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VALERIEMAHA's Recent Blog Entries

It's All Right

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Really nothing more to say about it this morning.

Van Morrison
(From the album "TB Sheets," 1973)

If it matters how you do it,
And how you do it is your thing.
If it matters which way you go,
That's your way to go.
And if you get it like that,
That's the way you get it,
'Cause you get it like that
When you want to be that way,
When you wanna be that way,
That's the way you wanna be, see.

Hey! It's all right.
Yeah, its all right.

Now that you try to do to me
Out there a-walkin' doesn't matter, baby
Ain't no question, no suggestion
Nothin' in my mind that can't be
Shut out when I want it to be
Nothin' in yours that can't be kept in
When you open it up and lose it
And nothin' you can't let out
If it's got to be let out, just let it out
And don't worry which way it goes.


Now how can I tell you that I love you
How can I say so many words and so many syllables
In such a short space of time as this
Just turn it on and soak it in
And let it run off the walls
And let it down, keep it, and don't lose it
Or confuse it
It's just right there layin' open
Completely open for everybody to see
Yeah, you got it.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KAT573 1/13/2010 8:47PM

    OH I enjoyed seeing the lyrics! NOW I want to hear the music and put them together! I am going to use my special headset plugged into my computer and nested against my hearing aids! LOL !

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STILLPOINT 1/13/2010 8:36PM

    YOu are one remarkable woman! Thank you for sharing the ultimate music master's music.

Namaste, dear one

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CORPUSANNIE 1/10/2010 1:24PM

    Thanks for the inspiration to finally sort through my collection of tapes to listen to this again. One of my favorites..turn it on and soak it in. Gotta love that.
montie emoticon

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COSMIC_ENERGY 1/10/2010 12:19PM

    I can hear it now--Thanks!

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JUSTDUCKY1405 1/10/2010 11:32AM


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GINABUG 1/10/2010 11:10AM

    Maha -- so much of my inspiration (as you can most likely tell from my daily gratitudes) comes from music and poetry! Thanks for sharing this one today! Truly inspiring!

Blessings abound!


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MISS_VIV 1/10/2010 10:18AM

    Let it be. So many great artists tryting to tell us all to relax, let go and it's all right. It can't be far from the truth. We all need to stop and be still, more often than we think. Thank you for another beautiful morning thought.

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LISANANCY 1/10/2010 10:09AM

    Isn't it something, the road to better health starts with our thinking. We really are in control. Getting control is the trick. You are always a sweet whisper to my ear. emoticon

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Thoughts become things. Choose good ones.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

WHOA! Powerful words from my hero, Sri Easwaran, this morning. I seem to be on a roll with the Thought for the Day as you can see, often deeply resonating with the daily Teaching.

The fact is that my thoughts impact every corner and cubicle of my life. I well know that thoughts repeated over and over make tracks in my consciousness and become conditioned behavior, which is frequently NOT where I want to be. One of the biggest reasons that I meditate is to slow down the mind, slow down the thoughts, the mental chatter and slowly take control. This allows me to act follow my bliss and move ever closer toward uncovering who I am, my true nature.

It is also so very valuable on a day-by-day, mundane level in attaining goals like meeting and maintaining an optimal weight, eating wisely, following a daily structure that serves me including exercise, clearing clutter, keeping my space clean, etc. In moving toward controlling my thoughts, I'm looking for progress, not perfection -- baby steps toward the goal.

The Buddha says, "All that we are is the result of what we have thought. If a wo/man speaks or acts with an evil thought, pain follows her/him. If a wo/man speaks or acts with a pure thought, happiness follows her/him, like a shadow that never leaves her/him." And Notes From the Universe ( ) admonishes -- "Thoughts become things. Choose good ones." Yep. It's a purdy basic formula, simple Truth, but one that for me is not easy to live by, though it IS the "healing I took birth for" as Stephen Levine says.

We are what our thoughts have made us; so take care about what you think. Words are secondary. Thoughts live; they travel far.
-- Swami Vivekananda

The ancestor of every destructive action, every destructive decision, is a negative thought. We do not have to be afraid of negative thoughts as long as we do not welcome them. They are in the air, and they may knock at anyone's door; but if we do not embrace them, ask them in, and make them our own, they can have no power over us.

We can think of thoughts as hitchhikers. At the entrance to the freeway, we used to see a lot of hitchhikers carrying signs: "Vancouver," "Mexico," "L.A." One said in simple desperation, "Anywhere!" Thoughts are a lot like those hitchhikers. We can pick them up or pass them by. Negative thoughts carry signs, but usually we see only one side, the side with all the promises. The back of the sign tells us their true destination: sickness and sorrow.

Nobody is obliged to pick up these passengers. If we do not stop and let them in, they cannot go anywhere, because they are not real until we support them. There is sympathy in the world: pick it up. There is antipathy in the world: don't pick it up. Hatred destroys. Love heals.
-- Eknath Easwaran

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CORPUSANNIE 1/9/2010 9:19PM

    Very comforting blog. I appreciate the knowledge that each of us has the power to
rebuff the negative flack that seems to come flying at us. I used to be much more influenced by what happened around me(o, guess I mean the world in general), but meditation helps me to clear my head of the almost ceaseless chatter. To turn away the noise of conflict and welcome the peace of silence, that always seems to be what feels right.
annie emoticon

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GETDONE 1/9/2010 8:48PM

    What great thoughts!!!!!!!!! emoticon

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MENT2BE 1/9/2010 6:49PM

    I agree, it is so good to have you back!! I loved your blog. It is so true that "Divine LOVE heals all".


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NORLANA 1/9/2010 5:04PM

    Don't you just love TUT ... I so wait for it every Monday LOL! I was sitting in class in Toronto last quarter and my mentor and I had a laugh over the fact that we go to our email first thing every morning to see what TUT has to say! Good stuff here, Maha. Glad to see you have a plan for the year and I know you will succeed in all aspect taking EXCELLENT care of YOU!!

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BRIGHTSPARK7 1/9/2010 3:24PM

    "Yad dhyayati tad bhavati," That which you think, so you become. Bhagavad Gita.
Love Eknath Easwaran's analogy of thoughts as passengers in your vehicle ... carry them along with you, let them out, or don't pick them up in the first place.
Thanks Mahalakshmi!
xo Usha.

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SLASALLE 1/9/2010 12:42PM

    There you go again!!!! THAT is a GREAT thing since there are so many of us who enjoy your blogs so much. Indeed, thoughts to things. And I LOVE being able to pass by the hitchhikers that I don't want to participate in!!!

Also of note that you bring up Stephen Levine in your blog today. I have been (once again) using the lovely CDs on grief. TODAY IS THE TWO MONTH ANNIVERSARY of losing my Gwendolyn.

Lots of love xoxoxo

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MAZZYR 1/9/2010 12:03PM

    Oh Maha, it's wonderful to have you back. Your blogs never fail to make me think.

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BECOMINGONE 1/9/2010 11:44AM

    From your mouth to my heart ... thoughts to actions ...


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MISS_VIV 1/9/2010 11:26AM

    Wonderful words as usual. Wish we were discussing this over our coffee.

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COSMIC_ENERGY 1/9/2010 11:15AM

    I'm all about "thoughts become things" gotta love that TUT! I assume you know about the daily inspirationals from Yogaville/Swami Satchidanana

One more positive daily read!

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AZIMAT 1/9/2010 10:56AM

    Again, welcome back, we're happy to see the words of wisdom again.

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JUSTDUCKY1405 1/9/2010 10:53AM

    Amen to that! Well said! Again... I just love your blogs!

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Directing attention, controlling the mind....

Thursday, January 07, 2010

As usual, Eknath Easwaran spoke to me in a place that I truly resonate with. Returning home after a wonderful trip to the "left coast" I'm ready to move into a level of greater conscious attention, enabling me to flourish in body, mind, and spirit as I enter the new decade.

I have been consistent with a daily sitting practice since the Soul Writing Retreat in October. I hope to continue deepening my practice and overall wellness as I learn how to increasingly direct my attention.

May we all grow and flourish in this new year!

Genius...means little more than the faculty of perceiving in an inhabitual way.
-- William James

Attention is very much like a searchlight, and it should be mounted in such a way that it can be trained on any subject freely. When we are caught up in some compulsion, this searchlight has become stuck. After many years of being stuck like this, it is hard to believe that the light can turn. We think that the compulsion has become a permanent part of our personality. But gradually, we can learn to work our attention free.

As an experiment, try to work cheerfully at some job you dislike: you are training your attention to go where you want it to go. Whatever you do, give it your best concentration. Another good exercise is learning to drop what you are doing and shift your attention to something else when the situation demands. For example, when you leave your office, leave your work there. Don't let it follow you home and come into the dining room like an untrained dog, barking at your heels.

All this is the spiritual equivalent of kicking exercises in a dance lesson or knee bends in an aerobics class. By practicing these exercises, anybody can learn to direct attention freely.
-- Eknath Easwaran

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BECOMINGONE 1/9/2010 11:53AM

    New actions, new thinking. Yesterday is just the opposite of today. Thinking = actions. Actions = thinking. Hmmmm ... circular causation is not surprising ....


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GINABUG 1/8/2010 10:20PM

    Thanks, Maha! Love love love Eknath! He was a teacher of mine during my dissertation writing -- via you, of course. You sent me a lovely quote with his picture about doing what you think you cannot do. It was framed front and center every day while I actually DID the thing I thought I could not. Perhaps it's time to pull that picture out again and use it in a new way!

Blessings and joy, my friend!


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SLASALLE 1/8/2010 6:59PM

    Ah - How I have missed your blogging. But I see now that you are back at it with renewed and refreshed energy ... and I'm lovin' it. Much love from frigid Kansas City.

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GIANTPANDA 1/8/2010 6:58PM

    Wonderful blog. I find writing is one of the best ways to explore.

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COLIBRI930 1/8/2010 6:08PM

    Just what I needed today! Thanks.

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FLORIDASUN 1/8/2010 8:29AM

    Love your blog as usual my dear friend! How awesome that you had this wonderful trip and came back energized and full of hope and happiness! I must try meditation one of these days...I know how important it is to my writing! I usually feel pretty 'in touch' with myself but if I could still the monkey mind every day...who knows what wonder would appear!?! emoticon You are usually my pendulum and I love that! emoticon

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PEACEFULONE 1/8/2010 1:42AM

    Thank you for sharing this excellent advice! How easy it is to dwell on the wrong things. We can make a deliberate choice to change our focus to the good.

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BABYFACE26 1/7/2010 10:44PM

    Maha, you're back! Wonderful blog. I noticed you wrote it today, when moon is in Libra, the sign that seeks balance. Glad you're back, safe and sound..and that you are being consistent with that practice. I am also very happy that I've gotten myself out of bed these last couple weeks, early enough in the morning to attend Tai Qi classes. I am really enjoying them, and they are kicking my butt, in the best way. So glad to have found something physical (besides walking) that I enjoy!

Your friend,

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CORPUSANNIE 1/7/2010 9:37PM

    Welcome back; see how you were missed? It is interesting to me that I felt compelled today to consciously enjoy the parts of my job that are pleasing and downplay the problem areas. I have noticed that it adjusts my whole attitude to do this and I am much more content and balanced.
Because things have been busier than usual, it seems that I have a huge number of emails in my box, piling up over the last couple of weeks.
Thank you for your blogs and your friendship.
peace emoticon

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COSMIC_ENERGY 1/7/2010 7:44PM

    Heard your were out visiting our sparkly friend AT! Know you enjoyed your trip!

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CARLI_MAE 1/7/2010 3:50PM

    Just read that one a while ago ... reminded me of the tried and true advice given to all aspiring writers and artists of all kinds ... learn to view things as if you were seeing them for the very first time...

I sure wish Annie would rotate herself right side up ... every time I see her avatar it always makes me feel a bit disoriented ... but from the viewpoint of this blog, maybe that's a good thing??????? hahahaha ... hmmmm ... then again, maybe the way my mind works is inhabitual enough already.

Glad you are home safe and energized!

Comment edited on: 1/7/2010 3:51:46 PM

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BRIGHTSPARK7 1/7/2010 2:10PM

    Welcome back, Mahalakshmi! I missed you.
xo Usha.

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ANNIEONLI 1/7/2010 1:36PM

    Hey there! Great blog...just what I needed to read right now! So true...leave it there. Definitely something tto practice and think on.


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JUSTDUCKY1405 1/7/2010 1:32PM

    I just love that what you are blogging about is right in tune with where I want to be, and what I am continually working on!

Thanks for another great blog and insight!

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LYNNANN43 1/7/2010 1:28PM

    I SOOOOO missed you!

emoticon back!!!

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LUCY419 1/7/2010 12:58PM

    A wonderful direction toward awarness... this is where i'm at right now, i have let family stress follow me around day in and day out, with five grown children and there problems! I have allowed it to take over my life... like i said, I HAVE ALLOWED IT, the power and quality of who we are and how we live is in the way we choose to! I'm taking back my life and making it work for me, and in the long run i'll be a better person for everyone in my life! PEACE & HUGS... lucy

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NORLANA 1/7/2010 12:18PM

    Welcome home! Missed you :)

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Sustained & enthusiastic meditation practice

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

This is such a wonderful affirmation of the power of long-term, dedicated meditation practice that I had to take a minute to share it, from Sri Easwaran's Thought for the Day.

Om shanthi, shanthi, shanthi!


Know that when thou learnest to lose thy self
Thou wilt reach the Beloved.
There is no other secret to be revealed,
And more than this is not known to me.
-- Ansari

To know completely, the knower has actually to become one with the known. To know you as you really are, I must somehow get out of my own shoes and step into yours. I must get myself out of the way in order to know you as you really are. This is what we catch some glimpse of in totally faithful love, where we forget ourselves completely in the happiness of another.

The mystics of all faiths and all ages testify that then we know directly, intuitively, what the needs of the other are, and we do our utmost to make sure those needs are fulfilled. It is this direct awareness that we can develop through the sustained and enthusiastic practice of meditation.
-- Sri Eknath Easwaran

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUS911 12/17/2009 12:05PM

    Very deep. Thanks for posting it.

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FLUENTFROG 12/16/2009 11:54PM

    Wonderfully said. Thanks for sharing.

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BRIGHTSPARK7 12/16/2009 6:16PM

    Thank you. It is in stillness that we know the Beloved. Yogash chitta vritti nirodaha. xo Usha.

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FRANCESCANAZ 12/16/2009 4:59PM

    Me encanta. Gracias amiga. I think I will follow FLORIDASUN's lead and take that hour for myself on Christmas morning as well. What a great idea to go over goals at this peaceful time. Hasta luego, Francesca

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FLORIDASUN 12/16/2009 4:18PM

    Oh....for the peacefulness of being alone with my very own self...that will be my Christmas Gift to me this hour alone with only me...bright and early on Christmas Day. I'll review all of my goals that I wrote down for last year and I'll revise and rewrite new ones if need be...a beautiful gift I give myself this year instead of the traditional craziness of a holiday brunch given for a motley crowd of 30 friends ~ ~ peace! emoticon emoticon My Christmas gift to myself this year! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/16/2009 4:23:44 PM

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SACTOKAREN 12/16/2009 1:21PM

    Beautiful! Thanks for sharing.

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KOI239 12/16/2009 1:09PM

    Great advice

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4ANEWME2DAY 12/16/2009 12:52PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Stir a flower, trouble a star.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The law of karma is so precise: For every action there is a reaction. And yet the law is also complex beyond our ability to comprehend -- the great teachers have basically said we needn't even try, just do our best to live honorably. The quality of "Interbeing" that Thich Nhat Hanh so elegantly captured, the interconnectedness of all things, is an excellent way to frame the law of karma.

Once again Sri Eknath Easwaran's Thought for the Day communicates a complex truth in simple language that speaks clearly to me..."we are not separate fragments." It helps me understand that the consequences of my unconscious behavior, for instance in the way I eat and care for myself, have a ripple effect FAR beyond what I could ever imagine. ALL of my behavior has consequences, from the most personal to the most socio-economically derived. We truly "inter-are."

All things by immortal power
Near or far,
To each other linked are,
That thou canst not stir a flower
Without troubling of a star.

-- Francis Thompson

The science of ecology teaches us that everything in the universe is connected. We cannot separate ourselves from the consequences of even the least of our actions: whatever we do here comes back there. This is the law of the unity of life. Like gravity or any other law of nature, you cannot break it; you can only break yourself against it.

If you throw a bottle into the air, it will return to earth and shatter. Similarly, if you act in a way that violates the unity of life -- polluting the atmosphere, wasting precious resources, ignoring the needs of others -- you will find your health, your peace of mind, and your happiness destroyed. We are not separate fragments. Like all the animals and plants, we depend on each other and on the environment.

-- Eknath Easwaran

I can't resist adding this short text from Sharon Salzberg's exceptional book, LOVINGKINDNESS: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness, because it is so in *sync* with the words of Thompson and Easwaran: "Committing ourselves to caring for one another and living in a way that is not harmful is the most basic and fundamental protection we can give to and receive from each other. It protects us, because if we are not swept up and carried away into actions based on forces such as greed, hatred, and delusion, then we do not have to suffer guilt, remorse, confusion, and trouble in our hearts -- now, or even when we die. It also protects others from the harm we might cause them (no matter how subtle)."

OK, now I'm going to REALLY get carried away and add this poem by Thich Nhat Hanh, which embodies the essence of "interbeing," the innerconnectedness of all things:


Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow
because even today I still arrive.

Look deeply: every second I am arriving
to be a bud on a spring branch,
to be a tiny bird, with still-fragile wings,
learning to sing in my new nest,
to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower,
to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.

I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry,
in order to fear and to hope.
The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death
of all that is alive.

I am the mayfly metamorphosing
on the surface of the river,
and I am the bird
that swoops down to swallow the mayfly.

I am the frog swimming happily
in the clear water of a pond,
and I am the grass-snake
that silently feeds itself on the frog.

I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones,
my legs as thin as bamboo sticks,
and I am the arms merchant,
selling deadly weapons to Uganda.

I am the twelve-year-old girl,
refugee on a small boat,
who throws herself into the ocean
after being raped by a sea pirate.
And I am the pirate,
my heart not yet capable
of seeing and loving.

I am a member of the politburo,
with plenty of power in my hands.
And I am the man who has to pay
his "debt of blood" to my people
dying slowly in a forced labor camp.

My joy is like spring, so warm
it makes flowers bloom all over the earth.
My pain if like a river of tears,
so vast it fills the four oceans.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once,
so I can see that my joy and pain are one.

Please call me by my true names,
so I can wake up
and so the door of my heart
can be left open,
the door of compassion.

-- Thich Nhat Hanh is a Vietnamese Buddhist monk, a poet, a scholar, and a peace activist. His life long efforts to generate peace and reconciliation moved Martin Luther King, Jr. to nominate him for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1967. "True Names" was written in 1978 during the Vietnam War, while helping the boat people.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DRAGONFLY7149 12/16/2009 2:57PM

    Too much Maha, too much! -- but that's not a complaint...thank you for always sharing such pertinent wisdom.


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MAZZYR 12/15/2009 8:06AM

    Oh, dear Maha, you never to fail to feed my soul. Thank you for this very special blog.


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WATERMELLEN 12/14/2009 8:14PM

    I've read this twice -- I will be back to read it again after it's settled in a little -- and then again and more times!

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JUSTDUCKY1405 12/14/2009 4:56PM

    Just the other day, I felt inspired to write the following on a piece of paper:

"As long as what one says and does is a good and positive thing, than one will have no regrets!"

Yes... far simpler from your great blog above, but right in tune with where my mind and conceptualizations of the world are stemming from!

Thank you for this great blog, and again, for saying hi. I think I was meant to read this!

Thanks Again!

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LYNNANN43 12/14/2009 4:03PM

    I felt so at peace with the world after reading the first part of your blog, but still have shivers from the last poem.

Thank you, once again, for such a thought provoking blog.


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NORLANA 12/14/2009 2:02PM

    ok, now I have chills emoticon

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BRIGHTSPARK7 12/14/2009 12:58PM

    Mahalakshmi! Jai ho!
Please call me by my true names is one of my favorite poems. Thanks for sharing it today. "I see my beauty in you." Rumi.
xo Usha. emoticon

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CORPUSANNIE 12/14/2009 12:40PM

    Thank you dear for another beautiful blog to contemplate today.
You have lifted my medicine head out of its funk and made me feel loved and loving. Bless you.
montie emoticon

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NORLANA 12/14/2009 11:41AM

    Oh, YOU ....

"Committing ourselves to caring for one another and living in a way that is not harmful is the most basic and fundamental protection we can give to and receive from each other. "

KC & the Sunshine Band ...
Oh that's the way aha aha I like it aha aha
That's the way aha aha I like it aha aha

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EARTHSEAME 12/14/2009 11:19AM

    Thank you for the reminder that everything is connected.

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 12/14/2009 11:24:24 AM

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FRANCESCANAZ 12/14/2009 11:09AM


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FLORIDASUN 12/14/2009 11:04AM

    This is such a beautiful blog and speaks to my heart! We all are interconnected aren't we? And...we are more alike than not! We all love our children, love our family, love our friends! I count you dear of my rarest of treasures! Peace and joy be with you always! emoticon

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