Saturday, March 31, 2012


Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, 
wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, 
and charm and gaiety to life and to everything. 


from Yoga Online

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Thoughts from the Sea

"One learns to accept the fact that no permanent return is possible to an old form of relationship; and, more deeply still, that there is no holding of a relationship to a single form. This is not tragedy but part of the ever-recurrent miracle of life and growth. All living relationships are in process of change, of expansion, and must perpetually be building themselves into new forms. But there is no single fixed form to express each changing relationship. There are perhaps different forms for each successive stage; different shells I might put in a row on my desk to suggest the different stages of marriage- or indeed of any relationship...."

from Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

The Universe is constantly creating and changing, bringing new forms
into being just as old ones pass away. Birth, life, decay, death, rebirth.

Curiosity * Openness * Awareness * Grace

Remaining present to what is occurring while being open to what may unfold without attachment or the need to direct the course of events gives us all the opportunity for true joy. What a delight!

Question: What surprises are here for me today?

*photo courtesy of Photostock

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Detachment and the True Nature of Compassion

"Everything is equally unimportant" -Don Juan speaking to Carlos Casteneda

I remember standing in line at the bank in 1975 and reading The Teachings of Don Juan by Carlos Casteneda and unbeknownst to me at the time, a lifelong interest in shamanism was taking root. I was literally spell bound, reading word for word the saga of Carlos in the desert, usually making quite a fool of himself as he trounced along with his intellectual concepts which were often times met with uproarious laughter on the part of the wise Shaman Don Juan. It was during this read that I first came face to face with what I would later come to realize were lessons in detachment.

Most of us learn that being compassionate is understanding anothers pain which often includes helping to ease that pain, listening with rapt attention, and most importantly problem solving in order to create a "better" outcome for our friend. All in the spirit of helping of course! But what Don Juan is speaking to is that when we become entangled albeit with the best of intentions with other people's issues, then we lose our own vital energies. We can become tired, confused, frustrated, and even sorrowful. Understanding with compassion does not by nature imply that action need be taken, and in fact it may imply the exact opposite: being a witness to the joys and sorrows of our friends lives while respecting their personal space gives them the wonderful gift of compassionate detachment.

Viewing the world through the lens of detachment allows us to encourage choice. When we support others in making their own choices even if we do not necessarily agree with those choices shows respect and promotes equality. And, when we detach with love then we avoid the traps of fear which include control, manipulation, and anxieties. We can turn off our thoughts which are judgmental and very convincing, instead focusing on our hearts, opening to love while remembering that we cannot with certainty know what is right for another human being. It is then that we may experience agape or true compassion.

Photo Entrance to Mosaic Canyon (Death Valley)  by Victoria Marina-Tompkins

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

What is Your Assignment?

"Activism and individuation (to find a meaningful, inner directed, chosen life-path) come together when the choices we make express who we are. There is a soul purpose to life. Be centered, and archetypes, dreams and synchronicities provide depth and direction. As one phase of life shifts into the next, energy becomes free to take on something that is personally meaningful, fun, creative and motivated by love—my definition of “assignment.”

Dr. Jean Shinoda Bolen, Jungian Anaylst and author of "Like A Tree: How Trees, Women, and Tree People Can Save the Planet"

Monday, March 19, 2012

Your Daily Gandhi

"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world- that is the myth of the atomic age- as in being able to remake ourselves."

Mohandes Gandhi

Saturday, March 17, 2012

On A New World Mythology

From an interview with Michael Toms  at KQED in San Francisco for the radio program New Dimensions. Here they discussed social fragmentation.

“And there's going to be [social fragmentation] for a long time. Unfortunately, many of the new mystically motivated movements are reactionary against other peoples. We have this "Power" and that "Power" and the other "Power." These are delaying actions. People are afraid to move into the free fall of a totally new way of looking at others. So the new mythology to come must be a global mythology, and it's got to solve the problem of the in-group by showing that there's no out-group. We're all members of a society of the planet, not of one particular place, and the fact that the three main religions of the Western world-Judaism, Christianity, and Islam-can't live together in Beruit is a refutation of all three in terms of their value for the contemporary world. They're monstrous! We must begin to realize that each is saying in his own language what the other is trying to say in his. There must be brotherhood and cooperation. Because unless that comes, we're going to blow ourselves to smithereens.

Every single one of the old horizon-bound mythologies reserved love for the in-group, and aggression and denigration were reserved for the out-group. Now, something's got to break that. And when we see that picture of our planet taken from the moon, the question arises: What are we going to do with our aggression? How is it going to be absorbed into love and transmuted from gross matter to gold? I think teaching "I-thou" relationships, rather than the "I-it" relationships, which [theologian Martin] Buber spoke about, is the first step. The teaching of humanity rather than the teaching of in-group appreciations is what's important.”  Joseph Campbell

Friday, March 16, 2012

From Our Archives

The Gateway of Music

The impact of music on my own life has, through the years, been highly significant both in terms of my own enjoyment of the arts, but on accessing higher centers which then allow me to experience joy.

A few nights ago I had the pleasure of attending an amazing San Francisco Symphony concert featuring Itzhak Perlman, my favorite violinist, who as a child was stricken with polio and now walks only with braces and crutches. To say that he plays beautifully is an understatement and you would have to hear his soulful tone to truly understand the depth of beauty that sings from his instrument when he plays. The concert opened with a Bach concerto which was precise and focused as Perlman not only was the soloist but also the conductor. Still, it was after the Bach ended and the next piece began, Elgars's Introduction and Allegro for String Orchestra that I remembered for the first time in a long while what it was like to sit in the middle of a magnificant orchestra and play.

When the orchestra is in the groove, it is ecstatic.

This piece by is rich with emotion, fluid, beautiful, deep, poignant. As I listened I found my eyes closing, focused only on the sound of the notes. The beauty of such a piece as this escapes words just as it is difficult to share with words how one feels when seeing a "perfect" work of art. It's personal truth, yes, but it's also so much more than that when music literally sweeps you into something greater than yourself, into love, truth, and ecstacy.  I wanted to dance! Sitting in my chair was limiting. In such a moment as this one, of higher emotional center, the heart opens!

Music does many things of course. Generation "X" has used music to convey anger, rage, and distrust of the older generation just as music of the 60's communicated that love is the way and not war. Each period of music models the theme of the culture during which it was written. Introduction and Allegro, written in 1902, followed the stifling Victorian Period where rules and etiquette supressed emotions and encouraged the listener to feel
just as the later Stravinsky Ballets of 1910 (Firebird), Petrushka (1911) and the progressive Rite of Spring (1913) pushed the listener to feel raw emotions which were usually considered to be socially unacceptable.

Today's music is everywhere: the radio, television, internet, CD's. We listen to popular music which include common themes of love gone wrong, betrayal, independence. Music can be simply for entertainment "value". But my question is what are we really listening to, what is this music of the day? What we "take in" whether it is music, language, or visuals impacts us. In simple words , is it a positive vibration or not?  I encourage you all to become discerning, make choices about what you listen to. Country music may be your thing, or rock, or blues, classics. Pay attention to your emotional reactions. As Sly and the Family Stone said "Music can take you higher".

Question: What music do I choose today?

art: Woman with Cello  Artist unknown

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Your Daily Tolle: Inner Stillness

"When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself. When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world.

Your innermost sense of self, of who you are, is inseparable from stillness. This is the 'I Am' that is deeper than name and form.

When you become aware of silence, immediately there is that state of inner still alertness. You are present. You have stepped out of thousands of years of collective human conditioning."

Eckhart Tolle