Architects of a New Dawn

We’d like to show the side of the world you don’t normally see on television.

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So a Bird Can Fly Through

One thing I’ve noticed that all the saints and mystics have in common: they admonish us to live with less, to give away the things we don’t need that could help others. This isn’t to impoverish ourselves so we go on the dole, but to allow us to get down to our bare essentials, so we can let go of distractions and discover the riches within ourselves.

Do you think Saint Teresa of Avila, Hildegard von Bingen, or St. Francis of Assisi could have reached their heightened awareness if they had been watching CSI every night, or shopping until they dropped for stress relief? We know it wasn’t until they let go of the busy-ness around them that they could meditate and receive divine inspiration—the kind that comes from being so tuned into a problem that our consciousness has an equal but opposite reaction, flipping us into the solution. This won’t happen until we surrender and let go of our fear of lack, and eliminate the congestion of things.

It’s a paradox that in surrendering the worldly, we are able to gain access to the greater world of the spirit, a world beyond our security blanket of things. We may even know certain “lilies of the field” who have survived and thrived without having a house full of stuff—or bought into the consumerism mentality that keeps us on the treadmill. Maybe someone like Ivan Illich, the renaissance man of letters who in later life owned only what would fit into a suitcase, yet traveled the world living off his writing, and the largesse of the many friends he had made in his life—people who were happy to have him visit and share his latest philosophical insights. It may not be an easy way to live, but when compared with jumping through corporate hoops or living an inauthentic life, maybe not so bad. Would any of you be happy to make room for the Dalai Lama or Bob Dylan for a few weeks each year? And wouldn’t you rather talk or make music than watch tv together?

We have finally reached an age where having too much can be a liability—not just spiritually, but financially. How much does it cost to house our collections of stuff, to protect these things we surround ourselves with? How do we divide our time amongst it all, these things that have become liabilities? How many cards will you be holding when they end the game?

These times are the manifestation of a systemic disease, and as any naturopath will tell you, don’t shoot the messenger. Reflect, review, look for the root cause and fix the system. (How long has it been, anyway, since we took a fearless inventory of ourselves, our addictions, or our way of conducting business?)

We see in some of the great criminals aspects of ourselves that we wish weren’t there—greed, or the desire for getting away with something illegal or illicit once in awhile. But let’s look at the upside. Carried to the extreme, now greed has no place left to go, so the yang swings back towards the yin, the calm follows the storm, and we have time to re-examine where we went wrong and fix the holes in our roofs. And we’ve learned once again not trust anyone who claims he or she can help us get rich quick.
These realizations don’t come when we’re flush.

During a storm, we are likely to lose something at some point, even if we are prepared. But let’s think about our true assets, the things that they can’t take, no matter what. Say we went to prison. What could they not take from us? First of all, our spirit. We would do whatever it takes to keep that alive, even fake submission—for awhile, at least. Second, our minds, our education. Imagine, suddenly, with everything else stripped away, there’s so much more room for these things to grow. How many prisoners have made the most of their time and produced works of great literature, science, poetry or philosophy?

I wonder what would happen if we all as a group decided to forfeit some of the luxuries or habits we’ve accepted as being necessary in our lives—cable tv, luxury cars, closets full of new clothes, lattes at Starbucks. After complaining for awhile, would we then take stock of the things we have left, and create something of beauty and value?

I once watched an Imperial Japanese gardener prune trees. I asked him about his method. He said it was easy—just clear away the unnecessary branches, so a bird can fly through. I like to see this time as a sort of cosmic pruning, an opportunity to clear away the excess in our lives, so our spirits can fly through.

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Samantha's Blog

Michael Jackson - Dancing Until there is Only the Dance

"The awareness is expressed through creation.

This world we live in is a dance of the creator.

The dancers appear and disappear

at a glance

but the dance is still living.

On many occasions when I'm dancing,

I am touched by something sacred.

In these moments I feel my spirit is raised and

become one with all there is.

I become the winner and the subjugated,

I become the master and slave,

I become the singer and song,

I become the expert… Continue

Posted on June 28, 2009 at 9:35pm

Comment Wall (4 comments)

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At 10:56pm on November 29, 2009, Samantha said…
Love the Darfur -Holocaust photo reminder. Thanks for the nudge.
At 2:53am on July 22, 2009, Frizzey Greif said…
many thanks for the kind words


heartly welcome in the
At 1:24am on June 27, 2009, dima27 said…
Thank you for friendship!

it's my Mom work.

best regards,


At 6:06am on June 26, 2009, The Ancient One said…
Brighten Your Corner

We cannot all be famous
or be listed in "Who's Who,"
But every person great or small,
Has important work to do.

For seldom do we realize
the importance of small deeds,
Or to what degree of greatness
Unnoticed kindness leads.

For it's not the big celebrity
in a world of fame and praise,
But it's doing unpretentiously
In an undistinguished way.

It is the work that we're assigned,
unimportant as it seems,
That makes our task outstanding,
And brings reality to dreams.

So do not sit and idly wish
for wider new dimensions
Where you can fantasize about
Your many good intentions.

But at the spot you are right now
begin at once to do
Little things to brighten up
The lives surrounding you.

If everybody brightened up
the spot where they are standing,
By being more considerate,
And a little less demanding,

This dark old world would very soon
eclipse the evening star,
If everybody brightened up
The corner where they are!

Brighten up your corner today!

~ Helen Steiner Rice


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