Tag Archives: Suffering

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…

Reflection for today…All I Want In This World Is You -Haruki Murakami

29 Jan

“I have a million things to talk to you about.

All I want in this world is you.

I want to see you and talk.

I want the two of us to begin everything from the beginning.” 
Haruki Murakami,   

Norwegian Wood

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Please enjoy All I Need by Radiohead…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z9IODJdi3GA

Radiohead – All I Need [live From the Basement]

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Radiohead came to be my favourite band out of all the many bands/artists that I love.

I simply adore them.

My faith in humanity, life and love is restored when I listen to them.

When I watch this video, I am reminded of how much musicians and artists are so necessary in this world. They are vital because they are alchemists who can transform pain and suffering into beauty and enlightenment.

They are also healers that greatly contribute to the healing of the world. 

I have a great reverence for musicians and artists.

They are doctors of the heart and soul.

*

For more information…

Haruki Murakami…http://www.murakami.ch/main_3.html 

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3354.Haruki_Murakami

Radiohead…http://www.radiohead.com/

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Peace & Cosmic Love…

Reflection for today…The Storm Is Inside Of You -Haruki Murakami

3 Nov

Sometimes fate is like a small sandstorm that keeps changing directions. You change direction but the sandstorm chases you. You turn again, but the storm adjusts. Over and over you play this out, like some ominous dance with death just before dawn. Why? Because this storm isn’t something that blew in from far away, something that has nothing to do with you.

This storm is you. Something inside of you.

So all you can do is give in to it, step right inside the storm, closing your eyes and plugging up your ears so the sand doesn’t get in, and walk through it, step by step. There’s no sun there, no moon, no direction, no sense of time. Just fine white sand swirling up into the sky like pulverized bones. That’s the kind of sandstorm you need to imagine.

And you really will have to make it through that violent, metaphysical, symbolic storm. No matter how metaphysical or symbolic it might be, make no mistake about it: it will cut through flesh like a thousand razor blades. People will bleed there, and you will bleed too. Hot, red blood. You’ll catch that blood in your hands, your own blood and the blood of others.

And once the storm is over you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, whether the storm is really over. But one thing is certain. 

When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in.

That’s what this storm’s all about.” 

Haruki Murakami,   Kafka on the Shore 

The Storm Is Something Inside Of You…

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Please enjoy Riders On The Storm By The Doors

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lS-af9Q-zvQ

*Side note: “Riders On The Storm” was the last song recorded by the members of The Doors, according to Ray, as well as Jim´s last recorded song to be released (recorded December 1970 – January 1971 – released in June ´71).”

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For more information…

Haruki Murakami…http://www.murakami.ch/main_6.html 

http://www.murakamibooks.co.uk

The Doors…https://thedoors.com

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Isn’t Haruki Murakami so wise?

Doesn’t he write so beautifully?

Is the storm an emotional, psychological or spiritual storm?

{I think it is all of the above}.

Could a storm be a real mental illness or physical illness?

{I think so- especially with mental illness because it is internal just like Murakami’s metaphorical storm}.

Is life just a pause between each storm?

Or is life the storm itself?

{One could come to that conclusion because life involves constant change}. 

Is the purpose of the storm to make us grow, learn, heal and/or evolve?

Do we need the chaos and suffering of the storm so that we can learn, grow/evolve and heal?

I like that he suggests that even though we will get hurt we will also heal.

We are inherently resilient.

He also stresses the idea of metamorphosis.

Once we come out of the storm we are changed.

Could this be spiritual/emotional/psychological alchemy?

{I would love to hear your thoughts}.

*

Peace & Namaste…

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.

*

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…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.

*

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.

*

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.”

*

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/

*

Peace & Namaste…

A Loving Glance Reveals Your Heart

Reflection for today…The Dangers of a Sad Soul -Henry David Thoreau

14 Apr

“A sad soul can kill you quicker, much quicker, than any germ” 
Henry David Thoreau 

Norma Jeane Mortenson otherwise known as Marilyn Monroe was not a “sad soul.”

She was a beautiful soul. 

I don’t particularly think that anyone is a “sad soul.”

Everyone has some melancholy in their soul.

In the continuum of melancholy, some people experience more sadness than others.

I think Thoreau means a chronic sadness/depression is what will kill you.

What is your interpretation?

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Please enjoy Wash My Soul by Tricky.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OpDJ8KRzV_s

*

How can you “wash your soul?”

Meditation? Healing? Love?

*

For more information…

Henry David Thoreau…http://www.walden.org/thoreau

Marilyn Monroe…http://marilynmonroe.com/

Tricky…http://www.trickysite.com/

*

Peace & Namaste…

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.

*

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/

*

Peace & Namaste…

 

Reflection for today…Keeping Memories Alive -Haruki Murakami

19 Feb

“No matter how much suffering you went through,

you never wanted to let go of those memories.” 
Haruki Murakami

Pinned Image

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Most of the pictures are from the brilliant film Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind.

I highly recommend it!

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Please enjoy “The Only Thing I Know” by Gotye

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=QvnJaq6VD7U&feature=endscreen

“I’m living with your memory
In the attic in my mind
And you’ve been getting by without me
But I’ve been spending all my time
With a girl that I remember
Who’ll never leave or need to grow
Cos when you left you left your memory
Now it’s the only thing I know

When the past gives me no comfort
And though the future is the cost
The way I’m choosing to remember
I’ll forever be the man I never was

And you, you fade
But the memory remains the same
And I, I can’t change
And I think that living with your memory
Is slowly driving me insane

You are perfect but you’re empty
And it gets so lonely in my mind
Cos your image in my memory’s
The only shred of you that’s left behind
You were real but then you left me
And that’s the part I can’t accept
So I’ll keep on living with your memory
Because it’s all that I’ve got left.”

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For more information…

 Haruki Murakami…http://www.murakami.ch/main_2.html

or his official UK website: http://www.murakamibooks.co.uk/

Gotye’s Official Website…http://gotye.com/

*

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Compassion Is The Key To Enlightenment -Buddha

15 Dec

“For those of you who want to attain enlightenment,

do not study many teachings.

Only study one.

What is it?

It is great compassion.

Whoever has great compassion has all Buddha’s qualities in his hand.”

-Buddha

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.tibetanecology.org/Tibetan-Tent_files/tibetan_contemporary_art_mantras.html
Compassion Mantra: Om Ma Ni Pad Me Hum
Art by: Artist: Tsultrim Gyatso
“All the teachings of Buddha are contained within the six letters, also it is the embodiment of the compassion Buddha Avalokiteshvara. Tibetans believe that praying or chanting the mantra will increase your compassion and make closer your connection to the Buddha Avalokiteshvara eventually achieving Buddhahood.”

Photo Courtesy of: http://www.wiseattention.org/blog/2012/04/01/palden-gyatso/
This photo accompanies a sobering and inspiring articled entitled,
‘Compassion for My Torturer’: A Meeting With Palden Gyatso.”
Written by: Vishvapani on http://www.wiseattention.org/
“Tibetan Buddhist monk, Palden Gyatso, spent 33 years imprisoned by the Chinese and drew deep on his Buddhist practice to survive his brutal treatment. He escaped to the West to tell his story and I met him in London to discuss his experiences his searing memoir, Fire Under the Snow.”

Angelina Jolie Photographed by: PER-ANDERS PETTERSSON
The caption on his website:
Darfur Refugees
“Angelina Jolie, the Oscar winning actress and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, holds a mentally disturbed boy, as he is tied with a rope in a camp in Oure Cassoni, Chad, 2007.
Angelina Jolie met the 7 year-old boy while spending two days visiting Oure Cassoni, a refugee camp close to the Sudan border.
Almost 27,000 refugees lives there and it was opened in 2004.”
“I also spent time with SOS Children’s villages staff, and we visited a 7-year-old boy that was held with a rope to a pole by his family.
This to keep him from wandering away, they said.
According to SOS, the boy saw his village bombed when he was 3- years old.
He hid alone in the bush for 2 days before his family found him and they all fled across the border.
SOS Children’s villages launched an emergency relief program for refugees from Darfur in 2006.
They focus on providing psychosocial care for traumatized children and their parents.
They presently care for about 230 children and adults.
Many have been living in the camp since 2004.
Many children experience symptoms such as nightmares, bedwetting and behavioral problems.
These children are often in a state of anxiety and they often have hallucinations. The children attend group therapy sessions where they play, sing and paint.
They work closely together with UNHCR and International Rescue Committee in the camp.”

Angelina Jolie: Humanitarian, Social Activist & Beautiful Soul

Audrey Hepburn: Humanitarian, Social Activist & Beautiful Soul

Peace & Namaste Friends…

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Reflection for today…The Manifesto of Encouragement -Danielle LaPorte

20 Oct

The Manifesto of Encouragement

“Right now:

There are Tibetan Buddhist monks in a temple in the Himalayas endlessly reciting mantras for the cessation of your suffering and for the flourishing of your happiness.

Someone you haven’t met yet is already dreaming of adoring you.

Someone is writing a book that you will read in the next two years that will change how you look at life.

Nuns in the Alps are in endless vigil, praying for the Holy Spirit to alight the hearts of all of God’s children.

A farmer is looking at his organic crops and whispering, “nourish them.”

Someone wants to kiss you, to hold you, to make tea for you.

Someone is willing to lend you money, wants to know what your favourite food is, and treat you to a movie.

Someone in your orbit has something immensely valuable to give you — for free.

Something is being invented this year that will change how your generation lives, communicates, heals and passes on.

The next great song is being rehearsed.

Thousands of people are in yoga classes right now intentionally sending light out from their heart chakras and wrapping it around the earth.

Millions of children are assuming that everything is amazing and will always be that way.

Someone is in profound pain, and a few months from now, they’ll be thriving like never before. They just can’t see it from where they’re at.

Someone who is craving to be partnered, to be acknowledged, to ARRIVE, will get precisely what they want — and even more. And because that gift will be so fantastical in it’s reach and sweetness, it will quite magically alter their memory of angsty longing and render it all “So worth the wait.

Someone has recently cracked open their joyous, genuine nature because they did the hard work of hauling years of oppression off of their psyche — this luminous juju is floating in the ether, and is accessible to you.

Someone just this second wished for world peace, in earnest.

Someone is fighting the fight so that you don’t have to.

Some civil servant is making sure that you get your mail, and your garbage is picked up, that the trains are running on time, and that you are generally safe. Someone is dedicating their days to protecting your civil liberties and clean drinking water.

Someone is regaining their sanity. Someone is coming back from the dead. Someone is genuinely forgiving the seemingly unforgivable. Someone is curing the incurable.

You. Me. Some. One. Now.”

Danielle LaPorte

Copied & Pasted from: http://www.daniellelaporte.com/inspiration-spirituality-articles/the-manifesto-of-encouragement/

“Danielle LaPorte is the creator of WhiteHotTruth.com, which has been called the best place on-line for kick-ass spirituality.”

Please visit her website for some inspiration and wisdom…She is so brilliant. I just “discovered” her and will most likely be doing more blog posts about her and her writing.

If you want more inspiration and wisdom from Danielle, please go to her website: http://www.daniellelaporte.com/ to sign up for her newsletters.
You can choose to receive via email a “daily truthbomb”, a “somewhat weekly” newsletter and a “monthly digest” newsletter.
I am signed up for all of them and highly recommend them.

Her book The Fire Starter Sessions is at the top of my reading list.

Danielle has generously provided the first chapter of her book for free on her website. You can read it on Scribd or download it in pdf format. Please click on this link: The Fire Starter Sessions Chapter One.

Peace & Namaste Friends…

Photo Courtesy of Anastasia Photography
From their blog at: http://anastasiachomlack.typepad.com/laughter/2009/11/inspired.html

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.

*

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.

*

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.

*

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.

*

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.

*

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.

*

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

*

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.

*

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.

*

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.

*

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

*

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… 

*

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

*

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

*

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

*

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#!

*

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…

Reflection for today…Life Hurts More Than Death -Jim Morrison

1 Sep

People fear death even more than pain.

It’s strange that they fear death.

Life hurts a lot more than death.

At the point of death, the pain is over.

Yeah, I guess it is a friend.”

Jim Morrison

*

I just had to include one of my favourite songs by The Doors as it is relevant.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lofF2p0_cJs

“This is the end
My only friend, the end
Of our elaborate plans, the end
Of everything that stands, the end
No safety or surprise, the end
I’ll never look into your eyes…again…”

-The Doors, The End

*

Do you agree with Jim?

Why or why not?

*

For more information on Jim Morrison and his band The Doors,

please visit:

http://www.thedoors.com/index.php

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.”

 *

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}.

*

For more information on Gabriel Byrne,

please visit…Byrneholics.

*

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…Interrelationship -Thich Nhat Hanh

10 Aug

“You are me, and I am you.
Isn’t it obvious that we “inter-are”?
You cultivate the flower in yourself,
so that I will be beautiful.
I transform the garbage in myself,
so that you will not have to suffer.

I support you;
you support me.
I am in this world to offer you peace;
you are in this world to bring me joy.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…The Price of Love -Bob Marley

25 Jul

 “Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you,

you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.”

Bob Marley

Who is worth suffering for?

Conversely, why would someone who loves you make you suffer?

*

Peace & Namaste…

Reflection for today…True Freedom- Eckhart Tolle

24 Jul

True Freedom

“True freedom and the end of suffering is living in such a way as if you had completely chosen whatever you feel or experience at this moment.

This inner alignment with Now is the end of suffering.
Is suffering really necessary? Yes and no.
If you had not suffered as you have, 
there would be no depth to you as a human being, 
no humility, no compassion.
You would not be reading this now. 
Suffering cracks open the shell of ego, 
and then comes a point when it has served its purpose.
Suffering is necessary until you realize it is unnecessary.”
-Eckhart Tolle

Reflection for today…Love and Respect -Don Miguel Ruiz

18 Jul

If someone is not treating you with love and respect,

it is a gift if they walk away from you.

If that person doesn’t walk away, you will surely endure many years of suffering with him or her.

Walking away may hurt for a while, but your heart will eventually heal.

Then you can choose what you really want.

You will find that you don’t need to trust others as much as you need to trust yourself to make the right choices.

-Don Miguel Ruiz

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

*

The Four Agreements is a valued reference book for me and many others.

I always come back to its wisdom and simplistic teachings as life always presents new lessons and challenges.

For more information on author Don Miguel Ruiz, please click on this link: http://www.miguelruiz.com/

*Please note that there is a companion book to the four agreements for those that want to do further inner work.

It is called The Four Agreements Companion Book: Using the Four Agreements to Master the Dream of Your Life.

There is also a fifth agreement book that expands on the four agreements.

It is called The Fifth Agreement: A Practical Guide to Self-Mastery.

Don Miguel Ruiz also has a blog.

Please click this link if you are interested: http://www.miguelruiz.com/blog/

Peace & Namaste…

Somebody That I Used To Know -Gotye featuring Kimbra

16 Feb

We all have somebody that we “used to know.”
That person from a past life that is now a ghost.
{Once so intimate, now so distant}.
Previously best friends and lovers, now old flames and strangers.

I’ve always wondered what kind of mathematics turns friends & lovers into strangers?


Is it time? Distance? Pain? Anger? Disappointment? Betrayal?
Worst of all: indifference?

*

*I Love Gotye‘s Music & Videos!!!
He {Gotye/Wally de Backer} is so creative and talented.

Gotye sings this song with so much passion.

You can see it in his eyes.

Most likely this song comes out of life experience- like some great art does.

To learn more about this Australian musical genius, please click on this link:
 http://www.gotye.com/

**********************************************
Somebody That I Used To Know lyrics

Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you felt so happy you could die
Told myself that you were right for me
But felt so lonely in your company
But that was love and it’s an ache I still remember

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end
Always the end
So when we found that we could not make sense
Well you said that we would still be friends
But I’ll admit that I was glad that it was over

But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened
And that we were nothing

And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so rough
You didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records
And then change your number
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

Now and then I think of all the times you screwed me over
But had me believing it was always something that I’d done

And I don’t wanna live that way
Reading into every word you say
You said that you could let it go
And I wouldn’t catch you hung up on somebody that you used to know…

But you didn’t have to cut me off
Make out like it never happened
And that we were nothing

And I don’t even need your love
But you treat me like a stranger
And that feels so rough
You didn’t have to stoop so low
Have your friends collect your records
And then change your number
I guess that I don’t need that though
Now you’re just somebody that I used to know

I used to know
That I used to know

Somebody…
*************

Peace & Namaste…