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A Word to the Wise...

Monday, June 15, 2009

...which obviously wouldn't be me: A Nutrition Note I wrote on today's Tracker --

"OMG! 2 oz. of walnuts carries 37 GRAMS of FAT!!! Add to that the ridiculous 14 gr. of fat in the ridiculous 1/2 cup of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream I consumed and I'm already at 51 GRAMS OF FAT!
"Daily serving of walnuts is ONE ounce, not two. And pl-EASE forego the Ben & Jerry' it REALLY worth it???
"I would have SAVED 32.5 gr. of fat by eliminating the B&J and consuming 1 oz. of walnuts, thus making me 38.5 gr. of fat for the day, well within today's parameters!"

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHELTIELADY 6/21/2009 12:13AM

    Lesson learned huh? But why do we have to learn them the hard way? LOL

Oh well, it is over & done so it is time to forgive yourself & start fresh tomorrow.

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LUCKY-13 6/20/2009 8:54PM

    DH finds ice cream and frozen yogurt hard to resist so we don't buy it or even go near the frozen goodies in the store. But I love, love, love raspberry sorbet! I think it tastes better and there's no dairy in it so I feel OK afterward.

But I bet you don't have ice cream or walnuts everyday right? If you don't then I wouldn't be too hard on yourself. An occasional splurge is OK as long as it stays just that: occasional.

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SLASALLE 6/16/2009 5:11PM

    The walnuts are, indeed, good fat, so don't beat yourself up too badly. Now you could PROBABLY have indulged in 1/2-cup of B&J (good for you for portion control, think what you did RIGHT, not what you did wrong) AND 1 oz. of walnuts.

Nuts are great, but most of us are surprised by what they add to our fat tracker!!! Live and learn, my friend. You do that part quite well.

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CAROLYN4033 6/16/2009 11:03AM

    ICE CREAM has been a favorite of mine for a very long time...I simply cannot resist ice cream...Ben and Jerry's is the best for sure...there is no way I would have stopped at 1/2 good for you! Maha, you must go to my photo gallery and look at my first picture...I just ran across this picture a few days ago....1972 (8 yrs old) in my sister's firebird convertible, doing my favorite'll see..I tried to copy the picture in this comment, but it wouldn't work.....Peace, Carolyn

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GBOOMER 6/16/2009 5:36AM

    I love some of Ben and Jerry's flavors and have indulged myself with them time to time. Lately I've been enjoying Skinny Cow low fat ice cream products. They make these ice cream sandwiches and cones that are only 150 calories and are delicious.


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WOOLANDWOOD 6/15/2009 11:04PM

    Just three words...... Key Lime Pie.

Home made.

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INCEPERSON 6/15/2009 10:07PM

    Sometimes you just have to have Ben and Jerry's! It's like baing a kid again-pure joy! I am surprised about the walnuts! Don't fret though, it must be good fat! LOL

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KUZINKEITH 6/15/2009 9:44PM

    I feel your pain . . . I watch in envy as others enjoy ice-cream. I must admit that I never looked at the fat content, the sugar alone is enough to scare me off.
As much as I love walnuts and pecans, I have learned to make almonds my nut of choice (although officially they're not nuts). At 14g of fat per oz, 3g of fiber and only 6g carbs (raw & unsalted), I can eat a couple of ounces with a handful of raisins and be OK ... as long as I'm not watching someone else eat a big ol bowl of B & J!!

Hey if you continue to eat like that, you could call your blog "A word from the wide..."
emoticon emoticon

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TRUCKINMIKE 6/15/2009 8:41PM

    I don't like ice cream (warning -- run on sentence here: I know, insane, huh and I spent a childhood scraping it off all servings of birthday party cake since adults never heard of kids not liking ice cream back then but what with today's allergies it would be heard). Soooo trade it in for Edy's Whole Fruit Sorbet. It is to die for and it's zero fat : )

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DRAGONFLY7149 6/15/2009 7:35PM

    Ben & Jerry's!!!! Naughty you, Maha.....what flavour? (I'll just drool in anticipation of your response...I'm partial to Cherry Garcia and that Chunky Monkey)

Nuts about the nuts emoticon
-- but don't forget that their fat is the healthy variety

My dirty little secret? -- Bob bought a tub of Skor ice cream and it's driving me crazy, but I've survived two days w/o eating the whole thing. Just a heaping spoonful (est. 2-3 tbsp.) each night that I've savoured slowly with some inner ramblings about moderation vs. deprivation


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JNEUBS 6/15/2009 7:29PM

    Don't get me started with ice cream!

OMG!!! Daily about an entire pint a day of either B&J, HD or Dove!!!

That's all I have to say!


ChiTown Jeff emoticon emoticon

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Try to be kind to someone who is unkind to you....

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

I am *fed* frequently by these eThoughts for the Day that come to me daily. The challenge below as posed by the mystics is, "Try to be kind to someone who is unkind to you,” and my question back is, "Even if the person who has been unkind to you is YOU?"

I have an easier time being kind to others who have wronged me than to myself. I've been watching a wonderful DVD program of Pema Chodron's, Good Medicine. In looking at our behavior, she emphasizes the importance of not repressing, nor judging the behavior. And in a Teaching on Addiction (of ANY kind) she says:

"There is a teaching, a very advanced teaching which people always perk up whan they hear which says, 'The more neurosis, the more wisdom.' People like this because they know they have a lot of neurosis. But no one can really understand this at first hearing because it doesn't ever feel like 'the more neurosis, the more wisdom.' It actually feels like 'the more neurosis, the more despair.' But what I have found in working with this is that if you are all caught up and it occurs to you to just open, there is so much energy which is available to wake up —there is so much more energy available at this time."

So, my intention today is to be with the energy, open to it, and move through it to the light of greater understanding.


Abide in peace, banish cares, take no account of all that happens, and you will serve the Divine according to good pleasure, and rest in this.
-– Saint John of the Cross

We have many stories from the Hindu scriptures about gambling, some about kings who lost entire kingdoms gambling at dice. There is the moving story of King Yudhishthira, who lost his kingdom and went into exile, and yet came back, after a terrible battle, to regain everything through the grace of Sri Krishna.

Many people are tempted to gamble, to take risks, when the stakes are high. The mystics would ask us, “Why don’t you bet on goodness? Try to be kind to someone who is unkind to you, and look upon it as a gamble.”

Of course we are not sure how the other person is going to respond – that is the thrill of it. If they add insult to injury, why not double your bet? Isn’t that what people do at roulette? You just keep on doubling your bet until one day you redeem all your losses.

It may not work at the casino, but in life this is the only strategy that pays in the end. After all, what every one of us is trying to do is get our hands on the real treasures of life – rich relationships and resources for contributing to the happiness of all. This is what everybody wants, and to get it we have to gamble on goodness.
-- Eknath Easwaran

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:


    Excellent thoughts here. Ive been so careful too to be kind to others that often I purposely am unkind to myself. Sometimes even hafta remind myself that this life of mine must also be honored after all it was given to ME not my neighbor.

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MAZZYR 6/10/2009 1:47PM

    Yes, Maha, especially if it's you being unkind to you. How else can you truly be kind to someone else?

So, dear Maha, please be kind to my friend, Maha.


Comment edited on: 6/10/2009 1:52:35 PM

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GENKI_WARRIOR 6/10/2009 12:42PM

    gambling is a pretty interesting and inventive way of picturing it (the practice of decency, goodness, etc). i often catch myself thinking "why bother, because i know i'll only get the same $hit from this person that they've given me all along;" or "everybody else cuts eachother off in traffic...why not?" but not placing any bets--not taking any risks--is equivalent to giving up. would be hopelessly conceited of me to give up on people by assuming that they all will always merely give me crap.
it's a lonely world when the only one you can rely on to build you up is yourself ...and it's hell when you don't even have that.

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LOLAGEEK 6/10/2009 11:57AM

    The good thing about dealing with yourself is that you ultimately have control over the honesty being expressed. That may not make it easier, but it makes for an amazing relationship once you break through your barriers. This post gave me the warm fuzzies that I have for myself and my process. I of course had a bad car accident and lengthy recovery that aided in my process. I don't wish that on anyone, the outcome YES, my process NO.

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CAROLYN4033 6/10/2009 11:32AM

    I agree with Susan, bullseye! You know what I learned in rehab was to pray for the people that have hurt you! I held a HUGE resentment toward my sister-in-law and so I prayed for her everyday, and guess what, my resentment lifted for me! She is still the same, but I am not...I was also told not to pray for myself, I didn't understand that and still don't, because if we are the one's hurting ourselves then who do we pray for? Maybe I just have to trust other people are praying for me...I don't know...........Peace, Carolyn

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BAREFOOT-LISA 6/10/2009 10:39AM

    Such a good blog! It is true that so many people are more cruel to themselves than we could ever imagine being to another human being, and it is high time we turn that kindness and awareness towards ourselves. We get from this world what we put into it, and if we are putting out negativity and judgement (even if only on ourselves), that negativity will seep into everything we do. Thank you for this new goal for the day!

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SUSANLUSAN 6/10/2009 9:40AM

    "Even if the person who has been unkind to you is YOU?" What a bullseye, Maha! I am seldom as unkind to others as I can be to self. Permitting that which I know to be bad for me, in amounts that make a measurable difference can take many forms. As is heard in the AA rooms, cross addiction is like switching seats on the Titanic. It is good to have this invitation to seek a new risk. Thank you.

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What the Day Gives

Monday, June 08, 2009

After my silent retreat yesterday, I'm continuing to quietly consider the parameters of my life, where I focus my energy. I'm looking at ways to ~~

~ Choose Joy in this Mixed-Review World
~ amp up the ways that I serve others
~ be consistent in self-care, including food and exercise choices
~ maintain a regular meditation practice

"The healing we took birth for" is the ultimate purpose of being on the planet to my way (and Stephen Levine's) of thinking. In that spirit, I look at ~~


Suddenly, sun. Over my shoulder
in the middle of gray November
what I hoped to do comes back,

Across the street the fiery trees
hold onto their leaves,
red and gold in the final months
of this unfinished year,
they offer blazing riddles..

In the frozen fields of my life
there are no shortcuts to spring,
but stories of great birds in migration
carrying small ones on their backs,
predators flying next to warblers
they would, in a different season, eat.

Stunned by the astonishing mix in this uneasy world
that plunges in a single day from despair
to hope and back again, I commend my life
to Ruskin's difficult duty of delight,
and to that most beautiful form of courage,
to be happy.

-- Jeanne Lohmann
(The Light of Invisible Bodies)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SLASALLE 6/9/2009 5:42PM

    Where the mind goes (your reference to focus), the energy flows. Let is flow, my friend ... You always provide topic for meaningful consideration, and I love it.

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    "In the frozen fields of my life
there are no shortcuts to spring,"

This is my most recent realization and Im embracing that I just must enjoy the sun when it is shining on me.

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CAROLYN4033 6/8/2009 12:12PM

    "The healing we took birth for", I really like that....Today, that makes complete sense to me.....Peace, Carolyn

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LOLAGEEK 6/8/2009 11:39AM

    I love the great birds of migration contrast to the fiction of a shortcut to spring. Just lovely and illustrative of a journey, much like we all are on to better ourselves.

I am excited to not have house guests this week. I get my office and meditation space back. I hope yesterday's retreat was productive in a retreat sort of way.


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KUZINKEITH 6/8/2009 10:54AM

    Ahhh -
I like how your blog basically starts with the idea of "choosing joy" and the poem has the wonderful ending of "courage to be happy".

We have more "power" than we sometimes believe we do. We can take the courageous path and give life to ourselves and others, or we can hide in our selfish, self-centered world. For today I choose the path of happiness and I thank you, Maha, for encouraging us.

Just like those trees, life offers blazing riddles!

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SUSANLUSAN 6/8/2009 10:51AM

    Sometimes I find just being, let alone be happy, challenging, Maha. I consider not being a viable option. Sometimes it is a decision I repeatedly make since the question repeatedly comes up. Other times it is forgotten or assumed or my answer manages to hold for a while. Once I decide to be here, being happy follows along easily enough ... most of the time.

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The Driving Force of Meditation....

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I wage a continuing battle with my mind in my intent to have a regular *sitting practice* as I call it. I know the value of it for EVERY ASPECT of my life-in-a-body, not the least of which is proper care of this vehicle I've been entrusted with. That doesn't lessen the battle. It rages...and I fight! Here is the sage Sri Easwaran again, providing wonderful insights on the power and importance of meditation:

Dive deep, O mind, dive deep In the ocean of God’s beauty;
If you descend to the uttermost depths,
There you will find the gem of love.
-– Bengali hymn

Don’t think the purpose of meditation is to go deep into consciousness, wrap a blanket around yourself, and say, “How cozy! I’m going to curl up in here by myself; let the world burn.” Not at all. We go deep into meditation so that we can reach out farther and farther to the world outside.

In meditation we are going deep into ourselves, into the utter solitude that is within. As a counterbalance to this, it is necessary to be with people: to laugh with them, to sing with them, and to enjoy the healthy activities of life.

Meditation and selfless action go hand in hand. When we try to live more for others than for ourselves, this will deepen our meditation. When we deepen our meditation, more and more energy will be released with which we can love and help others.
-- Eknath Easwaran

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOLAGEEK 6/6/2009 4:04PM

    I think it is interesting that you write that the counterbalance of this inward practice is to be with people. For me meditation is a tool to have better relationships with those I interact with. Meditation helps me clear the clutter in my mind that allows me to be dishonest with myself. With a clearer mind I have a more direct relationship with myself and as an extension of that with others. I have noticed that with my practice I am able to voice my discontent with others easily as it arises as well as be able to laugh and enjoy my interactions with others more easily. I am freer and don't hold on to hurt and disappointments like I have in the past. I think I also love my relationships a little bit more (if that is possible).

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WOOLANDWOOD 6/4/2009 5:52AM

    Last Tuesday when I asked my yoga teacher for advice after a class where we did a lot of pelvic floor and sacrum work. You see I have some "issues" with the 2nd chakra that arose from the same series of incidents that also mixed up my blessings with a dissociative "disorder"

I found while we were doing the pelvic work a huge amount of resistance expressed itself in my jaw and shoulders. I could NOT no matter how I breathed to it, stop the resistance. I wanted advice on how to overcome my resistance.

She spoke right to it with her reply. She said " You could just go ahead and resist."

What it says to me is to not fight the Fight. Cause then what do we get???
Fight squared.

I love you dearly, sister fish

Comment edited on: 6/4/2009 8:42:12 PM

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    Could it be that you are trying too hard to match an image of what you think meditation should be? Personally, I think meditation is very personal and each one of us finds our own way to meditate. Granted many people do not really get the idea of actually relaxing the mind leading to relaxation of the physical body. I dont want to leave my mind open to the influence of something that would lead me in a direction I do not want to go, so I will not completely relax, ever. What does help me to relax is to practice focusing on something, a verse, a flower, my mood, a picture. When Ive done that I have truly relaxed both mind and body. Actually, I think I get better at this as I age because youth tends to be a natural distraction with all the directions we think we need to go! Can you tell that I am not an expert in this?! But that first question might be helpful.

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KEEPITMOVING 6/3/2009 2:07PM

    this is a great blog. it hones in on what really matters. thanks for sharing your insights. n

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Farewell Letter From Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, famous writer from Colombia, and Nobel Peace Prize winner for literature, has retired from public life for reasons of health. He has a form of cancer which is terminal. He has sent a farewell letter to his friends and it has been circulated around the Internet.

It is recommended reading because it is moving to see how one of the most brilliant of writers expresses himself with sorrow. He says:

If God, for a second, forgot what I have become and granted me a little bit more of life, I would use it to the best of my ability. I wouldn't, possibly, say everything that is in my mind, but I would be more thoughtful of all I say. I would give merit to things not for what they are worth, but for what they mean to express. I would sleep little, I would dream more, because I know that for every minute that we close our eyes, we waste sixty seconds of light. I would walk while others stop; I would awake while others sleep. If God would give me a little bit more of life, I would dress in a simple manner, I would place myself in front of the sun, leaving not only my body, but my soul naked at its mercy. To all men I would say how mistaken they are when they think that they stop falling in love when they grow old, without knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love. I would give wings to children, but I would leave it to them to learn how to fly by themselves. To old people I would say that death doesn't arrive when they grow old, but with forgetfulness.

I have learned so much with you all, I have learned that everybody wants to live on top of the mountain, without knowing that true happiness is obtained in the journey taken and the form used to reach the top of the hill. I have learned that when a newborn baby holds, with its little hand, his father's finger, it has trapped him for the rest of his life.

I have learned that a man has the right and obligation to look down at another man, only when that man needs help to get up from the ground. Say always what you feel, not what you think. If I knew that today is the last time that that I am going to see you asleep, I would hug you with all my strength and I would pray to the Lord to let me be the guardian angel of your soul. If I knew that these are the last moments to see you, I would say 'I love you'. There is always tomorrow, and life gives us another opportunity to do things right, but in case I am wrong, and today is all that is left to me, I would love to tell you how much I love you and that I will never forget you.

Tomorrow is never guaranteed to anyone, young or old. Today could be the last time to see your loved ones, which is why you mustn't wait; do it today, in case tomorrow never arrives. I am sure you will be sorry you wasted the opportunity today to give a smile, a hug, a kiss, and that you were too busy to grant them their last wish.

Keep your loved ones near you; tell them in their ears and to their faces how much you need them and love them. Love them and treat them well; take your time to tell them 'I am sorry';' forgive me',' please' 'thank you', and all those loving words you know. Nobody will know you for your secret thought. Ask the Lord for wisdom and strength to express them. Show your friends and loved ones how important they are to you.

Send this letter to those you love. If you don't do it today...tomorrow will be like yesterday, and if you never do it, it doesn't matter, either, the moment to do it is now.

For you, With much love,

Your Friend,

Gabriel Garcia Marquez

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CAROLYN4033 6/1/2009 10:12AM

    Dearest Maha,

Once again you have me deep in thought. I too agree with Keith, you are a loving teacher and I know I am a better person because of you and your teachings. So thank you for sharing this letter with me today.

Peace and Love,

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JAZZTAZZ 6/1/2009 10:02AM

    Beauty in it's purest form. Thank you for sharing this loving message, it has touch my heart.


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KUZINKEITH 6/1/2009 9:26AM

    There is so much in here, and it mostly boils down to giving as much love as you can to everyone you meet - every chance you get -- and give yourself more chances ...
So, in case my journey ends today, let me tell you, MAHA, how glad I am we stumbled into one another on this journey. You are a loving teacher, and my life is much better for having you as a part of it. Consider yourself hugged and kissed.

........... emoticon emoticon..........

"true happiness is obtained in the journey taken and the form used to reach the top of the hill. " I hope that I can travel with a little more dignity and a lot more love today.

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SUSANLUSAN 6/1/2009 6:47AM

    There is a beautiful organic-ness to his love -- "Tell them in their ears and to their faces". It reminds me of how I have often hoped to live as long as I fully alive and not a moment more.

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MAZZYR 5/31/2009 11:22PM


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DRAGONFLY7149 5/31/2009 10:43PM

    And, again, it all comes down to love...
thank you, Maha, for sharing this beautiful letter.


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