Tag Archives: Ram Daas

Something Good

1. My Sisters, The Sugar Junkies on Guinevere Gets Sober.

2. The Recovering Body: Physical and Spiritual Fitness for Living Clean and Sober, Jennifer Matesa’s latest book which releases in a few days. I was lucky enough to get an early copy, and it’s so so so good. It gives you the research, the facts, and examples of the stories of various specific people, as well as Jennifer’s own story of addiction and recovery. As with her other writing, this book is brutal in its truth, but elegantly written, compassionate, and so helpful.

3. I am so in love with the new banner on Rowdy Kittens. Tammy shared a link to the site of the artist who created it, and the first post on her blog is all about an offer she’s making to illustrate blog headers. I have been thinking about the site I’m building for the work I’ll be doing teaching and writing, and I am so excited about the opportunity to commission Philippa. Her work is exactly what I was picturing in my head. Thanks, Tammy!

4. 27 Stressful Things You Tolerate Too Often from Marc and Angel Hack Life.

5. Roasted brussel sprouts with bacon and apples recipe from Back to Her Roots. Roasted brussel sprouts are one of my favorite things.

6. Who is in charge of you? Wisdom from Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook. My favorite line is this: “ultimately, other people can only help me; they cannot save me.” Also from Elizabeth on Facebook, Every Journey is a Spiritual Journey and The Most Strangely Reassuring Advice I Ever Received.

7. 5 Signs You Are Coming Alive on Rebelle Society.

8. Wisdom from Socrates: “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”

9. Wisdom from Dilgo Khyenste Rinpoche, “Try to see all your joys and sorrows as if you were watching a movie, letting go of of the idea that you have to strive hard to avoid what is unpleasant. This will make your happiness indestructible.” (Thanks for sharing, Sandra).

10. ST. VINCENT – Official Trailer (2014) [HD]. This movie has some of my favorite actors. Anyone seen it yet?

11. The Dark Knight of the Soul on The Atlantic, which discusses the potential dark side of meditation.

12. Wisdom from Walt Whitman, “I am larger, better than I thought, I did not know I held so much goodness.”

13. Deep Thoughts From a Late Bloomer on Flingo.

14. A Loving Pledge to Smarten the Fuck Up on Rebelle Society.

15. At The Age Of 29, Brittany Is Ending Her Life In A Courageous Way.

16. Talking to a Dead Man: Conversation with a Gang Member in Detroit on Medium. The man in question says at one point, “More kids mean more poverty, more crime when they join the gangs, more trouble for everyone. It should just all end with us dying.” I sure hope there’s another way…

17. Video: Here’s Life Inside A Bed-Stuy Squat. So incredibly sad.

18. Mary Lambert talks her new album, new girlfriend and new attitude with the New York Post.

19. Wisdom from Tara Brach, “Mindfulness is a pause — the space between stimulus and response: that’s where choice lies.”

20. Wisdom from Chögyam Trungpa,

It is said in the texts that those who have attained the highest level of enlightenment suffer more than ordinary people. Their suffering is like the difference between having a hair in your eye as opposed to feeling a hair touching your palm. You feel much more. In other words, they are more in tune with how other people feel. That kind of discomfort is necessary in order to work for others. Positively speaking, it’s like the ache a mother or father would feel if their child cries. But there is another form of discomfort that arises from losing your grip on how to maintain your ego, which is not necessary. That kind of discomfort is an extra burden. So suffering could be very helpful or it could be somewhat of a nuisance.

21. 8 Compelling Reasons to Live with Less from Be More With Less.

22. Why You Should Start Blogging (Even If You’re Not a Writer) on Medium.

23. Unbearable Compassion from Ram Dass, in which he says, “if you armor your heart you starve to death” and,

Here’s where the faith comes and the faith is deepened through your own practices, through your own direct experiences. It’s not belief that someone hands you. It is faith that comes from your own direct experiences. So you learn to keep your heart open in hell. Finally.

24. Which reminded me of this, Louis C.K. Hates Cell Phones, and what he had to say about “the forever empty.”

25. Marriage by Jeff Oaks.

26. Wisdom from Jessica Patterson,

To do this work, you have to know center. You have to know it well enough to let circumference shift without collapsing the shape of you. You have to know center well enough that you can hold space for those you love when they lose their step, when they lose center, when they falter. To do this work, you have to be willing to hold center like a focal point so those who crash on your shores can do so without fear that you will make it about you. Even when it affects you to your core. Even when it hurts you to see them hurting or struggling or making dumb decisions or acting base or mean. Because to do this work, you have to be spacious enough to actually hold space for others. To do this work, you have to be committed to being a light in the darkness, an anchor in the many baffling storms we endure. If you drown every time someone you love is drowning, this is not the work for you. If you lose your center so easily when someone you love is lost, this is not the work for you. If your reaction to hard times or discomfort is judgment and aversion, this is not the work for you. If someone else’s trauma inevitably becomes your own, then this is not the work for you.

27. Big challenges and small wins from This (Sorta) Old Life. Because, this:

In the midst of a big hard time, it’s good to have some small wins. It’s good to be reminded that little fixes can make a big difference in how we feel. It’s good to feel competent. It’s good to remember that no time is all good or all bad, and that the important thing is to keep moving forward, doing what we can. Sometimes that’s the only way we can do home, and life.

Three Truths and One Wish

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1. Truth: Death is real. And it’s not always pretty. It doesn’t always happen painlessly at the end of a long, well lived and loved, full and finished life, with the one who’s leaving in a comfortable bed with candles lit and soft music playing and loved ones all around. It strikes those who are much too young, it is sometimes accidental, sudden, brutal, tragic. Sometimes it’s just not fair, not kind, not easy. But no matter how it comes, how it goes down, every mortal will go, be gone. No matter how well we love or how faithfully we care for each other, we will lose or be lost.

2. Truth: I am still trying to figure out how to live in a world where this is true, where what we love will die. Where we intentionally allow ourselves to be wounded, invite it, where we strip completely naked and hand the one we love the sharpest knife. I have seen death, understand it, have even felt a sort of peace in that moment of letting go, knowing that loved one has been released from their suffering. And yet, I am still trying to figure out how — how to fully surrender to this truth, accept it, stay open to it. Love unbound from form can feel almost like rage, running wild with the desire to smash and burn and break and scream, longing mixed with a strange confusion that insists someone must be to blame, must be punished, so much fierce energy with no place to go.

3. Truth: We are here now, together, and that makes all the eventual pain worth it. As much as I grieve those I have lost, I would not give up the time I had with them in order to avoid this suffering. And there is so much about this life to love. As I was reminded by one big heart today, when I reached out in my confusion, “and yet laughter and yet barbecued chicken and yet a glass of cold water on a hot day, Louis Armstrong, fresh raspberries,” and another reminded me that Winnie the Pooh says, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”

Magic is all around, waiting for us to notice and be amazed. On our walk this morning, a butterfly, busy feeding on a flower, let me get closer than I’ve ever been and stayed still so I could take a picture. Ram Dass says “we are all just walking each other home,” and when I can remember that, when I can slow down and see the vivid color and surprise of a butterfly, I feel myself soften, feel the whole tight knot begin to unwind.

One wish: That we stay awake, rather than denying or disconnecting, that we recognize our limitless potential, that we stay open to the connections that heal us, notice the magic and cultivate the medicine.

We are all just walking each other home.