What is The Garden?
- The Garden
- The Garden is a metaphor for growth. Here, we plant the seeds to grow, and as we cultivate our own garden, we also remove the weeds that negatively effect our garden by tearing them out at the root, not just clipping off what appears at the surface. We grow by taking care of our problems at the root, not taking away the symptoms. And with time, we can overcome anything.
I welcome any questions you may have. Every Sunday, I will do a "Question of the Week", in which I will post and answer one or two questions from the emails I have received. Please submit your emails for this with Monday through Thursday.
Of course, you can email me at any time, but please note that due to the large amount of emails received, I may not be able to respond. I will try to get to as many as possible, and there may be a delay. If I don't answer, feel free to email me again. Thank you for your understanding!
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Sunday, May 15, 2011
I was watching the news not that long ago, and a story came on about a man who received a package in the mail, but it was not his address on the box. The man went to the address on the box and gave it to the person the box belonged to. Inside this box, as the owner would later say, was a $15,000 watch. The person who originally received the package did not open it, nor did he know what was inside. So here is the part that really makes me wonder about the world we live in:
The news story was about a man who received someone else's property, and returned it to the rightful owner! Is this morally correct act now so rare that when it happens we send a news team out to cover the event? Are we so far away of doing what's good and what's right in this world that we have to broadcast when someone actually does the right thing?
I have an old blog entitled "Uncommon Courtesy", because society is becoming filled with the idea of entitlement , and selfishness. People no longer say thank you when you hold the door open for them, because they EXPECT you to do that. They have lost sight of someone extending courtesy to them. No one is required to say "Bless you" when you sneeze, pick up something that you dropped, let your car into the lane of traffic, or to wait, and hold the door open for you. Although these people do it because they know it is the courteous thing to do, and do it because they want to, not because they want acknowledgement, it is up to you to realize that they are going out of their way for you; a complete stranger. Why would you not acknowledge their kind deed? And it is because of these actions on the individual level that leads us to send out a news team to cover when someone actually does the right thing. If this sense of selfishness and entitlement continues, we will soon be sending out a news team to cover the breaking story of someone holding a door open for a stranger.
It can be frustrating when you are the one always doing these small, kind acts for others without receiving acknowledgment. But continue to remember why you do it: Because you are living from your highest self, and putting others needs before your own. This does not require a thank you, because doing the right thing shouldn't have to be complimented. It is what we should be doing anyway. And hopefully, we will inspire someone who sees us to then start living from their higher self. And if that continues, then we won't sit through the news story about the person who said "Bless you" to a stranger at the mall when they sneezed.
Love and light......
Sunday, May 8, 2011
However, I do tweet a few spiritual thoughts a day, so if you're not following me yet, come and follow me at @thegardensgate. So I figured I'd catch you up on some random thoughts you may have missed while I've been away, but have sent out via twitter. Enjoy!
Opinion looks inward, while judgment lashes out.
Peace isn't something you seek, it's something you create.
We get information when we need to hear it, not when we want to hear it. It is always a message of work we have to do.
Do not be afraid when negative feelings fill you. It is a sign from the Universe of the things we need to address.
Given the choice, I choose to see the good in people.
Your problems are much like a weed. You must pull the root to solve them, not just keep cutting off the leaves.
Even the largest oak tree started from a seed.
When you find peace within yourself, you find peace in the world.
What you are is never as important as who you are.
So, there you go. Some random thoughts to keep the positive energy flowing! I hope you enjoyed them. I really like sending those thoughts out on twitter. It just feels like I can keep the positive flow of energy flowing through the Universe! I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them!
Love and light to you all...
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Most times, when something goes wrong in our lives, the very first question we ask ourselves is "Why?" Unfortunately, this is the worst question we can ask ourselves. Some people live so much in the question of why, that they never get past the event that made them say it to begin with. Why, you see, is a useless question. It never really matters why. Remember when you were a kid, and you wanted to do something, and your parents said no, and you asked them "Why?" and they answered, "Because I said so, that's why." That, in essence, is actually the best answer to your question. Because it doesn't matter why. It only matters that you can't do whatever they told you you couldn't do. "Mom, John's having a party, can I go?" Your mother responds "No." "Why?" You ask. It doesn't matter why. Maybe it's because you have to do something else. Maybe it's because your mom doesn't think much of John. Maybe it's because she knows that no one wants you at the party, or maybe it's none of those things. The fact of the matter is, you can't go. So "Why" you can't go becomes irrelevant.
"Why are we here?" "Why did this have to happen to me now?" "Why is the store always sold out of what I came for?" So many questions of why, and in each case, it doesn't matter why. It doesn't matter why you're here, because you are indeed here. It doesn't matter why something happened to you now, because it did indeed happen. And it certainly doesn't matter why the store is out of what you came for, because nothing is going to make it magically appear in their stock. So as you can see, "Why" is a useless question.
It's useless because it only leads to more questions. It never leads to action. And in this way, many people get locked into the trap of "Why". The question of "Why" also leads to all the "what if's" that take people out of the present moment, and lost in a hypothetical world of things that don't exist. And no matter how much you wish that they would, they don't. You only have NOW. Asking "What if this would have happened instead?" is just a way of mentally torturing yourself. With that in mind, the correct questions to ask yourself instead of "Why", are "What", and "How".
You must first accept the situation as it is. This is important. Acceptance is the first phase of overcoming any obstacle. Then, ask yourself the questions of "What" and "How". So, in the example above of "Why did this have to happen to me now?" The replacement for the question of "Why" is "Ok, this happened to me. What can I do to make this situation better, or how can I prevent this from either getting worse, or happening to me again?" "What" and "How" are calls to action. And when you are taking action, you have control over the situation, instead of the situation having control over you. Remember, if you feel that something has happened to you, then you are a victim. Victims never overcome their obstacle. You are only a victim in the moment that something is happening in your life. Once that moment is over, how you choose to react to that situation will define you either as a victim, or, for lack of a better word, a survivor. Some people are a victim of an event for the rest of their life. They use it as an excuse to never be able to achieve things in their lives. They'll tell you "You don't understand what happened to me". The ego is in full force. You may not have control over what happened to you at the time it happened, but you certainly have control over every single moment after that. How will you choose to react to that? From weakness, or strength?
There are so many beautiful cases in which someone has overcome so much. I recently read about a quadriplegic that swam the English Channel. He lost his limbs after being electrocuted on a ladder. But he did not remain a victim of that accident. He has been living his life, including not only swimming the English Channel in just over 14 hours, (10 hours less than even he thought it would take him), but skydiving, and things like that. He could have lived the rest of his life lost in the question of "Why". "Why did this have to happen to me". But he chose the "What" and the "How". What could he do to keep living his life? How can he make his life better? He was only a victim for the moment of the electrocution, now he is a survivor, and deals from a place of strength.
"Why" is a trap of the ego. It begs for sympathy for us from others. It wants others to do for us what we feel we cannot do for ourselves, because we are a victim. If you live your life lost in the question of "Why", it will be a very unhappy place to live. If you turn your mind into the action questions of "What" and "How", you will see amazing changes start to take place in your life.
Love and light.........
Thursday, March 24, 2011
One windy day, the fisherman went to the river's edge to cast his line into the river. He did not notice that the jagged rocks on which he stepped were wet from the crashing of the waves with the wind. Upon casting his line out into the water, the man slipped, and fell into the brisk river. In a panic, he grasped tightly to a few small jagged rocks protrouding from the river.
The waves on this windy day crashed upon the man, smashing his body into the rocks, yet he continued to grasp onto the rocks with all his might. "I can't let go", cried the man. He thought of his friends in the village that he would never see again if he were to drown. He thought "even though I do not have the life I have wanted, I still want to stay right here!". So the man clinged to the rocks as if it were his lifeline.
What the man did not realize, was that what he clinged to so tightly, was actually killing him. By remaining on those rocks, the waves from the swift river were pummeling his body into the rocks, slowly ending his life. What he thought was the comfort of safety, was the pinnacle of danger.
More waves came crashing in, and the man smashed his face upon the rocks. As his pain grew worse, finally the light went off. "What I cling to is actually hurting me!" "If I keep holding on, I will surely die. But if I let go, there's a chance that I will not drown." So the man took a deep breath, gathered his courage, and with faith, let go of the rocks.
The man was quickly swept into the river, but to his surprise, he did not get pulled under the water. In fact, he was able to float! The river whisked him away, and as it did, he began to see things he had never seen before. "This land is so beautiful! I've only seen the farming village where I lived. I never knew such beauty existed!". The man continued to float on the river, and soon, he realized that he could also control where he was going. "I can control which way I move, just by using my arms!". As the river twisted left and right, so did the man, now in control of where he was floating.
After a while, the river started to become peaceful. The man looked around with wonder. "I can't believe I'm here", he thought. After a few minutes, he saw a fisherman on the shore. The man on the shore called out to him. "Are you ok?" "Yes", relied the man. The river was now calm enough that the man was able to swim to the shore. He explained to the man on the shore that he was a fisherman from a farming village way up the stream. The other man laughed. "Why would you be fishing in a farming village? That seems awfully silly". The man thought about it and said "Now that you mention it, it is. I never really caught anything". The other man asked "Then why did you stay?" The man replied "I didn't know anything else, and I was comfortable there. Even though I didn't have the life I wanted, it wasn't bad. It just wasn't..... good." The other man laughed. "Well, you will like it here then. This is a prosperous village. We have both farmers AND fisherman! But we need some more. Would you be interested in staying with us?" The man did not have to think about it at all. After all he had been through, he saw now what the Universe intended for him to see all the time.
If he would have continued to hold on to something that wasn't good for him, he would not have been able to find where he fit in. And although the journey was frightening at first, he soon learned that he had much more control than he thought he did. And finally, he found out that what he thought he wanted, was not what he wanted at all. And when he got what he needed, he realized that's what he wanted the whole time.
The Universe dreams dreams for us that are so much bigger than anything you could possibly dream for yourself. But if you are holding on to something that you need to let go of, those things will never manifest themselves in your life.
So, are you going to continue to hold on to the rocks and get battered, or are you going to move forward with faith, and see all of the infinite number of possibilites that are in store for you?
Move foward with faith, not fear.
Love and light to you all..
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
But where does this judgment come from? Well, if you continued that last judgment above, it may give you a clue. "That tv show is stupid. I don't understand how anyone can watch that!" And there you have it. Most people are afraid of the things they don't understand, and it usually comes out in the form of judgment. Now, for a tv show, that might not be too big of a deal. But what happens when you are talking about another human?
Whether it is alternative lifestyles, clothing, traditions, or behaviors, many people do not find peace within themselves because they "just don't understand". Why is understanding so important to humans? Why is it they have to have a clear cut, determining word or action to have something they can try to understand? The insecure feelings on a subconscious level with people that do not understand something, causes fear, and negative reactions to the things, or people, in which they don't understand. But let me ask you this. How many people understand how the motor in their car works? With electronic fuel injections, valves in the cylinders, compression, and all the many other factors that make your car go forward, how many people truly understand all the hundreds of instantaneous actions that happen in their engines to make their car go forward? Yet they don't hate their car. They don't ignore or berate their cars because they don't understand how they operate. What they do is accept that the motor drives their car. And with that acceptance, comes peace. How many people truly understand how electricity is created in a nuclear power plant, and is then transmitted all the way to the light switch in their bedroom? Do you think about that every time you turn on the light? Of course not. Because you simply accept that when you flip the switch, the power comes on.
Yet when it comes to people that are different from themselves, there is no acceptance, only judement, followed by the wonderful "I just don't understand why you _______________". You can fill in the blank with anything, it really doesn't matter. If people can accept others for who they are, instead of judging them because they don't understand why they do something, peace will come into the world. After all, everyone, and I mean everyone on this planet wants to be accepted for who they are, yet most everyone is not ready to give that same respect back to others. Since you only see the world from your eyes, and since you don't understand why someone is doing that, or wearing that, or wants to live like that, then you judge them based solely on your own beliefs in your own life. If you would fall back on opinion, instead of judgment, no dis-comfort would arise inside of you. You would simply accept, and say "I choose not to do ____________". With no dis-comfort, fear cannot exist. Without fear, no negative energy would be created towards the other person.
If you think it can't be that simple, go back to your car. Have you ever had a verbal altercation with your car because you didn't understand engine viscosity? No, you just let your car do what it does, and you do so in peace. You can do the same in this world towards others. You do not need to understand everything. Just accept things for the way they are, and if you don't like it, realize that is simply inside of you, and has no business being directed outside of you.
So, next time you hear yourself saying "that guy is stupid", or "That person should live their lives different", bring it back to yourself. Start the sentence off with you as the subject. "I don't like the way that person is living their lives". It will be an interesting insight into yourself. What about you does not like it? It is because you do not accept it. Once you accept, the judgment is gone, and there is peace. And when there is peace, understanding is possible.
Remember, we are the human race. Which means we are all humans. Which means we are all the same. Only people, inside of themselves, create separation.
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Monday, March 14, 2011
I was with some friends this weekend, and one pointed out to me that I am always joking around. How can such a spiritual person joke around so much? And so I wondered, what do people want me to do, walk around in my robe with birds on my shoulders, and animals following me around? Is that many people's idea of a spiritual teacher? And while there are many monks who practice traditions that are thousands of years old, with great dilligence, you don't have to be set in traditions to be spiritual. You just have to "Be".
I admire the sheer level of dedication to the lifestyle that the Tibetan monks live. I often feel like I want to run away and live that lifestyle, as I continue to grow. But I am who I am. I am a beautiful representation of the Universe in human form, as we all are. How could I not be me? As I've said before, there's beauty in differences. If we were all the same, the world would be a boring place. The Universe made me just like this, so how could I possible question it, or not be me?
I think some people get lost in this idea. They think they are going to lose part of themselves once they start releasing attachment, bringing the peace within to outside experiences, and living from one's higher self. The only parts you lose when you start on the path are the ones that keep you attached to worldly things. But the best of you will shine! Your light will be brighter than ever.
What people seem to notice most about me when they meet me, is my peaceful energy. That's because that's where I come from. My inner peace. But I still like to laugh! I still think the world is funny! I still hug my friends, I still attempt to dance.... (Notice the word "attempt"), and I still have an outgoing personality. Most of that helps me connect very quickly with people, and in turn, help the teaching process. Because all I can be, is me. And I am me, and I am on a spiritual journey; no robe required.
So enlighten up! It's not the end of you, it's the beginning of a more peaceful you! Buckle up, and enjoy the ride!
Sunday, February 20, 2011
As you all see, there are a lot of days in between my posts here.... mostly because I have not had a lot of time. But after March 5th, I will have more time to write! I am leaving a job that has given me a sense of security for some time, but it has gotten in the way of me being able to move forward with my spiritual teaching. For this reason, I am taking the leap of faith and leaving that security behind to concentrate on continuing waking up the world to a new way of being! Have you noticed that the world needs it? I have!
So, the full business will be launching soon, complete with my new website, new blog entries, and lots and lots of other good things! I can't wait!!
So get ready world, because I'm coming to make a difference!
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Only you can help yourself. Others cannot help you. You are the one who has to do the work. When you choose to do the work, you will find everything you need enter your life. If you were drowning, and a boat came by, would you ever think about not getting into it because you thought it was too small? If you were starving, and someone offered you a sandwich, would you really not accept it because it wasn't your favorite sandwich meat? It's amazing how many people live thier lives this way, crying out for help, but deciding it is not the help they want. In the end, these are the people with nothing, even though they had everything offered to them. Remember this: Miracles do not have to be big to be miracles.
I find the phrase "Common Courtesy" to be misleading. Too many people are in too much of a rush for courtesy. In fact, it's quite uncommon to find courtesy in the world any longer. It is amazing that you will have a reaction like "I can't believe you did that!" when you do something nice. Shouldn't that be the norm? I am always amazed when someone is so suprised that I held the door for them, or pick up something that they dropped. These things happen without me even thinking about them. Strangely enough, there then are those who will not even say thank you for helping them. I feel a great deal of compassion for them, as it must be tough to hurt like that inside that when you are shown loving kindness, you turn away from it. I will always be the love I wish to see in the world, and I will always have compassion for those who at this time, are not able to feel it.
Do not dwell in the past, nor stay adrift in the future. There is only now. This seems like a simple concept, but so many people live like the past or the future is so much more important than the only thing they actually have some control over: The present. Everything you need is right here, right now. What you choose to do with it is up to you. But one thing is for sure, if you are not present in this moment, it will turn into those dreaded past moments you are continuously lamenting.
Finally.... Just "be", people! Be you! Be the best version of you you can be! Do not wish to be someone else. You are a beautiful and intricate part of the Universe, and without you, other things could not be. Be happy! Be the love you wish to see in the world. Be the peace you wish to have in your life. See how beautiful things happen when you put other's needs ahead of your own. Do not want! All pain comes from want and desire. Set your goals, then let it go. If you don't reach them, you may find that you got something else that you wanted even more! The Universe dreams dreams for you that are so much larger than anything you can dream for yourself. Let it go. Free your mind.
Love and light to you all....
Saturday, January 29, 2011
We had quite an amazing talk, and I had taken him in directions he has never thought of going before. The first area is Karma. Are you erasing your Karma on this earth, or creating it? Are you learning the lessons you were meant to learn here, or are you blindly going through life living the lie of society? Are you playing the game of "He with the most toys at the end wins?" Or, are you releasing yourself from attachment, and instead of taking something from this world, are you working on bringing something to this world?
Most people believe that life and death are two distinctly different things. You live, then you die. The mind continues to separate in this world. There is no life without death, just as there is no death without life. At this very instant, you are living and dying at the same time. You are doing both-- rather, you ARE both. So what are you doing in relation to the world at this moment? As my friend is so focused and scared about what happens to his family when he dies, is he putting in the same effort to insure a peaceful transition when his life on this plane ends?
If you can free your mind of the division, the separation that you create on this planet, you can see that we are all one. And if we are all one, then what you want for you, you cannot help but want for all. If you are hungry, then you will want to eat. If we are all one, then we all want to eat. So when you think of eating, why not think "Who can I feed tonight?" When you want to get dressed in the morning, think "Who can I clothe today?" And when you move into this awareness, then you are walking firmly on the path. There is no more worry about life and death, for you see that it all exists simultaneously, and that it is ok. There is nothing to fear, and there is nothing to plan for. You cannot help but develop a deep sense of peace: a "oneness" with the world. You have created your "death insurance" policy.
Remember that what you have, will fade much quicker than what you have done. So while you are out there getting your life insurance, maybe it's time to stop and think about what you're doing about your "death insurance". Because the Karma related to what you have done on this planet will stick with you much longer than any insurance policy can pay out.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
But what are your words really saying, and how can they affect your world? We see them simply as little jokes, the private ones you share only with that person, or perhaps even a particular group of people. Can those words you use in jest really disrupt your world? The answer, suprisingly, is yes.
All words have an energy field, a tone, a degree of emotion behind them. destructive word is a destructive word, regardless of if it is used in a lighthearted fashion. They set a tone for a feeling inside you. The idea is, if everything you say comes from a place of love, then a word not associated with love cannot come from your mouth. You cannot use the word "ugly", if all you see is beauty around you. This word cannot be used in jest, because it would basically cease to exist in your vocabulary. And if you take away the word "ugly" from your vocabulary, then all you can see is beauty, because you know nothing else. This is how words come from a place of love.
To illustrate this point, think about a moment that you were very intimate with someone. That moment where you felt so much love you just got lost in each other's eyes. Now imagine feeling that moment in your car when you're driving, and someone cuts you off. How difficult would it be to come out of that place of love and yell at the driver that cut you off? Because you are so far away from the feeling of anger, anger cannot come through. Now, imagine you are joking around with your best friend, and they are telling a story, and you're calling them stupid (in jest), and poking fun at them sarcastically for what they did. (Which, by the way, is part of who they are). Suddenly, that same car cuts you off. How easy would it be to get angry with that driver by calling him stupid, because the "feeling" of that word is already in play within you? We create our world with our thoughts, and we contribute to our environment with our words. If our words, even in jest, are negative in nature, our reactions to other things around us will be more apt to have a negative response to it. Remember the old phrase: "Be careful of our thoughts, for they become our words. Be careful for our words, for they become our actions." (They phrase continues, but this is the main point I am getting at now.) Our words become our actions, and if the words we use everyday are hateful, destructive, negative words, how can we not react in a negative way when advirsity arises?
I have a friend like this, and we've made the pact to no longer use any words with each other that do not come from love, even in jest. The strange side effect of this is that we laugh much more together now. (and we laugh all the time anyway) Partly because we say things like "I'm glad you called to tell me that, because I appreciate the opportunity to hear from you", and those things, even possibly said with a slight hint of sarcasm, are words of love. They make you smile. They make you laugh. They make you feel good. And when you are smiling and laughing, how can anger exist?
It's a no brainer that we should use words of love with the world. Be the love you want to see in the world. And if you get away from using words with negative connotations, even in jest, then the negative feelings associated with those words cannot exist in your world. Remember, when you remove ugly from your life, all you can see is beauty.
Love and light.........
2011 is a great year for change and growth. Do not be afraid. Know that good things are coming to you and they will come. Be the love you want to see in your world. Be the peace you want to have in your life.
Remember that everything stems from INSIDE of us. Our exterior circumstances do not control us. Be who you are, do not look to be anyone else.
And most important, just "be".
Welcome back to my blog. Let's make it a great year!
Love and light to you all.