• Certified Transpersonal Hypnotherapist ; Past experiences: Dream Analysis /10 Years Experience •Psychotherapist / Use of Gestalt, Jungian, Zen, Reality and Energy Therapies /10 Years Experience •EMDR • Men and Their Journey: the neuroscience of the male brain, and the implications in sexuality, education and relationship • Women: Their Transformation and Empowerment ATOD (Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs) / 21 years experience •Ordained Interfaith Minister & Official Celebrant • Social Justice Advocate • Child and Human Rights Advocate • Spiritual Guide and Intuitive • Certified Reiki Practitioner • Mediation / Conflict Resolution • “Intentional Love” Parenting Strategy Groups • Parenting Workshops • Coaching for parents of Indigo, Crystal, and Rainbow Children • International Training: Israel & England • Critical Incident Stress Debriefing • Post-911 and Post-Katrina volunteer

MSW - UNC Chapel Hill

BSW - UNC Greensboro

"An Unending Love"

This blog and video is devoted and dedicated to my daughter, my grand daughters, and my grand son. They are hearts of my heart. Our connection through many lives..... is utterly infinite.

The Definition of Genius


"ONLY LOVE PREVAILS" ...."I've loved you for a thousand years; I'll love you for a thousand more....."

The degree of our enlightenment is the degree of passion that we will have for the whole world." ~The Greystone Mandala

~The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.

Winston Churchill

"Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Do not go gentle into that good night."

Dylan Thomas


In “Conversations with God”, by Neale Donald Walsch, there is a warning I think of. I refer to it as the Atlantis passage, and I've quoted it a few times before." As I have said, this isn't the first time your civilization has been at this brink,"

God tells Walsch. "I want to repeat this, because it is vital that you hear this. Once before on your planet, the technology you developed was far greater than your ability to use it responsibly. You are approaching the same point in human history again. It is vitally important that you understand this. Your present technology is threatening to outstrip your ability to use it wisely. Your society is on the verge of becoming a product of your technology rather than your technology being a product of your society. When a society becomes a product of its own technology, it destroys itself."

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Problem Solving EFT Ho'oponopono Guided Meditation

Ho'Oponopono is the ancient Hawaiian art of forgiveness, loving and personal accountability. Since I was introduced to this I use it several times each week to close my day. On a whim, I used it for meditation with some of the adolescent male therapy groups I facilitate. To my great surprise they loved it, and ask for it over and over. It has become a bonding process between all of us, and a process to see All as One.... to engender empathy and create a fresh beginning for a new day.
(The breathing directions are about using EFT techniques and breathing with it, which further enhance the depth of the meditation.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Obama to Win Landslide Election in 2012

April 22, 2010 by William K. Wolfrum 

It’s April 20, 2010, and let me call it now – President Barack Obama will easily win re-election in 2012. Any discussion you hear about the 2012 presidential election is just a way to wile away the hours between the next Lindsay Lohan and/or Kim Kardashian news.
There’s three indisputable reasons to call this race so early:
1) The economy will be better in 2011 than it is now.
It’s almost impossible not to improve the economy after eight years of George W. Bush’s mad and often confusing slay-the-beast onslaught. It was as if the kids from “Jersey Shore” were running the place. It was a situation.
Basically, if unemployment numbers are less than 9%, or Joe Biden doesn’t accidentally lose all our money, it’s a non-issue.
2) Obama’s re-election campaign will be a shock & awe effort of the likes the political world has ever seen:
Imagine combining the Super Bowl and Carnival, then firing off repeated gold-plated orgasm flairs. That’s going to be every day for 18 months of the Obama campaign. They may do the whole thing in 3-D and have Kathryn Bigelow direct. And that was their first one. The first one will look like a Jr. High pep rally compared to the bombardment of sense and emotions about to be released on the U.S.
3) All the GOP has to run against him are Republicans:
While ranked third, this really is the icing on the cake. The Republicans have not one person who could beat Barack Obama. Not one. The closest thing to a winnable candidate they have is Meghan McCain. Trust me, poll it. Unfortunately, she’s like 19 or something, so she’s out.
As for Sarah Palin, she’ll sooner co-star in a “Very Special Episode of Alf,” (where she’ll frag Alf from a helicopter) before she’ll be considered a serious Presidential candidateby “Real America.”
Newt Gingrich? Bring it. Just bring it.
Mitt Romney? Mitt Romney wouldn’t vote for Mitt Romney.
Scott Brown would be the most attractive candidate, but Tea Partiers will never forgive him for occasionally voting like a human, and he seems far more astute than to commit political suicide at the start of a promising career.
Even Mike Huckabee has to be sick of Mike Huckabee.
Seriously, they have nobody. And the “Policy of Hell No” won’t exactly be winning fans after some voters have already benefited from the health care reform law.
I suppose it is possible a surprise candidate will stun us all and present a real challenge to Obama. Except that I just wrote that to cover my bases; and trust me, there’s no one. The GOP would be best off giving Bob Dole or Walter Mondale their nomination. At least we know they can handle it.
So let me call it now and beat the rush: Obama wins the 2012 presidential election by a landslide over a horrifyingly inept Republican candidate. I guarantee it.
And I guarantee this, as well: The mainstream political talkers will spend a great deal of time discussing how the “Tea Party” somehow made a difference.
PS: Just to come off as slightly topical, let me add my prediction for the 2010 Congress races. About 93 percent of incumbents will keep their jobs.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

More Malarkey About Health Care

The REAL facts from and the Annenberg Public Policy Center!!!!!!

The legislative debate is over, but the false and exaggerated claims just keep on coming.
April 19, 2010
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We’ve seldom seen a piece of legislation so widely misrepresented, and misunderstood, as the new health care law. We stopped counting the number of articles and items we turned out on the subject after the total reached 100.
Some of that is understandable. The debate went on for more than a year, while the different House and Senate bills changed their shape constantly.  The final law was the product of an awkward two-step legislative dance that first enacted the Senate’s version, then quickly amended it with a reconciliation "fix." No wonder people are confused.
And even now the misrepresentations continue. The new law is no longer a moving target, but some opponents persist in making false or exaggerated claims about it. Our inboxes are filled with messages asking about assertions that the new law:
  • Requires patients to be implanted with microchips. (No, it doesn’t.)
  • Cuts benefits for military families and retirees. (No. The TRICARE program isn’t affected.)
  • Exempts Muslims from the requirement to obtain coverage. (Not specifically. It does have a religious exemption, but that is intended for Old Order Amish.)
  • Allows insurance companies to continue denying coverage to children with preexisting conditions. (Insurance companies have agreed not to exploit a loophole that might have allowed this.)
  • Will require 16,500 armed IRS agents to enforce. (No. Criminal penalties are waived.)
  • Gives President Obama a Nazi-like "private army." (No. It provides a reserve corps of doctors and other health workers for emergencies.)
  • "Exempts" House and Senate members. (No. Their coverage may not be as good as before, in fact.)
  • Covers erectile-dysfunction drugs for sex offenders. (Just as it was before the new law, those no longer in jail can buy any insurance plan they choose.)
  • Provides federal funding for abortions. (Not directly. But neither side in the abortion debate is happy with the law.)
For details on these claims about the new law, please read our Analysis section.


As opponents pointed out during debate, the House and Senate health care bills were very long and complicated documents. They also changed several times, making it difficult even for those who had read (or written) the bills to keep up with what was in them. This was a perfect breeding ground for wild rumors. We picked off a lot of them while the bills were still under consideration, but now that the legislation has been signed into law, we’d like to start cleaning up the rest.
Will the law require all patients to be implanted with microchips?
No. Nothing like this appears in the new law, or in any of the bills that Congress considered. This claim stems from a wild misinterpretation of a provision in the original House leadership’s bill (H.R. 3200) that did not require implantation of anything, and that was, in any case, not part of the final legislation. The part of the original House leadership’s bill that’s usually referenced to support this rather paranoid claim actually would have set up a registry for class III medical devices and class II devices that are "implantable, life-supporting, or life-sustaining." The Federal Drug Administration’s classifications determine how much oversight and regulation the device has — class III devices (such as, for example, replacement heart valves or artificial hips) need pre-market FDA approval; class I devices (like x-ray film or tongue depressors) need only general quality controls. Class II devices, which need to meet performance standards but don’t need pre-market approval, cover a wide range — blood pressure cuffs are class II, but so are cerebral shunts. That’s why the bill specified implantable, life-supporting and life-sustaining devices.
But the bill did not mandate implantable devices of any kind, least of all microchips. Rather, it said that implantable devices will be registered so that physicians can access data about safety and effectiveness in a way that "protects patient privacy and proprietary information." And again, it didn’t become law.
Is TRICARE coverage for military families and retirees affected?
No. Some early scuttlebutt spread by chain e-mails claimed that the House bill would reduce benefits for TRICARE, but we were among the many debunking that false report. See "Health Care Overhaul and TRICARE." And as things have turned out, there’s nothing like that in the new law. Dr. Charles Rice, assistant secretary of defense for health affairs, has said that the beneficiaries will not see any change as a result of the new legislation: "For the Department of Defense, and specifically for our 9.6 million TRICARE beneficiaries, this law will not affect the TRICARE benefit. Eligibility, covered benefits, copayments and all other features of our TRICARE program remain in place.” TheDepartment of Defense TRICARE site says the same thing: "This law will not affect the TRICARE benefit. Eligibility, covered benefits, copayments and all other features of our TRICARE program remain."
Will the Amish, Muslims and other religious groups be exempt from the coverage requirement?
Some Amish may. It’s unlikely that other groups will. We’re still checking out this rumor, but the versions we’ve seen are likely overblown. The law does say that some religious groups may be considered exempt from the requirement to have health insurance, and it uses the definition from 26 U.S. Code section 1402(g)(1), which defines the religious groups considered exempt from Social Security payroll taxes. Eligible sects must forbid any payout in the event of death, disability, old age or retirement, including Social Security and Medicare. They must also be approved by the Commissioner for Social Security. The law was originally designed to apply to the Old Order Amish, and we have yet to find any cases in which members of other religious groups were successfully able to claim exemption.
The Social Security bureaucracy has been slow to respond to our queries about which religious groups have been granted exemptions from the payroll tax. But both the federal government and the courts have been very strict on such exemptions in the past. For instance, in 1982 the Supreme Court found that a member of the Old Order Amish claiming exemption under 1402(g) was in fact subject to payroll tax for his employees. That section, the Court said, is applicable only to the self-employed. And in two caseswhere self-employed individuals claimed a religious opposition to Social Security but weren’t members of approved sects, they were also ordered to pay the tax.
The Christian Science Church, a religious group with restrictions on health care use, hasstated publicly that members will be subject to the insurance requirement.
Will the law allow insurers to continue denying coverage to children with preexisting conditions?
In theory, maybe, but the president of America’s Health Insurance Plans has said they will not do so. The health care law was supposed to forbid insurers from denying coverage for children’s preexisting conditions, starting in 2010 (four years before a similar provision kicks in for everyone else). Democrats pushed this as a major selling point of the bill, but it was called into question just a few days after the law’s enactment when insurance companies said that vague language allowed them to continue denying coverage. Previously, insurers might grant coverage to an uninsurable family if a child had a preexisting condition, but exclude that condition from coverage — that is, the insurance companies wouldn’t pay any costs associated with the condition. The new law forbids them from doing so. But, the insurance companies argued, it does not forbid them from denying coverage outright to the entire family.
However, on March 29, the president of AHIP, the insurers’ lobbying group, wrote a letterto Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius promising that insurance companies would follow the spirit of the law. "Health plans recognize the significant hardship that a family faces when they are unable to obtain coverage for a child with a pre-existing condition," AHIP President Karen Ignani wrote. "With respect to the provisions related to coverage for children, we await and will fully comply with regulations consistent with the principles described in your letter."
Does the law provide for armed IRS agents to enforce penalties?
No. This is a fantasy. GOP lawmakers claim the law might require “as many as 16,500” new jobs in the IRS, a figure inflated by dubious assumptions. But the agency’s role will be mainly to hand out tax credits, not to enforce penalties. And the IRS won’t be sending armed agents to enforce the health care mandate, as falsely claimed by Texas GOP Rep. Ron Paul. The law specifically waives any criminal penalties for those who both decline to obtain insurance coverage and refuse to pay the tax enacted to penalize lack of coverage. For more on this subject, see our Ask FactCheck “IRS Expansion."
Does the law set up a "private army" for Obama?
No. The health care law establishes a Ready Reserve Corps of doctors and other health care workers who can be called upon in the case of a public health emergency. E-mails that call them "Hitler youth" and speculate that they may be administering "lethal injections" are thoroughly false and malicious. For more on this subject, see our Ask FactCheck "Obama’s Private Army."
Are members of Congress and their staffs "exempt" from the law?
No. House and Senate members must obtain coverage just like everybody else — and the new law may give them more limited choices than they have now. The notion that they would somehow be "exempt" is a twisted idea pushed by some conservatives who opposed the creation of exchanges through which individuals could buy coverage and claimed that everyone except Congress would be forced into the exchange plans. Others opposed creating a new government-run "public option" insurance plan, and claimed (falsely) that most non-lawmakers would be herded into that, while members of Congress continued to get their coverage through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan, which also covers 8 million federal workers, retirees and family members. But the "public option" isn’t even part of the new law. Meanwhile, Congress adopted a Republican amendment that takes House and Senate members and their staff workers out of the FEHB, and forces them to obtain coverage through the new state-run insurance exchanges that will be set up in 2014. In the exchanges, private insurance companies will compete for the business of millions of currently uninsured Americans, those who already buy their own coverage and many small-business owners. These exchanges are modeled on the FEHB, and could turn out to offer a more limited selection of policies. That remains to be seen. For more details, see our Ask FactCheck, "Congress Exempt from Health Bill?"
Lately, the debate has shifted to whether some congressional staffers are "exempt" from this Republican-sponsored requirement to get coverage from state exchanges, which is another matter. The law defines congressional “staff” as “full-time and part-time employees employed by the official office of a Member of Congress, whether in Washington, DC or outside of Washington, DC.” That language comes from an amendment to the Senate HELP committee bill written by Republican Tom Coburn, who now says that his own definition is too narrow. Coburn and others argue that this definition excludes committee and leadership staff, including those working for Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. The Congressional Research Service agrees that this is possible. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s spokesman told Politico that the provision does apply to leadership staff, but not committee staff. So some Capitol Hill staff workers may still continue to get coverage the same way they always have.
Does the new law cover Viagra for convicted sex offenders?
There’s no change from current law. Convicts who are not in prison can purchase whatever health plan they’d like and some plans could cover erectile-dysfunction drugs. The Congressional Research Service said that there was nothing in the new law that would "require health plans to limit the type of benefits that can be offered based on the plan beneficiary’s prior criminal convictions."
This mini-controversy erupted when Republicans introduced a string of amendments in a final effort to obstruct passage of the reconciliation bill. Republican Sen. Coburn of Oklahoma proposed the amendment to bar sex offenders from getting health plans that covered such drugs with federal money through the state-based exchanges. Democratic Sen. Max Baucus of Montana called the amendment "a crass political stunt." And it failed by a 57-42 vote.
Does the law provide federal funding for abortions?
Not directly, and there are provisions in place to prevent it from doing so indirectly. There’s language in the law that says subsidies from the government can’t be used to pay for abortion services, except in cases of rape, incest or danger to the life of the mother. It’s true that many women who now lack insurance might obtain private policies that cover wider abortion services as a result of the new legislation and with the help of federal subsidies. But insurance companies must keep any subsidy money they receive segregated from premium payments made by private individuals, and must use only private money to pay for abortion coverage. That doesn’t satisfy either side in the abortion debate. Anti-abortion groups are also concerned about increased federal funding for community health centers, but we’ve seen no evidence these centers perform abortions. For more on this subject, see our Ask FactCheck “The Abortion Issue."
– by Jess Henig

Friday, April 23, 2010

"Crossing A Spiritual Divide" by Deepak Chopra

Last December a poll revealed something encouraging about spirituality in America. When asked if they had ever had a religious or mystical experience, more responders said yes than no. This was a first in the 47 years that the Pew Research pollsters have been asking the question. (A religious or mystical experience was defined as “moment of sudden religious insight or awakening.”
In the New York Times column covering the results, the headline read, “Paranormal flexibility,” which may reflect common prejudice but is entirely misleading. Spiritual experience is normal. As a catch-all, “paranormal” covers fringe experiences like seeing ghosts and being abducted by aliens. For that reason, skeptics like to lump deeply meaningful religious awakening into the same basket. We would be better off leaving all loaded words out, including the words religious and mystical.
The other word in the headline, “flexibility,” is the valid and important one. Believing Christians report, in larger numbers than before, that they have absorbed aspects of Eastern and New Age thought. Whenever I hear that narrow dogma and second-hand belief systems are being replaced with more expanded awareness, I feel encouraged. Expanded awareness is the whole story. Without it, not just spiritual experience is closed off; so are the deepest aspects of love and personal insight.
Consciousness evolves. This isn’t a controversial statement, because we all accept that the awareness of a toddler is only the beginning of life’s journey, leading to the greater awareness of adulthood. What isn’t widely accepted yet is that evolution or personal growth — choose whatever term you will — becomes voluntary once a person reaches biological maturity. You must choose to grow into insight, wisdom, love, and compassion. Our brains can adapt to all these states. Experiments with Tibetan monks have proved that their brain functioning is different and more intense in the prefrontal cortex where higher thought is centered.
At the moment, such findings seem exotic, but they shouldn’t. Our remote ancestors didn’t speak complex languages (so far as anyone knows), do mathematical calculations, or delve into quantum physics, but as soon as modern humans wanted to pursue those areas of inquiry, the brain kept up and adapted to make math, physics, and every language in the world possible. The same is true of spiritual experience. If you want to have it and believe that higher consciousness is real, your brain will be able to allow the kinds of advanced spiritual experiences that traditionally belonged only to saints and sages.
I have never thought of saints as another species of human but rather as scouts into an unknown territory. The role of a scout is to show the way to others, not to ride back to camp and prevent anyone else to cross the frontier. Happily, we seem to have reached a spiritual divide. If more people are peering into the field of consciousness (that’s how I’d describe it without using loaded words like religious and mystical), then the field itself is opening up. As it opens, more and more seekers will venture in. The great thing is that in the future, and hopefully the near future, there will be much less confusion, struggle, and resistance about consciousness. No longer stuck in outworn religious assumptions, expanded awareness will become something unheard of in prior generations — it will become normal.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Martina McBride - In My Daughter's Eyes (LIVE)

This song is dedicated to my daughter, Jennifer, and her daughter, Brogan...the two most precious female people to me in the entire Universe.
Love, Mom / Gaia 

Sunday, April 18, 2010

"A Gift for My Daughter" by Harry Browne

December 25, 1966
(This article was originally published as a syndicated newspaper column, dedicated to his 9-year-old daughter.)
It’s Christmas and I have the usual problem of deciding what to give you. I know you might enjoy many things — books, games, clothes.
But I’m very selfish. I want to give you something that will stay with you for more than a few months or years. I want to give you a gift that might remind you of me every Christmas.
If I could give you just one thing, I’d want it to be a simple truth that took me many years to learn. If you learn it now, it may enrich your life in hundreds of ways. And it may prevent you from facing many problems that have hurt people who have never learned it.
The truth is simply this:
No one owes you anything
How could such a simple statement be important? It may not seem so, but understanding it can bless your entire life.
No one owes you anything.
It means that no one else is living for you, my child. Because no one is you. Each person is living for himself; his own happiness is all he can ever personally feel.
When you realize that no one owes you happiness or anything else, you’ll be freed from expecting what isn’t likely to be.
It means no one has to love you. If someone loves you, it’s because there’s something special about you that gives him happiness. Find out what that something special is and try to make it stronger in you, so that you’ll be loved even more.
When people do things for you, it’s because they want to —because you, in some way, give them something meaningful that makes them want to please you, not because anyone owes you anything.
No one has to like you. If your friends want to be with you, it’s not out of duty. Find out what makes others happy so they’ll want to be near you...and they can do the same.
No one has to respect you. Some people may even be unkind to you. But once you realize that people don’t have to be good to you, and may not be good to you, you’ll learn to avoid those who would harm you. For you don’t owe them anything either.
Living your Life
No one owes you anything.
You owe it to yourself to be the best person possible. Because if you are, others will want to be with you, want to provide you with the things you want in exchange for what you’re giving to them.
Some people will choose not to be with you for reasons that have nothing to do with you. When that happens, look elsewhere for the relationships you want. Don’t make someone else’s problem your problem.
Once you learn that you must earn the love and respect of others, you’ll never expect the impossible and you won’t be disappointed. Others don’t have to share their property with you, nor their feelings or thoughts.
If they do, it’s because you’ve earned these things. And you have every reason to be proud of the love you receive, your friends’ respect, the property you’ve earned. But don’t ever take them for granted. If you do, you could lose them. They’re not yours by right; you must always earn them.
My Experience
A great burden was lifted from my shoulders the day I realized that no one owes me anything. For so long as I’d thought there were things I was entitled to, I’d been wearing myself out —physically and emotionally — trying to collect them.
No one owes me moral conduct, respect, friendship, love, courtesy, or intelligence. And once I recognized that, all my relationships became far more satisfying. I’ve focused on being with people who want to do the things I want them to do.
That understanding has served me well with friends, business associates, lovers, sales prospects, and strangers. It constantly reminds me that I can get what I want only if I can enter the other person’s world. I must try to understand how he thinks, what hebelieves to be important, what he wants. Only then can I appeal to someone in ways that will bring me what I want.
And only then can I tell whether I really want to be involved with someone. And I can save the important relationships for those with whom I have the most in common....for those who love me best.
It’s not easy to sum up in a few words what has taken me years to learn. But maybe if you re-read this gift each Christmas, the meaning will become a little clearer every year.
I hope so, for I want more than anything else for you to understand this simple truth that can set you free: no one owes you anything.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Rising Above the Ego

By Remez Sasson

Imagine for a moment that you are dropping your identification with the ego, which is what you think you are - your personality. What will happen then? Suddenly you have no personality, but yet you are alive and conscious. Suddenly all the thoughts, feelings and emotions associated with who you think you are go away. Is this possible?

You can certainly be very much alive, conscious and active, without putting any label on yourself. You don't have to be this or that in order to exist.

It is possible to wake up from the identification with the ego. This is called spiritual awakening. You stop limiting yourself to a particular form, set of thoughts and point of view. Your consciousness extends beyond the body's form, and you experience a sort of "formless consciousness". You go on acting and functioning as usual, but your consciousness functions on a "higher" plane.

What do you gain by this? By rising above the ego, you rise above life's problems. They will probably still be there, and you have to deal with them and solve them, but your consciousness will be in a different dimension. You will be happier, calm and strong. You will gain real peace of mind.

Rising above the ego makes you free from limited ways of thinking. It frees you from the shackles of your mind. You will not be swirled into petty desires, misunderstandings and conflicts, and will be able to deal much better with whatever you encounter on your way. You will "remember" who you are, and that putting on the mask of the ego is only a play, and that you are not the character played, but only acting the character.

How To Rise Above The Ego
Each day put aside some ten to fifteen minute to be alone and meditate. Sit comfortably, take a few slow breaths and relax your body.

For a moment let your mind follow whatever thoughts and feelings pop up, then stop them and ask yourself:
  • Are these thoughts and feelings apart of me?
  • Are these thoughts and feelings mine?
  • Do I need them?
  • Do they add anything to my life?
  • Why do they come?
  • Where do they come from?
  • Why do I think or feel them?
  • Who is it that is thinking them?
  • Who is it that is watching these thoughts and feelings?
Don't try to find mental solutions or reasons. Just ask the questions, and wait for the answer to come from inside you. Don't analyze the answers. Just let them come and be aware of them.

Meditate in this way each day at least once. After you get used to this meditation, you can ask yourself these questions during the day, whenever you have some time. You can use any time when you are not occupied, such as walking, waiting or traveling in a train or bus.

While asking yourself these questions, pay special attention to the state of your consciousness. Do these questions make you more aware of your consciousness, and in what way? If you continue, there will come a time when "a new" kind of consciousness will arise. Try to stay in this "new consciousness' and fix your awareness on it whenever you remember.

This will develop inner silence. If you can maintain this silence of the mind, you will experience the consciousness beyond the ego.

This is an adapted form of what Sri Ramana Maharshi, the great Indian sage has taught. This is the self-inquiry leading to the realization of the Self.

Detachment and Being Detached

By Remez Sasson

Detachment is an inner state of calmness and being uninvolved on the emotional and mental planes. It is definitely not indifference. People who are indifferent do not care about anything, and are not active and initiative. On the other hand, people who possess emotional and mental detachment can be very active and caring, though they accept calmly whatever happens. Such people accept the good and the bad equally, because they enjoy inner balance and peace.

If they cannot do or change something, it does not disturb their peace of mind. If they are convinced of the importance of some action, they will pursue it whole-heartedly, and can ignore distractions easily. If they succeed with what they do, that is fine, and if they don't, they will either try again or forget the matter and move to something else.

Count the number of times you got emotionally involved in something against your will and better judgment. How many times have you got angry, frustrated or disappointed? How many times have your moods swung high and low? Each time you tell yourself that next time you will stay cool and calm, and yet each time you forget what you said.

When it comes to personal affairs, it is hard to stay emotionally uninvolved. You get involved, and this is quite natural, otherwise life would have been boring. Involvement makes life ticking and active. Yet, it advisable to develop at least some detachment, as this will help you in many situations.

Detachment is important in daily life, in the pursuit of ambitions and on the spiritual path. It is of great importance to everyone, whether pursuing spirituality or material success. Every spiritual tradition speaks about detachment, but detachment cannot be confined only to spirituality.
Let me give you some examples of detachment. Suppose you meditate, but thoughts keep coming into your mind. You get emotionally involved with your thoughts, follow them and forget about your meditation and concentration. If you were able to manifest detachment it would have been easier to ignore the disturbing thoughts. Detachment would have helped you to stay collected and concentrated.
What happens when somebody says to you something that you do not like? You will probably become angry, unhappy or insulted. Why is this so? Because you value other's people words and opinions more than you value your own thoughts and opinions of yourself. You let other's people thoughts, words and actions influence your happiness, actions and reactions. Your happiness and actions depend on them.
On the other hand, if you are able to stay detached, you will not be disturbed. You will stay calm. You will even be able to benefit from what they say. You will not waste hours thinking about their words.

Have you ever thought how much time and energy is wasted every day brooding on useless thoughts and feelings because of the lack of detachment? Much of the anger, frustration, unhappiness, disappointments and fights are due to lack of detachment.
One of the ways to develop detachment is through meditation. It is a gradual and automatic process. In meditation one endeavors not to follow the thoughts and feelings that rise. It is a time of a mental and emotional vacation. Meditating day after day develops the habit of staying cool and calm, not only during meditation, but also in all daily life.

If you practice any kind of meditation, sooner or later you will start to experience detachment. You will find that you feel and behave in a different way under circumstances that previously raised anger or agitation. You will find that you handle your daily affairs of life in a calm and relaxed way.

Real detachment means inner strength, and the ability to function calmly and with full inner control under all circumstances. A detached person is not harassed and hurried, and can do everything with concentration and attention, thus insuring a successful outcome of his actions.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

"When Religion Is An Addiction" by Bob Minor

"I have a profound belief in the fact that the Creator Whom I worship does not...EVER...exclude.  For me that is simple logic.  Most of us, who believe in God would affirm that He/She is "OMNI (all)".  Many call Creator by another name...much like people in a family, depending on who is speaking.  Let's take the married mother of children:  "mommy", "mama", "sweetheart", "sexy", "beautiful"....and so on. 

In religions or belief systems, some of the different names for God are: Messiah, Achaman, Krishna, Yahweh, Oneness, El Shadai, Lord, Allah, Buddha, and literally thousands more. My personal name for God which I use is Creator, for in that omnopotence is implied the "umbrella" over every religion; every other name; and every culture and ethnicity. For me, it is a totally all-embracing term, and  is all-inclusive...even to all of Nature, and the entire Universe.  In short, I believe in all paths to God.

That is another way to say, the general belief is that Creator is omniscient...all-good; all-wise, all-loving, all-caring, loves ALL men, and on and get it.  So, if one believes that.....what's with the exclusivity of Creator's loving only those people who worship in a particular manner?!  Certainly, that reflects a linear and punitive global view, and I confess that I think that use of  the neo-term of "Christian"  reflects a personality which has excluded critical thinking skills, since that term has been  around before the days of chariots!   Thus this article:

"I remember hearing popular psychological speaker and writer John Bradshaw say that the “high” one gets from being righteous was similar to the high of cocaine. As both a former monk and addict, he knew the feelings personally.

As the religious right pushes its anti-gay, anti-women’s reproductive rights, anti-science, pro-profit agenda nationally and in state capitals across the nation and wins, that high is a sweet fix for the addicted. It gives them a comforting feeling of relief that they’re really right, okay, worthwhile, and acceptable.

Like all fixes, though, it doesn’t last. So, the addict is driven to seek another and another – another issue, another evil, another paranoiac threat to defeat. It can’t ever end. Like the need for heavier doses, the causes have to become bigger and more evil in the addict’s mind to provide the fix.

This mind-altering fix of righteousness covers their paranoid shame-based feelings about the internal and external dangers stalking them. The victim-role language of their dealers, right-wing religious leaders, feeds it. Like alcoholism and drug addiction, the fix numbs the religious addict against any feelings about how their addiction affects others.

Religion doesn’t have to be this way; it can be healing. But what we see in the dominant religious/political right-wing fundamentalism that’s driving the debate on most conservative issues (political, social, economic, international) is anything but healthy. It’s what addiction specialists call a process addiction, like sex or romance addiction, or workaholism. In an addictive society, such addictions are encouraged.

Like substance addictions, it takes over, dominates life, pushes othe
r issues to the background, tells them how and what to feel to prevent them from facing their real feelings about themselves and life, creates a mythology about the world, protects its “stash,” and supports their denial that they have a problem. Addiction specialist Anne Wilson Schaef would say, like all addictions, religious addiction is progressive and fatal.

If you’re outside the addiction, you’ve probably wondered about what’s going on, what’s the dynamic that’s driving the right-wing religious agenda that looks so hateful and destructive. Why is it so hard to crack? Why won’t evidence or logic work?

If you’re an enabler or the addict yourself, the above must sound over the top. You’d prefer to deny or soften the reality of the addiction.
Yet, if we’re going to think clearly about the right-wing juggernaut’s use of religion, and not function as its enablers, we must realize that we’re dealing with an addict. Right-wing political-religious fundamentalism can destroy us too if we’re like the dependent spouse who protects, defends, and covers up for the family drunk.

So, what can we do to protect ourselves, maintain our sanity, promote a healthy alternative, and confront religious addiction? What’s the closest thing to an intervention when we’re dealing with the advanced, destructive form of religious addiction that’s become culturally dominant?

It takes massive inner strength and a good self-concept. There’s no place for codependency and the need to be liked or affirmed by the person with the addiction. ALANON knows that. It requires clarity of purpose, freedom from the need to fix the addict, and doing what maintains one’s own health and safety.
Addicts reinforce each other. Fundamentalist religious organizations and media are their supportive co-users. So the person who deals with someone’s addiction cannot do it alone. They must have support from others outside the addiction.
You can’t argue with an addict. Arguing religion to one so addicted plays into the addictive game. Arguing about the Bible or tradition is like arguing with the alcoholic about whether whiskey or tequila is better for them. It’s useless and affirms the addiction.

You can’t buy into the addict’s view of reality. Addicts cover their addiction with a mythology about the world and with language that mystifies. This means we must never use their language.

Never say, even to reject it or with “so-called” before it: “partial-birth abortion,” “gay rights,” “intelligent design,” “gay marriage,” etc. Speak clearly in terms of what you believe it really is. Say “a seldom used late-term procedure,” “equal rights for all,” “creationist ideology,” “marriage equality.”

Don’t let the addict get you off topic. Addicts love to confuse the issues, get you talking about things that don’t challenge their problem. When you do, you further the addiction.

Never argue about whether sexual orientation is a choice. It doesn’t matter.
Never argue about sex. Our country is too sick to deal with its sexual problems.
It’s okay to affirm that you don’t care or these aren’t the issues. You don’t need to justify your beliefs to a drunk or druggie.

Get your message on target and repeat it. Get support for your message from others so that they’re on the same page. Make it short, simple, to the point, and consistent.

Don’t nag addicts. Don’t speak belligerently or as if you have to defend yourself. Just say: The government and other people have no right to tell someone whom to love.

Don’t accept that the addiction needs equal time. Stop debating as if there are two sides. Get over any guilt about a free country requiring you to make space for addictive arguments. You don’t have to act as if here are “two sides” to the debate. Addicts and their dealers already have the power of the addiction and addictive communities behind their messages.

Model what it is to be a healthy human being without the addiction. Addicts must see people living outside the addiction, happy, confident, proud, and free from the effects of the disease. In spite of the fact that we’re a nation that supports both substance and process addictions so people don’t threaten the institutions and values that pursue profits over humanity, live as if that has no ultimate control over you.

Don’t believe that you, your friends, children, relationships, hopes, and dreams, are any less valuable or legitimate because they aren’t sanctioned by a government, politicians, or religious leaders that are in a coping, rather than healing, mode of life.

Dealing with addictions takes an emotional toll on everyone. Yet, recognizing religious addiction as an addiction demystifies its dynamics and maintains our sanity."

© The Fairness Project, February 2, 2005.May be reprinted in full with full credit (such as a link to this site) and notification of The Fairness Project.

"there were no words, but images flooded every cell in her being ...

"there were no words, but images flooded every cell in her being ...