Great book: Ishmael

The book “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn is a life altering book. I own 3 copies. In essence it says that as humans we created our own erroneous ideas about how the world functions and as a result we have been depleting the earth and killing each other. We humans think we are the masters of the world, the top of the food chain. We think we can use (abuse) anything we want, like soil, animals and air for our sole advantage. What if instead we thought we were simply another species playing out our small part. Funny how one thought can be so powerful.

 

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Cooking is art

“Cooking is one of the best ways for your authentic self to remind your conscious self that you are an artist. ”

Sarah Ban Breathnach

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Great book: Spiritual Literacy

I am reading “Spiritual Literacy” by Frederic and Mary Anne Brussat. It is an amazing collection of hundreds of quotes from authors, thought leaders who have written about love, devotion, mediation and all sorts of topics! Its great to read a few pages at night or in the morning. Such wisdom. I am never giving this book away.

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The world needs all its flowers

“The world needs all its flowers. Sometimes we may think, Well I am not a flower, I am not beautiful, and I don’t have any qualities that might be useful. What hubris that is, to think the world has singled you out to be useless and unbeautiful!”

Jon Kabat-Zinn

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Must read a Return to Love

I am re-reading “A Return to Love” by Marianne Williamson. If you have not read it, you must. In her very practical way, she explains how we were taught mostly through our traditional religions that we are not lovable (we are sinners). As a recovering Catholic, it was helpful in understanding how my believing in a angry/judging god could cause us to feel “not quite good enough” and how we learn to judge others rather than accept them – just as they are, no matter what they believe. It’s time to stop thinking that motivating people by fear is okay and get back to the essence of all faiths, which is love. Love is enough. And remember to love yourself first.

 

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Love the questions

“Try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. ”

Rainer Maria Rilke

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Must read Be the Change

I am reading “Be the Change-How Meditation can Transform You and the World,” by Ed and Deb Shapiro. It is an amazing collection of writings from all the amazing leaders on mindfulness. From Marianne Williamson to Jon Kabat-Zinn. I will never give this book away.

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I only exist because you exist

What if we had culture based on what Bishop Tutu referred to as “Ubuntu”, which means, “I only exist because you exist, my existence is dependant on your existence, my well-being is dependant on your well-being?” This culture would be very different than a culture of individualistic competition where everyone is out for him/herself. [re-worded from a quote by Mark Ian Barasch]

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Must read A Thousand Spendid Suns

I just read “A Thousand Splendid Suns” by Khaled Hosseini (author of “The Kite Runner”). It gives a real picture of why women in Afghanistan have so few rights today. Although women were once politicians and academics, when the Taliban came in they essentially forced women into their homes. It helped me understand how fear (of torture or death) can completely control men and women. No one dares to question! It makes me so sad that husbands allow the abuse to continue and that their wives and daughters are prisoners who cannot to run away. And although this is fiction, the news tells me that this is still happening today.

Here is an excerpt from his novel: “If you steal your hand will be cut off at the wrist. If you steal again your foot will be cut off. If you are not Muslim, do not worship where you can be seen by Muslims. If you do, you will be beaten and imprisoned. If you are caught trying to convert a Muslim to your faith, you will be executed. Attention women: You will stay inside your homes at all times. It is not proper for women to wander aimlessly about the streets. If you go outside, you must be accompanied by a mahram, a male relative. If you are caught alone on the street you will be beaten and sent home. You will not under any circumstance, show your face. You will cover with a burqa when outside. If you do not, you will be severely beaten.” (page 278)

 

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Mindfulness is being amazed at everything

“Mediation for me is an amazement that whatever I am contemplating is there at all. How incredible that spring comes and the grass grows, or that a cup of coffee awaits me on a table, even that a table exists! Anne Bancroft.

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