MOVIE TEACHERS

May 15, 2017

So often we think about teachers as people, sometimes experiences, even animals. However, sometimes our teachers can be films. It is one of the reasons that several times I have offered a film and spirituality group. It is amazing the spiritual lessons we can learn from a film. Sometimes what we learn is from the storyline, sometimes it is the setting, sometimes the lighting, sometimes the music, sometimes a character.

When I offered this group it was interesting to be sitting in a room full of people who had all just watched the same film, but we all walked away with different things or characters that spoke to us. It is like going to a restaurant and everybody eats the same meal, but different people like different things about it. What you see and take from it is for you and I see and take from it is for me.

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BECOME A DREAM MASTER

October 27, 2016

I was reading the thought for the day from Don Miguel Ruiz this morning. He wrote, “Your life is the manifestation of your personal dream. If you can transform the program of your personal dream, you can become a dream master.” We cannot transform something, however, if we are not willing to open our hearts, minds, and souls, to the transformation process. Opening ourselves up to move beyond the limitations we place on ourselves is not always easy, however, it allows us to push our limits as Enigma sings about, and master our dreams rather than being enslaved to the dreams and limitations of others.

Thinking about this made me wonder how often we even realize that we are even enslaved to the dreams of others. This not realizing, is as I once heard a philosopher argue, the perfect form of slavery. When we are in a state of not knowing that we are even enslaved, then we have a closed sign on our dreams and blessings and do not even realize it.

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PLEASE FORGIVE ME

September 12, 2015

Dear God,

I am not even sure what to say today. Other than please forgive me. I am just going to start with that. I have been intentional about my thoughts, words, and deeds on so many levels. However, today was one of those moments when I was intentional about what came out of my mouth, but not what went into my mouth or through my head. So please forgive me for not really thinking about why I was craving something fatty. Forgive me for not turning my back on the custard when I realized it was not the frozen yogurt, I had originally thought it was. Forgive me for not being intentional enough about my feelings, thoughts and actions.

Some days I am so much better at being intentional then others. So rather than beat myself up for what I did today

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WHAT I BELIEVE!

August 9, 2015

This month, as I have been thinking about the practice of faith, I have come to realize the importance of reflecting on the beliefs on which my faith is built and which govern the way I live my life and practice my faith. What I believe has been influenced by what I learned while attending Hebrew School, growing up in a Jewish home, my study of scripture, and my readings.  Probably most influential in my life has been the writings of don Miguel Ruiz, Pema Chodron, Osho, Rev Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi.

I believe that we are born in the image of the Ultimate Consciousness, who is love and that we are called, as stated in Micah 6:8, to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with God.  I believe that we are all called to speak the truth in love and to do justice with a spirit of non-violence.  I believe the Ultimate Consciousness is greater than any single denomination or school of thought.  I believe the Ultimate Consciousness has spoken to people through a diversity of sacred texts and is present in a diversity of worship communities.

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THE WORD IS OURS

January 13, 2015

This quote from Lao Tsu brought me back to my childhood and all of a sudden, I can hear myself as a child singing, “She’s got the whole world in her hands. She’s got the whole wide world in her hands. She’s got the whole wild world in her hands. She’s got the whole world in her hands.” Whenever my Bubby and I would sing this, she would remind me the Ultimate did not have a sex or a gender. The Divine could be male, female, and everything in between. Because of this, she would say, we could sing it she or he.

Perhaps more importantly, she would always use this song to remind me that when I kept the Ultimate close to me, then I would never lack for anything. She would remind me that the Divine would provide me with everything and anything I needed in my life and that I would never lack anything essential to my purpose in life.

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RELEASING THE SHAME

December 14, 2014

A few years ago, I asked you to work with me and help me continue to grow and evolve spiritually. Ever since then you have provided me with opportunities to do just that. Most recently, you have reminded me to let go of self-judgment and blame. As Don Miguel Ruiz reminded me, in his writing about the first agreement, it is important to take responsibility for my actions but I should not judge or blame myself for anything. I thought I had been doing well at this until the last few weeks when I have found myself getting angry with myself for being incontinent at times. I would feel myself, especially when tired, getting upset with myself for not being able to make it to the bathroom. Thinking about this in terms of being impeccable has helped. I have had to work at being able to say what happened, but not feel shame or blame myself for something that is out of my control at this point in time. I am so grateful for my wife who has been so supportive and understanding, especially on those days when I am tired and begin to shame myself. She gently reminds me that I am the only one who is shaming me, nobody else in our household is. It has also reminded me how important it is to be the sacred observer and question what I believe about myself to say shameful and blaming things to myself.

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DO YOU

December 10, 2014

It has been a while since I posted here, while I have been resting, healing, and preparing for the next round of surgery. However, I was reminded of something last night that resonated with my soul and that is in all things to do you. I was watching a special episode of Chopped (no surprise to those who read this blog often) and Katie Lee, one of the competitors, was surprised that she won. In reflecting on it, she talked about how she thought she had won because she had stayed true to who she was. Katie is best known for her comfort foods and that is what she cooked all three courses, foods filled with memories of growing up and cooking with her grandmother and mother. She gave the judges her on a plate.

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SPEAKING WITH INTEGRITY

October 24, 2014

Dear God,

I am grateful for this month of reflecting on my own worth. In doing so, I have been reminded of how important it is to me to speak with integrity. It reminds me of a conversation I had with a colleague recently about knowing when to allow myself to speak and when I need to breathe love into my being and remember the Sufi teaching about the questions I must answer before speaking. Is what I want to say truthful? Is it necessary? Is it kind? It parallels the teachings of Toltec Wisdom and don Miguel Ruiz about being impeccable with my word. When I speak with integrity, I am only saying what I mean and when I combine it with the Sufi teaching; I know that how I say what I mean also comes from an intent of love.

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The other day I came across this quote from Kevin Ngo and it fit perfectly with the theme for this month. Occasionally we all need a word of encouragement or a reminder that we are worth the investment. That includes me. If, as don Miguel Ruiz suggests we do the best we can in all things, then that is our best. We each have the potential to do our best and to know that we can manifest the life we are trying to create. It is important that we always remember to stay focused on the vision we have for the life we are seeking to manifest. If we work on this vision a little bit every day, then we will achieve it. When we stop taking those daily actions in our lives, we inadvertently or unconsciously create the life we do not want. So stay encouraged and create a circle of support, as encouragement is important for all.

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Those who know me will understand that perhaps my least favorite show on the Food Network is Cutthroat Kitchen. That said, the fifth agreement in Toltec wisdom reminds me that lessons can be hidden in places that we might overlook if we did not listen with a maybe. So, I decided to watch the show last week because it was the first of a five-week series with “superstar” chefs competing for charity. The last two chefs standing were Michael Psilakis and Aartie Sequiera. The dish they were required to make was French toast. French toast is one of those iconic breakfast dishes. While there are a few variations in terms of bread used and whether they are stuffed or not, there are some things you expect to experience and taste when you eat this, regardless of the day or time.

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