Heart to Heart 288

The Present

“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.”  Alan Watts

It seems to be true. There are times when I am playing tennis or in a meditative experience with Lou Ann that time doesn’t exist.  However, most of the time there is a part of my mind that is recalling what occurred or anticipating what will happen next.  We are so conditioned by the artificial invention of time.  Perhaps the meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic; as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves. We are a function of what the whole universe is doing, in the same way that a wave is a function of what the whole ocean is doing.  We are the infinite experiencing itself.  It might be time to relax and just enjoy the now.  From my present moment heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 287

Quotes

I don’t regret anything. Everything happens for a reason-it’s part of the healing process. Life is a healing process.

The reality is, we can change. We can change ourselves. We can change our minds. We can change our hearts… and therefore the Universe changes.

As custodians of the planet it is our responsibility to deal with all species with kindness, love, and compassion. That these animals suffer through human cruelty is beyond understanding. Please help to stop this madness.

What we all have in common is an appreciation of kindness and compassion; all the religions have this. We all lean towards love.

The above quotes are from Richard Gere. I love how he matured and found the beautiful center of his being.  I have found that many folks like movie stars and rock stars and people with enormous success, discover the true meaning of wealth.  It is not about things and comforts.  It is about connection, caring, compassion and making a difference with what we have been gifted.  Most of us who live in developed countries have so much abundance that we sometimes take it for granted.  More than three billion people live on less than $2.50 per day.  While we can’t immediately solve this crises, we can do the best we can for anyone we know who is in need and help them out.

If all of us who are aware of the less than fortunate, pooled our resources and took action, we would change the whole world.  To repeat one of Gere’ quotes: The reality is, we can change. We can change ourselves. We can change our minds. We can change our hearts… and therefore the Universe changes.  Let us change whatever it takes and be the change!  From my changed heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 286

Wednesday Hump Day

We name days of the week to reflect our feelings.  Wednesday is Hump day because it is in the middle of the week. When we get to Wednesday, we only have two more days until the weekend. Monday has often been called Doomday.  There are more heart attacks on Monday morning than any other time.  We are too stressed.  Friday of course is TGIF.  We can’t wait for the weekend when we work Monday through Friday.  Mostly because we are not doing what we love to do for our vocation.

I am renaming the days.  Monday is now Marvelous Monday.  It is the day we get to renew our plan for success in life.  Tuesday is now Terrific Tuesday.  The day that we will remember what magnificent beings we are.  Wednesday is now Wonderful Wednesday.  The day we choose to remember how awesome life is.  Thursday is now Thankful Thursday.  The day we hold to how grateful we are. Friday is now Fun Friday.  The day we can remember how much fun we are having.  Saturday is now Sensational Saturday.  The day we get to create more sensational events in our life.  Sunday is now Special Sunday. The day we get to remember that every day of the week is special because we are experiencing it.

Let us treat each day as the sacred occasion that it is.  It is sacred because we have created it and we get to choose whatever we want as part of that day.  There are no bad days, unless we declare them to be.  Every moment of life is the opportunity to rediscover our divine nature and the joy of being alive!  From my sacred heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 285

We Are Oneness

In the rush of daily life, we sometimes forget about our divinity.  We are all perfect just the way we are.  We are eternal limitless particles of Oneness.  In our Earth spacesuits we have imposed ourselves with limitations.  We are born and live and die, only to do it over again as much as we choose.  It is important to understand the Big picture of who we are and at the same time, give our time and energy to what is occurring now.

Our Earth is being threatened by our choices.  Species are being eliminated every day.  Scientists say:”We know that the drivers behind species loss are mostly increasing – land conversion and degradation, pollution, climate change. And of course the human population is still growing and consumption is growing – and most of that consumption is not sustainable.”

All species are part of Oneness, like us. They are us and we are them.  So, even though we are immortal spiritual beings, we have a responsibility to all the parts of Oneness.  We get to treat them like our family.  We get to become involved in any way possible to prevent our rampant consumption.  Each of us can do our part.   Here is a list.

1. Think twice before shopping.

American pika2. Make sure your big purchases have big environmental benefits.

3. Ditch the plastic.

4. Boycott products that endanger wildlife.

5. Take extinction off your plate: Eat less meat.

6. Be water wise.

7. Drive less, drive green.

8. Green your home.

9. Choose renewable energy.

10. Pay attention to labels.

11. Choose to have a smaller family.

12. Use your voice and your vote.

I know I keep repeating this theme in this daily blog.  I don’t apologize.  To paraphrase Pogo “We have met the enemy and we are it!” We still have time, if we all work together, to repair Mother Nature and insure her vitality.  From my concerned heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 284

Monday

Hanging out in Sedona.  Went for a four mile walk.  I have walked 16,000 steps today.  I have this mantra I say when I walk and it is “one more step gives me one more step.”  Meaning; that if we keep exercising it will help us living a longer healthier life.  No brainer! I have another obvious statement I share with my tennis partners with whom I am playing.  “If we keep the ball in play we will never lose!”  Meaning, as long as we hit the ball within the court lines during play we can’t lose because the other team will eventually hit it out.

Some more that just popped into my mind.  As long as you keep loving, you experience loving.  When you give to others you receive a gift.  When you smile, you feel happier.  When you sing, your world is filled with music.  When we play, time seems to stand still.  When we are in our hearts we are one with everything.  When you stand up for a cause your posture will improve.  Just sayin….. From my curious heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 283

Just Learning

When Lou Ann and I became vegan fifteen months ago, we looked for a substitute for butter.  We chose the Smart Balance products only to discover one of the ingredients is palm oil.  Oops!  Here is the problem with that.

Palm oil is literally everywhere – in our foods, cosmetics, cleaning products and fuels. It’s a source of huge profits for multinational corporations, while at the same time destroying the livelihoods of smallholders. Displacement of indigenous peoples, deforestation and loss of biodiversity are all consequences of our palm oil consumption. How could it come to this? And what can we do in everyday life to protect people and nature?

What can we do?

  1. Enjoy a home-cooked meal: Use your imagination: why not try almond-coconut-pear biscuits? Or pizza with potato and rosemary? A meal cooked from fresh ingredients beats processed foods containing palm oil every time. Oils such as coconut, olive, rapeseed or flax seed are ideal for cooking and baking.
  2. Read labels: As of December 2014, labeling regulations in the EU require food products to clearly indicate that they contain palm oil. However, in the case of non-food items such as cosmetics and cleaning products, a wide range of chemical names may still be used to hide the use of palm oil. A quick check of your favorite search engine will turn up palm oil-free alternatives, however.
  3. Remember that the customer is king: Ask your retailers for palm oil-free products. Write product manufacturers and ask them why they aren’t using domestic oils. Companies can be quite sensitive to issues that give their products a bad name, so inquiring with sales staff and contacting manufacturers can make a real difference. Public pressure and increased awareness of the problem have already prompted some producers to stop using palm oil.
  4. Sign petitions and write your elected representatives: Online campaigns put pressure on policymakers responsible for biofuels and palm oil imports. Have you already signed all of Rainforest Rescue’s petitions?
  5. Speak out: Protest marches and creative action on the street raise public and media awareness of the issue, which in turn steps up the pressure on policymakers.
  6. Leave your car at home: Whenever you can, walk, ride a bicycle or use public transport.
  7. Be informed and inform others: Big Business and governments would like us to believe that bio fuels are good for the climate and that oil palm plantations are sustainable. Spread the word – share this information with your family and friends and encourage them to rethink their consumption habits. It’s in our hands!

One other thing you can do is make your own butter as we have. Go to this website for the recipe.

https://avirtualvegan.com/easy-vegan-butter

 

Heart to Heart 282

March For Our Lives

I am starting this blog about four hours before Lou Ann and I join hundreds of other marchers here in Sedona.  I will share our experience with you later.

About 750 people showed up and listened to talks and music and then we walked a couple of miles down the main highway in Sedona.   Hundreds of well wishers drove by and waved and beeped their horns.  This was different.  This wasn’t about the environment or the mess Trump has made of our country.  This was about children’s lives.  There were powerful signs displayed as we  marched together.  One sign said “A uterus is more heavily regulated than an assault rifle”, a teacher’s sign said “arm me with books, not bullets”.  One more said “actually guns do Kill people!”  My favorite was “One child’s life is worth all the guns on Earth!”  I couldn’t have said it better!

The man who made this shirt was a native American who has narcolepsy.   He had to stop and rest several times along the route to catch his breath.  Many other elderly also had to pause and rest, and they kept on going.   Now the real work begins.  We cannot let this moment pass and not get some action taken about banning assault weapons.  It is you and I and all the people who care about our children being slaughtered in their classrooms.  We must do whatever it takes to vote people out of office, who will not stand with us and will not pass common sense gun laws. If I had my way, all guns on Earth would be rounded up and melted to make statues of all those whose lives have been senselessly lost.  We could honor their lives as well as our fallen heroes.

I hope this day was meaningful for you as it most likely was for millions of people all over this planet.  This day we have drawn a line in the sand and said  “Enough is enough.”  “Never again.” Please find a way to get involved like you never have before. From my hopeful heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 281

How Sweet It Is

Lou Ann and I went to Prescott Valley Arizona, fifty five miles from Sedona, to see our grandson Seth play a professional basketball game.  He played in a basketball league in Hungary for a few months.  He said it was good to be home, meaning the United States.  He played college basketball for the University of Maryland and the University of Virginia Tech.  He is six foot one and weighs 193 pounds.  He is left handed and has a good three point shot.  His dad and I used to play playground ball back in the early eighties in Phoenix Arizona.

The courts were outside with metal chain rims.  Seth’s dad Joe, who was about twenty at the time, and I would play on the same team on those Phoenix courts.  I was in my early forties, more than twice as old as any of the other men and boys playing there. I started playing basketball when I was twelve and played in high school at Hollywood High.  I was an excellent long distance shooter.  Little did they know!  Joe would get the rebound and pass it out to me and swish I would sink a long shot.  This scenario kept repeating and finally one of the players exclaimed “somebody guard the old white guy” The three point line didn’t exist in college basketball until 1987.  It was sweet to do something so well!

Another sweet thing, is Seth’s smile when he plays.  So many players are so intense and even angry when they play.  Seth has this big grin on his face a lot of the time! He is the product of good parenting and having a good attitude toward life.  May we all find something in life, that we enjoy so much, that we go around with a big grin on our face! From a proud grandpa’s heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 280

Happiness

Back in 1995 Lou Ann and I attended a business seminar that had as it’s theme “Teamwork Makes the Dream work”  Tonight we decided to have some Vegan chocolate chip cookies.  Lou Ann was the chief baker and I was her sous baker.  I chopped the pecans and cleaned the bowls and utensils.  We laughed a lot as we were preparing the delicious dessert. We love to cook together! We often laugh a lot about life.  We both are the card suit of Clubs in the Destiny Card deck. Lou Ann is the nine of clubs and I am the eight of clubs.  Ahhhh!

Here is an explanation of the deck. This system is the original science of the common 52 playing cards. Each birth date of a person is assigned one of the 52 cards called Your Birth Card. Once you know your birth card, you will know who you are and be able to know in advance what will happen in areas of love, family, work, finance, health, legal mattes, travel and your spiritual life.

Clubs people love to read and to learn new things and thrive on conversation and communications in all forms. The Clubs person is here searching for the perfect truth. Clubs people are creative and experience life through talking and learning.  We both love words and their meaning.  We both play with words all the time.  It is one of the things we laugh about most.  If you want to find out about your Destiny Card, just go to cardsoflife.com and put in the month, day and year of your birth.  Once you find out about your card and those folks you know; the cards can help improve your relationship with them.  As they say “it’s in the cards!” From my happy heart to yours, Thomas

Heart to Heart 279

Let The Light Shine Through

Lou Ann and I went to see A Wrinkle in Time today.  A huge movie with a stellar cast and a wonderful story about all of us.  There was a line in the movie that said “wounds are where the light shines through”.  All of us have wounds and we patch them up both physically and emotionally. Many of us try to hide them or forget them when they carry too much trauma.  This movie line was perhaps a paraphrase of the remarkable Persian poet Rumi. He said ” The wound is the place where the light enters you.”

This is what some of the greatest thinkers in existence knew, and what every person who wants to be at peace should: your suffering is not punishment. It is a tool, like anything else, to deepen your awareness and expand your consciousness. In other words: to make you more present, and more capable of feeling the joy and light and gift of that present moment. That probably sounds deliriously, annoyingly optimistic, especially when you’re in the thick of it, but remember that anger is recognition, and the inability to accept.

The paragraph above was written by Brianna Wiest.  Here are some other quotes:  “I think that we are like stars. Something happens to burst us open; but when we burst open and think we are dying; we’re actually turning into a supernova. And then when we look at ourselves again, we see that we’re suddenly more beautiful than we ever were before!” C. JoyBell C.

“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.” Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” Kahlil Gibran

“Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart.” Fyodor Dostoevsky

Perhaps we can be thankful for the pain and suffering we have experienced in our life.  They have honed and designed us into the magnificent beings that we are.  When we finally surrender and allow the light to shine through all our life experiences we do indeed get to be a shining star!   From my shining heart to yours, Thomas