Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Previous Comments By 'dsdoane'

Wonder of the Universe is Wondering In Us, by Paul Fleischman

FaceBook  On Apr 22, 2017 david doane wrote:

 How else could it be except that our wondering minds are products of the universe?  Everything is part of the universe, including our wondering minds.  When the notion began to sink in for me that all that is is one interconnected interrelated whole, I began to realize that the universe is a wonder and the wonder of the universe is wondering in and through us.  We are the universe in wonder of itself.  It is a wonder to me that I and every living and not living entity exists and is constantly interacting, evolving and expressing in different forms.  What helps me connect with wonder and inquire into it is my awe about it which results in my continuing to expand my awareness about the interconnectedness and unity of the universe.


Touching the Earth, by Tracy Cochran

FaceBook  On Apr 15, 2017 david doane wrote:

To me, touching the earth means staying grounded, present, humble, and not going off into ego-driven grandiose desires and goals.  I experience touching the earth when I stay in the present, responding to what is happening in me, in the other, and in the situation at hand, and staying true to myself.  What helps me remember to be rooted, when I do remember, is trusting the process and not be hypnotized by an ambition or outcome I want to accomplish.  Attachments unroot me.


We Were Made for These Times, by Clarissa Pinkola Estes

FaceBook  On Apr 8, 2017 david doane wrote:

 Rage is rage.  There is no righteous rage, like there is no just war.  I don't think we have been learning, practicing, training for and waiting for this plain of engagement.  We have been living and learning and have whatever skills and wisdom we have to deal with what's happening.  I agree there are a lot of awakened souls that are sea worthy and may hold their own.  I appreciate the author's optimism -- I hope she's right.  Submitting to a voice greater doesn't mean necessarily that we'll mend anything or reach an enduring good or bring justice and peace.  I fully believe that we are to get out into the open sea, and I'm all for standing up on deck and showing one's soul and shining like gold, and doing what is within our reach, all of which is our right and responsibility and may be an act of immense bravery and greatest necessity, and may inspire other souls.  Maybe we will hit critical mass and tip toward enduring good.  I also full believe there is no guaranteed outcome.  We may withstand storms and flourish -- I hope we do.  I also know the ship may sink.  That's not at all reason to despair -- it's simply being realistic.


The Way of the Water, by Ursula LeGuin

FaceBook  On Apr 2, 2017 david doane wrote:

 The way of water means being present, spontaneous, responsive to circumstances, adjusting in every moment, taking the path of least resistance, staying within one's own abilities, doing one's own thing, being nongoal-directed, and being persistent.  This way can wear down obstacles, just as water does, but that's not water's intent or purpose.  I've at times lived some qualities of the way of water, but have never fully lived that way, which is very difficult to accomplish.  What helps me flow like a river is being in the present, focusing on process and not on outcome.  It would be wonderful for us to stop glamorizing the way of the warrior and begin to value the way of water.


We Are Swimming in Miracles, by Peter Kalmus

FaceBook  On Mar 25, 2017 david doane wrote:

 It's said the last one to notice water is a fish.  Like the fish in water, we're swimming in miracles and may take them for granted.  Everything is a miracle.  Creation is a miracle.  Life is a miracle.  Every moment, every breath is a miracle  It's a miracle that the 100 trillion cells of a human body work together simultaneously performing millions of processes each second for decades.  My recognition of this began a long time ago and continues to grow.  Waking up, using my eyes to see and my ears to hear, developing compassion, slowing down, becoming free help me recognize the miracles in every day life.  Recognizing the miracles increases my awe and gratitude.


Returning the Gift, by Robin Wall Kimmerer

FaceBook  On Mar 18, 2017 david doane wrote:

 Gratitude means being thankful for everything including my own existence, based on the realization that this whole interconnected interacting Earth and beyond including my existence is a gift.  Living that awareness is medicine, that is, is wholeness and health for the living Earth and for me.  In becoming aware of that I begin to feel the healing power from gratitude to the living Earth.  I practice gratitude for my immediate small part of the living Earth by taking care of it, not polluting and exploiting and destroying it, and by advocating for environmentally healthy practices and policies on a planet level.


I-It and I-Thou, by David Brooks

FaceBook  On Mar 11, 2017 david doane wrote:

I-it moments are utilitarian, goal- and future-directed.  I-thou moments are purposeless or goal-less and present.  Both kinds of moments are part of life.  In I-thou moments there are two individuals meeting, being open and honest in the moment.  In I-thou moments the individuals are personally present and vulnerable, simply being together.  In I-it moments there is an agenda, some thing or some function is being sought, and I relate to the other as being there to serve a purpose.  I-it moments can be fine when the agenda is out in the open, and are a problem when there is a hidden agenda.  I've had some I-thou moments in which I and another are being soul to soul in a spiritual agape love, and such moments are precious and few, as Sonny Geraci sang.  I-it and I-thou moments are easy to tell apart.  When I'm out to get something from the other I'm in an I-it moment.  When I'm simply meeting and being met, being open in the present and without purpose or agenda, I'm in an I-thou moment.


Moved by Love, by Sri M

FaceBook  On Mar 4, 2017 david doane wrote:

 I believe meeting violent intentions with love is the only way to go, if it results in no violence or in violence, if it results in peaceful resolution or death.  I don't know if I would live up to that belief in a situation of facing violence or death but I hope I would.  Love disarms violence and will prevail, even if injury or death occurs before the love replaces violence.  Love begets love, and eventually love prevails.  Violence begets more violence, and never prevails.  I've learned about violence being diffused by love by what Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King accomplished.  I've seen potential violence dissolve in the presence of acceptance and love.  I've defused potential arguments by being calm and kind rather than fostering argument and violence by hostile reaction.  I don't always stay rooted in love.  What helps me sometimes stay rooted in love is knowing that only love dissipates violence, just as only light dissipates darkness.  It was said in the 60s that dropping bombs for peace is like screwing for virginity.  It just won't ever work.


A Scheme to Change the World?, by Hazrat Inayat Khan

FaceBook  On Feb 25, 2017 david doane wrote:

I don't equate everyone having the same share economically to tuning a piano such that it has only one note.  I equate everyone having the same share economically to everyone having a piano, that is, leveling the playing field so everyone has the same opportunities.  What someone does with their opportunities, such as the music someone creates with their piano, is up to the individual.  Now we have a world of haves and have nots.  Ten percent of people controlling eighty percent of the wealth isn't good economy.  A portion of the world having too much and throwing food away while another portion is starving to death isn't good economy.  The same opportunities available to everyone would be economical, that is, efficient, and would be fair, and would be good will in action and an applied spirituality that would change the world.  The good will of others has been inspiring and infectious for me, resulting in more good will from me.  Knowing good will in and of itself is right sometimes keeps me focused on kind behavior rather than on ramifications or outcome.  Gandhi's famous 'Be the change you want to see in the world' has helped me to at least sometimes do good rather than wait or be concerned about others' reactions.


You Play the Piano, by Alan Watts

FaceBook  On Feb 19, 2017 david doane wrote:

The best and happiest of living is like playing music in a way that is enjoying each note, not playing to get to the end of the piece.  I suppose improvisational music or jamming is the ultimate playing music to enjoy the process of playing.  I remember a book called Finite and Infinite Games, out of which I got that it's important to live life as an infinite game played for the joy of playing, not a finite game played to win.  Life is an infinite game, at least for most creatures except for us screwed up humans.  As an experiential psychotherapist, I have opportunities every day to experience time with others as playing music, responding to what is happening as it happens, being spontaneous, focusing on process and not outcome, operating out of my guts as well as and sometimes more than out of my head.  What helps me avoid living a deferred life plan for future success and enjoy the music is my knowing that happiness is in the way of living, learning to keep process ahead of progress or product, and knowing that life is what happens in between plans.  My happiest times are times I play life rather than work life.


Praise Song for Wide Open Space, by Omid Safi

FaceBook  On Feb 10, 2017 david doane wrote:

I love the wide open spaces.  I just came in from outside looking at the enormous starless sky with a giant full moon -- I felt awe and gratitude.  I spontaneously thanked God.  I remember being in Montana a year or so ago and looking out over an enormous terrain and a big sky that seemed endless (and maybe is), and again felt awe.  In both situations, I forgot about the microdramas of life and appreciated the cosmos and my being part of it.  I felt alive and had a sense of being part of a huge interconnected miracle.  I breathed deep and took it in and didn't want the moment to end.  For me, it was a spiritual moment beyond space and time.  Those kind of glorious experiences of taking in and feeling part of a miraculous cosmos help me remember to be open to more such glorious moments.


Why Meditate, by Suzanne Toro

FaceBook  On Feb 4, 2017 david doane wrote:

Stillness grants the opportunity to be in touch with one's soul, which is the real self.  And since my soul is an extension of God, in being in touch with my soul, I am in union with God.  And since God incarnates into all that is, in stillness I am in union with the cosmos.  My saying that is a ripple effect in part of meditation, which is a ripple effect that I carry with me throughout my living and enhances my living.  The experience of being in touch with my soul and beyond, which occurs in meditation, is sumptuous and has persuaded me to incorporate meditation into my life. 


Letting Meaning Flow Into Purpose, by Brother David Steindl-Rast

FaceBook  On Jan 31, 2017 david doane wrote:

 Actually, Amy, we may never be apart spiritually from others, but bodily is one way we are often apart from others. 


Letting Meaning Flow Into Purpose, by Brother David Steindl-Rast

FaceBook  On Jan 28, 2017 david doane wrote:

As Steindl-Rast says, purposeful and meaningful are different and can be united.  Purposeful means goal-directed, having a goal that I want to accomplish.  Meaningful means something has significance to me.  I can be purposeful about something that is meaningless to me.  Something can be meaningful to me and I do nothing about it.  Meaningful and purposeful are united when I am purposeful or goal-directed about something that is meaningful or significant to me.  I don't know of a personal near death experience, other than everyday living, but my wife was very near death, and my responsiveness was probably greatly selfish as I was sad and scared as I wanted her to continue to be bodily with me, and worried about my being without her.  She lived, is well, and we go on, I am happy to say.  For me, death precipitates thinking about what is meaningful to me, what it is I want to do, and stirs some urgency to be more purposeful about what is meaningful to me as I am more sharply aware that the big death is coming closer every day.


My Misgivings About Advice, by Parker Palmer

FaceBook  On Jan 21, 2017 david doane wrote:

 I think of things like "the nature cure" ie "Why don't you go outside and enjoy the sunshine?" and "self-image sprucing" ie "Why so down on yourself?  You've helped so many people?" as friendly well-intentioned advice and encouragement that  typically are just pablum, minimally nourishing or helpful.  Witnessing as being fully with the other, present, attentive and actively listening, is important for the soul, providing the space to become.  We are born, heal, evolve, grow, transform from inside out.  No one does it to us or for us.  We have the resources within, and witnessing can support and allow the process.  Sometimes witnessing is more than enough, and sometimes additional skillful intervention is very helpful or necessary.  I've seen both situations.  What helps me stay rooted in being a witness in the face of intense suffering is knowing that witnessing in and of itself is powerful medicine, is nurturing and healing, and if more is needed, witnessing can be the container in which additional skillful intervention is tolerable and successful.  Witnessing and the right intervention can be a valuable combination.


Theory and Practice, by Vincent Horn

FaceBook  On Jan 14, 2017 david doane wrote:

A theory is an idea, a possibility, a speculation.  Practice is action.  Theory encourages action to try out or test the theory, and practice provides action to support or dispute the theory.  They work together well.  My theory was that I could play basketball adequately well at 70 -- not as well as at 30, but still well.  Long story short, I got into a basketball game with some guys in their 20s.  After clumsily moving around on the court, missing passes and shots, falling over myself and injuring and probably breaking my big toe which still isn't completely healed after 6 months, data indicated clearly that my theory was inaccurate.  Theory got me out on the court and got me playing.  Practice put the theory to the test and woke me up to the reality that I'm not 30.  I don't know whether my theories are true or false until I take action to test them.  I can hear what others believe or learned, but I don't know for myself until I test the validity of my theories for myself.  There is no teacher like personal experience/practice/action, even, maybe especially, when it hurts.


Shaped by a Silky Attention, by Jane Hirshfield

FaceBook  On Jan 7, 2017 david doane wrote:

Great art comes out of passion -- passion that includes love of and commitment to an endeavor.  Passion that overrides tiredness, pain, and hunger.  Passion that dominates and carries one.  Passion that focuses attention and energy.  Passion that becomes timeless and effortless.  Passion that is beyond the self.  Passion that is a labor of love.  To be taken over by such passion is ecstasy and can be also agony.  It's the best and fullest of living.  As for a personal story, in my early twenties I was unhappy, felt lost, and lacked direction.  I went to a psychotherapist and learned about me and life.  I decided I wanted to become a psychotherapist, threw myself into it and spent the next 40 years in psychotherapy, receiving and providing, learning about people dynamics and growth, learning the craft.  My early unhappiness and confusion became a path toward concentration culminating in my labor of love, psychotherapy.  I got into it big time, am still in it and still excited with it.  Finding my passion, or my bliss as Joseph Campbell would say, turning on to what was alive and fulfilling for me, helped me develop my "true concentration."  


Medicine for the Earth, by Sandra Ingerman

FaceBook  On Jan 2, 2017 david doane wrote:

I very much appreciate Sandra Ingerman's message.  As she says, everything that manifests in the physical world starts in the invisible realm of spirit.  Inside is our being, and outside is our doing.  Doing is an expression of our being.  Real and lasting change in doing is accomplished through change in being.  Substantial change is from inside out.  In learning this, my world view changed.  A major part of the change for me was in regards to responsibility.  I am responsible for my happiness and unhappiness, which are the result of my way of being and not of what befalls me from outside.  I learned if I'm not happy and want to be happy, I need to change me within and not just my outside.  Change in my external behavior may facilitate change within, but it's only when I change from within that I really change.  Knowing that my doing is the manifestation of my inner being helps me be mindful of the being in the doing.


Five Prayers, by Thich Nhat Hanh

FaceBook  On Dec 31, 2016 david doane wrote:

 Thank you, FJ, for sharing that piece of your personal story.  I was touched by what you wrote.  DD


Five Prayers, by Thich Nhat Hanh

FaceBook  On Dec 24, 2016 david doane wrote:

 The five prayers bring up for me that I am not a separate entity but part of a much bigger system.  It is said we stand on the shoulders of all who came before us -- that's true and it's more than that -- we are connected to all who ever lived, are living and will live.  We are all one -- past, present, and future, interrelated, interdependent, interaffecting.  Many prayers have touched me over the years.  Some prayers that touched me years ago no longer touch me as I have changed and grown.  A prayer that touches me very much today is one that I have created and say often.  The 'Five Prayers' of Thich Nhat Hanh touches me deeply.  I think what helps me cultivate gratitude toward all is learning that at a most basic level I and others are one, that we are much more alike than different, that we are in this project, this body, this journey, this cosmos together, that all that is is whole and sacred.  I am grateful to be part of it all.  


Inner World of Moods, by Patty de Llosa

FaceBook  On Dec 19, 2016 david doane wrote:

The author is right.  It is easier to stay out of negative emotions than to get out of them once you are in, or to leave a stream of negative emotion when it's small before it becomes a raging river.  It is possible to leverage your inner world out of its momentary negative hell (which is dis-ease and dis-content) and go to ease and contentment.  I used to be angry and judgmental often, and now I become angry and judgmental much less often, which has occurred by knowing that such negative emotions are not necessary, though I sometimes indulge in them anyway, by being more understanding and compassionate as a result of knowing that everything is temporary and will pass, by learning to be less attached to anything including to what I want, and by learning that we are one.  Reminding myself of those truths helps me exercise the psychic musculature to move away from negative emotions.


How to Live If You're Going to Die, by Blanche Hartman

FaceBook  On Dec 10, 2016 david doane wrote:

 In reading the essay, I thought of Mary Oliver asking in The Summer Day, "What do you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?"  For me, the five daily recollections are true and profound, and I plan to make a copy of them and keep it nearby to reread.  I became aware of death in a personal and intimate way when my father died, when my best friend died instantly and unexpectedly of a brain hemorrhage, when other friends have died, and when relatives have died, each of which deaths shook me to various depths.  The deaths of other people my age heighten my awareness of death.  Reminding myself of the five daily recollections -- that I am growing old, that sickness is part of my life, that I will die (drop this body as I've come to think of it), that everything is temporary, and my actions very much define me -- help me to remember to pay attention to my actions, to love and enjoy, and to not waste any of this precious and brief life.


For the Traveler, by John O'Donohue

FaceBook  On Dec 3, 2016 david doane wrote:

 A journey is sacred that proceeds by following one's inner voice or spirit, that engenders learning, growth, and becoming more whole, and likely takes one where he or she doesn't know he or she is going.  When I do that kind of journeying, mostly for brief durations during some days, I don't have external goals and I block out external distractions which creates a silence to the outside world that helps me hear and be guided by my inside world.  Such journeying is alive for me and helps me be more attentive to my inner self.  Such journeying is its own reward.


Every Piece is Meant For You, by Virgil Kalyana Mittata Iordache

FaceBook  On Nov 26, 2016 david doane wrote:

 Every piece of the whole is important.  I am part of the whole, every part is part of me, so in a sense every piece is meant for me and for the whole.  That we are all one, that the incarnate God is all creation, that all that is is sacred, are pieces that came together and fit together for me, resulting in insights and in me seeing life differently, all of which has been very important for me.  The practice of process not outcome helps me.  That is, I believe my responsibility is to focus on and trust process, engage in action and interaction that is in line with my truth, not try to manipulate or control outcome, and hope for the best.  I believe the practice of living process not outcome increases the chance that things will work out as I wish in the end, but I don't know.  We never know.  I trust the end will occur and it will be what it will be.


Love Needs to be Constantly Cleansed, by Ajahn Jayasaro

FaceBook  On Nov 19, 2016 david doane wrote:

Emotions like worry and jealously aren't proof of love but are likely to be evidence of insecurity, control, and possessiveness.  Love is positive for the lover and for the one loved, and trying to control and possess is not positive for either.  Healthy love sets you free, not binds you down.  Healthy love involves intimacy that allows freedom, individuality, and growth.  I've had experiences of wanting to possess who I loved, and it didn't work -- that kind of love hurt the relationship rather than nurture it.  Unfortunately I didn't become aware of the need to cleanse the way I was loving until far into the relationship and much damage had already been done.  Such painful experiences have resulted in my being aware of the need to cleanse my love.  As the saying goes, good judgment comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgment.


Restoring Balance and Meaning in Ourselves, by Alan Briskin

FaceBook  On Nov 13, 2016 david doane wrote:

I think of us as participating in the meaning of life, not as translating meaning into life.  The meaning of life is whatever it is.  Our translating meaning into life is our interpretation.  We can be in harmony with our selves which puts us in harmony with Nature though not necessarily in harmony with the outer world of people and activities around us.  When in harmony with Nature, we are in harmony with the meaning of life.  In becoming more accepting and valuing of my real self, I allowed more synchronicity with my self and became more in balance with my self which resulted in others becoming more accepting and valuing of me -- what a coincidence.  What helps me stay focused on inner balance is knowing that my real self is my essence and foundation that I need to stay faithful to even when noticing disharmony in the outer world.  I've learned that faithfulness to my inner self is primary and independent of the outer world and keeps me in balance with my inner self. 


Why I Make Movies, by Mickey Lemle

FaceBook  On Nov 5, 2016 david doane wrote:

Picasso supposedly said, "Art is a lie that tells the truth."  And Marcus Borg's statement that "The bible is true and some of it actually happened."  For me, I have my truth, which is relative truth, and don't know absolute truth -- maybe my relative truth coincides with absolute truth a little or a lot, but who knows.  I like the author's comment that half the time in a movie the screen is actually black.  The honest witness deep inside me tingled when I realized I had a right to express my truth, and when I realized that I have some power, and when I realized I'm loveable, and when I began appreciating us human beings as being manifestations in form of One Sacred Source and we are all one.  Those realizations had deep internal reverberations for me.  Manipulating reality and accepting reality are both part of living.  Some reality can be manipulated beneficially, such as a field can be tilled and a broken bone can be put back in place, and when it is done above board and honestly, not out of a hidden agenda or deceit, it is a positive action.  I also think there is reality to accept, such as that my feelings and behavior are mine and my responsibility, no one else's -- that is reality as far as I know -- and to accept it saves a lot of trouble, and to manipulate it creates a lot of problems.


The Glass is Already Broken, by Stephen and Ondrea Levine

FaceBook  On Oct 29, 2016 david doane wrote:

I don't like the notion of living as though we were already dead.  We aren't dead.  We are living and dying at the same time.  Living and dying aren't dead.  Living and dying are the life we have.  I appreciate the impermanence of all that is, which means everything is always changing and nothing lasts, but impermanence doesn't mean we are already dead.  I don' live as though already dead.  I like to live alive.  Seeing life for how it is helps me see the impermanence of things.  Awareness that change is constant doesn't  result in indifference but results in passion for living.  I believe we are to live alive, with awareness that nothing is permanent and we are living and dying simultaneously which results in neither attachment to nor squandering of what is but in being present to and with what is.


Three Millimeters of the Universe, by Daniel Gottlieb

FaceBook  On Oct 22, 2016 david doane wrote:

My three millimeters is the little bit that I occupy in time and space.  On the one hand it seem insignificant.  On the other hand, my three millimeters affects all the other millimeters in the universe in either a positive or negative way.  The universe is different based on my care for the three millimeters entrusted to me.  When I became truly aware that all that is is one,that I am part of the all that is, and when I learned a little about karma, my way of looking at the universe and others changed.  In a word, I became more compassionate.  What helps me to stay rooted in caring for my three millimeters is awareness that we are all in this together and what I do affects all.  


Destiny is Within Us, by Hawah Kasat

FaceBook  On Oct 16, 2016 david doane wrote:

The word destiny means a predetermined fate or outcome, and I don't believe any of us have predetermined fate.  We are here to grow and blossom, which is a quality of human being, not a predetermined outcome.  External circumstances are real and contribute to the outcome of my life, but don't make me the person I am or will be.  I also believe good and bad fortune happens to each of us, the evolution of which is karmic and usually too complex to understand, and I don't think of that as destiny or predetermined fate either.  My response to external circumstances is my choice, and my choices author and create the person I am and will be.  I've known that for a long time.  We live in an age of blaming and not taking responsibility, and we frequently use external circumstances to blame and not take responsibility.  My personal mantra is process, not outcome, which supports keeping my awareness on my process and on the choices I am making.


Destiny is Within Us, by Hawah Kasat

FaceBook  On Oct 16, 2016 david doane wrote:

The word destiny means a predetermined fate or outcome, and I don't believe any of us have predetermined fate.  We are here to grow and blossom, which is a quality of human being, not a predetermined outcome.  External circumstances are real and contribute to the outcome of my life, but don't make me the person I am or will be.  I also believe good and bad fortune happens to each of us, the evolution of which is karmic and usually too complex to understand, and I don't think of that as destiny or predetermined fate either.  My response to external circumstances is my choice, and my choices author and create the person I am and will be.  I've known that for a long time.  We live in an age of blaming and not taking responsibility, and we frequently use external circumstances to blame and not take responsibility.  My personal mantra is process, not outcome, which supports keeping my awareness on my process and on the choices I am making.


Reengineeing Our Patterns, by Eknath Easwaran

FaceBook  On Oct 8, 2016 david doane wrote:

For me, a spiritual path entails remaining aware that all is one and sacred and my activities are part of that big picture.  I can get so busy and stressed that I forget that.  Being selective and prioritizing regarding activities reduces the number of activities and allows me to slow me down, be in the present, and maintain awareness of the big picture.  That sounds good -- I ought to do it more often.  Taking time most every morning to physically stretch and exercise and to meditate, even when I have many activities to do and many things on my mind, is my reengineering my pattern to take time for me physically and spiritually and start the day with awareness of the big spiritual picture.  The unnecessary is always intruding, and being in the present including meditation helps me to let go of the unnecessary and focus on the essential.


Becoming Free of Our Substitute Life, by Ezra Bayda

FaceBook  On Oct 3, 2016 david doane wrote:

A substitute  is a stand in that serves in place of the real thing.  Personally, it's an act or role that I put on that is other than the real me, expresses something other than my truth.  A person does this out of the belief that the substitute will make a better impression or be better liked or will get further ahead or will get a particular outcome or will be safe, etc.  Attachment to these beliefs is small because it means to trust and accept and value a false self, an imitation, more than the real self.  I started becoming aware of such attachments long ago and am still in the process of letting go of them and expressing and living my real self.  What helps me avoid an escape strategy is trusting my truth, trusting what I am experiencing, and reminding myself that honesty is the best policy and the truth will set me free.  Good experiences including a sense of satisfaction when I am real help me to avoid escaping to a substitute. 


What is Meditation?, by Vimala Thakar

FaceBook  On Sep 25, 2016 david doane wrote:

The awareness of which the author writes I think of as mindfulness.  For me, mindfulness is a detached observance of feelings and actions as they are occurring while I am involved in a situation.  Mindfulness is a kind of being in the world but not of it.  I think of meditation as my stopping or at least slowing down my mental activity by being silently aware of my internal experience in the moment as it/I am happening, holding on to nothing.  I think of meditation as silent internal awareness, and mindfulness as silent observing of my external behavior.  Both ultimately result in more freedom.  For me, in awareness or mindfulness I am observing my behavior and reactions, and my being detached gives me the freedom to make choices about if and how I will behavior including if and how I express my internal reaction.   A personal example is when I have felt angry, in being aware or mindful of that reaction I can choose to not express it in any conscious way.  Meditation  has helped me be less angry and more compassionate overall.  The practice of meditation has helped me bring mindfulness to the vast field of consciousness.  (I assume you mean "field of consciousness" and not "fiend of consciousness," which is an interesting slip.


Trees are Sanctuaries, by Herman Hesse

FaceBook  On Sep 18, 2016 david doane wrote:

Trees are wiser than we are in that they are what they are, without wavering or thinking about it.  We are to be like trees, that is, not listen to others and not be distracted by anything but listen to ourselves and become all that we are.  I've become deeply aware of the sacredness of all of nature, and that includes trees.  Trees seem to be better at becoming what they are than we humans are at becoming what we are.  Trees seem to not worry or complain or try.  They are in the present, they unselfconsciously respond to what's happening, they become.  I don't listen to trees nearly as often or as attentively as I could and as would be good for me.  Hesse's essay and this reflection remind me to listen to trees and all of nature more closely. 


Right Away is the Opposite of Now, by Jacob Needleman

FaceBook  On Sep 9, 2016 david doane wrote:

'Right away' is rushing to get tasks done, frenetically being goal-directed and in the future, frenetically doing.   Being now is truly being in the present, goal-lessly and purposelessly, aware of and alive in the dynamic present.  They are two different states of being.  I am often aware of a need to be present and have times of being very fully present, but such times are seldom pure and are brief.  I have protected myself only partially from turning into a hungry ghost.  Awareness of now certainly helps.  I'm not fully hungry ghost and not fully now.  Hungry ghost and now are two ends of a continuum.  Sometimes I'm at one extreme or the other, and usually I'm a mix of the two, somewhere left or right of center.  Often, like right now, I'm preoccupied with 'right away' with some awareness of now while being to some degree hungry ghost, and sometimes I take a break from right away and settle into being present and being very fully human.  Being now is certainly more alive and fulfilling.  I ongoingly move along the continuum.


Simplicity of the Heart, by J. Krishnamurti

FaceBook  On Sep 5, 2016 david doane wrote:

I think in this passage reality is the Ground of Being, and reality is unattainable through goal-directed behavior, whatever that may be.  Goal directed behavior is a means to an end, and being attached to goal directed behavior gets in the way of pure being which unites us with the reality of the Ground of Being.  Reality is attainable in being purposeless in the moment.  I guess the closest I've come to simplicity beyond all inner and outer desires has been in moments of intimacy with nature or with another and in moments of meditation.  Attachment to desire is attachment.  'Reality' is attainable by letting go of desire and simply being.  As I see it, that is what the teachings that focus on being teach.  To attain 'reality' we must purposelessly be what the teachings are about and not be attached to any means.


Taking a Stand, by Lynne Twist

FaceBook  On Aug 26, 2016 david doane wrote:

Taking a stand means to firmly assert in words and/or action a position.  We are often taking a stand on small matters.  I recently took a stand on a major issue and I did it with trepidation as to the response I will get.  I wrote a couple page statement about an issue about which I have strong feeling, and for me it took courage.  I expect some agreement and a good deal of disagreement.  I debated with myself whether to do it, I even lost some sleep over it, and I did it.  My action is so new that I haven't yet received any response, but it will come.  What helped me find the courage to take the stand was my strong belief in my position, my belief that it's important that it be said, my wanting the issue to be more out there to be thought and talked about, my knowing that my position is my truth and I have a responsibility to express it, and knowing that my regret for not taking a stand would trouble me more than taking the stand. 


Accessing Desire As Loving Motivation, by Miki Kashtan

FaceBook  On Aug 19, 2016 david doane wrote:

It's hard for me to believe that the interaction between Inbal and her son happened, especially since he was only 3 1/2 yrs old, but I want to believe it and certainly believe it is possible.  It is so different than the kind of interacting that goes on in our violent and coercive society.  Coercion means forced, and should means obligation, both of which mean absence of free choice.  I do believe absence of coercion and should thinking provides a context for cultivating genuine desire to care for one another.  Absence of coercion and should thinking opens me to consider what I want and what is best for all involved.  It's been a long time ago that I shifted away from 'I should' thinking and moved to focus on what I am thinking, feeling, wanting, willing, choosing, refusing.  I think of 'should' thinking as a way of telling myself I'm not free, I'm powerless, and that's toxic, so I've pretty much given it up.  Instead of I 'should' get up, go to work, call my mother, pay my taxes, etc, I get up, go to work, call my mother, pay my taxes, etc.  Inserting 'should' is self-diminishing.  Knowing that we are one serves as a loving motivation t do what is best for all.  


My Work is Loving the World, by Mary Oliver

FaceBook  On Aug 14, 2016 david doane wrote:

Our work, responsibility, and privilege is to love the world.  Our world is Mother Earth, and we are of it.  What we do to it we do to ourselves.  We pollute it, exploit it, disease it, kill it, and we pollute, exploit, disease, and kill ourselves.  We take care of it, enjoy it, embrace it, love it, and we take care of, enjoy, embrace, and love ourselves.  Just a few days ago I saw the most beautiful sunset and sky I have ever seen.  In that experience, what mattered most was to stand still, be in the moment, and be astonished.  In and through such experiences I learn to be astonished.  The practice that helps me develop gratitude for my life is being aware that I am alive at this time in this body, reminding myself that I am part of all that is, reminding myself that all that is is sacred, and letting that awareness sink in.  With that practice, gratitude comes easily.


Reflections on Life from Death Row, by Moyo

FaceBook  On Aug 7, 2016 d wrote:

The prison cell of each of us is very different than that of the author, and I wouldn't want to trade places with him -- we are each in our own self created prison cell to find freedom in and become free of.  We each have a purpose which is to become all that we can become and be of help to others doing the same.  I think the author is growing and sharing, so he has that purpose and worth, which are important.  We can stay open by knowing that we are in this world but not of it. I at least sometimes stay open to the present moment with its potential and stay aware of my inner truth while at the same time dealing with the reality of this world.  I often feel in two worlds at once.  Somewhere along the way I learned that there is the inner world of my present experience and the outer world of situations.  My being aware of being in the world and not of it and living from that awareness helps me develop the ability to do it more.  Thank you, author, for your words of wisdom.


Stepping into the Present Is a Gift , by Carolyn Hobbs

FaceBook  On Jul 31, 2016 david doane wrote:

I like the line that ego has a phobia about the present, and I agree.  And I agree that ego's job is to keep us safe, though it often peddles an illusion of safety, steers us wrong, working to keep itself safe rather than do what is really best for us.  Ego is the connection between unconscious and conscious, between instinct and reason.  It can serve as a navigator in the world.  The ego has some power, and power often corrupts.  Just as power goes to some peoples' heads, the ego easily goes overboard with its own power and operates as though the person works for it rather than it works for the person.  Ego often becomes out of control.  There have been times that I have related from my heart, related simply, honestly, and openly, and ignored my ego's warnings that I'll look foolish or be embarrassed or be hurt, and such relating has been my happiest.  For me, learning to be in the present began in psychotherapy and many psychotherapy related experiences, and now being in the present is its own reward.  I've become more aware of the present and am quicker to go back to the present when I get away from it.


Blessings for Earth-Healers, by Starhawk

FaceBook  On Jul 23, 2016 david doane wrote:

To heal means to become whole.  We all need healing.  No one is fully healed or whole, including healers of the earth.  A small way in which I am a healer of the earth is by recycling, not littering and in picking up litter particularly on the road by my house.  What helps me feel gratitude for healers of the earth is knowing that we are all part of the earth, what we do to the earth we do to ourselves, the earth is ours to enjoy and take care of and not exploit and destroy, all of which healers of the earth support.


With Fullness in Life, Everything is Possible, by Facundo Cabral

FaceBook  On Jul 18, 2016 david doane wrote:

I think of losing something as losing track of something, not knowing where it is, being deprived of something by my own doing or someone else's doing.  Something may still be mine although I've lost track of it.  Losing something in that sense is possible.  That something was given to me doesn't mean I can't lose it.  In this world, just because I didn't make something doesn't mean I can't own it.  Second, I as well as all of us have done things for love and not obligation.  I'm writing this paragraph for love of expressing myself and not out of obligation.  I spend time with many people for love instead of obligation, at least most of the time.  I go to most happenings out of love, not obligation.  Third, as I think of it, at least a lot of depression is pressing down or denying my wants and real self instead of expressing and living my wants and real self.  Distraction is a way of losing track of self, getting away from self, and is depressing.  Having experienced depression as a result of distraction from my real self and seen others depressed as a result of getting away from real self helps me stay aware that distraction can be depressing.  I also know that distraction doesn't equal depression.  There is distraction that is not depression, and depression that is not distraction. 


The Power Paradox, by Dacher Keltner

FaceBook  On Jul 9, 2016 david doane wrote:

We each have our personal power that we bring to a relationship, and it is at least part of the medium through which we relate to one another.   Owning my personal power makes it easier for the other to own his or her personal power.  I can't make anyone do anything -- I can make it more or less difficult for the other to express or do whatever.  Power isn't given to us by others.  My power is mine; each person's power is their own.  It's my birthright to own my power.  I don't need to grab my power -- it's simply mine to accept or reject.  Satisfaction that I feel from using my power to be of service has helped me view power from a service perspective, and dissatisfaction from using my power in a manipulative, dishonest, coercive way has helped me reject a Machiavellian perspective.


Giving Up is Different From Letting Someone Down, by Brother David Steindl-Rast

FaceBook  On Jul 2, 2016 david doane wrote:

To mother is to nurture and foster the other's growth.  It's doing what is best for the other, not what is easiest or most convenient for the mother.  It's not selfish, it's not possessive, it's not controlling.  When being a healthy mother -- be it as a parent, teacher, friend, neighbor -- I encourage the other to become their own self, do their thing, develop their own interest and talent.  When I do that, I don't try to get them to be or do what I want.  They aren't me.  I give up the illusion that they are me.  I let go of trying to own them.  In so doing, I'm not letting the other down, I'm encouraging their getting up.  Leisure is time during which I let go of being goal-directed, let go of have to and should, and follow my interest and my heart.  In leisure I am free, true to me, doing what is good and healthy for me, becoming whole and holy.  Practicing such leisure helps me to experience leisure as a virtue and a privilege.


Keeping Nothing Between, by Eugene Gendlin

FaceBook  On Jun 25, 2016 david doane wrote:

 "Keeping nothing between" is simple and basic and we make it so difficult.  It means to keep the line of connection between me and another clear and open, free of obstructions such as thinking, expectations, prejudices, preconceptions, predictions, objectives, preoccupations.  Such obstructions get in between two people and interfere with connecting.  When nothing is between, we can meet, person to person.  Actually, I strive to keep nothing between, and am usually successful for a few seconds at a time before some obstruction slips in and I find myself talking to my thinking or expectations or some form of obstruction instead of connecting with the other.  Then I catch myself and have a few more seconds of nothing between before I again allow something between.  Being present, paying attention, being aware and mindful help me keep nothing between.


How Is Your Heart Doing?, by Omid Safi

FaceBook  On Jun 21, 2016 david doane wrote:

I love the question "How is your heart at this very moment, at this breath?"  That is so personal, so present.  That's so different than, "How's it going? or "Hey" or whatever other   When I share the state of my heart, I am open -- it sometimes feels risky, it often elicits a personal response from the other.  That kind of interaction is intimate and is what is most worthwhile in living.  The practice of examining the dark corners of my soul and being with another who is doing the same helps me to want it and do it all the more.  The author says he doesn't have a magical solution for our busy,doing, heart avoiding culture.  The solution is in sharing "How is your heart at this moment, at this breath?"  


That Friend Walking Behind Me, by Parker Palmer

FaceBook  On Jun 14, 2016 david doane wrote:

True self is authentic me, is my truth, my foundation.  True self is my friend, though I don't always treat my true self like a friend and sometimes ignore or reject my true self.  Sometimes my true self scares me because I think if I accept and identify with my true self I won't fit in, I'll be rejected or worse.  When I feel the presence of my true self, my friend, and listen to the perspective and truth of my true self, and express my true self, I am true to my true self, I feel good about doing that, and more often than not find that my true self is valued by others.  Such experiences help me have the courage to connect with my true self more often. 


Planetary Beings with Planetary Hearts, by Clare Dakin

FaceBook  On Jun 7, 2016 david doane wrote:

My association to "liquid fire" is my feeling passionately about something to the extent that I am compelled to speak out about it no matter what others may say or think.  Connecting to that liquid fire comes easy for me -- what is difficult is garnering the courage to stand up for what I see and believe.  When I have, I have felt good about myself.  When I haven't, I feel a deep regret that stays with me for a long time.  I think of Margaret Mead saying "Never forget that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world.  Indeed it is the only thing that ever has."  And Abbie Hoffman saying there is no such thing as an innocent bystander -- if you are a bystander, you're not innocent.  My calling forth my liquid fire is fostered by reminding myself that I have a right and responsibility to express my viewpoint, my truth.  


Creative Living, by Elizabeth Gilbert

FaceBook  On May 28, 2016 david doane wrote:

Creative living means spontaneity and improvisation.  It means having no plan, no predetermined goal or outcome, and instead being in the present, responsive to what is happening within and without moment by moment.  It means being out of my head, especially my left brain, and operating out of my guts and right brain.  It means mining the buried treasure within and bringing it to the surface.  It means being alive.  During the moments of living that way, I am light, joyous and creative, and it's wonderful.  What initially helped me tap into creative living, other than the first year or so of life when I suppose we're all that way, was being with someone who was living creatively.  That was inspiring.  The experience lit my pilot light, which has at times been neglected but never gone out, and I sometimes turn on and allow the pilot to become a full flame.  Doing it helps me do it more often. 


Creative Living, by Elizabeth Gilbert

FaceBook  On May 28, 2016 david doane wrote:

Creative living means spontaneity and improvisation.  It means having no plan, no predetermined goal or outcome, and instead being in the present, responsive to what is happening within and without moment by moment.  It means being out of my head, especially my left brain, and operating out of my guts and right brain.  It means mining the buried treasure within and bringing it to the surface.  It means being alive.  During the moments of living that way, I am light, joyous and creative, and it's wonderful.  What initially helped me tap into creative living, other than the first year or so of life when I suppose we're all that way, was being with someone who was living creatively.  That was inspiring.  The experience lit my pilot light, which has at times been neglected but never gone out, and I sometimes turn on and allow the pilot to become a full flame.  Doing it helps me do it more often. 


Learning Not to Be Afraid of Things That Are Real, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

FaceBook  On May 22, 2016 david doane wrote:

In this life, all that is is temporary, constantly changing, and uncertain; we are different yet one; we are of this planet and not on it.  A big part of becoming real is to learn and accept those facts of life and live accordingly.  Real people don't fight, deny, or ignore the facts.  Real people may not be in harmony with everyone but are in harmony with life.  Real people see what is rather than seeing their own thinking, expectations, prejudices.  I am able to get in touch with what is real for me when I look inside to my own feelings, my own experience, my own intuition, and not just go along with what is said to be real.  What I am seeing or feeling is my truth.  What helps me is to accept and value my truth.  What also helps me is to be open, express my truth and listen to the response of others, which process modifies my position and I learn and grow.


The Value of Solitude, by William Deresiewicz

FaceBook  On May 14, 2016 david doane wrote:

I think there is a lot of truth in Pascal's statement that "All men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone."  Alone is a basic condition of being human.  We can run from it, but ultimately we are each alone, even while we are in community.  I can be alone in solitude, which I think is important because it's time with myself to be quiet, reflect, regroup, and get to know me better.  As the author said, solitude enables us to secure the integrity of the self as well as to explore it.  I take at least an hour and a half alone almost every morning to exercise, meditate, maybe read or write a little, and I love that time -- it's nourishing for me.  I can also enjoy community where relationship, different perspectives, agreement and disagreement are available.  I have a need for both solitude and community, though my need for community seems less than my need for solitude.  Solitude-community is one of those dialectics we live in the tension of.  After enough solitude I gravitate toward community, and after a dose of community I move back to solitude.  Solitude and community stimulate one another and I grow in the back and forth. 


Rediscovering the Art of Reverence, by John O'Donohue

FaceBook  On May 9, 2016 david doane wrote:

Reverence means being respectful of everyone and everything based on awareness that all is one and all is sacred.  I have deep reverence in my heart when I can look across the chasm of otherness, as Jean Houston says, and see oneness and sacredness.  In such times of reverence I care about and honor the other.  Another aspect of reverence is openness to who the other is and to what the other has to say -- truly honoring the other.  Reminding myself that we are expressions of the One and Sacred helps me live with reverence.  Living with reverence results in my living more happily and healthily.


Pronounce a Silent Blessing, by Barbara Brown Taylor

FaceBook  On May 1, 2016 david doane wrote:

We sometimes forget that all that is is sacred.  I believe that to bless is to remind ourselves that whatever is being blessed is sacred, that is, is an expression of God or Source.  In blessing the other, I acknowledge that the other is an expression of the Divine, just as I am, and that the other and I are one in Unity.  And blessing gives me an opportunity to be grateful to be part of Oneness and Sacredness that we are all part of.  My coming to awareness of this has gotten me to think and talk as I am and has given my life more meaning.


Renewability Makes Something Valuable, by Martin Prechtel

FaceBook  On Apr 25, 2016 david doane wrote:

 Kristin -- Your statement is inspiring.  Thank you.  Dave


Renewability Makes Something Valuable, by Martin Prechtel

FaceBook  On Apr 25, 2016 david doane wrote:

Renewability is valuable.  And that's fortunate since that's what we've got -- nothing stays the same, everything changes and renews, and everything provides opportunity for renewal.  How horrible it would be if everything was forever stagnant -- maybe that's hell.  Working together, relating, bonding are benefits of the process of renewal.  I think cultures that work together in building and renewing experience renewal of their own selves and of their community, and I think that is a great gain.  My partner and I bought an old house once upon a time and built and renewed it into our office space, and in the process further built and bonded our relationship, in addition to a very alive office, and I look back on the experience with very much fondness.  What has helped me to value impermanence is knowing with an ever deepening awareness that everything and everybody is impermanent, impermanence makes for renewal, and I trust and value the process.  Getting old helps. 


Relationships Make You Conscious, Not Happy, by Eckhart Tolle

FaceBook  On Apr 18, 2016 david doane wrote:

I appreciate the gentle wisdom of this article.  I believe that we do wake up, become more conscious, through relationship, which results in happiness from within.  We are related, and in relationship we have the ongoing opportunity to transform.  I used to be more angry, negative, defensive, critical than I am now, and my being in relationship with my wife who is positive, accepting, patient, encouraging has very much helped me become more aware of how I was and become more soft, less angry, more positive, and more kind.  I was held in loving embrace, and my becoming more conscious and growing occurred and is occurring over many years -- I'm a slow learner.  Knowing what happens for me, remembering that I can learn and change, helps me to grow in awareness and helps me to be more compassionate toward myself, and knowing that others are (like) me I am also more compassionate with others.


Reverence Protects Life, by Gary Zukav

FaceBook  On Apr 12, 2016 david doane wrote:

Reverence is deep respect.  The greeting of Namaste expresses respect and honor of the divine in the other.  If there is no respect of the sacred in others and in all that is, power of whatever kind can easily result in harming and exploiting others and our world, as it has.  When I think of a time of feeling reverence while being unempowered, I think of childhood when I had reverence for my parents while not liking some things they were doing, and had very little power as a kid to do anything about it.  So, I just held it all in and lived with it, painfully.  I lost some reverence for life and the sacred in my middle years, and then learned or relearned reverence for others and for out planet since then.  Many life experiences have helped me grow reverence.  One experience in particular is the influence of Eastern unitive thinking including Buddhist thought.  My awareness that you and I and all that is is One and is Sacred keeps growing and has helped me to grow in compassion and maintain reverence for all that is, living and nonliving.


Vulnerability is the Path, by Brene Brown

FaceBook  On Apr 4, 2016 david doane wrote:

The author says to feel is to be vulnerable.  I believe that to be is to be vulnerable.  Everything, living and not living, is vulnerable, that is, hurtable, woundable, damageable.  To be human is to not only to be vulnerable but also to feel vulnerable.  In addition to humans, much that is living -- I'm not sure if all that is living -- feels vulnerable.  Spirituality involves becoming more whole, more of who and what I am, and becoming more whole involves being and allowing and  risking vulnerability.  Being closed up and trying to prevent vulnerability gets in the way of my becoming more whole and thus gets in the way of my spirituality.  Much that I have learned about myself has come as a result of being vulnerable.  Some important learnings about myself that came from allowing myself to be vulnerable are that I am more okay, more  powerful, more loveable than I believed.  What helps me to allow myself to engage with vulnerability is knowing that I am vulnerable, knowing that there are growth and spiritual benefits from allowing vulnerability, knowing that to fight vulnerability is to fight life, knowing that being vulnerable helps me to connect with myself and others.


The Oppressor and the Oppressed Must Both be Liberated, by Nelson Mandela

FaceBook  On Mar 27, 2016 david doane wrote:

I agree with Nelson Mandela that the oppressor is a prisoner just as much as the oppressed.  I believe the arrangement is like a teeter-totter where it takes two to keep it going.  I've been with couples in abusive relationships and see both parties as oppressed and both parties as keeping it going, even though one is called victim and gets all the sympathy and the other is called violent and perpetrator and is condemned.  I have felt connected to and sympathetic with both parties, and have made an effort to get them both to get off their teeter-totter and develop a different arrangement.  Some do and some don't.  What helps me live a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others is reminding myself that we are one -- I look across the divide of me and them and see me -- we have had different circumstances, but we are basically alike, and with kindness and compassion we could get back to realizing that.  I believe we are born loving, we learn to hate, and we can relearn loving. 


What We Need Is Here, by Wendell Berry

FaceBook  On Mar 20, 2016 david doane wrote:

Past and future are imagination.  Only the present is alive.  Living and dying are happening right now, and what I need is here and now.  The challenge is to be present, be responsive here and now to myself, to those I am relating to, and to the world I'm in.  The only time I've come in touch with my truest reality is through being present to what was in me, in front of me, and around me, sharing and operating out of what I am experiencing.  When I've done that in relating to others, the experience is rich.  I develop the eyes to see the deepest reality by practicing being present.  Spending time with someone who is good at being in the present was of great help to me in developing the eyes to see deeper..


Three Kinds of Laziness, by Tenzin Palmo

FaceBook  On Mar 13, 2016 david doane wrote:

Not finding space for stillness is escape from finding what is most important, that is, the real self, the soul.  In stillness we can also connect with the Soul or Oneness of all that is, which flows into compassion and peace that we so desperately need in this world.  It all starts with finding space for stillness.  Pascal said, "All of man's troubles stem from his inability to sit quietly in a room alone."  I frequently feel the need to just be, and frequently ignore that need as I am busy with some sort of doing, though I learned long ago that being is becoming, and doing is a way to avoid being.  Some doing is worthwhile -- the challenge is to avoid doing that avoids being.  Practices that help me become genuinely centered are meditation, being present and noticing what I am feeling in the moment, and paying attention to the process of my living rather than to progress or outcome.


The Capacity for Successful Solitude, by Sherry Turkle

FaceBook  On Mar 5, 2016 david doane wrote:

Successful solitude means being able to be content and at peace while alone with myself.  Being able to be happily alone is a prerequisite for successful relationship.  When I can be happily alone and secure with myself, I am free to be happily alone with another, being me while relating to the other for who he or she is and not, as the author says, "using other people as spare parts" to buttress myself.  I have had experiences of successful solitude with another, and they are times of love -- not romantic love, but times of I being I with he or she being he or she.  Those are times of independence and togetherness, successful solitude with successful relationship.  What has helped me develop a successful solitude is time with myself, growth in knowing self, in valuing and liking myself, and in becoming secure with myself.  What has helped me is being in relationships with others who possessed successful solitude while with me which encouraged me to develop successful solitude for myself while with them.


The Day I Learned The Value of a Smile, by Maya Angelou

FaceBook  On Feb 28, 2016 david doane wrote:

Smiling is an important giving.  Others are more likely to feel happy, warm, welcome, relaxed, safe when greeted with a smile.  The good feeling in response to a smile may last only a short time, or it may stay with the person for a long time.  It may result in the person smiling or being more cheerful to the next person, so the smile becomes a gift that keeps on giving.  What I feel seems to readily show on my face, be it sadness, depression, irritation, anger, happiness, excitement.  I've had many experiences of someone responding positively to my smiling, including to smile back.  Life is difficult, and a smile can be a dose of free medicine to provide a bit of relief or make a big difference.  You never know.  Smiling is its own reward, and the practice of smiling fosters my giving more smiles and other kindnesses.


Beauty of the Mosaic, by Rosalina Chai

FaceBook  On Feb 22, 2016 david doane wrote:

Each of us is broken and has healing to do  That is the human condition.  Collectively we are interrelated, we interbe.  That is also what it is to be human.  We are broken together.  When I hold the awareness that we broken individuals are one and beautiful, I see that the broken collective mosaic is one and beautiful.  Someone said we can be stronger at the places that we are broken -- we can also be beautiful in the ways we are broken.  What helps me find the light shining through the space between the shards is reminding myself that as individuals and collectively we are intricate, fragile, and beautiful, just like a mosaic, and keeping my eyes open to see what is rather than see my prejudices and  expectations.


The Delight in Exploring Inner Territory, by Vimala Thakar

FaceBook  On Feb 13, 2016 david doane wrote:

Observing 'anger in ourselves from subtle beginnings to full explosions' means being mindful of the very beginning of anger and observing it through to its becoming full explosion.  I'm sure there aren't many people who do that -- it seems to me to be a sophisticated level of observation.  I was well into middle age before I began to do such observing.  The value of doing such observing is to be in control of the experience and what I do with it rather than it being in control of me and automatically moving into harmful behavior.  I can now sometimes notice the beginning of an emotion and make some decisions about what I want to do with it and how I want to express it -- I have and use it rather than it have and use me.  I value when I do that.  It costs me some spontaneity in the service of choosing my response, which I prefer in many situations.  The practice of being present and paying attention to process as it occurs helps me develop such attentiveness, and constructive results help me delight in it.


Presence: The Quality of Consciously Being Here, by Kabir Helminski

FaceBook  On Feb 7, 2016 david doane wrote:

The past houses regrets and happy memories.  The future holds worry and dreams.  Only the present is alive.  It is only here and now that I am.  I can do good or bad only in the present.  I can remember what I did or didn't do in the past, and I can imagine what I will or won't do in the future.  Only in the present can I take action, and that action can be either constructive or destructive, which may be one aspect of the double-edged nature of presence.  Another aspect of the double-edged nature of presence is that it is both a privilege and responsibility.  The present is mine to enjoy and suffer.  Becoming more deeply aware that we are one has fostered my awareness that presence extends beyond my own boundaries.  I and all that is, animate and inanimate, co-exist in the present and are my present to interact with and be responsive to.  Remembering that all that is is one fosters my compassion and helps me be present constructively.


Sufficiency is Not Abundance, by Lynne Twist

FaceBook  On Jan 31, 2016 david doane wrote:

Sufficiency mans to have what is needed, no more or less, and to live with and use that amount, rather than hoarding more than what is needed or going without what is needed.  Sufficiency is economical.  You can never have enough of what you don't really need -- unfortunately we don't believe that, so we accumulate and hoard much more than we need.  It is so much wiser to be generous, allocate rather than accumulate what is more than needed, and let others benefit at least from our surplus.  By sewing the more than I need so it can make a positive difference to others, I reap inner wealth and joy.  As I get older, I am much more conscious of giving and sharing what I have to hopefully benefit others, and I am more conscious of the satisfaction and joy I experience in doing so.  Experiencing the value of inner riches doesn't go away, it stays with me, and helps me to value inner riches over outer riches.


The Same Self Is in All of Us, by Eknath Easwaran

FaceBook  On Jan 23, 2016 david doane wrote:

All that is, including each of us, is an expression or manifestation of the Spirit or Mystery that we call God, and responding always to the Self within means responding to that God core of each of us.  There are times that I remind myself of this and go beyond the dislikes and disagreements of surface or form and focus on the changeless invisible Spirit.  I feel a sense of compassion, peace, and satisfaction when I do this.  What helped me see the same Spirit in others that I see within myself is wise mentors who knew this and I resonated to their wisdom and learned from them.  One mentor would say, "I look across the room and see me," and slowly I began to learn and sometimes live what he was talking about.


Absurd Heroism, by Margaret Wheatley

FaceBook  On Jan 17, 2016 david doane wrote:

Life is absurd.  It's also precious.  Most important, it's what's we've got.  I can't change the world, and yet my existence changes the world.  The world would be different if I weren't here -- hardly noticeably different, but different.  I don't have full control over anything, including myself.  I do have some limited power and control to make change in me and the world.  It's also true that life does things to me.  As I understand, Lao Tzu says we not only do, we are also being done.  The situation isn't all or nothing.  It's not a matter of I can change the world or I can futilely and hopelessly try and fail.  The problem is trying to control and take responsibility for outcome.  That is futile.  What I can do is act with integrity to my truth, act impeccably, and hope for the best.  That practice I believe in.  Over time we collectively did create what we have today.  I as an individual can't totally change it, but I can do what I can do which adds my piece to the worsening or improving of the situation.  


Be Cool to the Pizza Dude, by Sarah Adams

FaceBook  On Jan 9, 2016 david doane wrote:

The fickle spinning of the wheel of life means life is a mixed bag -- up and down, lucky and unlucky, win and lose, good times and bad times, success and failure, healthy and sick -- and over the course of time life is likely to involve the whole gamut.  Some of it is our own making and some of it is fickle as it happens to us.  As for going beyond thoughts of ownership, I've shared and given things, such as sharing something of mine or giving someone something of mine because they could use it, which is satisfying, and I've shared what I'm experiencing which is sharing myself and also very satisfying.  The practice I hope to live out is to treat everyone the way the author speaks of treating the pizza delivery dude, that is, be tolerant of every driver, including those driving inconsiderately, and not get myself agitated and bent out of shape over it, honor every worker in every job, be respectful of every person, and remember that I and all others are equal, no one above or below anyone else.


I Have Decided to Stick With Love, by Martin Luther King Jr.

FaceBook  On Jan 3, 2016 david doane wrote:

My understanding is that what Martin Luther King means by strong demanding love is love that is compassionate and genuine.  This kind of love is an expression of one's truth and integrity.  This kind of love is based on seeing myself and the other as one, no one better or worse, higher or lower than than other.  With this love the other is seen and respected as equal.  This kind of love puts the golden rule into action and I treat others as I want to be treated.  This kind of love is not a superficial and transient infatuation or passing fancy, but a life commitment and posture.  It is strong and demanding.  Emotion may be involved in this kind of love, but it is deeper than just emotion, deeper than thinking, deeper than physical -- it comes from the soul.  An experience of such love has been when I have spoken or acted with pure and total integrity independent of what others think or say.  Honestly evaluating my motives in what I say and do helps me check whether my action is filled with such love.  If I have an agenda or intention that I am trying to accomplish, it's time for me to be suspicious of what I am up to as the pureness of my love is likely diminished.  


Why Are We Running Out of Time?, by Jacob Needleman

FaceBook  On Dec 26, 2015 david doane wrote:

I think what Needleman says is profound.  To be truly present is to be consciously bodily attentive to what is happening.  To be is to be consciously present, aware in the here and now.  I think it is the same as mindfulness, being aware of my thoughts, feelings, actions as I am doing them.  Consciously attentive being, or being with awareness, is being in the fullest sense.  The less consciously attentive and aware I am, the less is my being.  There have been times in meditation that I have been consciously present and attentive  to breathing, my body, and my being.  There have been times in relationship with another that I have been consciously attentive to what I am experiencing in the moment and processing and utilizing at least some of that in relating to the other.  The practice of conscious attention to myself brings a fullness of being that is special.  Being without conscious attention is diminished being. 


No Better Place to Meet Yourself, by Moussa Ag Assarid

FaceBook  On Dec 20, 2015 david doane wrote:

I felt some jealousy of Moussa Ag Assarid regarding the simple, basic, pristine experience of which he speaks.  I've had some brief moments of happiness in the midst of nature.  For example, time I've been in a heavy snow fall when there is no traffic, only the sounds of nature, no one around, and I felt enveloped in snow falling, wind blowing, and cold air.  I felt alone with nature, close with nature, part of nature, and I felt happiness and some awe in the midst of nature.  Such moments are deepening and special.  Meditation, early in the morning before the sun comes up and before traffic and other human noises of the day begin, is a time that supports my being immersed in calmness and facilitates and supports my entering a space in which I meet my individuality as simultaneously part of universality.  Such meditation moments are also deepening and special.  I'm remembering Paschal's saying that "all men's miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone."  I think being in the midst of nature is even better. 


Can Beauty Save the World?, by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

FaceBook  On Dec 13, 2015 david doane wrote:

(Curious that I seem to struggle more with what to say about this topic than with any topic so far.)   For me, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or more accurately, in the soul of the beholder.  Beauty is that which catches my attention and touches my soul in a positive way, and I feel some amount of awe, joy, and appreciation.  There is a Greek saying that a thing of beauty is a joy forever.  Beauty stimulates my senses and imagination, and I am caught up in it, present to it and with it and disconnected from other realities of life for a few or many moments.  For me, an example of Beauty is a ballerina performing impeccably with grace and balance which simultaneously opens me to the impeccable grace and balance of Truth and Good.  The practice of being in the present, seeing and responding to what is happening brings Beauty into my work and life.  I suppose what appears as beauty pulls out a sliver of Beauty that is in the beholder.


The Trick is to Keep Seeing, by Pema Chodron

FaceBook  On Dec 5, 2015 david doane wrote:

I've worked with shenpa (ie, attachment or being hooked) in learning to be present, both with myself and in interacting with others.  To be present, to attend to and be responsive to what is happening, is alive and exciting.  It's very easy to be 'hooked."  There are so many intrusions and distractions and side roads to be hooked by and taken for a ride away from the present.  I get hooked often, particularly by my thinking or by some story that leads me away from staying with what is happening in me and/or with the other.  l get hooked by my expectations and predictions and goal-directed efforts.  Sometimes, after a few seconds or minutes of being hooked, I have caught myself and freed myself by getting back to the present.  I have enjoyed many memorable instances of staying free and not hooked, usually for brief durations in between the times of being hooked.  I overcome challenges to freedom by becoming more adept at seeing the hooks and more quick to let go of or side step them and get back to being present and free.  The exhilaration that comes from the freedom and surprises of being unhooked compels me to develop the practice and stay the course.


Every Seed Carries a Secret, by Angela Fischer

FaceBook  On Nov 28, 2015 david doane wrote:

Caring in outer ways means caring for the health and well-being of the physical presence of myself and others.  Caring in inner ways means caring for my spirit and the spirit of others.  This means recognizing that I and each of us is a spiritual being, a soul, a sliver or expression of the Divine, which means that I am respectful and compassionate in relating to my self and others.  I've had a respect for the sacredness of life for much of my life, but that respect and the need to protect and nurture that sacredness deepened over the last ten or so years, when I got more deeply into Eastern wisdom thinking.  Learning that we are manifestations of the Divine, we are the Divine incarnate, makes me more deeply and consistently attuned to the sacredness of life inwardly.  Growing in that learning helps me grow more aware that it's more than that the sacred is behind every seed -- the sacred is every seed.  The challenge is for us to realize and live that reality, and we are still far from that realization today. 


I Awaken Before Dawn, by Helen Moore

FaceBook  On Nov 24, 2015 david doane wrote:

I feel grateful for being alive and for the life that I have.  Realizing what a good life I have and how much I have, especially realizing that it is a gift, helps me be grateful.  I am grateful for opportunities I've had, for family and friends, for wonderful teachers I've had.  I am grateful for people who have been patient with me, encouraged me, loved me.  I've had good fortune and been spared many times when serious outcomes could have happened, and I am grateful.  I have many times realized how much my life is supported by the work of so many others, and the author presenting such detail as to how much a cup of tea is supported by the work of many people really emphasizes the point.  Being aware that we are one not only fosters compassion in me but also gratitude that I am part of the glorious whole.  I grow in gratitude realizing that there are so many people that suffer pain, loss, illness, disaster so much more than I.  Aging also helps me grow in gratitude -- I abide in gratitude much more often as I become older.  Namaste


Time is a Season, by David Whyte

FaceBook  On Nov 15, 2015 david doane wrote:

There is a scripture passage that there is a time for every season under the sun -- a time to reap and a time to sew, a time to laugh and a time to cry, etc, etc.  I've always liked that passage.  I think there is a season for everything, as everything and every person has its time, comes and goes.   Nothing is permanent.  The challenge is to seize the time that is present, live it with awareness.  The eternal has broken into time for me in moments of intimate interaction with a person or with nature.  In those moments I don't pay attention to time, I forget about time, and I've felt outside of time and in harmony and oneness with the other or nature.  Such moments have only been for a few seconds or minutes in clock time, though they sometimes feel longer and are very special in experiential time.  Living by the clock makes me a prisoner of the clock and wasting of time.  Being present and open helps me escape making time a prison, and time and I are free and alive.


Organic Gift, by Parker Palmer

FaceBook  On Nov 8, 2015 david doane wrote:

I can't give what I don't have.  I can pretend or try, and then I'm giving my pretending or trying.  I typically think of burnout as the result of not taking care of self, such as when I give to the other or take care of the other in a way that neglects my self.  Pretending and trying are ways of not taking care of myself and are tiring and eventually result in burnout.  When I give having some ulterior motive or because I think I should and I don't really feel it or have it in me, what I give is not genuine and I feel strained and tired and unhappy with myself, and the traps of such inorganic gifting have become clear to me.  The satisfaction of organic giving helps me continue to move toward more organic giving.  The Sufi poet Hafiz said that the sun gives so much to the earth and never says, "You owe me."  The sun is being sun, giving itself, giving what it is, not giving in order to provide light or heat or for any other purpose -- that's organic giving.  Keeping that in mind helps me move toward organic giving.  


Be with the Magic, by Steve Karlin

FaceBook  On Nov 1, 2015 david doane wrote:

Being with the magic of the moment means to be fully in the present.  The past and future are imagination, while the present is where life is, and being in the present is being alive.  The present is full of surprise, possibility, energy, excitement, life, all of which are magic.  The present is where I find my soul, my spiritualness, which is also magic as I am being with power and potential far greater than when I am in times of non present non magic busyness.  I've been in the magic of the present with myself, with nature, and with others, and it's a peak experience for me, one that I always want more of.  I don't meditate with my eyes open.  I can be present and mindful with my eyes open, relating and responding to what is happening, but at this point I keep my eyes closed when I meditate.  I'm reminded of Paul Gauguin (sp) saying he keeps his eyes closed in order to see.  My eyes closed helps me to be still, tune in, be less distracted, be present.  I imagine that when I am very good at meditating with my eyes closed I will find it much easier to meditate with my eyes open. 


Death is Life's Door, by Paul Fleischman

FaceBook  On Oct 27, 2015 david doane wrote:

I believe that forms end or die, including every inanimate thing and every animate cell and body, and I believe that life goes on.  As a child and for a long time I believed in 'heaven' as a place that I would live in after I physically die.  That's a belief and wish that goes back thousands of years and is still alive for many people.  As for me, I now simply believe my spirit or soul will continue to be.  I believe in the continuity of spirit, and death is life's door in the sense that the end or death is a new beginning.  I haven't personally shook hands with death in the sense of consciously being at death's door myself.  The closest I've come to shaking hands with death has been the death of loved ones.  I didn't shake hands with death in order to embrace life -- neither I nor death are that goal-directed -- but the death of loved family members, teachers, and friends has helped me accept the inevitability of death and to embrace more this brief time of life in this form.


Lessening the Power of Negative Emotions, by The Dalai Lama

FaceBook  On Oct 18, 2015 david doane wrote:

My first thought is Gandhi's well-known statement to "Be the change you want to see in the world."  The strategy of reducing the opposing factor while fanning the flames of the virtuous quality makes total sense to me.  Neglect the negative behavior, replace it with positive behavior, and repeat the positive behavior.  It takes effort and diligence.  Really, is there another way?  As I get older and hopefully a little wiser, I often refrain from anger that I would have fostered in the past.  What helps me refrain from anger is my becoming convinced that anger is not necessary.  I can express other ways, including disagree, object, assert, walk away, do whatever a different way.  I become most angry at myself -- I'm still working on eliminating that one.  Reminding myself through reflection and meditation that we are one and we are each expressions of One Source lessens negative emotions in me and fans the flames of compassion, and my feeling better for being that way keeps me going.


We Are What We Choose to Be, by Dawna Markova

FaceBook  On Oct 10, 2015 david doane wrote:

Having and being are two different ways of living.  Having involves being goal directed, striving, holding on, possessing, accumulating.  Being is goal-less, non striving, letting go, allowing, not grasping.  I have things that are external to me, even if they are under my skin, like to have bigger muscles or to have more knowledge.  Being is me, the essence that is me.  It is said that freedom is another word for nothing left to lose which triggers for me that freedom is nothing left to have.  Being is not having, having is not being.  I have the freedom to both have and be.  I am a human being and a human having.  In my life, I've done a lot of having, and I find that being results in more satisfaction than having.  I feel I can choose being at any time including right now, and I am enjoying that freedom to be right now.  There are many aspects to me, fear being one of them, and I know the whole me is bigger than any of the aspects.  The many times I have given in to my fear and not been me result in sadness and regret that motivate me to override my fear and be me.  Listening less to the fear and going ahead with being me in spite of the fear helps me to realize that I am more than my fear.      


Humility Really Cannot be Considered a Virtue, by Swami Dayananda Saraswati

FaceBook  On Oct 3, 2015 david doane wrote:

We are one with the world and cosmos, with one another and all that is.  We are interbeing.  Karma refers to everything affecting everything.  I choose my action and the outcome is beyond my control and is the result of the very complex interaction of all that is.  My job is to act impeccably and not try to control outcome.  Humility is understanding that, or at least appreciating that.  Hum-ility and hum-ous have the same root, suggesting that humility is the state of being aware of being part of the complex interrelated world in which I don't control outcome.  I'm humbled by that understanding right now as I am thinking and writing about it -- it is awesome to me.  What has helped me develop this understanding is reflecting and meditation related to oneness and interrelatedness that we all are part of.


Compassion: an Objective Form of Empathy, by Jeff Weiner

FaceBook  On Sep 27, 2015 david doane wrote:

I agree that there is a difference between empathy and compassion.  I don't agree that compassion is an objective form of empathy.  Compassion is empathy plus taking action to alleviate the problem -- I don't call that objective, I call it providing helpful action.  I've helped to transform a challenging situation into a coachable moment with my children and clients, which are situations in which I am in the parent/teacher role by arrangement, and the arrangement helps make situations coachable moments.  In a peer relationship especially, it takes both of us to transform the situation into a coachable moment --  one of us goes up in becoming coach and the other goes down in becoming student.  I've been on both ends during such moments, and it is special and satisfying on both ends.  I give the majority credit to the one who becomes coached for being open to it and allowing it.  What helps me to see other perspectives is deeper realization that we are one which results in more care and compassion.  It also helps for me to be open, not judgmental, listen closely to what the other is saying, and look for ways to be responsive to what is needed.  


Awareness is Profound Interest, by J. Krishnamurti

FaceBook  On Sep 19, 2015 david doane wrote:

I think what Krishnamurti is saying is that in wanting improvement, I am being judgmental, critical and condemning of myself or some aspect of myself which precludes awareness that is mindfulness.  Awareness that is mindful is observing of my action in a way that is simply witnessing, and not judgmental or condemning.  Change occurs with such nonjudgmental observing.  Wanting improvement is being goal-directed, trying to steer and force a certain change, and mindfulness is witnessing which allows for change to happen.  I think Buddha and Jesus were each being nonjudgmentally aware in dealing with temptations that they didn't condemn or attach to and did let go by.  A personal example of experiencing communion between the observer and the observed has to do with my anxiety.  I'm good at generating anxiety in myself.  When I judge, criticize, and fight it, I get fixed on it and stuck in it and my goal directed efforts to get rid of it make it worse.  To the extent I observe, accept, and allow myself in the moment, I am one with myself and am at ease, in which process self-improvement happens as a byproduct of my mindful awareness.  Awareness allowing improvement is different than trying to make improvement, which difference reconciles the practice of self-improvement with the author's criticism of it.


The Gift of New Eyes, by Rachel Naomi Remen

FaceBook  On Sep 11, 2015 david doane wrote:

I believe, as I learned from a mentor John Warkentin, that the most significant contact between two people is unconscious to unconscious, soul to soul.  My words and actions are feeble compared to my real inner presence that affects the other and is affected by the inner presence of the other.  The field beyond right and wrong is the field of my unconscious, beyond intention, purpose, goals.  It is the field of right action of the eight fold path, wherein I do my truth impeccably, leaving the outcome to God, hoping for the best.  The response is a surprise -- sometimes I get no overt response, sometimes I get a negative response, and sometimes I get a positive response of having touched someone in a deep way.  Being in the field beyond right and wrong is satisfying in itself -- a positive response, such as receiving a thank you, is a satisfying bonus.  What helps me develop new eyes to see beyond right and wrong is reminding myself that my responsibility is to be true to my experience or truth and not try to control outcome -- learning that opens my eyes.


Love Like Water, by Mark Nepo

FaceBook  On Sep 4, 2015 david doane wrote:

 Love, like water, gets into every nook and cranny, unselectively affecting everything it touches.  We need water to survive; we may not need love to survive, but it certainly helps us to grow and thrive.  Like water, love expects nothing in return.  Like with water, there's enough love to go around, but we better treasure it and use it wisely, not pollute and misuse it.  Unlike water, which is a limited commodity, love is limitless.  Love is like muscle, becoming larger and stronger with use; love isn't like a bar of soap that diminishes with use.  When I have been loved, I felt that my real self was welcome and valued, and I was open.  I feel pleased and privileged when someone responds in that way to me.  As I become older, and maybe wiser, I have a more generalized love/compassion, which pleases me very much.  Having been loved and being loved have probably helped me the most to develop the ability to love.  


The Power of Art, by John F. Kennedy

FaceBook  On Aug 29, 2015 david doane wrote:

I don't know if it's true or not, but I once heard it credited to activist Dan Berrigan that he said when tyrants took over a country, the first thing they did was cut off the fingers of the poets.  It makes sense -- the tyrant doesn't want free thinking, truth telling artists stirring up problems.  The artist expresses what he sees, in the way that he sees it, in whatever medium he happens to be using.  He expresses his vision.  The artist is also being a prophet, challenging the status quo by expressing his truth.  Real art comes from the real self, from deep inside, not from the head but from the spirit or soul.  The artist is inspired and creative, expressing his truth from his spirit or soul in his own unique way.  When I do that, I am being an artist.  My medium seems to be words, either written or spoken.  There have been times I have been true to my real self through my words, and when I am I feel a deep satisfaction, whether what I say or write is rejected or accepted.  I recognize my artist self by knowing that my vision, my experience, my truth is unique and special, as is everyone's, and if I don't express it, it will never be expressed, and my knowing that helps me to honor it.


True Splendor of Science, by Alan Watts

FaceBook  On Aug 22, 2015 david doane wrote:

The true splendor of science is to openly see and examine what is, beyond preconceived notions, expectations, and desires.  It is to see what is, not see one's own thinking or the predominant thinking of the time.  That's quite different than science corrupted by bias or by the highest bidder.  I've had the experience of seeing that the emperor is wearing no clothes, saying what I see, being alone in what I am seeing, wondering if others think I'm crazy, wondering if I'm crazy, putting those concerns aside, trusting and sticking with what I'm seeing, and experiencing a positive outcome, all of which was the miracle of being in the present.  What helps me avoid the comfort of the familiar and remain open to the miracles of the present moment is trusting my seeing, experiencing the satisfaction of accepting what I am seeing, and experiencing the emptiness and lack of comfort of the familiar.  Getting old and caring less what others think and say also helps a lot.  I'm remembering Nietzsche's statement that "those who were dancing were thought to be crazy by those who could not hear the music."  They were also thought to be crazy by those who do not see what is.  And I remember being taught to never fear the truth.  The truth will set you free.  The true splendor of science is the seeing that sets you free to discover.


Choosing Suffering over Safety, by Bonnie Rose

FaceBook  On Aug 16, 2015 david doane wrote:

Suffering means to me to bear or carry my experience.  My experience is my truth.  To accept, value, express, utilize what I am experiencing is for me to suffer it.  I can carry my experience efficiently, in a way that doesn't create unnecessary pain, or I can carry my experience inefficiently , which creates unnecessary pain.  Pain is unavoidable -- it's part of life -- how I suffer it is up to me.  I have chosen to suffer my experience over safety when the cause is important enough to me and the danger looks acceptable.  I have chosen safety over suffering my experience when the danger looks too great.  Suffering my experience is integrity, and my integrity definitely has cracks and limits.  I think of Jesus as someone who suffered his experience over safety, and the price he paid the was execution.  I've been no martyr.  I've been aware of the choice between suffering my experience or safety.  Sometimes I have suffered my experience in the form of saying or doing what felt dangerous, choosing suffering my experience over safety, but the danger was not extreme.  Usually I've ended up taking less heat than I expected.  I do feel joy when I have the courage to suffer my experience, and have shame when I don't suffer my experience and deny it.  As C.S. Lewis said, "The boy chooses safety, the man chooses suffering."  Sometimes I'm a boy.  The more I suffer my experience the easier it becomes.


Spontaneous Resonance, by James O'dea

FaceBook  On Aug 8, 2015 david doane wrote:

 Spontaneous reaction is an unplanned impulsive behavior to change what is happening, such as a spontaneous effort to catch someone who is falling or spontaneously objecting to something I don't agree with.  Spontaneous resonance is an unplanned feeling of synchrony or harmony with what is happening, such as spontaneously feeling fully in agreement with and in tune with and one with what someone is saying or doing.  I have many times felt spontaneous resonance to something someone has said or done.  Such are moments of unity and love.  I have sometimes felt that resonance with teachers and mentors and simply other persons, and it's a very positive feeling.  Judgmentalness, preconceived notions, premeditated biases, expectations, rules, and fear all block the flow of spontaneity, and being open, present, and accepting of myself get me over all that 'stuff' that blocks the flow.


The Pleasure of Serving, by Gabriela Mistral

FaceBook  On Aug 2, 2015 david doane wrote:

 A favorite quote of mine is Tagore's "I slept and dreamed that life is joy.  I awoke and saw that life is service.  I took action and behold service is joy."  Serving is certainly not a labor just for inferior beings.  All beings are to be of service.  Every being, animate and inanimate, is by nature of service.  Some service is deliberate.  We can be of service by choice and we can stop being of service or be of little service.  It's our choice.  It's my choice.  There are acts of service that I've done, most of which seem small.  I am also aware there are large acts of service that I have dodged, not wanting to take the time or put out the effort.  As an experiment, we can do more acts of service and experience how that is for us.  If it is a positive experience, we can practice more acts of service which will develop us into persons of service.  I have felt joy in being of service.  Tagore is right.  I'm remembering someone's statement that I can't do everything but I can do something.  The something of service that I am and be and do is important for me and for others.


The Surrender Experiment, by Michael Singer

FaceBook  On Jul 25, 2015 david doane wrote:

 I suppose all that is, all the unfolding and evolution of the cosmos, is a surrender experiment.  The surrender experiment for me can be for me to put aside my trying to steer and control, put aside my goal directedness, let go of my agendas, surrender to what it is that I am experiencing, and see what happens.  I've had interactions in which I say what I think, feel, and/or see without trying to control the outcome, and such interactions are more exciting and alive than when I try to control the outcome.  What helps me develop awareness of the natural forces of life and harmonize with them is waking up, opening my eyes and seeing, letting go of my expectations and desires, learning to allow and work with what's happening rather than try to control.  Dealing with my children helps me to learn to surrender and be responsive to where they're at and not try to impose my will and fight with them.  Life is much too big to fight and try to control.  I am in harmony with life except for when I fight it.  It's easier to accept and allow the harmony.  It helps me to reflect and meditate on all this.  It helps me to have "Process, not outcome" as a mantra for myself.


Effects of Adversity, by Eranda Jayawickreme

FaceBook  On Jul 17, 2015 david doane wrote:

There are a lot of comments in this piece that I had difficulty with.  For example, I believe all events are uncontrollable -- at best I have some influence on events.  I believe our control on the world is very limited.  We don't know if we are going to a "better place" after this life -- you never know.  I don't even know if there is a better place.  We don't know everything about adversity or anything else.  You never know how long it takes to recover from trauma.  Seeking out tragedy makes no more sense than seeking out anything.  Protecting people from severe suffering is not a must.  Now for the questions to respond to.  We don't be 'good' because of the presence of or lack of adversity.  I'll define 'good' for now as being true to myself.  Adversity underlines that being good is the way to be, it is its own reward, it's not done because I'm in painless times or painful times.  I haven't always lived up to that and don't know that I will in severe adversity but I do believe it.  Adversity always helps me grow, because it pushes me beyond my present boundaries and into being different in responding to the adversity.  Leaving my best friend who was also my business partner was a time of great adversity for me -- sad about our split and my leaving him, scared about what would be next, doubting myself, and I moved on.  That's a very short version of that story but I grew in dealing with the situation and finding more of my own self and my own way.  What helps me avoid despair -- having a stubborn determined mother and being much that way myself, wanting to see a situation through to the end (that's why the form of suicide I've decided on is living until I don't), believing that you never know what will happen and wanting to find out, not allowing myself despair (yet), believing that I grow from adversity.  I guess I don't believe in despair -- and maybe I haven't encountered  See full.

There are a lot of comments in this piece that I had difficulty with.  For example, I believe all events are uncontrollable -- at best I have some influence on events.  I believe our control on the world is very limited.  We don't know if we are going to a "better place" after this life -- you never know.  I don't even know if there is a better place.  We don't know everything about adversity or anything else.  You never know how long it takes to recover from trauma.  Seeking out tragedy makes no more sense than seeking out anything.  Protecting people from severe suffering is not a must.  Now for the questions to respond to.  We don't be 'good' because of the presence of or lack of adversity.  I'll define 'good' for now as being true to myself.  Adversity underlines that being good is the way to be, it is its own reward, it's not done because I'm in painless times or painful times.  I haven't always lived up to that and don't know that I will in severe adversity but I do believe it.  Adversity always helps me grow, because it pushes me beyond my present boundaries and into being different in responding to the adversity.  Leaving my best friend who was also my business partner was a time of great adversity for me -- sad about our split and my leaving him, scared about what would be next, doubting myself, and I moved on.  That's a very short version of that story but I grew in dealing with the situation and finding more of my own self and my own way.  What helps me avoid despair -- having a stubborn determined mother and being much that way myself, wanting to see a situation through to the end (that's why the form of suicide I've decided on is living until I don't), believing that you never know what will happen and wanting to find out, not allowing myself despair (yet), believing that I grow from adversity.  I guess I don't believe in despair -- and maybe I haven't encountered a severe enough adversity yet.

Hide full comment.


Call Me by My True Names, by Thich Nhat Hanh

FaceBook  On Jul 11, 2015 david doane wrote:

Compassion isn't forced on me, but it is available for me, coming from me and to me.  Compassion is a natural extension of the fact that all that is is one.  Just as it makes sense for me to have compassion for every part of myself, it makes sense for me to be compassionate toward all that is, from the smallest creature that lives to fellow human beings to the planet and to the universe of which I am a part.  I am to be compassionate of what I like and don't like, what I consider good and what I consider evil, of the light and the dark.  I have been touched by being on the receiving end of compassion, feeling compassion and love from others more than I had for myself, which resulted in my increased compassion for myself and for others.  What helps me be compassionate is awareness that we are one, reminding myself of that, reflecting and meditating on that.  Others have said "I look across the room and see me" and "the only you I know is me," and statements like that help me be compassionate.


Money is a Lot Like Water, by Lynne Twist

FaceBook  On Jul 5, 2015 david doane wrote:

I like the author's analogy that money is like water.  Both are resources that can do great good and great harm.  Money, like water, can flow gently and be used to nurture and foster life.  Money and water can move so fast that they cause damage and destruction.  Too much money, like too much water, can destroy and kill lives.  I've heard that winning the lottery has been blamed for ruining the lives of many winners to the point that they wish they had never won the money.  Money and water can be held back, hoarded, and become stagnant and toxic, being used for no productive purpose by anyone.  Water and money have beauty when they stay in their proper channels and are used productively.  People have gone to war for money and people may soon be going to war over water.  When I contribute money to a cause that I feel positive about, I feel good for using the money in a way that served my highest ideals.  What helps me engage with money in a mindful manner is to remind myself that money is a two edged sword that can be used for good and evil, and to remind myself to use money to live and not get caught up in living to make money.