Please feel free to read this blog and join in. I hope you will write something inspirational, inspiring, spiritual, controversial, amusing, engaging or just plain run of the mill. But please don't be brusque, churlish or licentious.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Are you really and truly a yogi?

Most of us have no problem with the first two steps of loving-kindness meditation but many people refuse or detest even attempting the third step described below in Loving-Kindness part II. The ability to remain relaxed and calm of body and mind while doing the third step is a true test of one's conviction of oneness.

The second sutra of Patanjali's Yoga Sutra(s) says that, "yoga is the ability to master the active mind."

And sutra 1:33 says, "Maintain compassion (karuna) for all people no matter what their conditions and you will have a clear, peaceful and calm mind.

And sutra 1:51 says, "The mind has finally become crystal clear and free from any and all distractions."

If you are die hard liberal try imaging Donald Trump in your mind's eye and cover him with loving-kindness for as long as you can. And if you are a die hard conservative try imaging Nancy Pelosi, Adam Schiff or Chuck Schumer. 

If you are not into politics try imaging a serial killer, child molester, a rapist or someone you cannot stand and give that person loving-kindness for as long as you can. 

While doing the third step notice your internal emotions, reactions and energy. In other words, go inside yourself and become fully aware of your breathing, heart beat, thoughts, body temperature, etc. while you hold the image in your mind's eye. This is a way to study and get to know your self. 

Are you really and truly into oneness and do you really and truly know yourself?  Are you really and truly a yogi?

Saturday, February 15, 2020

Loving-Kindness II

When dealing with loving-kindness one has to have an open mind and an open heart mixed in with some imagination. The imagination part is important because we are dealing with unlimited space and time. In this second part of loving-kindness one must really, really have all three and not let negative emotions take over.

Think of someone you really don't like. Envision what they look like, what they might be wearing and doing right now. Allow the loving kindness to shine down on them. Be content and watch them receive the love and the kindness coming from you.

Now let the light get larger and completely envelop the entire world, giving everyone and everything that powerful light of loving-kindness. By being peaceful, loving and kind to all beings you are giving loving-kindness to yourself as well. You may feel like you are lighter and even glowing with internal light.

Sunday, February 9, 2020


The practice of loving-kindness is a type of thoughtful meditation where loving energy is generated within the body and then distributed outward. This form of meditation is accomplished by having an open mind and an open heart with a little imagination. As the positive energy rises, negative energy will subside. When yo do loving kindness, see if you can feel the flow of energy.

The first thing you want to do is sit as comfortably as you can wherever you may like. Take a few deep, slow breaths to relax. Breathe normally and place your attention on your breathing. Imagine a soft, white light coming down from above enveloping your body giving you more love and kindness than you have ever had. Feel the light and the love and just let it be absorbed into your being while you relax and breathe. You can even close your eyes to increase its effectiveness. Slowly allow the light to enlarge and encompass anybody who happens to be nearby. Let the soft, white loving-kindness fall upon you and the other people. Now think of someone you love very much and envision what they might be doing at this very moment. Allow the loving-kindness to shine down on them giving them all the love and kindness the light has to offer. Sit for a while and just enjoy watching them receive the love.

This is the first half of the practice. We'll cover the second half in the next post. For now, keep practicing this first part until you really, really have it.  

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Manifestations of the Ego

In everyone's heart lays the true nature of the human: love and compassion. When that true nature is suppressed by the ego, negative energy can eat away at the very core of the person, eventually swelling and devouring everything in its path until nothing is left but a creature of despair.

If you have an open mind and are aware enough when the monster arises inside of you, you will be able to recognize it. Your practice will pay off. Simply recognizing this larger than life negative energy will dissolve its power and allow positive energy to flow through you. Love is the purest form of positive energy. Positive energy and negative energy cannot stay in the same body at the same time for very long. Practicing loving-kindness will subdue negative energy every time.

Next, we will take a look at how loving-kindness works. 

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

When the ego gets out of control

When you believe that you are better or even worse than somebody else, then the ego is born. A newborn child does not have an ego because he/she doesn't know it self. The child has no idea who or what it is at the moment of birth. All it knows is something is strange and doesn't seem normal. 

As the child grows and learns it has a name and other people (mother, father, siblings, neighbors) have names too, it begins to develop an ego - a persona. There is nothing wrong with having an ego; we all have one, the problems is when it gets out of control. 

Soon after birth values are developed. Values are what we  consider important and necessary to live a "good" and "normal" life. Someone might consider an intimate relationship better than an acceptance relationship. Someone might consider that being an achiever is better than being competent and so on and so forth. There are thousands of variables when it comes to values and no particular set of values is necessarily better than another set. But the ego may think that there is. 

When the ego gets larger than life it can turn into despair, bigotry, hate, anger, greed, lust, etc. and when it does it often becomes an obsession. This is what we have to be on the lookout for. We must be aware of the ego and its various manifestations. 

Next post we take a look at some of these manifestations and what to do about them.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Overcoming the ego

If you are new to this post and you are interested in understanding yourself, I suggested that you start at the beginning by scrolling way down to the beginning of this discussion to Nov. 19, 2019, Observing Yourself Objectively.  You will have to click on Older Posts at the bottom right on a few of the posts to get there. Also, please feel free to make comments and/or ask questions,  I'll get back to you ASAP.

To overcome the ego doesn't mean getting rid of it; it means to become more than the ego. To be able to observe it, understand it, and not get caught up in it.

Observing the ego is a difficult process because it is an illusion and illusions can change from one form to another in a fraction of a second without realizing it. For example I was talking to a yoga student after class not long ago about how people tend to put labels on things. I mentioned to her that I watched Eckhart Tolle and Oprah Winfrey on their live telecast last night and how Tolle brought up a good suggestion on how to talk to children about the subject of staying in the moment. Tolle gave an example of how one might talk to a child about an oak tree. He said rather than simply telling the child "It is an oak tree," say something like, "It is called an oak tree," and then help the child look at the tree in an appreciative way by observing how the sun shines through the branches onto the leaves, the coolness of the shade it provides, the texture of the bark, and so on. By doing this rather than just putting a label on the tree and letting it go at that, the child can learn to observe and appreciate things for what they truly are. As I was talking to her, I felt truly in the moment, no ego, and no biases. I had no reason to feel better or worse than anybody else - I was just talking to her about the telecast. And then, for some reason, I said "But there really are radicals out there who want to do us harm." And then she said, "Don't you know you just labeled them?" It was truly a humbling experience to realize that I went from being non-biased to being biased with an ego in a mater of a second without realizing it. This is why practicing to observe the self and the ego is so very important. Practice helps us learn how the ego manifests itself and allows us to be on guard for it.

While talking to someone or writing to someone, reflect on what you are saying. How many times do you use the words "I", "me" or "my"; and when you do, is it for the purpose of making yourself look better than someone else? And when you speak about other people, do you have a tendency to make them look better or worse than yourself? This is what is means by observing the ego.

Also, see what happens to your ego once you begin talking less about yourself and saying more positive things about other people. How do you feel when you compliment somebody in their absence to another person? Pause and reflect upon the other person's reaction. Use the pause to your advantage in becoming more attuned to yourself and other people. What happens when you compliment someone personally? Do they smile or frown? How does that make you feel? How do you feel if someone compliments you? If you feel good why not make others feel good too? A compliment is a present that you give someone that doesn't cost anything. Do an experiment - see what you feel when you give the next person you see a compliment. 

In the next post we will investigate what happens when the ego gets out of control.  But for now I urge you to do the experiment.  

Saturday, January 18, 2020

The self and the ego

In the last post I talked about the self, that thing we think who and what we are.  All of our values and feelings born from innate and natural experiences in life. Is that who we are? When someone asks you who you are, how do you answer? 

You developed your own personal mandala in the last post which depicts your values and feelings. Maybe, like me, you value being important, achieving things and being accepted for who you are.  Maybe you like having peace of mind and fear being helpless.  Whatever the case may be, that is not the same thing as the ego.

The ego has everything to do with comparing one's self with others. In order to feel good or bad, as far as an ego is concerned, someone has to be "better" or "worse" than someone else. When we talk about the ego, we are in effect talking about what we believe to be true about our self - our mandala; the self.  Notice I said "what we believe to be true about our self." 

When you believe that you are the self that is when you start having an ego. When you believe that you are your name and everything that does with it you become attached to the self, and the self needs recognition and confirmation from that point on. The ego constantly strives to prove that it is separate from the rest of the world.

In the next post we will take a look at how to overcome the ego.