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Celebrating Time’s Passage August 11, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Happiness, Humor, Special Events.
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40 comments

220px-Congrats_bqtRecently, Rainee did a post about Aging ~ The Age Old Questions ~ seeking ideas for how to celebrate an upcoming milestone.

I reflected that age is “just a number that helps us place memories on a timeline from Birth to Death.”

In my younger years, moving along that timeline seemed a matter of greater import than it does these days.  Back then, I celebrated not just my birthday, but my entire birth month!

This year, we planned a low key celebration ~ Happy Hour at the Chart House one day, pizza from Oma’s the next.

Maybe for my 60th, I’ll plan something a bit more spectacular.  More noteworthy.

Like jumping out of a plane.  Or wrestling an alligator.

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Snake charming is out of the question.

Aah . . . that’s better!

What’s your favorite way to celebrate time’s passage?

Oh, The Changes We’ve Seen August 10, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Life Balance, People.
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44 comments

170px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_02Many of us alive today were born before:

Television * Penicillin * Polio shots * Frozen foods * Xerox * Contact lenses * Frisbees * The Pill (or Viagra!) * Credit cards * Laser beams * Ball-point pens * Cell phones * Pantyhose * Air conditioners * Computers * Computer Dating * Dishwashers * Clothes dryers * Satellites * Astronauts * Space shuttles * Space stations * Dual Careers * Gay-rights * Civil Rights * Daycare centers * Shopping Malls * Wal*Mart * Amazon * Dot.coms * the Internet * Smart Phones * iPods * Fast Food * Time Shares * FM radios * Tape decks * CD’s * DVD’s * Electric typewriters * Pizza Hut * McDonald’s * Instant coffee * Tang

220px--Lena_Horne_conserves_fuel_(gas).-,_ca._1941_-_ca._1945_-_NARA_-_535820

Dang!  That’s a bucket load of change in a short time span.  No wonder so many of us are disoriented, dizzy, and distracted.

I think I need to sit down and rest a spell.

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Aah . . . that’s better!

Related posts:  My New Kindle HDX is Here! (Kate Crimmons) * Welcome to the Future (Raptitude)

The Monastery of Silence August 9, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke.
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28 comments

150px-Carlo_Crivelli_052When Sister Mary Ellen entered the Monastery of Silence, the Priest said, “This is a silent monastery. You are welcome to stay here as long as you like, but you may not speak unless directed to do so.”

After Sister Mary Ellen had lived in the monastery for 5 years, the Priest said, “Sister, you have been here for 5 years. You may speak two words.”

“Hard bed.”

“I’m sorry to hear that. We will get you a better bed.”

After another 5 years, the Priest summoned Sister Mary Ellen and said, “You may say another two words, Sister Mary Ellen.”

“Cold food.”

The Priest assured her that the food would be better in the future.

On her 15th anniversary, the Priest again called Sister Mary Ellen to his office, “You may say two words today.”

“I quit.”

“‘It’s probably best,” said the Priest.  “You’ve done nothing but bitch since you got here.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source: e-mail from an unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

 

Gifts From The Heart August 8, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Humor, Life Lessons, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , ,
28 comments

alice26thSometimes people talk about the “good” they’ve done to inspire others to do good.

Other people seem to be trying to prove that they are good people by telling others about their good deeds.

It’s like they want applause and accolades for past performances.

Bravo!  Bravo!

Which makes me question whether their initial motivation was to help others or to be perceived as helpful by others.

Cheshire_Cat_TennielAnd, then, there are those that keep an active scorecard of what they did for us and when.

So they can remind us that we “owe” them a favor.

A tit for a tat, if you will.

I don’t see life that way.

Gifts from the heart don’t come with strings attached.

Recipients are not obligated to reciprocate.

When we stop striving to “be someone,” we are free of the Ego’s incessant desire for accolades, applause, and attention from those around us.

We no longer act out of the desire for approval, constantly looking around to see who’s watching.

If we do something kind for others and the act is not acknowledged, we are just as pleased as we would be if the act were applauded.

We make choices and decisions based on the firm footing of the Essential Self, rather than on the shaky ground of the False Self.

We no longer give with the expectation of reciprocity since we do not give to get.

We give to give.

Aah . . . that’s better!

When we let go of attachments and expectations, Spirit frees us to evolve, change and grow, from tiny ripples of peace and acceptance, to tidal waves of love and compassion.

How refreshing the whinny of a pack horse fully unloaded! ~ Classic Haiku

Related post:  She Let Go (Yoga with Maheshwari)

“I Vant To Suck Your Blood” August 7, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Humor, Nature, People.
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51 comments

You’re not imagining it.

Those blood-sucking-good-for-nothing-tiny-vampires that should never have been allowed on the Ark really DO love YOU best!

Mosquito (in Public Domain)

Here’s why:

1. Blood Type ~ “Mmm . . . Type O.  My fave!”

2. Body Temp and Sweat ~ “Fee Fie Fo Fum, I smell the blood of a yum yum.”

3. Body Size ~ larger people expel more CO2, an aphrodisiac for skeeters.

4. Beer ~ skeeters are booze hounds.  If you drink it, they will find you.

5. Other factors ~ pregnancy, skin bacteria, clothing color, and genetics.

Or you might just lack the natural repellent that allows “even a Type O, exercising, pregnant woman in a black shirt to ward off mosquitoes.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more information:  Why Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others  (Smithsonian)

 

Teasing Taunts August 6, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Meditation, Mindfulness.
Tags: , , , ,
30 comments

The-Pink-PantherAs soon as my mind hears the beginning of the Meditation CD (ocean waves or mountain streams), it settles down and takes a time out.

Well, not always.

Sometimes it continues to flit about like a speeding cheetah on steroids.

When it’s acting recalcitrant, I settle back to watch its merry dance . . . without chasing after its teasing taunts.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Related post:  Distractions (In the Stillness of Willow Hill)

The Ordinary Guru Contest August 5, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Bulletin Board, Life Lessons, Special Events.
Tags: , , ,
24 comments

Have you ever met an everyday, ordinary guru who helped you break a myth that held you back, sparked insight, or helped you see the world a little differently?

If so, tell your story by entering the Ordinary Guru Contest.

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From the Ordinary Guru website:

We’re looking for short stories, essays, memoirs, photo essays, graphic stories, cartoons, and poems about ordinary gurus.

Ordinary gurus teach us what we need to know in order to expand our view of ourselves and the world.

These gurus aren’t just people— they can also be anything in nature that offers you an insight or life lesson, perhaps a pet, a wild animal, or even a tree that helps you see yourself or life differently.

Happy-TigerNo fee to enter!  Fabulous prizes!

First Prize: $5,000
Second Prize: $2,500
Third Prize: $1,500

LEARN MORE | SUBMIT AN ENTRY

NO PURCHASE OR PAYMENT OF ANY KIND IS NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. PURCHASE OR PAYMENT DOES NOT IMPROVE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING.  Open only to legal residents of the 50 United States and the District of Columbia, and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years and older.  Contest ends August 31, 2014.

Tigger-BouncingWinners will be announced on or around October 1, 2014.  Selected stories from the entrants will also be published in White’s forthcoming anthology, The Ordinary Guru Project.

Subject to complete Official Rules.

Good Luck!

Inequality For All August 4, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Humor, Life Balance.
Tags: , , , ,
50 comments

Corporations do NOT create jobs.

Consumers create jobs by buying goods and services in the marketplace.

That’s why the erosion of the middle class is so problematic.

As the rich get richer, they don’t spend as large a percentage of their paychecks on consumer goods.

They save it . . . or invest it overseas.

As a result, businesses have to downsize and lay off workers, further eroding the economic base of the global economy.

To turn things around, we need to tax the wealthiest at historic rates, not at the ridiculously low rates of 11%  or 13.9% or 15%.

If you want a better understanding of the current economic climate, I recommend that you watch Inequality For All.

Watching this entertaining, serious, and funny 90-minute film will give you an appreciation for what’s going on, how it happened, and what needs to change to get us back on track.

If you don’t have access to the full 90-minute documentary, this Bill Moyers interview with Robert Reich does a terrific job of highlighting the highlights:

Aah . . . that’s better!

For more information:  www.inequalityforall.com

“We make the rules of the economy – and we have the power to change those rules.” – Robert Reich

Awakening To The Sacred August 3, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Books & Movies, Life Balance, Meditation, Mindfulness.
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32 comments

In Awakening to the Sacred: Creating a Spiritual Life, Lama Surya Das first examines Matters of the Spirit, touching upon common themes and questions at the heart of every spiritual path, including thoughts about faith, doubt, freedom, truth, love, compassion, and enlightenment.

In the remainder of the book, Surya Das offers a variety of spiritual practices for use by seekers of all backgrounds who wish to enhance their journey through life:  Meditation * Mindfulness * Spiritual Study * Yoga * Simplicity * Fasting * Prayer * Spiritual Readings * Journals * Chanting * Gardening * Breath * Haiku * Staying in the Moment.

At the outset, he reminds readers that awareness is the essential ingredient in a spiritual life:  the spiritual path is best walked step by step, very mindfully, with as much consciousness and commitment as one can summon.  He encourages seekers to incorporate daily practices to help get and keep them in touch with the essence of spirituality ~ peace, love, freedom and belonging.

As a Lama in the Tibetan Buddhist tradition, Surya Das explains the teachings of Buddha throughout the book.  For example:

The Buddha’s teachings were concerned with finding the nirvanic peace and freedom of enlightenment, the end to all forms of suffering and delusion.   He saw these goals as being determined by the cause and effect of individual behavior without divine intervention. (p.23)

As a result of his Western upbringing, he addresses theistic religions with equal clarity and ease:

In all truly sacred traditions there is an essential resolve to cherish life and treat others ethically and kindly.  All these traditions encourage us to be open to divine presence, both within and without, and tell us to practice what we preach without hypocrisy or sleight of hand.  (p. 29)

Surya Das encourages us all to cultivate clear vision, as well as personal authenticity.  In other words, to see things as they are, and to be more fully who we are:

We practice Dharma when we stop clinging to our preconceived notions about what we should do and achieve.  We find truth when we learn to let go, accept, see things as they are, and just be.  We find truth by discovering our inner light, our inner value and values, our authenticity and genuineness.  This is living truly. (p. 114)

First there is enlightenment, when we start to see things as they are, and then, if we work at it, there is transformation, when we learn to live, embody, and stabilize those truths in our daily lives.

To experience either, you must stay awake and aware.

Surya Das emphasizes the need of all seekers to open their hearts and learn how to love unconditionally, without lust,  fantasy, or neediness ~ to love for the radiant joy of simply loving, without expecting a thing in return.  To increase our capacity for unconditional love we focus on its components:

(1) practicing forgiveness to free the heart and mind from excessive burdens so that we can experience this moment anew;

(2) practicing acceptance and understanding and seeing all beings as part of the whole;

(3) cherishing life by doing no harm, alleviating suffering, appreciating and valuing what we have, and generously giving to others;

(4) practicing compassion and empathy in order to open our hearts to the suffering of others;

(5) practicing warmth and kindness by being kinder, gentler, and more loving to those around us; and

(6) practicing joy by recognizing that life is a miracle to be celebrated.

When we are joyful and happy, we spontaneously share love with others.  We exude joy, kindness and warmth.  When our heart is singing, we lift the hearts of those around us:

The path of joy is the path of open-heartedness ~ the path of a heart filled with love.   So smile.  Make somebody happy.  Make yourself happy.  Learn to love.  Spread love.  Be love.  You’ll love it. (p. 151)

Written for anyone who wants to connect with the sacred, this book offers practical advice for incorporating the spiritual into our everyday lives.

May all peace, blessings, good fortune, and delight be yours.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Our essential nature, like the wateriness of water, does not change.  What changes is our capacity to share that essential nature with the world.

Stop, Thief! August 2, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Fun & Games, Home & Garden, Humor, Joke.
Tags: , , ,
42 comments

grumpy_thinkingGeorge Phillips, an elderly man from Walled Lake, Michigan, was headed to bed when his wife told him that he’d left the light on in the garden shed.

George opened the back door to go turn off the light and saw two people in the shed stealing stuff.

He phoned the police to report the break in.  The dispatcher asked, “Are they breaking into your house?”

“No, they’re still in my garden shed.”

“OK.  All patrols are busy.  Lock your doors and an officer will be along as soon as one is available.”

Disgusted, George hung up the phone, counted to 30, and called back.

“Hi.  I called a few minutes ago to report two people stealing things from my shed.  You can cancel the dispatch.”

Pluto-Happy“Why’s that?”

“I shot and killed them both.  I think my dogs are eating them.  In any event, problem solved.”

As George hung up the phone, six Police Cars, a SWAT Team, a Helicopter, two Fire Trucks, a Paramedic, and an Ambulance showed up and caught the burglars red-handed.

One of the Policemen said, “I thought you said you’d shot them.”

George said, “I thought the dispatcher said there was nobody available.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  e-mail from an unknown author (sent by Joe M.)

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