Tag Archives: Strength

Reflection for today…No Truth Can Cure Grief -Haruki Murakami

31 May

“No truth can cure the sorrow we feel from losing a loved one.

No truth, no sincerity, no strength, no kindness can cure that sorrow.

All we can do is see it through to the end and learn something from it, but what we learn will be no help in facing the next sorrow that comes to us without warning.” 
Haruki Murakami,   

Norwegian Wood

Crying Angel

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In this short video clip, Eric Clapton discusses Jim Hendrix’s death.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j082opb4AZo

http://youtu.be/j082opb4AZo

Eric Clapton about Jimi Hendrix death

It is painfully obvious that Eric is deeply mourning Jimi. Their friendship had a sacred place in his life. It was a friendship based on mutual respect and admiration. It was a friendship of equals.

Jimi Hendrix & Eric Clapton in 1967

Eric is overcome with a tidal wave of melancholy while speaking about Jimi. A sense of anger is also present in his voice. Perhaps it is the sense of hopelessness over what happened. The sad truth is that no matter how much we love someone, we cannot save them from anything- especially from death.

Death tries to steal our greatest loves from us.

Death is the greatest thief.

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Eric speaks about the feelings of abandonment he felt when Jimi died, “a lonely feeling to be left alone.” This comment reminds me of how death affects the loved ones left behind. Somehow they have to be resilient in order to continue on with their lives despite their pain and grief. The hole in one’s heart is left there forever. Time is irrelevant in grief. I really admire people for their strength in being able to live their lives despite their grief, suffering and losses. They truly have my utmost respect.

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Eric’s story about the birthday gift he bought for Jimi was so heartfelt. He bought him a left-handed Fender stratocaster guitar but due to circumstances, he was unable to give it to him that night. Unfortunately, he was never able to give it Jimi because he died. Eric notes, “The next day, wack, he was gone and I was left with that left-handed stratocaster.” When he looks at the interviewer it looks like he is holding back tears. You can see the pain in his eyes- in his soul.

It is so tragic when loved ones are taken from us. I recently lost someone and no matter how many times it has happened, you are never ready for it. You are always left broken, bloody, bruised, raw and spiritually naked. Grieving takes a lot out of you- especially if you are a sensitive soul like myself. This is the reason why I have been away so long from this blog. I needed some time to reflect and grieve on my own. Hopefully I can reflect with you all now. If you are still here, thank you for still being here. Thank you for reading.

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For more information…

Jimi Hendrix…http://www.jimihendrix.com/us/home

Eric Clapton…http://www.ericclapton.com/

Fender Guitars…http://www.fender.com/en-CA/

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Jimi Hendrix & Eric Clapton

In true friendship, we give the best of ourselves to our friend. We give our respect, loyalty and compassion.

Peace & Namaste…

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Reflection for today…The Ocean of Consciousness -Rumi…

18 Oct

Rumi You Are The Ocean In An Entire Drop

I remember reading some Buddhist teachings many moons ago that spoke about the ocean of consciousness.

It spoke about each of us being a wave in the ocean.

We think that we are completely independent; that we are a single wave because of the illusion of our ego.

Our ego clouds and distorts our perception creating a false sense of self.

It is complicated as in Western society there is so much focus on the self: self-improvement, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-doubt, etc.

The truth is that while it may seem that we are individual waves,

we are actually part of the ocean; the ocean of humanity.

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I really cannot understand how some people can have no compassion for each other.

At the root of this poverty of the spirit is a lack of compassion for the self, selfishness and an overindulgence of the ego.

{One cannot offer compassion if you have no compassion for yourself}.

As I said to my friend, if we don’t help each other then we will all sink.

I know that we all have our individual problems but if we just focus on them, then we cannot get out of our heads and the prison of selfishness.

There is a delicate balance between having compassion and helping others with helping yourself and protecting yourself from harm. Boundaries are necessary.

I always struggle with how to have compassion while not losing myself.

The sad truth is that many people mistake kindness for weakness.

The truth is that it takes great strength to be compassionate in this world.

It takes great spiritual strength to open your heart and mind to offer your compassion. 

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 When the triple disasters were taking place in Japan in 2011, I was horrified. I was watching the news on the internet. I constantly watched BBC, CBC and Al Jazeera with tears in my eyes.

I could not help crying as I watched the news.

It hurt my heart and soul to witness such suffering.

I could not believe that on top of the tsunami and the earthquake there was a nuclear situation as well. As I thought of Fukushima, I was reminded of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. I was very concerned and afraid for Japan. I still am.

While I had no family, friends or loved ones in Japan, I felt deep compassion for the Japanese.

It didn’t matter in the least if I didn’t know a single soul in Japan.

We are all interconnected and if Japan was suffering and grieving then we all were.

I still think of Japan and how the triple disasters affected and affect people today- especially the effects of nuclear contamination/radiation.

The reason that I share this is because I had an epiphany then.

My good friend and I were having coffee one day {during the disasters in 2011}.

I was telling him about what was happening in Japan.

He stopped me in the middle of my sentence and said very coldly, “you know what…I just don’t care.”

That is when I realized that something inside of him died.

To be honest, I was very disturbed by his comment and his attitude.

Upon deep reflection, I felt sadness and compassion for him.

He had just gone through a very painful and dark time with the illness of his mother. I know that this experience had a very damaging effect on him.

I think he was most likely spiritually disconnected and emotionally numb at that point.

He probably had nothing left to give as he was in desperate need of healing.

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Compassion is the greatest gift you can offer someone.

Compassion is what makes us truly human.

Our humanity is rooted in compassion.

*Remember that we are all in this life together.

We all depend on each other.

We are all interdependent as waves in the ocean of humanity.

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Please enjoy Ocean by Azam Ali and Loga Ramin Torkian as I felt it complimented this post.

It is from Azam Ali’s album: “Lamentation of Swans: A Journey Towards Silence.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3558lJuA8Y8

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To learn more about Azam Ali, Loga Ramin Torkian and Niyaz…

http://www.niyazmusic.com/

Here is a brief description that I copied and pasted from their biography.

From this link: http://www.niyazmusic.com/#!/biography/

Niyaz, which means ‘yearning’ in Persian and Urdu, was formed in 2005 by Azam Ali, multi-instrumentalist Loga Ramin Torkian and two-time Grammy nominated producer and electronic musician Carmen Rizzo.

The band borrows from an historic lineage of Middle Eastern poets setting verse to music, perhaps most famously known today through the work of the 13th century Persian poet Rumi and the endless barrage of quotes attributed to him on Twitter and Facebook.

While the immediate goal of Niyaz was to explore the music and identity of Iranians living in exile and struggling to maintain their cultural identity in the modern world on their first two acclaimed records, Niyaz and Nine Heavens, the band has expanded that theme with Sumud.”

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Azam Ali is the singer with the heavenly voice in Niyaz.

Azam AliHer voice is truly “otherworldly” and hauntingly beautiful.

Azim Ali Otherworldly

She has also been a part of another band named VAS. Their albums include: Sunyata (1997), Offerings (1998), In the Garden of Souls (2000) and Feast of Silence (2004).

Azam has released seven albums between Niyaz and VAS.

Niyaz’s albums include: Niyaz (2005), Nine Heavens (2008) and Sumud (2012).

She has also released four solo albums: Portals of Grace (2002), Elysium for the Brave (2006), From Night to the Edge of Day (2011) and Lamentation of Swans- A Journey Towards Silence (2013).

Azam has also been involved in movie soundtracks (the movie 300) and video game soundtracks.

For more information, please visit her official website…

http://www.azamalimusic.com/main.php

*Much Love to Japan and the rest of the world.

My prayers are with Japan as they are facing another natural disaster in the form of a typhoon.

*

Peace & Namaste Friends…

Reflection for today…Beautiful Journey- Angelina Jolie

13 Jun

“I’m with a man who’s evolved enough to look at my body and see it as more beautiful because of the journey it has taken. ”  

Angelina Jolie

In essence, Angelina is describing unconditional love.

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Please enjoy Young & Beautiful by Lana Del Rey…

{Thank you Olly http://slayermusings.wordpress.com/ for sending me this lovely song}.

http://youtu.be/o_1aF54DO60

“Will you still love me when I’m no longer young and beautiful?

Will you still love me when I got nothing but my aching soul?

I know you will. I know you will. I know that you will.”

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For more information…

Angelina Jolie…http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001401/

Lana Del Rey…http://www.lanadelrey.com/?country=ca

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Do you appreciate your body for the journey it has taken? 

Can you see the beauty of your resilient body and mind?

Can you see the beauty of your resilience?

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Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Unconditional Love -Johnny Cash

17 Apr

“There’s unconditional love there.

You hear that phrase a lot but it’s real with me and her [June Carter].

She loves me in spite of everything, in spite of myself.

She has saved my life more than once.

She’s always been there with her love, and it has certainly made me forget the pain for a long time, many times.

When it gets dark and everybody’s gone home and the lights are turned off, it’s just me and her.”
Johnny Cash

June & Johnny…Love in Action…

Johnny Cash & June Carter…
Soul Mates Never Die…

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I love what Johnny said about June loving him in spite of everything- in spite of himself.

I believe he was referring to his self-destructiveness at the time.

Johnny was suffering from heavy drug and alcohol addiction.

His spiritual strength and June’s love empowered him to transcend his suffering, eradicate his demons and heal from the prison of addiction.

Johnny in his autobiography:
“She’s The Greatest Woman I Have Ever Known.
Nobody Else, Except My Mother, Comes Close.”

Johnny didn’t just love June…he ADORED her….

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When he speaks about June’s love, I think Johnny is speaking about her spiritual presence.

It is through your spiritual presence that you can really be there for someone because you are present and mindful in that moment.

You are able to open your heart and soul to offer your compassion and love.

June’s undying love and fierce loyalty was always present.

I still believe that love is loyalty and loyalty is love.

Loyalty is how we prove our love and express it.

It is our gift to our beloved.

Love isn’t simply a feeling but it is action.

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Real love heals and gives spiritual strength.

It is that powerful.

One of John’s Soulful Love Letters to June…

I Adore Love Letters Because They Truly Reveal The Soul…


{Lets resurrect the lost art of letter writing…}

Johnny & June…A Marriage of Equals

Johnny wrote the song Flesh and Blood about his love for June…

“…So when this day was ended I was still not satisfied

For I knew everything I touched would wither and would die

And love is all that will remain and grow from all these seeds…”

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I should also mention that Johnny Cash died on September 12th, 2003, less than four months after June died.

{It has been said that he was holding her hand when she died}.

Many say that his health complications worsened after June died.

Some even speculate that he died from a broken heart.

Johnny & June Lived In Love For 35 Years…

They are buried next to each other in Hendersonville Memory Gardens in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

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The movie Walk The Line starring Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon is about Johnny’s life and his and June’s love story.

{He really should have won an Oscar for his performance in my humble opinion}.

For more info, please visit the internet movie database page…Walk The Line Film.

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In celebration of their love and love overall, please enjoy Ring of Fire sung by Johnny Cash

{It was co-written by June about her and Johnny’s passionate ascension in to love}.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq4a2te0yhE

“Love is a burning thing
And it makes a fiery ring
Bound by wild desire
I fell into a ring of fire

I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down and the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire
The ring of fire

I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down and the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire
The ring of fire

The taste of love is sweet
When hearts like ours meet
I fell for you like a child
Oh, but the fire went wild

I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down and the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire
The ring of fire

I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down and the flames went higher
And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire
The ring of fire

And it burns, burns, burns, the ring of fire
The ring of fire
The ring of fire
The ring of fire.”

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While passion may calm down with time, it lives when there is true love…

One of John’s Passionate Love Letters To June…
Photo property of: http://www.johnnycashonline.com/

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For more information on Johnny Cash,

please visit his official website…http://www.johnnycash.com/

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Peace & Namaste…

A Loving Glance Reveals Your Heart

Reflection for today…Human Loneliness -Haruki Murakami

10 Apr

“Why do people have to be this lonely?

What’s the point of it all?

Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves.

Why?

Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?”  
Haruki Murakami,   

Sputnik Sweetheart 

Loneliness can follow you like a shadow…

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Loneliness can be a source of existential angst, alienation and suffering.

What does loneliness mean to you?

Do you feel lonely?

What do you do when you feel that void inside?

Does being with someone else actually cure or minimize your loneliness?

I tend to feel more alone than lonely {even though I know we are never really alone}.

Being a lone wolf, I am comfortable with solitude.

I find solace, strength and wisdom in it.

{My view of loneliness is more like an upcoming Charles Bukowski reflection}.

I do feel compassion for others that are experiencing loneliness.

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Please enjoy Lonely Soul by UNKLE & Richard Ashcroft

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5lpfWF4owSI

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For more information…

Haruki Murakami…http://www.murakami.ch/main_4.html

UNKLE…http://unkle.com/

Richard Ashcroft…http://richardashcroft.co.uk/

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Peace & Namaste…

 

Reflection for today…Strength in Solitude -Paulo Coelho

29 Jan

On solitude

by Paulo Coelho

Capture 

“For those who are not frightened by the solitude that reveals all mysteries, everything will have a different taste.

In solitude, they will discover the love that might otherwise arrive unnoticed. In solitude, they will understand and respect the love that left them.

In solitude, they will be able to decide whether it is worth asking that lost love to come back or if they should simply let it go and set off along a new path.

In solitude, they will learn that saying ‘No’ does not always show a lack of generosity and that saying ‘Yes’ is not always a virtue.

And those who are alone at this moment, need never be frightened by the words of the devil: ‘You’re wasting your time.’ Or by the chief demon’s even more potent words: ‘No one cares about you.’

The Divine Energy is listening to us when we speak to other people, but also when we are still and silent and able to accept solitude as a blessing.

And in that moment, Its light illumines everything around us and helps us to see that we are necessary, and that our presence on Earth makes a huge difference to Its work.”

taken from MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

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For more infinite wisdom, please visit Paulo Coelho’s blog: http://paulocoelhoblog.com/

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In solitude we can look within and acquire infinite wisdom.

In solitude we can listen to our intuition.

In solitude we can be truly honest with ourselves.

In solitude we can reconnect with ourselves and our spirituality- our center/core.

In solitude we can reflect, grow and heal.

In solitude we can discover who we are.

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Please enjoy Hope Leaves by Opeth

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KjOhoH0dY4

Opeth Hope Leaves Lyrics
Songwriters: Mikael Lars Akerfeldt
 
“In the corner beside my window there hangs a lonely photograph
There is no reason I’d never notice a memory that could hold me back
There is a wound that’s always bleeding
There is a road I’m always walking
And I know you’ll never return to this place
Gone through days without talking

There is a comfort in silence
So used to losing all ambition
Struggling to maintain what’s left
Once undone, there is only smoke burning in my eyes to blind
To cover up what really happened
Force the darkness unto me.”
Hope Leaves lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group
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For more information on Opeth, please visit their official website: http://www.opeth.com/home/
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Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Failure is Your Teacher -Joseph Campbell

4 Jan

“Where you stumble and fall,

there you will find gold.”

-Joseph Campbell

“Reverse Prayer”

Reflection for today…Humility Is Compassionate -C.S. Lewis

11 Dec
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself,
but thinking of yourself less.”

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.soulcoin.com/HumilityandJoy.html
The elements of this coin focus your attention on humble thoughts.
In the center on the front is a door.
This door is from the Maisel Synagogue in Prague.
In regards to an arrogant person the Creator says: “I and he cannot dwell together.” The door to the Creator’s house
allows for the humble of spirit to enter. The door itself, represented by the Hebrew letter Dalet, is the property of humility and lowliness.
The letter Dalet is the large letter in the middle of the reverse side of the coin On the front, the phrase “I am but dust and ashes” , from Genesis 18:27, is written in English and Hebrew.
Hebrew – V’anokhi `afar va’efer
The plant below this phrase on either side is the hyssop – the lowly hyssop represents modesty and humility. It never becomes proud because of its numerous useful qualities, but remains humble in appearance and modest in its demands.

On the reverse (“tails”) side, the phrase “Know from whence you came”, is written in English and Hebrew.
This reminds you that once upon a time you were just a small bit of matter, and have no reason to be puffed up with pride.
Hebrew – da may’ayin ba’ta
In the center is the Hebrew letter Dalet, characterizing lowliness, the consciousness of possessing nothing of your own.
“434” is the numerical value of the Hebrew word “Dalet”. There are many meanings associated with this number and Dalet for you to explore if you so chose.

DWENNIMMEN (djwin-knee-mann): “Ram’s horns.”
“West African symbol of strength (in mind, body and soul), humility, wisdom and learning.
The ram will fight fiercely against an adversary, but it also submits humbly to slaughter, emphasizing that even the strong need to be humble. “

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What a brilliant quote!

Humility as a cure for  ego and selfishness- as prescribed by C.S. Lewis.

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Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Pain is Meant To Wake Us Up- Jim Morrison

8 Dec

People are afraid of themselves, of their own reality;

their feelings most of all.

People talk about how great love is, but that’s bullshit.

Love hurts.

Feelings are disturbing.

People are taught that pain is evil and dangerous.

How can they deal with love if they’re afraid to feel?

Pain is meant to wake us up.

People try to hide their pain. But they’re wrong.

Pain is something to carry, like a radio.

You feel your strength in the experience of pain.

It’s all in how you carry it.

That’s what matters. Pain is a feeling.

Your feelings are a part of you. Your own reality.

If you feel ashamed of them, and hide them, you’re letting society destroy your reality.

You should stand up for your right to feel your pain.”

Jim Morrison

{These pictures will be featured on an up-coming post discussing the social construction of masculinity and subversive crying}.

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Today is Jim Morrison’s birthday.

Happy Birthday Jim!

You always lit our intellectual and creative fires.

Japan’s Suicide Forest Teaches About Compassion & The Human Need For Real Connection…

18 Sep

Suicide is a very uncomfortable and necessary subject to discuss.

I recently came across a YouTube video that left such an impact on me that I was not able to write a blog post until now {approx. 18 days}.

The vice documentary left such a deep impression on me that I had to reflect for a while before I could decide what to write.

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Japan’s Aokigahara (青木ヶ原) forest also known as the Sea of Trees (樹海 Jukai) or the Suicide forest is a place where many people go to contemplate suicide.

Sadly, many actually commit suicide.

I feel so much compassion for people who are considering suicide as a way to end their pain.

I strongly believe that people do not actually want to die but to end their pain and they do not see another way to achieve this.

Below is an actual suicide note found in the forest.

I find it heart breaking.

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Many moons ago, I had a friend that was considering suicide.

I pray that he finds the strength to fight against his darkness.

I am still haunted by the fact that he felt this depressed but I could not do anything to heal his pain.

I know that only he can heal his pain.

I did my best to be a loving friend but I know that we cannot truly save anyone.

We can only save ourselves. 

In fact, we always had a friendly argument about saving and being saved.

It revolved around the graphic novel and film Sin City.

Here is the trailer in case you are interested

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKFLrTYKIXk

Please click this link for more information on the movie: Sin City.

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Marv was so madly in love with Goldie and he loved her so much that he wanted to go to hell to save her.

My friend fiercely defended his thesis of loving someone so deeply that you go to hell to save them.

Art Made By Nat Wellington at http://boodoyouthinkyouare.blogspot.ca/

Conversely, I went for a different thesis. I said that you can love someone so much that you get out of hell because of your love for them and possibly their love for you. Your love for them is so powerful and/or their love for you is so strong that you pull yourself up with your own strength and get out of hell- your personal hell or the other kind. In essence, you save yourself instead of saving someone else.

No one was right or wrong. It was fun to discuss but I stand by my point of view even though I recognize his had merit. It all depends on how you look at things. It was a healthy discussion nonetheless.

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Can we actually save someone?

Dita Von Teese & Marilyn Manson in Vogue Magazine

Dita Von Teese & Marilyn Manson in Vogue Magazine Photo By Steven Klein

 Azusa Hayano makes me question my beliefs that we cannot save anyone but ourselves.

I do believe we can help someone to save themselves and this is what I think he does so brilliantly and compassionately.

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We meet an extraordinary soul, Azusa Hayano, in this vice documentary.

He is a geologist that does the most important job of suicide patrol in the forest. {I discovered from another video that the police also seem to do suicide patrol}.

Azusa also studies how people co-exist with nature because he says it is part of environmental research.

He still does not know why people kill themselves in such a beautiful forest (18:53) although he does explain that it may be because of a popular book written in the past.

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Azusa patrols the forest looking for people who are contemplating suicide in hopes of convincing them otherwise.

He even finds a man in a yellow tent that appears to have been contemplating suicide. According to the VICE website comments found at http://www.vice.com/vice-news/aokigahara-suicide-forest-v3, the man in the yellow tent had been camping in the forest for one month. He had to be taken out in an ambulance.

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The police even put up signs to try to stop people from committing suicide. They also provide the number for suicide hotlines.

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I found it fascinating that many people leave a trail of tape to find their way back in case they change their mind. This is hopeful because people who are undecided can finally decide to leave the forest.

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With his gentle and compassionate manner, one can see how Azusa could convince someone who is struggling to live.

I was struck by how much this man cares.

He really cares and that is so rare these days.

In a forest where traditional compasses do not work, Azusa uses his compassion and wisdom as his guides.

He also looks for people who have committed suicide.

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Azusa reminds me of the value of a life and how much difference one life can make in the world.

If we could find our purpose and live our potential, then we could make our contribution- our gift to the world.

We need more people like Azusa in this world.

We need more people who really care and have compassion for those who are suffering. I don’t know if he technically “saves” anyone but he does help people to save themselves and this is priceless.

Azusa is actually living the Buddha’s teachings- especially that of compassion.

I am also reminded by how the absence of one life can be a tear in the fabric of existence and humanity. I think about how that person had so much more life to live, love and wisdom to give and receive, experiences to be had and potential to be lived.

I think of the apocalyptic loss for their loved ones.

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Azusa states in the documentary that the internet and technology may be the reason why there is such a disconnection between oneself and others. It is as if a schism is caused between our waking lives and our onscreen lives. Our lack of face-to-face communication has a price. Disconnection, depression, further loneliness and numbness may develop. Azusa discusses the human need for connection in real life- not through the filter of a computer screen.

“Face-to-face communication used to be vital, but now we can live our lives being online all day. However, the truth of the matter is that we still need to see each other’s faces, read their expressions, hear their voices, so we can fully understand their emotions to coexist.”
 -Azusa Hayano

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The essence of what Azusa teaches and lives is filled with compassion and wisdom.

This documentary also reminds me of the urgent need to discuss mental health issues.

I am and continue to be a mental health advocate.

I deeply believe in the strength and resilience of the human spirit.

We can transcend our suffering and transform it into something beautiful and meaningful.

The phoenix always rises from the ashes… 

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To those of you suffering and feeling depressed…I offer you my compassion.

This post is for you.

Please speak to someone who cares- even if they are a stranger.

You will never know what a difference it could make in your life. They might have some life changing wisdom to give you or messages from the universe.

*Please reach out to someone.

I pray that the Buddha’s teachings, wisdom and compassion can alleviate your suffering. 

Conversely, you never know how you can help someone who is suffering and in need.

You never know what impact you can have on someone’s life- even a stranger.

We are all interconnected.

By helping others we are actually helping ourselves.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuUhBuSgmik

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Here is the documentary friends.

Please be warned of the graphic subject matter of this video and of some sad and possibly disturbing video footage…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FDSdg09df8 

Here is part of the transcript:

Aokigahara: Suicide Forest

I’ve been living here for more than 30 years. My job is mainly environmental protection, I study volcanic eruptions and the plantation at the foot of Mt. Fuji. 

In the year 864, Mt. Fuji erupted, and the forest that grew over the dried lava was named “Jukai” or “Sea of Trees”. Aokigahara is the actual name of the place, but people started calling it “Jukai”, because the forest as seen from halfway up of Mt. Fuji, is green all year round, and it looks like the ocean. 

We’re entering the forest now. There’s a car that’s been abandoned for a few months, let’s take a look. I’m assuming the owner of the car went in from here and never came out. I guess they went into the forest with troubled thoughts. 

In the old days in Japan, suicide was mainly known as the samarai’s act, as in “Seppuku” (harakari). In other cases poor families would abandon their elders in the mountains. That’s how it was back then, they weren’t killing themselves cause they couldn’t adapt to society. That didn’t happen like it does now, it’s a modern phenomenon.

This is a sign to stop suicidal people.

“Your life is a precious gift from your parents,
Please think about your parents, siblings, and children.
Don’t keep it to yourself. Talk about your troubles.”

Then it says to contact the Suicide Prevention Association. 

Locals don’t commt suicide here. As children they’re told not to come near here, that it’s a scary forest. This path is open for the public, but you can’t follow the trail beyond this point. It says not to enter because you can easily get lost. In the Jukai, I think I’ve found more than… 100 suicide corpses in the last 20 years or so. 

I found something strange, I’ll show you. People who are indecisive about dying, wrap this tape on trees along their way, so they can find their way out. There’s something that looks like a tent. I’m going to see if anyone’s inside, please wait here.” -Azusa Hayano, geologist

The forest is a popular place for suicides, reportedly the world’s second most popular suicide location after San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. This popularity is often attributed to the 1960 novel Nami no To  by Seicho Matsumoto, which ends with two lovers committing suicide in the forest. However, the history of suicide in Aokigahara dates from before the novel’s publication, and the place has long been associated with death: ubasute was allegedly practiced there into the 19th century, and the forest is reputedly haunted by the ghosts of those left to die…”

Copied and pasted from: http://ponury.tumblr.com/post/15293840018/aokigahara-suicide-forest-ive-been-living-here

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Here is a short video about the Aokigahara forest and the plague of suicide in Japan (2:34). There is thought to be one suicide every fifteen minutes in Japan.

An expert postulates that societal pressures and culture is to blame for the high suicide rate in Japan (1:55). He notes that even from a young age weakness is not allowed to be displayed.

“Whether it is within the family, at work or in society, it is very hard to show weakness. From a very young age, from primary school on, dynamic and happy kids are held up as examples to follow. If you don’t live up to that, other people treat you harshly and that’s is why people don’t ask for help.”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mq1-0FvME8U&feature=player_embedded

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This video offers a different perspective of the Aokiagahara forest (4:57).

It attempts to answer the question of why people come to die there.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PD2cJlx-caQ&feature=player_embedded#!

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It is intriguing to note that Dante wrote about a suicide forest.

His writing was also translated into art.

Dante Alighieri’s Inferno from the Original by Dante Alighieri and Illustrated with the Designs of Gustave Doré (New York: Cassell Publishing Company, 1890).

Dante Alighieri’s Inferno from the Original by Dante Alighieri and Illustrated with the Designs of Gustave Doré (New York: Cassell Publishing Company, 1890).

Dali’s depiction of the ‘Wood of Suicides’ from ‘Inferno’ 13
©2006 Salvador Dalí, Gala–Salvador Dali Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

I would love to hear your thoughts about this post.

Peace & Namaste…

Gabriel Byrne Discusses The Abyss of Depression & Alcoholism…

11 Aug

Gabriel Byrne discusses depression and alcoholism in an interview on Irish television channel RTÉ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g51AcR8Et-g

It really is an excellent interview from a show is called The Meaning of Life.

To watch the full interview, please click here: http://archive.org/embed/GabrielByrne-TheMeaningOfLifeWithGayByrne

You can also click on this link Gabriel Byrne Meaning of Life Interview. Then click on the January 17, 2010 The Meaning of Life with Gay Byrne interview.

http://www.rte.ie/tv/meaningoflife/s2p1.html Gabriel Byrne The Meaning of Life

GabrielByrne-TheMeaningOfLifeWithGayByrne

{I apologize but I was unable to embed or send this video as those options were not available. If you could help me to embed this video from the internet archive, then I would be ever so grateful}.

I copied and pasted the description of the interview from the show’s web site:

“…The basis for a searching interview, in which Gabriel talks engagingly and openly about his life: his decision to enter a UK seminary at the age of eleven; his experiences of clerical sexual abuse; his reasons for giving up on any idea of priesthood and his search for another vocation, which found fulfilment in acting; his relationships with the two key women in his life, Aine O’Connor and Ellen Barkinhis on-going struggle with twin demons – alcoholism and depression – in which he knows he is far from alone in this country; and the reason he thinks so much about death.”

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Gabriel says that alcoholism and depression are seen as moral failings– as if something is wrong with the person for being “weak” or “not good enough.” These feelings of inadequacy have probably existed before. They only become exacerbated with drinking and by the judgment of others.

***Alcohol only adds fuel to the fire.***

He also notes that alcoholism and depression are often intertwined; hence the “twin demons” reference. They are so inextricably linked that I wonder how one can be divorced from the other. I don’t believe that they can- especially since alcoholism is a depressant. People drink to get out of depression. The more they drink, the more depressed they become; hence, the vicious and self-destructive cycle continues.

Gabriel says that, “Part of the disease of alcoholism is removing yourself from reality as quickly as possible.” Essentially he is describing an emotional disconnection, spiritual disconnection- numbness.  He describes binge drinking as a plague because people emotionally disconnect from themselves, from others and from life. 

I think it is vital for people to be honest about depression and addiction {in any form}. Awareness and honesty is what will give them insight. Courage will allow them to look in the mirror and take the first step on the path to healing.

Then people can start to fight their demons.

I pray that they win.

*People suffering from any addiction or illness need our compassion.

{You never know if your compassion can give them strength to battle their demons and to heal}.

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For more information on Gabriel Byrne,

please visit…Byrneholics.

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Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Love Song -Jean Grae

8 Jul

Jean Grae is one of the best lyricists/MCs that I have heard.

Jean Grae Is The Phoenix Rising From The Ashes…

Her gift of story telling is evident in every song.

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Please enjoy Love Song by Jean Grae…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrWL7ieIU7A

This song is not only about love in relation to others but in regards to one’s self.

Self-love is what was born of deep pain.
  The protagonist in the song starts from being a naive victim and then transforms into a heroine. 

She comes from a place of dependence and grows into independence.

My favourite line is, “What I thought was gold was only gold-plated…
 How many times have you met someone who you thought had a heart of gold only to discover otherwise; hence, the gold-plated reference.

*How rare it is to find a heart of gold in this world…but it’s not impossible.

Don’t forget that you can have a heart of gold ;).

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Love Song Lyrics

“She grew up believing in passion and love
Whose folks divorced and remarried
Very naive
 Seen life and commitments that shoulda been dead and buried
Highly sentimental
Sensitive
Gentle beyond the point she should be
What might be obvious to most, she says they too bitter
Can’t see the world the way she does
Clean lungs, undamaged liver
Sees thugs through a pink-tinted glasses
Occasionally
Weed does make her giggle
Listen to some music closer
Dudes approach her
Lightly
Wanna be her lover and she obliges
Likes to cuddle under the covers by candlelit fires
Oblivious to lying schemes to talk her out of clothes
Says she’s just in love with love
Cuts her classes
Spending too much time entrancing romancing
Things are changing quickly
She’s asking “why aren’t you spending more time with me?”
 N****’s eyes are getting shifty
Coming over later smelling of pussy
On his face, jeans, and sweaters something’s fishy
And it’s not what he tells her, man, it’s what he don’t
And she don’t understand and for some years, she probly won’t

Just wants an honest man
For goodness sake
They backstabbing and cutting her throat
 Restraining orders follow, but she still optimistic about it
 Like Annie, thinking tomorrow will maybe be a better day
 I let her pray on bended knees “ask him to send prince charming, please”
She’s never cheated
Treats her man well
Cooks, cleans, dresses sexy for him
Halter tops and tight jeans
Would break the law for him
Go through a couple of these relationships
Still stays strong
She’s too young and dumb to call it quits

Learns that she carrying twice
Scared and afraid the first time
 The second she don’t even cry
Makes her wipe away his tears and it hurts
They always leave return crazy, so she doesn’t flirt
Spends time warning the babies
Goes through a couple of these relationships and still stays strong
Too young and dumb to call it quits
Its still a love song

Shes got a good man
Shes 19, he’s 21 and sweet and honest
Promised to love her
Talk of marriage
She would never wanna be somebody’s baby’s mother
Use rubbers occasionally
When she’s flowing
Open to all the affection and gifts and all the good manners he’s showing
He’s trying to build a life for himself
Studies late computer shit and she’s missing attention that she’s not getting
Sex dwindles
Crawling in the sheets
 He say “ya tired” and she say she feel “neglect and defeat”
Just doesn’t see his ambition
She wanna be the universe and hold his center position
Starts hanging round the best friend more
 Crazy attraction takes impulsive action
Drop the drawers
And falls in love
The world explodes
And she confesses “yeah I did it, so?”
They so tight it like he moves when she stretches
 Over the couple years
Too many stresses
Girls who wanna fight her
Bitches writing letters
Friendships disappearing
Plus he rhymes, so it’s competitive
Pressure miscarriage
They break up fifty times a week and make up just as much
 He fuckin’, and I know, but pretending I’m out of touch
It’s getting strained and gets physical
She cries until the river dries and leaves her dead and cold
Packs up her things and leaves behind what I thought was gold was only gold-plated
 Thinking of all the other ones I coulda just left and up and dated
Singled after four years
Starting over never easy
But it takes some time to realize your own worth
Come into your own
Play your mental rebirth

She starts penning some better poems
Straighten up her bank account
Likes to take herself out
I’m getting better at it
I’ve had a few relationships
But still too young and dumb enough to call it quits
It’s still a love song

Love
All I ever want is you
All I ever had, leading in my life was you
All that ever was, all I ever had

Maybe it’s easier to talk about this shit in third person
Learning better
Looking for love in all the wrong places
Like I’m Eddie Murphy
Curse me to repeat the same cycle
I’m breaking
No longer think relations make a better woman
Just for life, I’m pursuing
Growing
, but hopelessly romantic still

Tasted weather in the bitter climates
Love the sunshine better
Dreaming of dream proposals
Decent moral values placing higher on my chart
Trying not to have a shallow heart
But battle scars are deep and reaching to the depth of hell and back
Try to give up the grudges
Think it’s experience and move from the clutches of sadness
It’s difficult

Sometimes I wish I wasn’t an adult
Adolescent primetime sitcom star
I’ve been too far and too much, too hard, for too long
It’s still a love song.”
-Jean Grae

Here’s hoping that you realize your own worth and find the person that has a heart of gold {not a gold-plated one}.
Here’s to hoping you find the person that deserves you, your love, heart and soul.
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For more information on Jean Grae….
please visit: http://jeangrae.com/
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Peace & Namaste…