The Toilet Analogy

March 30, 2009

Yesterday I heard a great analogy about being in the moment.  It ranks as one of the best that I have ever heard.  Be warned – it is somewhat scatological in nature.  Today we hear about the toilet analogy.

 

Welcome back

I trust that everyone had a great weekend.  I did a bit of cooking and cleaning.  I also got out for a little walking.  We even had our first thunderstorm of the spring.  All in all it was a pretty good weekend.

 

Dr. Lou Tenaglia

Yesterday I was at the Circle of Miracles in Doylestown, PA.  The presentation for the day was by Dr. Lou Tenaglia.  This was the second time Dr. Lou had spoken there in a few months.  He also presented one of the best analogies about being in the moment that I have ever heard.

 

Dr. Lou talked a bit about how we get stuck between being in the past and being fearful of the future.  When we are stuck in between these two ways of thinking we are out of the moment.  We get very torn when we are in this space.

 

Now, when we finally get ourselves in the moment, we frequently want to jump out of the moment.  Here is where the scatological analogy comes in.

 

The analogy

Imagine that you have just finished using the bathroom.  You flush the toilet.  Suddenly you decide to reach your hand in and grab and pull everything back out of the toilet.

 

Of course no one does that.  But we do the same thing spiritually when we finally achieve being in the moment and decide to reach back in and re-live our past.  Or we are in the moment and decide to start worrying about the future.

 

When we are in the moment we have finally relieved ourselves of our garbage.  We have finally let go of all that was dragging us down.  Then we decide that we have to revert to our old thinking patterns.  That is when we perform the toilet drill.  All the stuff is on the way to where it is supposed to go – and we just have to drag it back.

 

I confess to doing this on a regular basis.  I do not do it in the ways that I once did.  Nor do I do it as often.  Yet I still have not learned everything about being in the moment and will on occasion drag everything back after I have let it go. 

 

Maybe this analogy will help me in the future.  Maybe I will more readily recognize when I am jumping out of the moment.

 

Thanks to Dr. Lou for this one.  I am sure that I will remember it for a long time.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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Our Daily Spiritual Bread

March 20, 2009

Today we look at our daily sustenance.  The question is – “Where do we get our daily spiritual inspiration?”  Let’s take a few minutes and find out.

 

Housekeeping

It seems like FeedBurner is about a day behind in sending out the daily update to our email subscribers.  FeedBurner is a free service and this type of thing happens on occasion.  Timeliness is not a big factor to this blog.  Just keep watching your email inbox and all the posts will eventually get there.

 

Thankful Friday

As always – we take a moment on Friday to express our thanks.  This week we received several supportive emails from our readers.  Thank you for your expressions of support!

 

We also thank WordPress and FeedBurner for providing the tools that make this site free for all of us.  Even though there are occasional glitches – we still thank them for their efforts.

 

Spirituality is everywhere

I have a very basic and pragmatic approach to spirituality.  For my money, spirituality must be a part of our daily life.  It is something that we attempt to live every minute.  Therefore, our daily life becomes our spirituality.

 

Spirituality is not something that we only do in church on Sundays.  Nor is it something we do only when we meditate, practice yoga, or wear our neighbors down with our Buddhist chants.  Yes, we are practicing our spirituality when we do those things.  We also need to be living our spirituality.  We do this by incorporating spirituality into everything we do.

 

Watching a movie

We incorporate spirituality into our daily life by accepting it as a natural part of our every day life.  We will look at an example of how to do this as we choose, and then watch, a movie.

 

So we want to watch a movie.  If we think that spirituality is a separate part of our life, we might think that we need to watch a “spiritual” or “spiritually uplifting” movie.  This restricts our choice of movies to only those that we have judged to be this type of movie.

 

We may not realize it, but we are restricting our definition of spirituality to a certain group of movies.  We are saying that I can only have a spiritual movie experience if I view certain movies.

 

My point is that we can find spiritual experiences in absolutely everything that happens to us.  If we stay in the moment and listen to ourselves we will pick the movie that has the spiritual example that we need at that time.  Try it sometime – you will be amazed at the movies you choose.  And what you learn from them.

 

By using this process to select a movie we are much more open to a wide range of spiritual examples.  The movie may have a main character that does not exemplify spirituality very well. So what?  This could be an opportunity to say to your self:  “If I was that character I would do this differently.”  This gives us an opportunity to learn to apply our spirituality in a variety of different situations.

 

The main point here is to be open to spiritual experiences in every single thing that happens to us each day.  I choose a movie that feels right – without a filter of prejudged ideas regarding spirituality.

 

This is not to say that we need to deliberately set out to gain experience that does not lead to our spirituality.  Instead we attempt to put away our prejudgments and be open to what our true self is telling us to do.  And then we learn from the experience.

 

In this way we get all the daily spiritual sustenance we need.  It is all around us every minute.  All we have to do is allow it to be there.

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Until Monday –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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Copyright

© Copyright 2009 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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You Can’t Always Get You Want

March 18, 2009

I have heard a line from an old Rolling Stones’ song several times in the last week.  This usually is a signal to me that I should write about that idea.  Today we look at wants, needs, and staying in the moment.

 

You get what you need

The lyric is:

You can’t always get what you want

But, if you try, sometime

You might find

That you get what you need

 

I have heard this lyric in my head for almost forty years.  There was always something that sounded very true – but for a long time I did not know what it was.  As I travelled my spiritual path the meaning gradually became much more clear.

 

We are obviously talking about wants and needs here.  If we remember some of the things that we have learned in the past – false self is a big ball of wants.  The false can be characterized very easily:  Gimme – gimme – I-want – I-gotta-have.  Because of its fears and insecurities the false self thinks everything that it wants is a need.

 

Whenever we pursue these false self “needs” we are not in the moment.  False self is driven to satisfy these perceived “needs”.  This is the source of so much of our human drama.

 

False self wants-needs food for sustenance.  It cannot be happy with buying what it needs for a few days.  It gets huge boxes of “cheap” stuff that will last for months – if it does not go bad first.  False self is trying to get what it wants – it is not trying to find what it needs.

 

Finding what you need

When we are in the moment true self is always telling us what we need.  It has no concept of false self wants.  True self boils it down to the essentials.

 

We need to buy some food.  We go to the store to buy rice.  We do not use much rice – our family prefers pasta.  But we make rice once or twice a month.  False self looks at the rice and finds the biggest bag that is the cheapest per pound.  The bag goes into the cart.

 

True self puts the bag back on the shelf.  True self realizes that it will take us several years to use up twenty pounds of rice.  Instead we buy a two pound bag which we will use before it goes bad.

 

We learn to ask true self for guidance as we navigate our wants and needs.  Gradually we come to see that whenever we are not in the moment false self makes choices that only complicate our life.

 

Please learn to listen to your true self – you just might find that you get what you need.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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Copyright

© Copyright 2009 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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The Rear View Mirror

March 17, 2009

Have you ever considered that we live our lives driving at sixty miles an hour while looking out the rear view mirror?  Is it any wonder that we wind up in a lot of wrecks?  Today we look at this idea more closely.

 

Its no wonder

Many years ago some one told me that I was living my life by looking at the rear view mirror.  The idea was that rather than watching where I was going in my life I was watching where I had been.

 

In the intervening years I have found this to be a very interesting metaphor.  The first thing that this brings to mind is that I am looking backwards rather than forwards.  It is no wonder that I run into things – I don’t even see them because I am not even looking.

 

Not in the moment

Another aspect of this metaphor is that I am not being in the moment.  When I live my life by looking at the past I cannot be in the moment.  Looking in the rear view mirror means that I have not let go of the past.  Therefore I cannot be in the present.  As we know, living our lives in the past keeps us from experiencing the present.

 

It took me a long time to understand how to properly understand the role of our past.  It seems that it is a balance between remembering what has happened and not letting those remembrances swamp the present moment.

 

The past is there for us to learn from.  After all, experience is the best teacher.  When we dwell on the past we are not learning from it – we are attempting to relive it.  The idea is not to relive the past – just remember it and apply what we have learned from it to the present moment.

 

We can do this when we are in the moment.  We are fully aware of what is going on in the moment – but we also are open to applying the lessons we have learned in our past.  When we are fully present the two just seem to flow together effortlessly.

 

In the meantime

When we dwell on the past, no matter what, our life continues.  It continues at about sixty miles an hour.  So there we are, dwelling on the past – looking out the rear view mirror.

 

Our concentration is on what we see in the mirror.  We cannot even see what is ahead of us through the windshield.  This never ends well.

 

The next time you wind up in a mess try to remember what you were looking at just before the mess.  Were you looking out the rear view mirror – trying to relive the past?  If you were doing that – you now have one more reason to remind yourself to stay in the moment.

 

When you notice that you are reliving the past just tell yourself that you are not watching out the windshield any more.  Then get yourself back in the moment and regain control of your life by looking at where you are going – not where you have been.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

Subscribe

 

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Email

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Copyright

© Copyright 2009 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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We Want Safety and Security

March 13, 2009

We all want safety and security.  But where do these things come from?  When we look for safety and security in the wrong places we never find it.  Today we discover the source of our safety and security.

 

Thankful Friday

We always start the Friday post with our thanks.  This week we thank all of our new readers.  Our daily visits have nearly doubled (again) and we have added a few more subscribers to the daily update.  Thank you for taking the time from your busy day to read what we write on this site.

 

We also always thank WordPress and FeedBurner for helping this to be a free site.  They provide the tools that keep this free for everyone.  Thanks WordPress and FeedBurner!

 

What are safety and security?

Unfortunately we each have a different idea of what safety and security are.  However, a common aspect of what most of us think are safety and security is that it is something that is outside of us.  Most of us think that safety and security are found in external circumstances.

 

One person might think that safety means living in a nice neighborhood.  Another might think that security is having a lot of money – in the bank.  Another person might think that security is having a lot of money – but not in the bank.

 

No matter how we envision our safety and security, we will never find it in external situations.  This idea took me a long time to accept and understand.  However, there are very few things about which I am more sure.

 

Safety and security come from inside of us

What is it that is inside of us that could provide safety and security?  Take a minute – think about it.  Of course – the answer is our true self.  Our true self is the source of everything that we need in our life.

 

Of course we need food, shelter, and clothing.  We are trained to think that we get these from “struggling” with the environment.  We have to find a job to get the clothes and food and shelter.  We spend all of our waking moments consumed by the “struggle”.

 

As we learn to trust our true self we realize that there is no need to struggle.  We still need food, clothes, and shelter.  True self finds ways to gain these things without the customary “struggle”.  When we listen to true self we find new ways that we never saw before to provide the same food, etc.  These new ways are also much easier because they no longer require the “struggle”.

 

And how do we access our true self?  By staying in the moment – of course!  As we learn to stay in the moment we learn that all that we really need not what we want – is provided.  What is provided is much different than what the false self thinks it wants.  However, as we learn to stay in the moment we learn to recognize that what is provided is what we actually need.  Who cares about anything else?

 

As long as we stay in the moment and have ourselves – what else can we possibly need?

 

Have a great weekend!

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

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Don’t miss any updates.  Get daily posts by email.  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE

 

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Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2009 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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The Court Jester

March 12, 2009

Recently I was thinking about the concept of the court jester.  Must of us know that the court jester played a fool and was an entertainer.  One of the interesting things about the court jester was that he was also the one to say things that no one else could.  Today we look at what this means to our spirituality.

 

Be your own court jester

Last week we published a post called “Be Your Own Guru”.  Today’s post could almost be called “Be Your Own Court Jester”.   Today we look at two of the aspects of being a court jester that all of us should consider incorporating into our daily life.  The first is the ability to laugh at ourselves.  The second is bringing bad news and saying those things that others are too afraid of saying.

 

Laughing at ourselves

A few months ago we talked about the importance of learning to laugh at ourselves.  Our point at that time was that laughing at ourselves is a sign that we like ourselves.  It means that we do not take ourselves so seriously that we cannot see the humor in our mistakes.

 

Another point is that being able to laugh at ourselves is very healthy.  Laughing at ourselves always lightens up the situation.  It lets others know that we are able to relax and see the humor in our own actions.  It is an offering of vulnerability which we have also seen is a sign of strength.

 

Take a bit of guidance from the wisdom of the court jester.  Learn to laugh at yourself.  It will smooth over many difficult situations.

 

Bringer of bad news

Another aspect of responsibility for the court jester was to bring bad news.  The court jester was usually allowed to say anything that he wanted.  Most of the time he was granted immunity for whatever he said.

 

Wise kings realized that there was no free speech in their kingdoms.  Almost everyone was afraid to tell the king truths that he may not want to hear.  Also, most courtiers were afraid to give the king bad news.

 

Wise kings understood this and realized that they still needed to hear what people were reluctant to tell them.  They allowed the court jester to be the one to say what others were reluctant to say.  Many jesters learned to phrase these difficult words in a joking and humorous fashion.  They did this out of self preservation – they knew that if they were too blunt it might be the last thing they ever said.

 

Spiritually we must learn to bring our selves the bad news.  We must learn to tell ourselves what no one else is willing to tell us.  This goes hand in hand with being accepting of a situation.

 

When we are in denial we do not want to know the bad news.  We hope it goes away.  As we know, when we are in denial we are also not in the moment.  Learning to want to hear the bad news is good training for being accepting.  It is a good start towards being in the moment.

 

Be your own court jester.  Learn to laugh at yourself.  Learn to tell yourself the bad news.  You will be that much closer to your true happiness.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

Subscribe

 

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Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2009 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

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What We Resist Persists

March 10, 2009

I was thinking about this statement today.  I was also thinking about the tiger analogy that we learned about in the post “Don’t Bother the Tiger.”  I saw that I could use the tiger analogy to further explain why what we resist persists.  We discuss that today.

 

The tiger analogy

The basic idea of the tiger analogy is that the false self thoughts that go through our mind are like a tiger in front of us.  As we watch the tiger go by it does not pay any attention to us.  As soon as we reach out to push the tiger away the tiger realizes that we are there.  Now we have a tiger by the tail.  That rarely ends pleasantly.

 

The point is to allow the tiger to just keep walking.  It is the same with our false self thoughts.  Those are thoughts such as sadness, anger, violence, attachments to possessions or people.  When we just let those thoughts go through our mind without grabbing them – they cannot hurt us.

 

Resisting

When we grab onto the false self thoughts we are actually resisting them.  For example, we notice the thought that we feel sad.  When we observe that thought we have two choices.  We can either believe that thought or we can just quietly watch it pass though our thinking process.

 

When we choose to observe and allow the thought to go through our thinking we do not resist it.  We observe it and eventually it goes away.  We are not sad.  We are in the moment and observing.

 

When we choose to believe the thought that we are sad, we have now engaged the thought.  We believe that we are sad, but we do not want to be sad.  That subtle action becomes the seed of resistance.

 

That seed of resistance grows a little bit every time we try to do something about being sad.  We decide to watch a funny movie to cheer us up.  All that does is create more resistance.  We are saying that we are so sad that the only thing that will cheer us up is a movie.  This causes us to expand our belief that we are sad.  We are resisting our sadness and thereby causing it to persist.

 

The solution

As we mentioned earlier, the solution is to not engage the thought that we are sad.  As long as we stay observant we are able to watch the thought go by.  Therefore the answer is to stay as the observer, not the participant.

 

It always gets back to being in the moment – staying in the now.  When we are observing our thoughts we are in the moment.  When we resist them we are the participant and we are not in the moment.

 

I hope this has helped everyone to understand a bit more about resisting and persisting.  Tomorrow I hope to talk about external situations and our reaction to them – and how that reaction can also cause resistance and persistence.

 

Until tomorrow –

 

Es kava turen hai

We work towards an identical goal.

 

Subscribe

 

Don’t miss any updates.  Get daily posts by email.  Subscribe to this blog by clicking here: SUBSCRIBE

 

This email list is maintained by FeedBurner, a subsidiary of Google.  I hate to receive spam and advertisements in my email.  I will never sell your email address for such purposes.

 

Email

You can email us directly at:  noahnow@yahoo.com

 

Copyright

© Copyright 2009 by KanDu Associates, LLC 

 

The content of this blog is copyrighted by KanDu Associates.  All rights are reserved by the owner.  For reprint information please email:

 

noahnow@yahoo.com