking World War III). He probably does not even see a space for choice, therefore for him, there is no choice. 
Buddhism calls this delusion; we are so blind we cannot really see what’s going on, to say nothing of having any choices. As mindfulness grows we clearly see a greater range of choices of how to respond and lead our lives.
In considering this wider range of choices available through the space of mindfulness, the Buddha was very clear that we should look at the intentions behind these choices.
Intentions, in the Buddhist view, are considered seeds. If our intentions are “unwholesome” they produce more detrimental ones, leading to difficulties and distress. Similarly, if our intentions are “wholesome” they engender peace and happiness.
  
This is why Gil Fronsdal remarked that we are the “custodians of our own happiness.” Once we really get this, we can create our own happiness independent of the conditions of the world. We can never again consider ourselves victims. The Buddha was very clear on this – our happiness and our inner peace is largely due to our intentions.
Mindfulness and some discipline allow us to see the motivations behind our choices. Mindful of our intentions, we then choose to act on the ones which bring happiness and let go of the ones which bring further entanglements. 
The Buddha elaborated on which intentions are wholesome and which are not: if we water the seeds of kindness, compassion, and love we create the conditions for a happy life. 
Mindfulness allows us to become clearer about our intentions, and live with greater ease and joy.
 
Aloha,
Tom, Katina, and the kids

OCTOBER 5, 2017 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

Dear Friends,
This week I would like to address a couple of misconceptions I often hear regarding meditation and one’s emotional life. The first is we meditate to either to get rid of negative emotions, such as anger, or to manufacture positive ones, such as joy. 
The second is meditation erases our emotions altogether, leaving us emotional flat-liners.
Let’s start with the basics: the meditator’s job, as Gil Fronsdal says, is to free ourselves from the idea that something is supposed to happen in the first place.
We simply use whatever is happening in the moment, just staying present in a very simple way for what is, as a way seeing your life in a deeper way than is usually possible in our busy lives.
Meditation allows us to peek under the hood and more clearly see the forces that drive us, motivate us, and push us around. The forces we often automatically react to. By applying “wise attention” to our lives, we discover a space that allows us to make better choices, and lessen our pain. 
When strong emotional feelings become the “what is” that we pay attention to, we can see how we entangle ourselves in a mix of a judgment, aversion, clinging, and resistance. These reactions can freeze emotional experience, and we easily succumb to either repressing them or acting out on them. 
Mindfulness can create a safe inner space that allows “what is” to simply be. When we let the present moment be as it is, free of our usual over-involvement, we experience a radical unfreezing of our inner experience. 
With mature mindfulness, we discern subtle flow; we see deeply into the impermanence of all phenomena, releasing the grasping or resistance that causes so much pain and sorrow.
Meditation opens us a marvelous “middle way” to our habitual freezing, repressing or acting out, our emotional experience.
Meditation allows our rich inner life to simply be there as it is in the present, and to discover a kind of freedom that allows our emotional life to flow through you. 

This can be powerfully transformative. We discover a healing, safe and wonderful depth in our emotional life we never knew was there. 

In our practice we use the breath to settle the mind. The instruction is to then pay attention to whatever is so compelling that is consistently draws your attention away from the breath. 
Let’s say anger arises and pulls you way. We are instructed mindfully label it, such as “anger…anger.” There is something magical about naming our experience this way that takes away its power to entangle us. 
Tara Brach says that when you mindfully label a powerful experience such as anger, you are doing so from a place where you are not caught by or lost in it. You label from a place that’s already free and spacious, and this spaciousness seeps in to the experience.
Mindful noting also allows you to see the attraction of the story the emotion is telling, and to not get sucked in. We just come back to mindful labeling.
Labeling gives us a chance to allow the emotion to do its thing, to not resist it, and not be in conflict with it. As we saw last week, Diana Winston calls this a practice of “non-contention.”
Joy, rather than being somehow manufactured by the meditation process, is liberated from deep inside. It seeps into our being causelessly, unrelated to having things a certain way, when we allow this free flow of emotions, thoughts and feelings. 
When we are mindful of our emotions like this, we drop the clinging and aversion that keeps us bound up and joy naturally bubbles through. 
We discover an amazing treasure we never knew we had.

 
Aloha,
Tom, Katina, and the kids

SEPT.14,2017 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

SEPT.14,2017 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

 
Every week I will feature one talk or guided meditation on the popular app INSIGHT TIMER — available for free on both iPhone and Android smartphones. Please see the new weekly feature below this week’s message! 
 
I will address certain aspects of the weekly selections in the newsletter next week, so keep reading!
 
 
Dear Friends,
The meditation practice of metta, or loving-kindness, has had a profound effect on me over the years. I would simply like to touch on some of these as an offer of encouragement to discover the healing depth and profound re-orientation metta offers those who are drawn to mindfulness.
 
Metta helps me accept myself as I am: imperfect, seriously flawed, and occasionally in need of a lot of help when I’m depressed. Since we are basically stuck with ourselves, even miniscule drops of greater self-acceptance and goodwill help settle my inner discontent.
 
Of the many benefits of metta listed in the suttas, this has been the most revolutionary for my own practice: it helps me settle into a sitting meditation with a clearer mind than the one I brought to the session. This point is often glossed over in the way mindfulness meditation is being taught these days.
 
If we are not on good terms with ourselves it’s hard to settle down on the breath.
 
All manner of disturbing thoughts come, often below the surface of conscious awareness. We may go into all sorts of fantasies as a work-around, but they never help.
 
There simply is no way around this: we need kindness toward ourselves even to get past the starting line, to say nothing of how valuable it is in the often emotionally challenging work ahead.
 
Kindness toward self is heavy stuff. Metta starts here; with practice we develop warmth and feeling for friends, family members, those we meet for the first time, and especially those with whom we may not be on good terms.
 
I know a lot of burned out spiritual activists who perhaps neglected metta as the first step on their path. In these troubling times, we need the gentle rain of metta to nourish the soil of our actions.
 
If we wish to creatively work toward healing the world’s many wounds, politically, environmentally, and socially, we need to start with metta for ourselves.
 
Without the foundation of metta, starting with ourselves, our actions can be weakened by instinctive aggression. I do see the point of many who are critics of metta as being merely passive; metta doesn’t stay passive for long, and if it does it needs a re-boot.
 
The developing metta practice gives us the inner strength and conviction to actively speak and act in whatever way is appropriate to the situation.
 
Metta takes us to places far from the security the ego wants. 
Joana Macy wrote:
 
 
‘The capacity of the human heart-mind to look into the face of suffering and pain has everything to do with its awakening it its full dimensions, joy, and power.’ 
 
 
Metta is a crucible in which these full dimensions of the human heart are forged.
 
The world is in a terrible mess. Metta gives us the strength to bear witness and to act.
 
I will leave you with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., (please substitute “metta” for “love”).
 
 
‘In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It’s not merely an emotional something… Love is the understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill for all people.”
 
 
Paraphrasing the Buddha, metta is redemptive goodwill in the beginning, the middle and the end.
 
Metta challenges us is way many of us have never been challenged before.
 
Metta needs need you, and you need metta.
 
This week, please, take a little time out of your busy lives and sit down and meditate for 25 minutes using this week’s chosen metta guided meditation from the Insight Timer app. 
 
Let me know how it goes – simply reply to this email if you want.
 
“In gladness and in safety, may you be at ease.”
 
Aloha, 
Tom, Katina, and the kids
 
 


Sincerely,
Ron Richey
808-734-5732
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813
iamronrichey@gmail.com
www.melloron.com


Every week I will feature one talk or guided meditation on the popular app INSIGHT TIMER — available for free on both iPhone and Android smartphones. Please see the new weekly feature below this week’s message! 
 
I will address certain aspects of the weekly selections in the newsletter next week, so keep reading!
 
 
Dear Friends,
The meditation practice of metta, or loving-kindness, has had a profound effect on me over the years. I would simply like to touch on some of these as an offer of encouragement to discover the healing depth and profound re-orientation metta offers those who are drawn to mindfulness.
 
Metta helps me accept myself as I am: imperfect, seriously flawed, and occasionally in need of a lot of help when I’m depressed. Since we are basically stuck with ourselves, even miniscule drops of greater self-acceptance and goodwill help settle my inner discontent.
 
Of the many benefits of metta listed in the suttas, this has been the most revolutionary for my own practice: it helps me settle into a sitting meditation with a clearer mind than the one I brought to the session. This point is often glossed over in the way mindfulness meditation is being taught these days.
 
If we are not on good terms with ourselves it’s hard to settle down on the breath.
 
All manner of disturbing thoughts come, often below the surface of conscious awareness. We may go into all sorts of fantasies as a work-around, but they never help.
 
There simply is no way around this: we need kindness toward ourselves even to get past the starting line, to say nothing of how valuable it is in the often emotionally challenging work ahead.
 
Kindness toward self is heavy stuff. Metta starts here; with practice we develop warmth and feeling for friends, family members, those we meet for the first time, and especially those with whom we may not be on good terms.
 
I know a lot of burned out spiritual activists who perhaps neglected metta as the first step on their path. In these troubling times, we need the gentle rain of metta to nourish the soil of our actions.
 
If we wish to creatively work toward healing the world’s many wounds, politically, environmentally, and socially, we need to start with metta for ourselves.
 
Without the foundation of metta, starting with ourselves, our actions can be weakened by instinctive aggression. I do see the point of many who are critics of metta as being merely passive; metta doesn’t stay passive for long, and if it does it needs a re-boot.
 
The developing metta practice gives us the inner strength and conviction to actively speak and act in whatever way is appropriate to the situation.
 
Metta takes us to places far from the security the ego wants. 
Joana Macy wrote:
 
 
‘The capacity of the human heart-mind to look into the face of suffering and pain has everything to do with its awakening it its full dimensions, joy, and power.’ 
 
 
Metta is a crucible in which these full dimensions of the human heart are forged.
 
The world is in a terrible mess. Metta gives us the strength to bear witness and to act.
 
I will leave you with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., (please substitute “metta” for “love”).
 
 
‘In the final analysis, love is not this sentimental something that we talk about. It’s not merely an emotional something… Love is the understanding, creative, redemptive goodwill for all people.”
 
 
Paraphrasing the Buddha, metta is redemptive goodwill in the beginning, the middle and the end.
 
Metta challenges us is way many of us have never been challenged before.
 
Metta needs need you, and you need metta.
 
This week, please, take a little time out of your busy lives and sit down and meditate for 25 minutes using this week’s chosen metta guided meditation from the Insight Timer app. 
 
Let me know how it goes – simply reply to this email if you want.
 
“In gladness and in safety, may you be at ease.”
 
Aloha, 
Tom, Katina, and the kids
 
 


Sincerely,
Ron Richey
808-734-5732
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813
iamronrichey@gmail.com
www.melloron.com

SEPT.7,2017 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

Dear Friends,

There is a Zen story told by the Vietnamese monk Thich Nhat Hahn about a man and a horse. The horse is galloping fast, and it seems like the man on the horse is on his way somewhere urgently.

Another man, watching by the roadside, shouts out “Where are you going?” and the man on the horse shouts back, “I don’t know, ask the horse!”

Can you relate?

We are that man on the horse, we seem to always be in a rush doing this or that, but we really don’t know what we are doing or where we are going half the time.

And we have a heck of a time stopping.

The horse is what Thich Nhat Hahn calls our “habit energy” which pulls us this way and that, always running. Even in our sleep.

A couple of weeks ago I had unexpected reaction to a new medication I am taking which left me in a state of heightened restlessness: I just felt like I was jumping out of my own skin. If I laid down to rest, I would be right back up again in two minutes. I would try to read soothing poetry but had to put the book down in 30 seconds. It was awful.

I think a lot of us are riding the horse of restless, habitual activity all day long. We are getting used to living with chronic frazzle.

That’s why mindfulness is so important!

Mindfulness helps us recognize the chronic frazzle, which is like the rider discovering the horse has reigns. Actually sitting down to meditate is like gently tugging on those reigns for the restless energy to slow down.

The remedy to doing too many things at once, which is at the heart of this restless frazzle for most people, is, yes, to do only one thing at a time. This is the core skill of meditative concentration, or focus power, doing one thing at time.

In actuality, most multitaskers are deluded into thinking that a) multitasking makes them better at their tasks, and b) that they are really multi-tasking.

Neuroscientists have repeatedly proven that no human multi-tasks. Rather, the brain switches very quickly from one task to another. Like having a conversation while checking your news feed while ordering pasta.

The brain does each task one at a time, but it does it so fast it seems like it’s doing all three at once. This would be harmless but for the consequences: each time the brain switches tasks it take milliseconds to invoke a second level of executive functioning.

Bottom line: each time you seemingly multi-task, you are draining available resources.

You end up more stressed and spun out – it drains your overall effectiveness and can leave you feeling empty and unrewarded.

In meditation, when the inevitable distractions comes up (Did I send the rent check? Why won’t she friend me on Facebook? This so so so boring!) and we catch them and gently return to the breath, or body sensations, or sounds, we are slowly training ourselves to focus on one thing at a time.

Focus brings clarity.

Focus and clarity being ease.

Focus, clarity and ease bring contentment.

This week, try to limit your external distractions, because as meditators we already have enough to deal with internally!

When you settle on a time and a place to meditate, turn everything off that can be turned off.

And in daily life try true single-tasking!

You will feel much deeper satisfaction from your commitments, build concentration power and be less frazzled and anxious.

We can do this! 

Aloha, Tom, Katina, and the kids

THIS WEEK IN THE INSIGHT TIMER app
In “tune” with this week’s message about the distraction attributed to smartphones, let’s begin a new weekly feature where we actually use our smartphones to develop our mindfulness practice!
This week simply search in the Insight Timer for the following guided meditation:
In the Insight Timer search box enter: “Diana Winston” then choose:
“Complete Meditation Instructions”
This is an excellent 19 minute guided meditation reviewing all the essential points for a complete meditation session!
We will discuss this in part in next week’s email message. Enjoy!

Sincerely,
Ron Richey
808-734-5732
545 Queen St. # 701
Honolulu, Hi 96813
iamronrichey@gmail.com
www.melloron.com

SEPT.31,2017 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

Dear Friends,

A poem that for me speaks to what I feel we need in this world – calor humano is how we say it in Spanish. Human warmth. 

Kindness.
The recognition of of shared humanity, with tenderness.

“At the Corner Store” by Alison Luterman

It was a new old man behind the counter,
skinny, brown and eager.
He greeted me like a long lost daughter,
as if we both came from the same world,
someplace warmer and more gracious than this cold city.

I was thirsty and alone. Sick at heart, grief-soiled
and his face lit up as if I were his prodigal daughter

returning,
coming back to the freezer bins in front of the register
which were still and always filled
with the same old Cable Car ice-cream sandwiches and cheap frozen greens.
Back to the knobs of beef and packages of hotdogs,
these familiar shelves strung with potato chips and corn chips,
stacked-up beer boxes and immortal Jim Beam.

I lumbered to the case and bought my precious bottled water and he returned my change, beaming as if I were the bright new buds on the just-bursting-open cherry trees,
as if I were everything beautiful struggling to grow, and he was blessing me as he handed me my dime

over the dirty counter and the plastic tub of red licorice whips.

This old man who didn’t speak English
beamed out love to me in the iron week after my mother’s death
so that when I emerged from his store

my whole cockeyed life—
what a beautiful failure!—
glowed gold like a sunset after rain.

Frustrated city dogs were yelping in their yards,
mad with passion behind their chain-linked fences,
and in the driveway of a peeling-paint house
a woman and a girl danced to contagious reggae.

Praise Allah! Jah! The Buddha! Kwan Yin,
Jesus, Mary and even jealous old Jehovah!

For eyes, hands
of the divine, everywhere.

What’s so touching about this poem is that the poet was open to noticing the old man’s gentleness and love even during this tough time for her – she tells us this was an “iron week” for her following her mother’s death.

Perhaps we will all have our “iron weeks” or “iron months” ahead. Can we participate in the subtle conversations of intimacy and blessing like the one described in this poem?

When we are caught in our own storyline, our dramas, it’s often difficult to accept love, especially from a stranger in an unexpected setting. I feel myself there in this corner store, taking in the subtle silent message of grace.

I know how this sudden taking in of good will and blessing allows one to see the world in that moment in a fresh way. 

She accepted that invitation right then and there from the old man who did not even speak the same language as she– and in that moment deeply appreciated the yelping dogs, the paint-peeling house, the reggae music — the imperfect world around her. 

Meditation offers us these moments of grace and blessing. We just have to be open to receive them like the poet did at the corner store; especially in silent exchanges under the radar of the monitoring ego.

And to discover the freshness and vitality of this world free from our social media freak outs and cynicism.

The North American author and photographer Eudora Welty wrote:

“My continuing passion is to part a curtain — that invisible veil of indifference that falls between us and that blinds us to each other’s presence, each other’s wonder, each other’s human plight.” 

Joy, ease and contentment truly provide the foundation of our spiritual life. 

Sure, we talk a lot about impermanence, discomfort, stress and despair, but I feel this is at the service of “each other’s wonder.” 

The Buddha talks a lot in the suttas about savoring the joy and contentment that come about from living a good life, meditating and practicing loving-kindness and compassion. 

But it can be a challenge to consciously open and truly, mindfully, savor joy and contentment, not simply consume it.

Meditation invites us to dance with grace and ease in the coming days and months.

 

Aloha,

Tom, Katina, and the kids

 
 
If the spirit moves you, please help spread the word by:

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Hope to see you tonight, Thursday August 31, 2017 — bring a friend.

Be safe, be well…

 
 
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AUGUST 24,2017 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

 Dear Friends,

Some people ask about the so-called highest teachings of Buddhism, and it always comes down to the three marks of existence: dissatisfaction, impermanence, and the absence of a fixed, unchanging self. 

There is even a book called “No self, No problem.”

That last of the three marks is always a head-scratcher, so you are not alone!


I am particularly interested in the balance between relinquishing the burdens created by having a fixed, unchanging self and relating healthily and wholesomely to ourselves.


There is this line from the late Leonard Cohen, who was a dedicated Buddhist meditator for most of his adult life:

“I know your burden is heavy as you wield it through the night;
The guru says it’s empty but that doesn’t make it light.”

I am willing to guess that the actual teachings on non-self have caused meditators a great deal of suffering already, just trying to wrap our heads around this!

There is one way to simplify everything though: all these teachings point us back to the present moment. And I think that what we all are looking for is just this pointing back to the here and now.

We also want, I think, to be able to rest in this now, fully content and satisfied – forever.

So in part what we are looking for is a good reason to be fully content and at rest now.

The three marks of existence teachings: on dissatisfaction, impermanence, and non-self, do just that – they point to experiencing this here and now as fully satisfactory and good. 

This is what we are searching for!

When we experience the now as good, satisfactory and enough, beautiful qualities of the heart begin to unfold like lotus petals in the sunlight.

When now feels truly satisfactory, there is nothing left to do but feel and radiate love.

My point is there is no real conflict here: having self-confidence in our ability to experience the here and now as profoundly satisfying is the key to lasting happiness. 

And in truly experiencing the here and now we drop the problematic self!

One quality we can work on developing is what I am calling here self-confidence – and from reading the sutras The Buddha seemed like a very self-confident person!


Knowing impermanence in the here and now makes us fuller human beings. It’s puts us in direct contact with our very human feelings; perhaps loss, or chagrin, or a dropping off of expectation and wanting.

Let’s call this a healthy, free-flowing, non-fixed sense of who and what you are!

This is truly and profoundly a happy place!

We journey into deepening levels of self-transparency, personally and psychologically; an invitation to love all the recesses of our mind and heart!

Let’s look at it this way, what we call a self is just an experience in the here and now. 

What we call non-self is also just an experience in the here and now. We can compare experiences, but they are just experiences- not solid entities. 

An integrated self-confidence in our Dharma practice is not a contradiction, it’s a must!

In one of the suttas on metta, or loving-kindness, the Buddha says:


“That person who holds herself dear will not harm another.”

As we bathe ourselves in loving-kindness, we let go of the past – and this self we are letting go of is rooted in the past. 

I’ll leave you this week with two excerpts. The first is from the American philosopher and writer Daniel Dennett: 

“The self is the center of narrative gravity.” 

And this narrative, as most meditators have already discovered, is about the past.

The second is from the American meditation teacher Gil Fronsdal, who says the essence of the meditative path is to:

“Learn to re-tell the story of our life in light of the Dhamma.”

This is something to which we can all aspire.

Tom, Katina, and the kids

AUGUST 10,2017 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

Dear friends,
 

The creator of a popular Mindfulness app was on Jimmy Fallon Live last Friday night, August 4. 

 
The headline caught my attention in my newsfeed the next day: “Headspace’s Andy Puddicombe guides Jimmy and the Tonight Show audience through a brief meditation that can be done anywhere.”

Holy Moly, I thought, the Mindfulness ship has landed.

Yes, there was that Time Magazine Cover a couple of years ago; and yes, Anderson Cooper did that story and his colleague Dan Harris is a convert. And of course the Lakers and the Bulls were coached by a Mindfulness guru. 

But there was something about seeing the entireTonight Show audience and band doing mindfulness meditation with their eyes closed with competent guidance that, well, took my breath away.

Everyone and their aunty seem to want to get in on this. Attendance at our weekly mindful get-togethers keeps going up. Yes, despite the initial enthusiasm, as a teacher getting people to stick with meditation is a major deal.


One of the most common complaints is that it’s so darn boring. 
This stops a lot of folks from meditating, as they don’t see the point of doing something that seems to be doing nothing for you.

Well, how long does it take to see results from the gym? Do you just give up if you don’t see any results after a couple of weeks?

Boredom happens. So do a lot of other mind states. Then they pass. They are mind states.

I read a hilarious description of the particular species of boredom that preys on mindfulness meditators by Brent Oliver writing over on the ultra cool blog Morpheus:
 
Amidst the insanity of your non-housebroken mind and the travails of domesticating it, there will be long, face-numbing stretches of pure tedium. It’ll make your ass go numb and your slack mouth drool…, you just sit there in the midst of a vast, arid stretch of featureless ennui, your mind is as listless and dull as Kristen Stewart’s acting. 
 
You start to wonder if you somehow died and didn’t notice. Or maybe the timer on your phone had a stroke and will never buzz to release you from this yawn-fest.
 
Often when folks get started with mindfulness practice, it’s very new and intriguing, and cool thing to do. Sometimes little insights bubble up, like “I can really see how I make problems out of nothing, or “I never realized how active my mind is.”

As folks settle in to the routine of meditation, the experience may lose the coolness it had. It begins to seem like a chore. And then sometimes the complaints come that nothing is happening, this is not working, or one seems to be getting nowhere at all.

And then: This is just so boring.


Consider the possibility that nothing needs to happen.

I am not saying here some voodoo Zen thing, like we have to make our minds into “nothing” or get ourselves into some mystical other-worldly state of “nothingness.”

I just am saying, plainly, nothing (that is, no special mind states) needs to happen. It’s OK that nothing’s happening. Let’s see why that is.

When nothing seems to be happening in our mediation practice, we can become a little antsy. I suggest this antsy-ness is really a tiny “jonesing” for a fix – of anything, even uncomfortable thoughts. 
 
We just don’t do well with bland-ness, repetition, or engaging in insanely simple tasks over extended lengths of time.

Such as being with the breath sensations at the nostrils or abdomen.

Our culture induces a craving for intensity, a Jim Carrey-esque manic pursuit of peak experiences. Monster Energy drinks are everywhere, and prescriptions for powerful sleeping medications have risen many-fold in the last decade alone.

We just simply get to a point in our meditation practice, organically, where awareness sees that nothing is intrinsically boring.

When we can let go of the stories of boredom and drop in to the felt sense of what is actually happening in the present moment, we begin to break the trance of our conditioning. 
 
We develop a child-like curiosity to see what’s really here.

Initially, relating to boredom in mediation is like seeing a blurry image, but as our senses rest a little, we start to discover intricate details.

Our senses delight in details; they wake up a little.

This is no easy path to be sure.

But when you get through once, you realize you can do it again, and again, and again.

Mindful curiosity and careful clear seeing can take you out of the trance of conditioning and into your true, authentic experience of your life, just as it is.

And you begin to taste real freedom.

It’s a lovely taste.
 
Aloha,  Tom, Katina and the kids

August 3,2017 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

Dear Friends,
 
As a nurse, I am trained to make quick assessments of patients, starting from the ABCs: Is the airway clear? Is the breathing unlabored? Is circulation robust? 
 
If we are clear on the basics, we move on to finer level assessments. 

In meditation, we often find ourselves stuck in a basic mode: there are gross obstructions in the system that need to be cleared, often urgently.

One of the ways we find ourselves stuck is overwhelm. Our system is simply overwhelmed, flooded with sticky, uncomfortable memories or body sensations, often originating in unconscious processing.

We know from neuroscience that one of the brain’s primary functions is to see events and conditions in the world as either threat or reward.

Stephen Porges Ph.D. says in his polyvagal theory that the vagus nerve communicates between the brain and the heart, and our unconscious perceptions of threat and safety are connected to heart rate rhythm and the ability to regulate various aspects of the nervous system.

According to this view we are hard-wired with a multi-level nervous system response to perceived threats to our safety, whether real or imagined. 
 
And in meditation the body often cannot differentiate from the perceived threat response originating from a memory or in “real life.” 

When our brains perceive the environment is safe, the vagus will shut down the fight or flight response, and turn off the autonomic nervous system.
 
These are safety signals, it’s OK, and we can relax.

I think the Buddha understood the polyvagal theory in his own way; he emphasized the Dhamma as a sublime refuge from the storms ofsamsara. This refuge affords the weary traveler a crucial place of safety on which to build the abode of the collected mind – samādhi. 

To enter into meditation in a way that’s effective and transformative, you need to feel safe.

Overwhelm happens. It’s the loss of the observing faculty of clearly seeing, watching as if from a safe distance. 

Overwhelm overpowers mindfulness and keeps mindfulness from gelling again.

Following a medical theme here, one strategy for working with this sense of overwhelm in your meditation practice is to use the notion of titration.

I think titration is built-in to most vipassana systems of meditation, in this way:


We begin to slow everything down, almost frame by frame with dedicated practice. This is one way to keep sensory date from overwhelming the system – slow walking, eating, brushing of teeth, bathing.

Another example is when we broaden the scope of awareness in our practice. Let’s say a certain level of concentration builds by focusing on a relatively small part of the body – by widening the scope of attention to take in the whole body at once, we titrate because there is now a bigger pool of awareness.

In this way we become experts on the ABCs of the meditative path, where ABC stands for “a bigger container” (to use Joko-Beck’s phrase).

As we walk this path and explore all is marvelous branches, perhaps we stumble onto the “bliss of blamelessness” following the Buddha’s ethical values, or maybe we discover deeper states of ease and joy in daily life– it’s all about being happy, relaxed, at ease, and safe in our own skin.

Please keep walking this wonderful path.
Together, we can do this.
Tom, Katina, and the kids

JULY 27,2017 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

Dear Friends,
I was watching the evening news last night here in Honolulu and while there is tropical storm approaching, the weather person on TV said the storm will most likely miss us, adding “but we should still be prepared.”

One way to look at why we practice mindfulness meditation is to be prepared for the storms of life.

We mediate even without any storm warnings, day in and day out, so that we have something to draw on when stuff happens. 
 
And eventually stuff happens in everyone’s life; even the luckiest of us have to deal with illness, loss of loved ones, old age and death, as the Buddha often noted.

We do so called “formal” practice at home or in a meditation group setting or retreat where we do nothing but mindfulness meditation. Doing this over weeks and months creates a spill-over effect: mindfulness at first trickles into our daily life, then all of a sudden we notice a big-time spillover.

You begin to notice you are being more mindful and aware while washing the dishes, taking out the garbage, talking to your kids or spouse.

And this mindfulness helps us stay more engaged and in tune with our life.

Often times I hear the complaint that someone does not have the time to meditate. I’ll just share this from a teacher I hold in the highest regard:

“You say that you are too busy to meditate. Do you have time to breathe? Meditation is your breath. Why do you have time to breathe, but not to meditate? Breathing is something vital to people’s lives. If you see that Dharma practice is vital to your life, then you will feel that breathing and practicing the Dharma are equally important.” 
~ Ajahn Chah

Formal practice does mature us. It enables us to be more realistic and work with the realities of our life without getting caught up by the negativities that our mind throws up in the face of challenges.
Practicing mindfulness meditation allows you to truly begin to live your own life rather than falling into the tendencies of your life dictating who are what you truly are.But remember, formal practice is not the goal. It’s just a means to create more space in your mind, in your life, creating the conditions for mindfulness to spill over, to put into motion an upward spiral of emotional and physical well-being, vitality and a sense of profound contentment.

I think for almost everyone I have met, it does take some time before this spillover happens — of establishing a so-called formal practice, of getting into the habit of sitting, if not every day, then at least for as many days as you can, beginning with just ten minutes a day, then gradually building on this foundation.


This advice from Dza Kilung Rinpochen is priceless. Please take it to heart.

“If you have only five or ten minutes to spare, that helps a lot. You don’t have to be an excellent meditator to start with. All you need to do is have your heart and mind make the following agreement: “Let’s rest. There’s no reason right now to wander around following thoughts or to be worrying. Let’s be relaxed and open.” There’s not even any need to shut down your thoughts. Just be there with them, but not overly concerned or engaged. Let there be total openness, and just relax within that.”
 
 
 
Together, we can do this.

Tom, Katina, and the kids,

JULY 20, 2017 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

Honolulu folks – SPECIAL GUEST TEACHER tonight,Thursday, 7.20.17
Please join us for an evening of meditation and discussion
at our place —  3241 Alani Drive, in Manoa, from 6 to 7:30 PM.
If you have a meditation cushion, please bring.
The front door opens at 5:50 PM.
 
PLEASE bring your own meditation cushion or something comfortable to sit on. A limited number of chairs are available.
 
Katina and I are very happy to welcome back Grahame White, from Australia, who will lead the meditation and give a Dharma talk TONIGHT. Don’t miss this!
 
Please read about Grahame below — plus another local announcement.
 Dear Friends,
 
We suffer because we forget who we truly are.

We forget we are love and compassion; that we are hard-wired to feel and connect. We forget we are truly and profoundly good through and through.

And we settle for less, much less.

Tara Brach said in one of her talks one of her favorite Asian teaching stories is about a huge statute of the Buddha somewhere in Thailand. 
 
Since it looked like all the others in the temple, made of plaster and clay, people didn’t particularly revere it over the others. 

Then came a long period of drought, and small cracks started to appear. One of the monks had the idea to shine a flashlight to look inside the crack to see if it there was some infrastructure problem.

In every tiny crack he looked into, a bright shining light reflected back. He called the other monks, and together they carefully removed small pieces of the cracked plaster and clay to reveal flashes of gold.

When they removed the plaster and clay covering, they found one of the largest pure gold Buddha statues in Southeast Asia.

I like to think of the tiny cracks in the story as those little insights we get from time to time throughout our day: the light is turning red, OK, an opportunity to be aware of my body just sitting here in the car, waiting patiently.

My favorite work shirt is wrinkled – a reminder to fold it nicely the next time it comes out of the dryer.

Little cracks like these appear in the plaster covering of our life all day long, we just forget to look for the gold shining through each moment.

The monks think the statue had been covered in plaster and clay to protect it from (from thieves, I imagine). But through the passage of time, people forgot what they had.

Just like we forget what we have. We put on a covering of defenses to protect ourselves so long ago; we have forgotten what it was we are protecting: our true nature, our Buddha-nature.

We forget the gold and we start believing we’re the covering – the defensive, small, insecure self.

The essence of the spiritual path is simply reconnecting with the inner gold, mindful moment after moment. This connection is an unassailable refuge.

In traditional Buddhism the first step on the spiritual path is taking refuge in the three treasures of Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. 
 
We take refuge in the pure gold inner Buddha, the spacious freedom of our true nature.

As we progress on the spiritual path, we appreciate refuge as an ever deepening journey of understanding into what and who we really are.

Sure, it begins with some desire on our part for perceived spiritual goodies, but if we hang in there it progresses into small daily revelations through those tiny cracks in the defensive self.

Mindfulness encourages the pure gold to shine though those tiny cracks.

With deepening experience, refuge as a religious ideal fades into the liberating immanence of our true nature. We are “at play in the fields” of aliveness and mystery.

~

A sangha member emailed me this poem the other day; I write this week’s this email as a sort of prologue to this poem, which is a kind of prayer (with many thanks to Noah for finding it):
Empower me
to be a bold participant,
rather than a timid saint in waiting,
in the difficult ordinariness of now;
to exercise the authority of honesty;
rather than defer to power,
or deceive to get it;
to influence someone for justice,
rather than impress anyone for gain;
and, by grace, to find treasures
of joy, of friendship, of peace
hidden in the fields of the daily
you give me to plow.~Ted Loder, from Wrestling the Light: Ache and Awe in the Human-Divine Struggle.As Noah wrote in his email to me, “treasures hidden…in the fields of the daily” speaks to the heart of this practice.
Tom, Katina, and the kids,
 
PS If you consider yourself a regular reader of this weekly newsletter, please SHARE this post on any social media accounts you may have (buttons above and below) or simply forward it to friends. Thanks!
 
Grahame White began Buddhist meditation practice in England in 1969. He was ordained as a Buddhist monk for one year in India in 1971. He took a primary role in the establishment of Vipassana meditation in the tradition of Mahasi Sayadaw in Australia and co-founded the Blue Mountains Insight Meditation Center outside Sydney. 

Grahame leads introductory and day long courses in Sydney and regularly teaches longer intensive retreats in the US.
He has also helped pioneer a workshop format that enhances the transfer of mindfulness from the formal sitting practice into daily life. 

Grahame teaches a classical tradition of insight meditation with a relaxed, accessible style.

TEACHINGS THIS WEEKEND WITH VISITING TIBETAN LAMA
Khenchen Tsultrim Lodrö will be giving the following teachings July 21- 23:
The Three Goals of Buddhist Practice @  Kagyu Thegchen Ling Friday, July 21 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm $10 Suggested Donation
Wisdom: The flip side of suffering, a guide for our times @ es Honolulu Museum of art, Doris Duke Theater Saturday, July 22 10:00 am – 11:30 am (doors open 9:00 am) $10 Suggested Donation
Emotions: Transforming suffering into happiness, every day @  Kagyu Thegchen Ling Sunday, July 23 2:00 – 4:00 pm $15 Suggested Donation
For the entire series of talks: $30 suggested donation.
The Venerable Khenpo Tsultrim Lodrö, a leading contemporary Buddhist scholar and highly respected Nyingma teacher of Tibetan Buddhism visits Hawai’i for the first time this Summer of 2017.
These teachings are hosted by Kagyu Thegchen Ling,
Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Center
26 Gartley Place, Honolulu, Hawaii 96817
 
 

If the spirit moves you, please help spread the word by:

–>> sharing this email with friends who may be interested or

–>> following us on our Facebook Page

https://www.facebook.com/alohasangha/ — or

–>> checking out our blog–>> http://alohasangha.com/

(Received this from a friend & want to sign up for the weekly emails?

Just reply and let me know, and I’ll add you, easy peasy)

Hope to see you tonightThursday, July 20, 2017 — bring a friend.

Be safe, be well…

 
 
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We will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us. The Promises, #11

We will intuitively know how to handle situations that used to baffle us. The Promises, #11

This is what I mean when I say God does not speak English, He speaks through our Intuition, Ron

 Intuition

Intuition comes from the Latin word “intueri” which means to look inside, or to contemplate, it is the ability to acquire knowledge from within.

 

Coincidence means, that two events happen at the same time… like thinking about someone just as that person just happens to phone you at that exact time…when this happens it is never an accident.

 

Or you are walking down the street thinking of someone , and you suddenly bump into them.

 That person and you are connected in ways that your eyes, ears, nose, skin and tongue cannot show you, but your Intuition did.

 Have you ever had a feeling that you should not have done or said something, or went somewhere you know that you should not have, but you went ahead and did it anyway… then you said…I knew I should not have done that, that’s right you knew… your Intuition told you…but because you were not aware of your Intuition, you ignored it anyway.

 There is another way to explain this, if someone is asleep say on the couch, you don’t put a book in front of them and say read this!! You wait until they are awake and then give them the book… well when you are unconscious, you are asleep.. and your Intuition is the book…you don’t know your Intuition is there, but when you are conscious, you are now awake, and now you can become aware of your Intuition, it is the book…

 xxtra-sensory perception or (ESP) and multi-sensory perception (MSP) and Intuition are the same thing. ESP is outside and above the five senses that we all possess, and it is more than that, it is a very sophisticated system that allows us to see more than we can with the five senses we have, it allows us to connect or reconnect to each other, a connection that we simply forgot that we all have.

 We all have this ability, we all have MSP/ESP because we are all one… therefore oneness is our natural state of being.

 The five senses require you to pay attention to what is outside of you… Intuition and MSP require the exact opposite, you pay attention to what is happening inside of you…this is the biggest difference to five sensory perception and multi-sensory perception.

 Listening to your Intuition is like ignoring all of your five senses that you know you have, it is there if you can take the time to listen to it, go beyond all the noise, all thoughts, smells, go to the Stillness that is in your mind, and it is there, forever trying to communicate with you.

 When you are angry, afraid, jealous, vengeful, or emotional in any way, you block all your MSP,s… and you cannot hear your Intuition at all.

 These emotions are too turbulent, they block your awareness, trying to hear your Intuition when you are upset or emotional is like trying to find a needle in a haystack… it is still there, but you can’t hear it, it is the same with loves presence, it is there also, but you can’t feel it.

 Imagine been able to hear your Intuition every minute, well you can do this but first you have to train your mind.

 Never go to bed angry, or emotional in any way, your intuition works best when you feel light… anger and all other emotions are heavy, that’s why when you let your anger, judgments, and all emotions go, you feel better… you feel lighter.

 The same goes for regret, guilt, shame, jealousy, let all these go, and you will feel so so much better, this is why forgiveness is so important to yourself, this is the key to you feeling better, forgiveness takes care of all emotions, without exceptions, and you will feel better.

 Now you have let all these go, and you are feeling better, and lighter, the weight of the world is now off your shoulders, there is an extra bonus, you are now in good shape to get in touch with your Intuition.

 Next you must believe that you have Intuition, and most importantly, you need trust, trust is essential for you to manifest Intuition within yourself.

 You can’t stop your Intuition from working, but you can put blocks into your awareness to keep yourself from hearing it…

 Last but not least… your Intuition will always answer all your questions, it will never fail to give you an answer… listen to what your Intuition tells you… a lot of people hear answers that they don’t like, so they pretend that they don’t hear it, or just ignore what they don’t want to hear.

 Getting in touch with your Intuition is the third step towards a higher consciousness, coming after first, imagination, and second inspiration, Intuition is regarded as a constant commonality between earthly knowledge, and the higher spiritual knowledge, and appears as flashes of illumination.

 Intuition can be said to be a comprehensive grip of the principles of universality, a person who develops Intuition can know anything, without the barriers of time, space and any other obstructions, it is the belief in the ability to see any event, any object from a viewpoint of the cosmic whole, from its culmination, the knowing of something, without prior knowledge, or the use of reason.

 4 Ways to find life’s questions using Intuition

 1. Inner voice 

Many people report a still inner voice, your Intuition will communicate with you in a compassionate, loving manner that is perceptibly different from your normal inner chatter.

 When you are faced with a dilemma, ask yourself” what is the best course of action to take” then pause for a few minutes in silence and meditation, and think about all your options, one then will leap out at you, if not, then go deeper and ask the question again, and remember to trust your Intuition, it is trying to give you the answer, an answer will appear, you might not like it, sometimes we don’t want to hear what is best for us, or you might say bingo, got it, that is what i will do, then write down three small steps that will take you in the direction that you choose.

 2. Dreams. 

You can receive a wealth of guidance when you learn to ask for Intuition insight from your dreams. Our minds are still active and racing with thoughts while we sleep.

 As we repay our daily anxieties in our dream state, we are sometimes given answers and solutions to our problems. Often these answers are revealed to us through symbols.

 When you go to bed try to summarize the issue you need resolved into a question, and as you meditate and drift off to sleep, state the question to yourself.

 Before you become fully awake in the morning ask yourself, what is the answer to my question, try to remember your dream. And what it symbolized, and see if the answer was in your dream.

 You may not remember the details of the dream, but you will have awakened with the answer placed somewhere, it could be in the dream, or that it could just appear to you as an intuitive answer then and there.

 This is just as equally a valid way of receiving intuitive guidance in your sleep state.

 3. Emotions.

 Intuitive information often comes through our feelings or emotions. You may simply feel right about a certain course of action, or you might experience a sense of distrust about an individual or situation.

 Part of learning to trust your Intuition is remembering to ask “does this decision make me happy” or do I feel energized by this decision ?

 There are many ways to ask the question, and experience the answer, but here is the truth… your Intuition will provide you with information to make positive choices.

 You have a magnificent inner guidance system, and it will not make you feel bad, or give you negative answers, if it does then it is not your Intuition you are listening to, but your ego, remember your ego will always try to give you negative answers and will always want you to feel bad.

 4. Physical Sensations

 The Japanese call Intuition “stomach art”. We call it “gut feelings”. You might find that your body feels heavy if you make a wrong decision. Or you might feel light and experience “chills” if you have made the correct decision.

 If you have made a decision and your stomach feels heavy or like there is a knot in it, your Intuition is imploring you to reconsider your options.

 You must understand that your Intuition is warning you about proceeding with your decision, you may not comprehend it on a rational level, or that you have a choice, remember you always have a choice.

 How many times have you ignored signals from your body, only later to say to yourself, I wish I had trusted my gut instinct?

JULY 6, 2017 MINDFUL MOMENTS IN MANOA

Dear friends,

The lychees didn’t fruit much this year. In fact, barely at all. I thought maybe it was something I said? Karma, you know.

Two years ago, our family was excited to see the tiny new buds of incredibly young lychees like a slow-breaking wave of green on the big venerable tree in our backyard. 

Of course, not all of the tiny, incredibly young buds would make it to full lychee-dom.

But I hadn’t expected so many not to make it.

I remember getting out the rake and gathering all the tiny, incredibly young casualties of nature. 

In time, we would see the first tinges of red in the young lychees, like an adolescent blushing at an awkward remark, spreading through the branches and scraggly canopies of leaves in the venerable tree.

We would hear remarks from the folks who come to meditate on Thursdays at our home – “any day now” as they would glance at the tree in the last rays of the Manoa evening sky, some relishing the sight in their post-meditative glow.

Then came the days when our family would pick so many lychees we could not possibly eat them all, even after giving some away, and having theThursday meditation crowd savor them, post-meditatively.

So we peeled and froze them for the smoothies and ice cream toppings of the future.

All the while I kept raking up the ones that didn’t make it, landing on the ground under the venerable tree after being half eaten by birds, or wrenched from their homes by the occasional gusts of Manoa Valley wind, breaking open when they reached the ground, their white flesh exposed like glistening bandages under their red, slightly spiny skins.

But that was then, and now, it’s hardly worth raking lychees, there are so few.

I think about impermanence, and all the different projects I have going on; many won’t last past the conceptual stages. 

So much is tied up in concepts – wrestling with concepts.

I drop the lychee contemplation. I drop contemplating my life, and all that’s left undone, like so many unborn lychees.

What if I dropped my most precious project of all?

What if I dropped my meditation project?
 
We are naturally really complicated beings, yeah?

We tend to taking a simple moment of experience—a sensory experience, a thought, or a feeling—and spinning a web of concepts around it. 

It’s not that simple to observe a thought without getting involved in its orbit. We tend to follow, resist, or judge our thoughts. 

Before you know it, what began as the thought “Where are they lychees this year?” becomes a swirling mass of intertwining concepts and ideas along with eddies and tide pools of emotion and reactivity.

Take our ideas about meditation. 
We can make it so complicated to just be aware of a breath! 

Rather, we easily get sucked into a vortex of thinking about the practice, comparing and contrasting meditation practices, resisting doing it, and, of course, judging our practice against a perceived ideal. 

What are we doing? The short answer is that we are not doing—we are being. The initial task of meditation is to find a home in the present moment and let go of holding on to anything whatsoever. 

We simply let go of everything else — intentions, schemes, expectations, projects, and grasping.

Lisa Dale Miller, Ph.D., in a recent talk, commented:
 

When we practice letting go again and again, a spacious quality of mind that is naturally open and free emerges from the background of our consciousness into the foreground of our experience. If we can stay with the freshness of what is unfolding, aspects of our being conditioned by grasping and reactivity are gradually able to release.
 

Can we stay in the freshness of now, even when we contemplate all that hasn’t even happened yet, like so many unborn lychees?
 
Tom, Katina, and the kids
 
 
 
If the spirit moves you, please help spread the word by:

–>> sharing this email with friends who may be interested or

 
–>> checking out our blog–>> http://alohasangha.com/

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Hope to see you tonightThursday, July 6, 2017 — bring a friend.

Be safe, be well…

 
 
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