Tuesday, April 28, 2009

The Eternal Quest for Knowledge


~Robert Stirniman

Of Note: One day science will look different than it does today because it will be coupled with art and culture. The art and science of relationships will be a kingly pursuit with the art and science of livingness coming in a close second. Children will be taught from an early age about the universal laws of cooperation, attraction and economy which underlie all cosmic action. The spiritual values of sharing, truth, personal responsibility, unselfishness, and service to the common good will be second nature to an evolved Humanity, who will have outgrown the need to pursue science for money. Our future selves will know happiness, joy and peace through a deep knowledge of the interconnectedness of all to all. And oh, what energy that will unleash!

Today's Weather Report: Flitting around the garden today, I contemplated that the long, cold winter has been just about forgotten. How quickly we forget when we see a few green shoots emerge from the soil! Though, I have to admit, there are not many yet, just a few crocus and daffodils. The crocus come in all sizes from large to tiny and are surely welcome this time of year. The daffodils show some promise as they peek from the soil an inch or two but have a long way to go before blooming.

Watch for Change Snippet: The Dalai Lama might be playing his last hand. In early April, on the 50-year anniversary of his flight to India, His Holiness urged China to let the media freely into Tibet. If news correspondents found that Tibetans were truly happy under Chinese rule, he announced that he would abandon a 50-year pursuit for autonomy. The Chinese show no inclination to take the request seriously and will not likely lift the special permit required for foreign journalists. After all, according to the Director of the Tourist Administration in Tibet: "Tibet is harmonious and safe now" and open for business--although not to inspection by media outsiders. We can only assume that the Dalai Lama, being the wise man he is, made the strategic offer for some particular purpose, and we will have to watch the story unfold to see what that might be.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Blessed Giving


~Acts 20:35

Of Note: This truism is simply a restatement of the Law of Abundance. The infinite universe contains all possibility and as such is set up to give all to all. But in our selfishness, we cut ourselves off from this sacred law. Reconnection by loving and giving is the key to return.

Today's Weather Report: Drizzling rain at temps in the forties accentuate the day. Tonight at sunset the moon, Mercury and the Pleiades star cluster will align with the moon on top, Mercury on the bottom and the Pleiades sandwiched in between. Enjoy the view until the sun completely sets to visualize the star cluster, which includes hundreds of luminaries. The Pleiades, also called the Seven Sisters, hold a special place in many ancient cultures including the Greek, Mayan and Maori. The teachings of ancient wisdom hold the Pleiades in particular esteem. Binoculars are recommended, but the startling site will be visible even without them. Please enjoy the scene for me as it will not be visible from my house because of the dense cloud cover.

Watch For Change Snippet: A Dutch group has declared September 9th as the World Day of Interconnectedness to promote environmental and social justice. Some say that global interconnectedness has a downside in such circumstances as finances and trade. I would counter that sharing entails responsibility, and human irresponsibility comes with a heavy price in ways that are easy to discern if we look around. The organizers for the coming event put it another way:
"Interconnectedness, or oneness, is at the core of decisions and actions that are life affirming and good for the whole. The omnipresent invisible field of electric and magnetic energy connects us all."
In other words, we are invisibly interconnected by physical law. No way getting around it. Thus, the more life affirming decisions and actions we make, the more abundant life is returned. Of course, the opposite is also true. Thankfully, the choice is ours as individuals, groups and nations.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Our Very Own Self

We will know what both the fullness and the fulfillment
of life means only when the consciousness that the
Spirit is our own very self comes to life within us.

~Paul Brunton

Of Note: Like this flower above and its interconnected petals, we too are one with the nation in which we live. Literally embedded in its sinews. Its culture runs through our veins. Thus, as we awaken to the Life within so does the nation, one soul at a time. As nations light up, so does the planet. Glimmers of that Light can be seen and its warmth felt but sustained action is required. By saying the following prayer at noon, we can join a multitude of minds around the globe in a simple but decisive action. Picture Love as bright yellow light flowing through the planet and all its inhabitants: "I know O Lord of Life and Love about the need. Touch my heart anew with love, that I too may love and give."

Today's Weather Report: 40 degrees Fahrenheit greeted us this morning. It was necessary to pull the sweaters out again, if only for the morning. Yesterday, the garden got a haircut, and all of the old canes were trimmed. We are now ready for new green growth which might be right around the corner, particularly after the downpour last evening. The thunder scared the dog, of course, and she laid cowering in the corner. The end of the storm brought her some relief as the ground let out an Alleluia chorus at receiving a little moisture.

Watch For Change Snippet: Unemployment has hit the younger generation particularly hard in. Of the jobs lost last year in the United States, 60% were held by workers under the age of 25. In response, many of these kids signed up to do volunteer work around the nation. The legislation signed into law this week called the Edward M. Kennedy National Service Act will give an added boost to this unmistakable trend. Expanding the current AmeriCorps and Peace Corps programs, the bill will triple the number of community service jobs from 250,000 to 750,000 and increase the educational reward from $4,745 to $5,350. Four new federal programs will be implemented to address current issues facing the nation including "an Energy Corps dealing with energy efficiency and conservation; an Education Corps to increase student engagement and achievement; a Healthy Futures Corps to improve health access; and a Veteran Services Corps to enhance services to military veterans."

Youth aren't the only ones suffering from unemployment, of course. Also included in the bill was a program for older adult volunteers called Encore, which matches non-profit corporations with older volunteers, many with years of experience in one business or another. This program will be set up as 10 fellowships per state and will pay $11,000 per year with a match from the non-profits, allowing them to look at a larger talent pool. As the spokesman from AmeriCorps said: "The silver-lining of economic downturns is that more Americans, especially Millenials, are flocking to public-service positions, many of which are volunteer." Silver-lining, indeed. It may be one sign that the Soul of our nation is awakening. After all, service is just another name for
love in action. And love in action as national policy could change the world.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Lovely Ingredient


~Padre Pio

Of Note: As we evolve, we are learning to love. Suffering is available to make sure we learn this lesson well. In that sense, it is a gift. According to a wise Teacher, like freedom, love is a state of mind not a condition of being and is a latent human quality in need of development. Pain and suffering are the accelerators. After they have done their job, we will shine brightly as beings of loving light--but not before. We can remember this next time we face a seemingly insurmountable obstacle or a grossly painful situation. It is only then that we can find deep inside the joy that "this too will pass" and in passing will bring us one step closer to our Maker.

Today's Weather Report: Dawn brought a strange sight: rain in one part of the yard but nowhere else. The king of the cats was caught in the sudden downpour and bolted toward the house only to find it was dry not far away. He looked back at the rain with a confused expression. The shower continued for 10 or 15 minutes and then departed, never leaving the one area. The "March Winds" continue to blow and bring spring, finally. Although the snow and sleet over the weekend reminded us that we do live in northern Wisconsin, and it can snow any month of the year here.

Watch For Change Snippet: As the G-20 Economic Summit was taking place in London a few weeks back, another world conference was taking place in Brussels--that of the Global Progressive Forum (GPF.) With an opening speech by Bill Clinton, this group of progressive organizers, otherwise known as socialists, brought together "speakers from five continents to develop a new vision of a globalized world which benefits all." It was their aim to feature debates and discussions on the "issues of global governance, trade, financial markets, migration and climate change, all aimed at coordinating global answers to what are global crises." Capitalists generally have no time for socialists. But if we examined the two closely, we might conclude that no straight capitalist or socialist developed country really exists. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, the former prime minister of Denmark and President of the Party of European Socialists, posited that the time has arrived for a solidaristic social model:
"In ancient Greek drama, the word 'krisis' refers to the pivot on which the plot turns, the point at which its resolution, the moment of death or triumph, is decided. How will our crises be resolved? The systemic failings brought to light by the economic crisis offer us a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a proactive new start on all fronts. Now is the time to ensure that this pivotal moment is not wasted. Now is the time for change."
Mr. Rasmussen might be right. But could it be that a third economic way will emerge that will bring benefit to all people instead of a chosen few who know how the capitalistic and/or socialistic games work? That is change that would be worth watching for and ultimately standing behind.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Borderly Love


~Pablo Casals

Of Note: Our future relatives will look back on this time as odd and backward. Many of them will scratch their heads at our parochial views and ethnocentric beliefs. On the other hand, we will have been a part of their evolution. Thus, this current phase will have contributed to the move forward that will bring our future kin to a better place. That's how connection works. Because of this, it is often better to watch and love without judging because the overall picture is one of complexity and not easily discernible at close range.

Today's Weather Report: Speaking of odd, the weather today has been just that. It started out this morning snowing big flakes and was very chilly at 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Then the wind started to whip up and the temperature rose to almost 50. The sun even peeped out for a little while. Now it is back to very overcast. Seems that the sun is fighting with the clouds. All the animals are hunkered down in the house, apparently not wanting any part of the battle going on outside.

Watch For Change Snippet: The President is shaking up the world with his "new era of engagement." Apparently, Raul Castro of Cuba was just waiting for the moment when the United States signaled a change toward his country. Within hours of the US dropping some restrictions regarding travel and money, Castro said he was ready to discuss "human rights, freedom of the press, political prisoners--everything." Could it be that this carry-over problem of a different era is ready to be resolved by a progressive administration?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

A River Moving in You


~Jalaluddin Rumi

Of Note: Nothing can prepare a person for the awakening of their Soul. The person we think of as "I" has little to do with it. After the Soul announces itself, stepping off the path results in exquisite mental and/or emotional pain. But conversely staying the course brings the most sublime joy. It takes the "I" person awhile to figure all this out so pain marks the early days during which joy seems unattainable. Then glimpses of revelation occur when the "I" realizes he or she is the Path itself to be laid down for those that follow. Thus, this river of joy Rumi mentions is a bit down the way for most of us--but we can meet him there someday following the Path he and others have laid down for us over the years.

Today's Weather Report: Believe it or not, it is 65 degrees Fahrenheit today, and I finally put away the winter coats. Didn't even wear a jacket outside on this gorgeous, sunny day. I went to town to do some errands, and it was bustling. So, I wasn't the only one who wanted to get out and enjoy the sunshine.

Watch For Change Snippet: The Obama Administration has changed many of the decisions made during the Bush years. Thus, in keeping with the President's "new era of engagement," the United States will stand for one of the three open seats on the controversial United Nations Human Rights Council, something which the former President adamantly opposed. Critics, of course, blasted the decision saying that joining the group gives credibility to its often skewed actions. But others, such as the Human Rights Watch, think the time has come for the United States to show leadership in the area of human rights at the United Nations: "The U.S. can play an important role strengthening the council and correcting some of its flaws." Indeed, U.S. United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice opined: "Those who suffer from abuse and oppression around the world, as well as those who dedicate their lives to advancing human rights, need the Council to be balanced and credible." Sadly, at this point, it is not. The election to the seat on May 15th is inevitable as three seats are open, and three countries are running. New Zealand stepped down in order to give its slot to the United States. Many agree that now may be the time for the latent power of the Human Rights Council to shine forth.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Learning to Reawaken

We must learn to reawaken
and keep ourselves awake
by an infinite expectation
of the dawn.

~Henry David Thoreau

Of Note: We spend so much time thinking about the past that it's second nature. We even have wise quotes about learning from the past. However, the past only gets us so far. What is really required is a look to the future. Yes, we have no idea what it holds--but that's the point. Each and every one of us as a conscious creator is a participant in making the future what we envision. In many ways, the future is a blank slate to start anew. Therefore, the opportunities are boundless. Let us fill our future with Truth and Beauty, and then we will know we are on the right path.

Today's Weather Report: It is already 52 degrees Fahrenheit, and I'm loving it. It feels like the winter is behind, and the summer is ahead. A summer filled with flowers, vegetables, and heat. Heat, we like that. Even though she's in her last days, our doggy is even basking in the sun and enjoying the warm rays. I know it's spring when the litter box is no longer full, which relieves me of a chore for five or six months. With five cats, the litter box detail is a twice daily requirement during the months when the ground is frozen. In the spring and summer, the felines go outside. Frankly, they seem to like that better, too.

Watch For Change Snippet: After years of pressure from outside nations, the Chinese government has released its first ever human rights action plan. Although this outside push may have influenced the decision, the change has probably more to do with the growing connection China has to the outside world. This is a subtle but notable distinction because voluntarily coming along by pulling is more effective than by pushing. That's just psychology. The plan was drawn up as China prepared for its first examination before the UN Human Rights Council in early 2009 and included benchmarks for change for the first time. Past reports consisted of reports of progress but no future plans. A human rights group lauded the effort but noted that the goals were modest. Cynics might poo-poo the whole effort as a charade but I would counter it is a good start. As in so many of these snippets, only time will tell the tale, of course.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Footprints in our Hearts



Of Note: Imagine that we had innumerable lives, let's say 1,000 just for fun. Now let's think of those 1,000 and all the people who would have touched us. The result is mind boggling. For me there might have been 761 spouses, 3,426 children, 2,000 parents and thousands of grandparents, friends, and co-workers. I could have lived in every country that existed at least once and could have been every race, nationality and ethnicity. Just for fun let's say that many of these contacts were in a group, and we cycled through lives just changing places. So for example, in one life I was a child of a group member, but next time around I was her co-worker. On and on the groupings could go until all the conceivable lessons were learned. Seems to me this would be a pretty efficient system to amass the most experiences, knowledge, love and wisdom possible. Maybe I should recommend it to someone. It would make one hell of a reality show.

Today's Weather Report: Easter yesterday was gorgeous and warm. I traversed the garden from top to bottom and pulled a few weeds here and there. Everything was in order and ready to pop. Today cloud cover obscures the sun but I picture it shining above the clouds and smile.

Watch For Change Snippet: By now, most have heard about the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. Recently, aspiring musicians from all over the globe from ages 15 on up auditioned for a seat on the orchestra by posting a video clip on YouTube. Thousands of entries were submitted and then members of the London Symphony and others culled the number to 200 aspirants, who were then put to an American Idol-type vote by YouTube viewers. 14 million people voted! This is no virtual ensemble. Google is flying the group who hale from 30 different countries to Carnegie Hall to perform with a top conductor. In between, the musicians have been getting lessons in technique via computer from some of the top talent in the world. Google created this promotion to tout their site and also raise awareness as to how YouTube is changing the world. Their innovative idea has certainly taken connectivity to new heights.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Hugging is the Ideal Gift



~Charles Faraone

Of Note: Easter is a perfect day to learn the art of hugging. The instructions are simple, and a person will most likely receive a heartfelt response. Even folks who aren't fond of hugging, may appreciate a kind word, which is a hug with sound. Besides just feeling good, both the hugger and the huggee receive multiple physiological benefits. It's like taking a vitamin pill, only better.

Today's Weather Report: Oh happy day! Even at a cool 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it seems warmer because of the bright spring sunshine kissing the earth. I can just feel the spring cleaning around the corner. Jim has actually gotten a head start on that. The barn is almost unrecognizable because of the order he's created in what used to be a stopping place for tractors, snowplows, trucks, boats, unused construction material, wood, you name it. Thanks to Marie we have a photo of this Easter tulip display taken at the Dallas Arboretum. The pastel flowers almost look like Easter eggs, don't they?

News You Can Use Snippet: I was relieved to see a recent report that advised teachers and parents to let kids with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, otherwise known as ADHD, fidget. I can relate to that because I've got ADHD myself, and my fidgeting includes jiggling my crossed leg and twirling my hair, particularly in deep thought. Come to find out, that jiggling and twirling may help me stay focussed and process material better. Recent research has shown that those with ADHD should be allowed to fidget as a way of helping them process information in a more coherent fashion. Rather than preventing learning, movement may facilitate it. In a classroom, this might be difficult when 5 or 6 children have ADHD. But to the extent possible, freedom in movement may allow a child to reach his or her potential in a more accepting environment. And for a challenged student, that could be right up there with giving a hug.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Moral Courage

Few men are willing to brave
the disapproval of their fellows,
the censure of their colleagues,
and the wrath of their society.
Moral courage is a rarer commodity than
bravery in battle or great intelligence.
Yet, it is the one essential, vital quality
for those who seek to change the world
which yield most painfully to change.

~Robert F. Kennedy
1966 speech

Of Note: Individual moral courage is a humble act that may not make the headlines. It is often apolitical and asymmetrical and doesn't always provide a story that impresses the presses. But a movement of moral courage is afoot. An observer can tell that change is happening at many different levels led by courageous visionaries, who often sacrifice their reputations to put forward truth. Even more impressive, however, is the beginning of an even larger surge--that of massed moral courage. I dare say that Bobby Kennedy would not even recognize today's world where a free populace has elected a black President. Or a place where corporations are vying to be the greenest. Or a place where many of the richest people on the planet are giving away their wealth to the poorest. Massed moral courage is power. Get its energy going in the same direction, and the world could change overnight.

Today's Weather Report: At 50 some degrees Fahrenheit, spring has officially arrived! Someone forgot to tell our frozen lake, however. My husband said you could probably still walk across it although he's not about to try. In past years, the lake has been open water by now. It looks like all those sub-sub-zero winter days are having their effect even now. See that little deer in the photo above? It's not real but a good fake, especially at a distance. Marie took this mellow shot at the Dallas Arboretum a few weeks ago. Down in Texas they never have to worry about frozen lakes.

Watch For Change Snippet: I've been watching this presidency as it unfolds and noticed a trend. Seemed that the masses were being manipulated intentionally. As it turns out, I was right. TIME magazine ran a recent article "How Obama is Using the Science of Change." The subheading read: "It's more than a campaign slogan. Inside the White House's plan to employ behavioral economics to promote its agenda--and fundamentally alter the way Americans live." The military and others have been using these techniques for years, think Hitler. But, finally, someone has figured out how to use mass psychology on a grand scale for potential good. This timely article points out that the administration is full of renowned behavioral scientists from Harvard, Princeton and the University of Chicago, who are intent on inculcating the science of influence into national policy. Based on sound research, they know what gets folks to change, and it's not too hard really--make it clear, easy, popular and, if all else fails, mandatory.

Unsurprisingly, popularity is one of the biggest people movers. If someone else is doing it, so will we. President Obama used that potent psychological change agent much to his advantage during his campaign. It was so simple, but more importantly, effective.
Others have noticed. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for example, is spending millions to develop TV scripts that promote health and education and recently funded the writing of an ER episode that featured the return of George Clooney. The foundation promises to invest even more money influencing popular culture on such stations as MTV and VH1. So should we be fearful of this manipulation? Probably not, because it is nothing new. What is new is that we are hearing about it in the popular press. It just makes the "watching" more interesting to see if knowing we are being influenced makes a difference in the outcome.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Orderly Transpiration

Let us not forget
that when order is brought about
and united thought produced on the mental plane,
then order transpires eventually on the physical plane.

~M. Djhwal Khul

Of Note: Our goal in meditation is to produce united thought imbued with loving understanding on the mental plane and beyond. We will know order has precipitated from that lofty place when the spiritual values of truth, justice, cooperation, sharing and personal responsibility are the defining characteristics of Humanity. It could take time. Or not. No one really knows.

Today's Weather Report: Yesterday it topped out at 52 degrees Fahrenheit. Man, was that ever nice. All the animals at the house appreciated it as well--probably the ones in the woods did too. The deer, which had been scarce throughout the winter, are back. We know that by their abundant droppings in and around the yard. They particularly like the putting green grass that is bright green even now. Marie made a recent trip to Hamilton Pool down by Austin and took this breathtaking shot. If I went, I'd still be standing there awestruck by the beauty of it all.

Watch For Change Snippet: Money is not always the "root of all evil." When it is used to provide change for the good, a potent spiritual value is added--even on the mundane levels. Case in point: the Progressive Automotive X-Prize contest was recently announced by the X-Prize Foundation. These are the same guys who paid a rich aerospace designer to put a commercial rocket in space twice within two weeks back in 2004. For that innovation he was awarded $10 million bucks. This time out vehicular visionaries will compete for a $10 million prize to build a practical vehicle capable of getting the equivalent of 100 miles per gallon of gas. Most entrants have been start-up companies whose uber-fuel-efficient prototypes will compete next year in road competitions across four US cities. So far, none of the Big Three has taken the bait although the foundation's chairman said the big automakers could benefit from the competition and could use the knowledge gained as a "beautiful off-balance sheet R&D program." Interestingly, paradigm shifting innovations, such as the ipod, has occurred in past economic downturns; so, we should watch this competition with great expectation.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Worthy Abode


~Hindu Scripture

Of Note: Today Jews are celebrating Birchat Hachamah, Hebrew for "Blessing the Sun." The blessing itself goes like this: "Blessed are You, King of the Universe, who makes the works of creation." It inspires awe at the immensity of it all. Interestingly, today is also the Easter Festival, one of three at the full moons during April, May and June, where Buddha and Christ shower blessings on the world as well. Bestowing blessing is one thing, what is required on this end is a worthy receptacle. When Christ was here last time, He seeded each heart with the Love of the Universe. Humanity is responsible to nurture that seed until it is aflame, and so it will be. In the beginning it was only His One Heart. Then it was three, then twelve. Now no one can escape it--not a Jew, Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist nor any other. Each person carries the Christ seed in his heart. It was this for which He was called Savior. When He comes again, He will have more surprises in store.

Today's Weather Report: A lovely day outside even though it's only 20 degrees Fahrenheit. The sun came up not too long ago and will shine brightly. The aging, though not apparently dying doggy, will most likely bask in it most of the day. Yes, our dog's health has stabilized since last week, and now she only occasionally piddles on the floor. Her blindness is worse. But all these characteristics are no different than a frail elderly person. So, we are all going with the flow and learning in the process. Thanks to Marie we have a colorful spring picture full of vibrant life to accompany our quote of the day.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

The Process of Purification

Whenever doubt arises,
see it simply as an obstacle
recognize it as an understanding
that is calling out to be clarified and unblocked,
and know that it is not a fundamental problem,
but simply a stage in the process of
purification and learning.

~Sogyal Rinpoche

Of Note: Purification by fire is the cleansing method on the path of evolution. Baptism by fire is the beginning of the long trek into the Kingdom of Souls. Many do not begin this journey consciously and wonder why all the conflict, problems and havoc in their lives. Only later do they find out the real reason for the apparent troubles. A Master expects his students to have crisis; if they do not, he asks why not? Comfort is not conducive to growth and can lead to stagnation. Crisis and opportunity are esoteric synonyms leading to renewal before the cycle begins again. In this way, onward and forward we march.

Today's Weather Report: Just a nondescript weather day--must have been in the 30's which is balmy for northern Wisconsin this time of year. Our road is completely dry now, no puddles, and the snow banks are receding quickly even in the woods. Soon the daffodils will be up but they haven't shown their heads yet. We are thankful that Marie took this calming shot at the Dallas Arboretum not too long ago because we won't be seeing any such aquatic activity for some time.

News You Can Use Snippet: Columbia Business School had a workshop last Friday called: "Spotting the Next Madoff: Tips about Non-verbal Tells in Due Diligence and the Psychology of Perceiving Emotions." That was a long-winded way of saying they were teaching folks how to tell liars from non-liars The professors in charge of the forum taught participants how to identify emotions in facial expressions much like the professionals do in the show "Lie To Me." In the who-done-it on TV, the professionals unerringly catch the bad guys by identifying characteristic facial features when asked leading questions, like: "Did you kill your daughter?" Mind you, these facial movements are involuntary and universal so cannot be hidden or even masked. But, nothing is ever simple. One of the underlying themes of the TV program is to illustrate how lying and deception, both for good and bad purposes, are an integral part of our daily lives. Do we really want to know if someone is lying to us? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. Obviously, universities will be teaching future professionals how to catch a liar in the act. If the same thing was taught in elementary school, the human habits of lying and deception would simply fade away. The spiritual value of truth would then have a chance to see the light of day.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Renewal of Inner Strength

When it seems humanly impossible
to do more in a difficult situation,
surrender yourself to the inner silence
and thereafter wait for a sign of obvious guidance
or for a renewal of inner strength.

~Paul Brunton
Meditation for People in Crisis

Of Note: We are all so busy most days that we think busy-ness and the noise that accompanies it are the nature of existence. It might surprise us then to find that just the opposite is true. The Soul lives in silence. And to gain entry into that place we must attune ourselves to it. Only then do the truly inspired thoughts come.

Today's Weather Report: Cloudy and cold. The snow fell for awhile yesterday but left nothing to speak of behind. Those big flakes tend to dissipate pretty quickly when striking the ground. The dying dog is still with us, though she doesn't come upstairs any longer--much to our relief. The cats often sit by her and watch. It is as if they are in watchful waiting as are we. Thanks to Marie we have this inspirational shot taken at the Dallas Arboretum last week. She has many more which will grace these pages in the days to come.

News You Can Use Snippet: The G-20 is meeting in London as we speak. It is causing the usual flurry of protesters who find this a great opportunity to speak out. Ever wonder what states make up this esteemed group? Well, look no further, here is a list of the twenty: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States, plus 2 from the European Union. These countries combined make up 80% of the global economy and 80% of world trade. It is interesting to note that the G-7 (United States, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, with Russia making the G-8) has been relegated to second place in confronting current economic problems worldwide. It would appear that these other countries are finding their voices in what has become an undeniable global market where the flow of money effects all.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Being Gratitude

To speak gratitude is courteous and pleasant.
To enact gratitude is generous and noble.
But to LIVE gratitude is to touch Heaven.

~ Johannes A. Gaertner

Of Note: So, we are courteous and pleasant, generous and noble. That moves us forward on the evolutionary path but doesn't get us there. It is when we turn generosity and gratitude into our whole way of being that we not only touch Heaven but become ONE with it. In that state, we light up like a sun. Think Christ at His ascension or halos around the heads of saints. Actually, we all have latent halos within, and each and every one of us some day in some life will harmonize with the universe. And when that happens, the Heavens rejoice.

Today's Weather Report: It is April 1st and snowing heavily. We seem to always have a snowstorm on or around April 1st for some reason and many times it's not our last. The flakes are lovely and huge like they always are in the spring. The sky is very dark so this may last for awhile. All in all, it's a lovely day in the neighborhood as Mr. Rogers used to sing. The ground can use all the moisture it can get. A few months back, Marie supplied me with several superb sunset shots from a trek to her local lake. This is the last of those but her spring flower pictures are flowing in fast. Hooray!

Watch For Change Snippet: Jehan Sadat, Anwar's widow, has worked tirelessly for peace in the Middle East and is currently a fellow at the Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland. She reminded us in an article she wrote recently that Israel and Egypt have lived side by side in peace for nearly 30 years. Forty years ago, few thought that peace between any Arab nation and Israel was possible. But due to the tireless work of her husband and others, a peace accord was signed. Mrs. Sadat described the scene in the Egyptian Parliament when Anwar declared his intentions to make peace with Israel. His announcement was met first with stunned silence--then clapping. When he arrived 10 days later in Israel, Prime Minister Golda Meier said: "Why are you late? We've been waiting for you."

And from the other side, Anwar is still waiting. Because of this, his committed wife continues their work for all peoples of the Middle East. She emphatically stated: "Peace--this word, this idea, this goal--is the defining theme of my life. I am hoping and praying that President Obama, Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Palistinean leadership will finally fulfill Anwar Sadat's dream of a fair, just and comprehensive peace for all of the people of the Middle East." We could join our electrifying thought-forms to hers and create a halo of light around all the men and women working for peace in that troubled sector. It has been said when like-minded people ask for something with faith in the response, they see it accomplished. There would be no better time than the present to show this dynamic, creative side of ours. After all, it is our destiny.