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Conscious living, conscious eating....

Friday, June 19, 2009

I truly consider smart care of this *bag o'bones* to be part of my sadhana, my spiritual practice. To eat consciously, to keep my heart and bones healthy, are aspects of the stewardship of this "body-temple" to which I've been entrusted.

It's the work of a lifetime. I have failed miserably many times, but slowly, slowly I'm learning and applying the lessons of this lifetime for greater body-mind-spirit health!

As usual Sri Easwarn captures it beautifully. And the initial quote of St. Teresa is awesome as well! Consider:

Do not be dismayed, daughters, at the number of things which you have to consider before setting out on this divine journey, which is the royal road to heaven. By taking this road we gain such precious treasures that it is no wonder if the cost seems to us a high one. The time will come when we shall realize that all we have paid has been nothing at all by comparison with the greatness of our prize.
-– Saint Teresa of Avila

Those who offer instant enlightenment mislead us. After all, we have to bring the mind itself under control, and there is no more difficult task in life. We should be prepared for a lifetime of challenge. But then, we need challenges, or we stagnate. If you want to judge your progress, ask yourself these questions: Am I more loving? Is my judgment sounder? Do I have more energy? Can my mind remain calm under provocation? Am I free from the conditioning of anger, fear, and greed? Spiritual awareness reveals itself eloquently in character development and selfless action. Authentic spiritual experience changes the way you see the world and the way you live.
-- Eknath Easwaran

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BABYFACE26 7/1/2009 1:37AM

    Beautiful. I especially like the reminder that what we are doing is trying to control the Mind, and that is a lifetime task, of great difficulty. Thank you.

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PEACEFULONE 6/27/2009 10:41AM

    Wise words and a precious gift! As always thank you for sharing. Have a wonderful weekend!
Peace and blessings, Elaine

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FLOWINGWATER 6/25/2009 9:39AM

    Ahhhh...a spiritual drink for a thirsty soul. Thanks for the refreshment! emoticon emoticon

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LUCKY-13 6/20/2009 9:03PM

    Food for thought!

Thank you for reminding me that challenges aren't necessarily bad. Instead they teach us things about ourselves and encourage us to continue learning!


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MISBEHAVING 6/20/2009 8:02PM

    I happened upon your blog and I appreciate you sharing this profound wisdom with us. I am on a quest for spiritual awareness, grounding and ultimately, freedom. I acknowledge that the pathways through which we've arrived at this place in time, though difficult sometimes, is part of the preparation for living in our spirit.


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KAT573 6/19/2009 7:27PM

    I liked your questions; the first being the most challenging one most often misunderstood by us I think; the question of what LOVE is seldom the sweet and caressing image we think it "should" be. Love is very hard work, and requires the constant pulling back of the blankets we wish to hide under so we can see the "situation" in the light of day and therefore, define our challenge more honestly.
Thank you for your sharing!
Kat emoticon

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DRAGONFLY7149 6/19/2009 2:02PM

    Thank-you, Maha...I needed some of that grounding today and, lo and behold, found it here.


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SLAYINGDRAGONS 6/19/2009 11:48AM

    ITs a good thing to be a changing. Change is sometimes hard on us, but, in the end, the prize of a life lived better is the best thing in the world!

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LIZARDG7 6/19/2009 11:36AM

    "Instant Enlightenment" - doesn't that sound wonderful? It really isn't! The fun and work is in the journey! As usual, Sri Easwaran speaks to me today. Healthy eating is a lifetime job for me, one day at a time. Thanks, Maha emoticon


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BAREFOOT-LISA 6/19/2009 9:54AM

    I love how 2 completely different spiritual paths can truly have the same understanding.
We will flounder, we will resent, but in the end, the journey was worth it!

That is what I take from this, another glorious and mindful post from maha!

Have a wonderful day!

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KUZINKEITH 6/19/2009 9:52AM

    Thanks for sharing that MAHA. Those words give me hope. This is a life long journey, and it looks like you are trying to make choices that will turn your journey into a long life. It is seldom that I can make the body & mind be in concert with one another ... but those times give me hope.
Looking for the "quick fix" is tempting to this impatient perfectionist, but I know it is not the answer. Slow and steady ... stay on the path ... it's not a race, it's a journey.

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-DEBY- 6/19/2009 9:25AM

    emoticon excellent blog, loved it..

~~BLESSings~~ this FUNtastic Friday ~~0:)

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Love the earth and sun and the animals,
despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
stand up for the stupid and crazy,
devote your income and labor to others,
hate tyrants, argue not concerning God,
have patience and indulgence toward the people,
take off your hat to nothing known or unknown,
or to any man or number of men,
go freely with powerful uneducated persons,
and with the young, and with the mothers or families,
re-examine all you have been told in school or church or in any book,
and dismiss whatever insults your own soul;
and your very flesh shall be a great poem....

-- Walt Whitman
(from the Preface to Leaves of Grass, 1855 edition)

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LUCKY-13 6/20/2009 8:44PM

    Love this! Thanks for posting!


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FLOWINGWATER 6/19/2009 12:35AM

    Very wise words! Thanks for sharing. emoticon

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JNEUBS 6/17/2009 2:22PM

    What would Walt have written after watching Obama handle that fly on national tv?

Poor fly!
Obama decided you were to die!
Oh my!
Oh why?

ChiTown Jeff emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 6/17/2009 2:23:05 PM

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GRALLEN 6/16/2009 10:23AM

    This is really good. Thanks for posting it.

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SLAYINGDRAGONS 6/16/2009 10:15AM

    WE are great poems! Love that thought! emoticon emoticon

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KUZINKEITH 6/16/2009 8:56AM

    WOW --
I haven't read that since high school. It made an impact then and is a great start to my day today. THANK YOU !!!

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HAPPY-DESTINY 6/16/2009 8:43AM Kindred Spirit!

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PEACEFULONE 6/16/2009 8:42AM

    Dear Maha, You keep coming up with such beautiful posts. Thank you again for being here! Have a super, great day! Peace and love always, Elaine

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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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