Happiness and Poverty Mentality

  
Pure present moment joy. Once you leave Bangkok and travel northeast into the jungles and rice fields of Issan province this is what you’ll find: A way of life called, “sanook,” in Thai – it means to find the joy in whatever you do. 

When I left investment banking and became a Buddhist monk this was where the first forest temple (Wat) I lived in was – and the experience inalterably changed my life for the better. Living in Thailand shined a stark light on what has become an obvious and evident truth – that true joy comes from the inside – and exudes and shines its way out through expression, speech and action.

When I first arrived in this rural area near the Laotian border I thought everyone – all of these happy people were impoverished. It didn’t take long to discover that it was me who was lacking. Poor and desolate. That with all of this money, education and ambition that I was so incredibly vacant, so uninformed and pathetically poor – immersed in what I have come to understand and termed as, “poverty mentality”. Poverty mentality is in opposition to joy, it is falsely seen through the eyes of consumerism and materialism as something to cultivate and even admire. The attitude and stance that nothing is ever enough: To always want and need more – to never be satisfied. Insatiable craving and thirsting for more and more. In retrospect I don’t know how I didn’t see it. 
There is no real sanook in consumerism – just temporary and fleeting gratification from mundane pleasures that are mistaken for happiness, but far from well-being. There’s nothing wrong with material things as long as you know their actual worth: that all things actually have no inherent value beyond the conditioned mind that assigns and attributes a price to their perceived function.

The first day as a monk I begged (Buddhist monastic tradition) for food from a young woman with two infants who lived nearby in a small corrugated tin shanty. I’ll never know her name. She fed me in the rice field that I was walking through that day – she simply placed rice and vegetables in my bowl and offered prayers. There are fewer humbling experiences than begging for alms. How to accept food from someone who has less than you? Only to quickly realize she had so much more. Sitting outside on a thin rice mat smiling with her children and hands in prayer. She was so rich and so filled with the joy of generosity. 

I never felt so poor as that moment. In that time and space it occurred to me almost instantly that my ambitious values and constant craving were at odds with harmony, contentedness, peace and love – even for myself. Right there in the middle of that rice field thousands of miles from home my knees buckled and I wept and wept. That was the day I gave up, let go and truly started to give in. That was the day I found my good heart and began to discover the joy in the easy naked simplicity of just being. Sanook. 

May you be happy, may you be well, truly peaceful and at ease 🙏❤️🌷😊

Please feel free to like, share and comment on our blog.

The Garden

I walk softly through the garden of my mind planting the seeds of love and kindness, nurturing the growth, tending to the future harvest. May never-ending abundance fall from these limbs encouraging and feeding the lives of others. May the shade from these trees provide protection from the heat, and the weary a place of rest and gentle sleep. May these falling leaves and changing seasons remind me of my short time and brevity. I will mindfully sow my thoughts, reaping every action. These actions will flower into habits, and these will blossom and become my character. With every thought sewn, I weave the fabric, this colorful field of my reality.

There is no reason to suppose that the world had a beginning at all. The idea that things must have a beginning is really due to the poverty of our thoughts. Bertrand Russell

Imagine that there is no knowable world out there independent from your mind and the way that you think. 
When the Buddha was asked, “Where does the world and all of its inhabitants come from?”
He replied, “From movements of the mind.” 

Imagine that now. Imagine all that you’re perceiving now is the result of your previous conditioning. We reap what we sow. Thought by thought, word by word, action by action – tend to your garden wisely, creating your future harvest.

And another perspective: Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man sows, that shall he also reap. Galatians 6:7

Please feel free to like, comment and share our blog.

Ultimately Speaking

Not until you let go of everything that you crave and cling to will you receive all that you truly need. Furthermore – if you will simply pay attention you will recognize that you already have all that you need, I promise it is only the craving for more that stops you from realizing this. How could you ever have more than being a part of everything?
Finally you will need to let go of the person you think you are to discover what you just might already be. Only by releasing the grasping to the various identities you’ve unnecessarily created will you see that everything you’ve longed to become was already a part of you.

Relax the craving and the grasping. Everything is fine as it is. Everything is fine in its own place. There is nothing to cling to or control. There is nothing to fixate on, nothing to adopt or reject. Everything is free just as it is. Relax into this awareness, release the striving. Relax and observe the appearances of the mind like stormy weather passing through a perfect sky. You will burst into laughter when you discover that you have made a big deal about absolutely nothing for far too long now.

May you be happy, well, safe, peaceful and at ease.

Please feel free to like, comment and share our blog. 

#vulnerbility #healing #present #compassion #commonsense #motivation #happiness #coaching #life #now #healthy #mind #acceptance #forgiveness

Completion

There is no greater pleasure than to see someone go through the metamorphosis of spiritual, emotional, and psychological transformation. So thankful to be a part of the process as my friends, students, and clients move from a wisdom that was fractured and transform to a living and loving wholeness. So grateful.

With certainty I can state – that when it’s all said and done, the entire path of transformation will conclude with the realization that you are enough, perfect, and complete in your own being; that ultimately speaking there was never ever anything wrong with you at all. Each day rediscover your worth, value, and inner dignity in heartfelt silence beneath the chatter. If you’re going to self-talk anyway – then try obsessing and ruminating about the things you love about yourself.

Remember this as often as possible: there may be a few temporary obscurations in the way and veils that need to be lifted, but overall you’re already lovely and complete.
Everyday the world may be dragging you around and yelling at you, “This is important! That is important! You need to worry about this! You need to worry about that! You need to get your shit together!” And everyday it’s up to you to get your mind right and pull back and place your hand on your heart and remind yourself and say, “No. This is what’s important.”
Refocus on the powerful, magical and synchronistic part of your life where kindness, generosity, and love flow from you easily. That’s the right place.

Stop waiting for the world to give you what you want and falsely think you deserve – you’re responsible for providing those things to yourself. Stop trying to change others and circumstances and instead refocus and work on changing yourself until you can accept yourself as you are. Heaven and hell are not separate places – they are states of consciousness. You create your reality and reside in that reality – within your own mind.
You’re already whole so stop looking for your other half or something outside of yourself to complete you. What other people think of you is none of your business, tend to your own garden. This is another day, another opportunity to be yourself as you are – perfect, whole, amazing and complete. It is your life’s work to recognize this.

Please feel free to like, share, or comment.

#vulnerbility #healing #present #compassion #commonsense #motivation #happiness #coaching #life #now #healthy #mind #acceptance #forgiveness

Remain Soft and Vulnerable

In the midst of all the beauty that this world has to offer, yesterday was particularly rough. I drove down the rural road toward the safety and serenity of the meditation center that I call home. This time of year is more magical than usual as the surrounding ranch style houses seem to be filled with joy from the twinkling lights and decorations of Christmas.

My home – spacious, silent, and peaceful. Huge oak trees with enchanting Spanish moss hanging from the limbs stand beside a beautiful pond; the water is reflecting the setting sun perfectly. I came home to a welcoming garland on the door, the scent of fresh pine and presents wrapped beneath an ornate tree. The refrigerator is filled, the pantry is stocked. A loving family awaits me. There is abundance here. Other friends are already victoriously toasting and sending 2014 off with bottles of champagne.

So bittersweet. If only you had been there with me. If you could have heard the pain. The lives that were shared with me yesterday would be enough to break the strongest of hearts. I came home with tears streaming while driving down this dusty country road. An overdose of suffering – another child has succumbed to addiction. The despair of loss, grief, and loneliness will surely follow. The death of a husband, another friend with cancer, and so much more. Just know that there are walking wounded among us, they put on the loveliest of faces, the best of clothes, and it’s hard to tell who’s who just by looking.

Today I pray for those who are suffering deeply, may prayers of loving kindness and compassion reach you. May you not shut down. May you find the courage necessary to allow your heart to stay open. May you forgive yourself and others. May you stay soft and may the world show you its beauty once more. This too shall pass, and tomorrow you will figure out how to put yourself back together again. Try not to define yourself by your wounds, but instead stay loving, open, vulnerable and trust that light always follows the darkness. You are loved. You are not alone.🌷

Please feel free to like, comment and share our blog. 

#vulnerbility #healing #present #compassion #commonsense #motivation #happiness #coaching #life #now #healthy #mind #acceptance #forgiveness

Passionate Love

It would be so easy to settle for companionship. For years I’ve watched couples in counseling gravitate toward the middle, what even they describe as “good as it gets, I guess,” being comfortable, and just feeling safe.

I’m fascinated by extraordinary people who also have extraordinary relationships. People who live not only their lives to the fullest, but are complimented even further by their partners. And there’s more – they keep it going throughout their lifetime together.

We’ve had the chance to interview many of these unfortunately rare couples. Thirty years together plus, and still passionate for each other. Is there a commonality? Yes! What have we discovered?

These passionate couples share these five qualities in common, and I seriously recommend that if you’re going to be in a relationship that it has these qualities, and if you’re not in a relationship with these qualities – to recalibrate – and quickly!

1. They have the same sexual frequency – this is the number of times over a given period under optimal circumstances that they desire to be with each other sexually. Inevitably this turns out to be a deal breaker for passionate people if it’s not met.

2. They are emotionally responsible. They don’t blame each other or make demands on one another. In fact they are each other’s biggest fans and supporters! This is huge. They support each others dreams and aspirations even when it’s inconvenient. They have similar communication styles and take complete 100% responsibility for their behaviors and emotions.

3. Their values and beliefs are aligned. Think religion, ethics, financial responsibility, philosophy of life, vision.

4. Intellectually compatible. Need I say more? Not a deal breaker necessarily, but definitely a stressor if there’s a mismatch.

5. Recreational Activities. She likes to camp, he’s a metrosexual. Again, not a deal breaker, but a stressor.

Passionate couples who last over the long term – are five out of five on our checklist. They consequently know what to expect from each other – they have a degree of certainty which creates stability. Consequently they have little fear of uncertainty and both trust and support the changing passions of their partner. They are behind them all the way. They can’t seem to get enough of them, and support them to the end.

I highly recommend never settling for anything less than this regardless of the consequences. This is your life, and be fair to your partner as well, recalibrate as often as necessary. Staying together without passion is not what we’re looking for. Lots of people manage that, there are plenty of ordinary relationships, we’re seeking something else!

There’s more to it than this of course, but this is a great start!

One last bit of advice, and it’s completely telling of the relationship: In your heart do you believe that this person would be there for you if you were sick, injured, bed-ridden? Could you see this person sticking it out with you on your deathbed? If the answer is no, you’ve got some talking to do with yourself.

If you’re going to be putting your life into this, and that’s what a passionate relationship is all about, watch that selection process and save yourself years or even a lifetimes worth of heartbreak.
Finally, if it’s just not happening, do both of you a favor, don’t be afraid to fire someone, to let go and move on. It’s your life and you’re worth it.

Please feel free to like,comment, share our blog. 

#relationships #love #criteria #therapy #communication #responsibility #enotions #passion #lifecoach #mindfulness #goals #happiness #values #beliefs #present #awareness # meditation #freedom