Faith

Our Realms

Dear readers, if I would choose a word to describe what I felt while watching the documentary Magical Andes on Netflix I would probably pick, “MESMERIZED”.

Scene after scene threw me an awe.

I marveled on the beauty, wonders and dangers each one of them had.  I marveled on the relationship many who lived there had with the mountains.  How they revered them to an extent.

I thought for a moment that heaven probably would look like that.

blog

photo credit via Morguefile

It was a glimpse of Mother Earth showcasing it’s wonders, untouched by humanity.

Life burst like the active volcanoes that it has  within  its range.

I think  that humanity is closer to God when we can listen, see and experience  nature. We stumble continuously upon buildings  utilized as temples, synagogues, mesquites and so on,  all of them particular to the faith tradition people who gather there practice.

We visit these places to venerate and seek God.   But what if, every once in a while we let us seek God in the home He created.  When you visit a friend, well you go to his or her house.  We experience joy and comfort when we connect to them in their surroundings.

So my dear friends, what I’m saying is that if  we want  to go and visit  God, to have a nice chat, to find some peace for our spirits,  to connect, to let ourselves be transformed with and by love, it’s not such a bad idea to look for a beautiful natural landscape once in a while and sit still  and God’s spirit will certainly touch our lives in ways that will make us wonder.

The buildings, they have their purpose as well,  they are there to build community. We just have to remember  this.  People don’t need to go to church to seek God  and his blessings, people need to go to church to connect with others.   We need to go to  church to be able to share with others our joys and our burdens out  of love  for one another. Not perfect people, but just people.

Today is Sunday, the perfect day to seek some solace and marvel in the beauty of this astonishing world we live in.  Let us quiet our minds, and open our ears to listen to God’s voice through the many sounds of nature.  Let’s set aside the “dogma” our times have engineered and experience the simplicity of realizing that  we  get to live in the here and now.

Love and let yourself be loved.

Seek community in the building and seek God in the mountain or shore.

Thanks for stopping by, and remember be kind to others and yourself.  See you around the corner.  Hasta pronto!

 

Mindfulness

It Takes More Than Believing

Dear readers, I’ve been on my quest to become a better person for many years now.

For some time I thought that “it” meaning transforming myself into what I had thought was the best version of myself, would come “naturally” meaning I would have to do nothing more than believe and a magical wand would transform me.

By the way that’s how my blog ended up with it’s name.

Boy, was I wrong!

thoughts

Transformation requires being stunned, it takes time, patience and a ton of work.

It means that each and every morning when I wake up, I tune myself into nature, into everything that surrounds me and I practice no harm, love, self-awareness and mindfulness.

In a world where consumption, criticism, hatred and violence are practiced so vehemently by so many, it’s like swimming against the current, feeling you’ll drown any minute.

Which makes me lazy once in a while.  I ask myself, “Why practice?”, “It doesn’t really make a difference in the world.”, “Why put myself through this each day?, “Why not just join the crowd?”.  However, that would certainly unleash the crazy monkeys who would probably make a home in my thoughts.

I struggle with my mental health every day, it’s my little secret.   I’ve really gotten good at hiding and blending in. Although, lately I no longer try to reject that part of who I am, I’ll rather embrace it and love myself with an “all inclusive” attitude.   I’ve  basically wrestled with it since a very young  age and I’m  tired of   doing that.  I’ve been thinking about therapy for some time now (like a year or so), but that very first step is hard to take.  Which takes me back to my starting point, my day to day practice which keeps me sane in the midst of the jungle of my thoughts.  My practice lets every part of who I am live in harmony.

So my dear friends, I do conquer lazy and come back again and again, to my practice. I hold myself accountable for living my life the best I can, always trying to remember that in all of us live good and bad. We just have to work on our good! Sometimes it only  takes a shared story and a good laugh to make us feel that everything will be fine. That we can share our lives with all that negativity that permeates everything.

I would say that humanity’s greatest challenge today is being able to live and let live.

That being said, thanks for stopping by and remember to practice kindness to yourself and others.  See you around the corner.  Hasta pronto!

 

 

 

Faith · Friendship · Happiness · Hope · Life

Pray, Love & Eat

Dear readers, the other night I sat in front of my television checking out Netflix’s new  additions.  I stumbled on Eat, Love and Pray.

And I watched it again.  The  first  time I watched this movie was on Thanksgiving Day eight years ago.

file000959549337

photo credit via Morguefile

I barely understood it on that occasion, I dragged  through what I thought  was a very boring movie.  I totally didn’t get the point of the story at all.  I obliged myself because I  had picked it up at the “video  store” to  do something  after our dinner.  I  had family and friends over, but only one of  my younger cousins and myself went through  the motions.  We were both Julia Robert’s fans and we pulled through  out  of our loyalty to her or at least for me, that’s how it worked.

To tell you the story in a nutshell, I’ve been on my own version of Eat, Pray and Love.

Your journey for discovery can only be began and finished with  one person and that my dear friends is you and me only.

I had no understanding of these millennial spiritual traditions, so that added up to my disconnect the first time around.  A fore night before I was  deeply invested in Elizabeth’s pain and joy trying to figure out my own.

This is my own version of this great story.

Now a days,  I try to  remain still and become aware of God’s presence in my life. I no longer feel the need to introduce myself to him. He knows who I am, he’s been with me always.  His calm and gentle voice has protected and guided me through out so much.  In 2011 my life was beginning to fall apart after my diagnosis and I felt vulnerable and lost.

Feeling the presence of a still higher power uplifted me through very difficult times.

Today I don’t pray in a structured or modeled way, but just with the words in my heart. I don’t care much if they sound right for others and make sure they are honest and right for me.  Praying for me is the very first step.

It’s probably the hardest because I need to  recognize that I am in trouble with myself.  Recognizing this is hard, almost unbearable.

Love is a locked gift in our souls waiting  to be set free. It entails plenty a work on our part to keep it  going.

Lately I like to go by this prayer for friendship written with so much love and insight by, Christopher Titmuss.

“May my mother and father live in peace and harmony.

May my brothers and sisters live in peace and harmony.

May my friends and neighbors live in peace and harmony.

May the friendly, strangers and unfriendly live in peace and harmony.

May I live in peace and harmony.

May my words and actions contribute to the happiness and welfare to others.

May the power of my friendship transform difficult situations.

May all living beings live in peace and harmony.”

And the eating part, I love my food! Nowadays I don’t let guilt ruin it for me.  I try to eat feeling gratitude for all that goes into it.  When I drink my fruit beverage I delight myself in thinking that my papayas grow in my mom’s trees with any other fruit I’m lucky enough to enjoy.  And I apply this principle to all that I eat.

I love my cake and when I get the blessing of eating a slice of one (like I’m about to) I savor the moment not worrying to much about calories or so and so.  I used to beat myself the morning after if I indulged the prior night, I do that no  more! Yesterday is gone and the only good about it is thinking about the happiness we  experienced during that brief moment yesterday brought.

You know I’m still a work in  progress.  Always trying to balance off my life! However just like Ketut told Elizabeth, “sometimes to be in balance we need to unbalance our lives”.

So my friends what better way to end this post then with a quote from the book,

“Devotion is diligence without assurance. Faith is a way of saying “Yes, I pre-accept the terms of the universe and I embrace in advance what I am presently incapable of understanding.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Be kind to your self and listen to your heart  with deep compassion.  Hasta pronto!

Faith

When You Don’t Dig Eternal Life

Dear readers,  Christians have this thing about eternal life.  The answer for all our tribulations lay in the after life, or better said in eternity.  Forget expanding our hearts, kindness, friendship to all, compassion and the most important of all acceptance and renunciation.

I just don’t  dig all the eternal life thing as a whole, specially if I have to rely on hope for happiness and joy in my eternal life.  Life can become a drag if I’m waiting to pass to be able to achieve happiness, missing on in so much in the here and now.

file4991280736472

photo credit via morguefile

As Christians we shouldn’t be trying to achieve happiness or  joy in a posterior life when what we should be doing is aiming to be the happiest we can here and now, in this present moment.

One of my favorite authors Thich Nhat Hanh brings living in the present moment to it’s maximum expression.  This incredible Zen Master is by far a man from which I have learnt many lessons on life.  I think perspective can only be gained when you listen and understand other people’s point’s of view and if I don’t share their  faith that’s even better.   Perspective is a gift you can make to yourself and the best part is that it costs you nothing. 

As  a Christian when taking Jesus out of the frivolous theological constructs that try to explain everything through dogma.  I have come to understand that Jesus wasn’t foreign to living mindfully in his teachings.  He preached a simple and straight forward message,  over and over he would bring the importance of living today as if it was our last.  Jesus not only taught, but also practiced deep compassion and love to his neighbor.  I believe earnestly  that he listened with compassion.  Laying himself as a model for all of us who aimed to practice and live Christianity to our best.

Let me cut to the chase and establish my point, eternal life seems amazing if I think that I will become one with God the Creator, but also it looses a little bit of its bling if I don’t pursue joy and happiness in this moment in my life waiting for it in eternity.

Let’s not do eternal life a  disfavor trying to aim for it when we are miserable in the here and now.  Let’s find joy in today and live our day as if was our last, loving ourselves and our neighbor deeply and fully to our best of  knowledge and eternity will take care of itself without us yearning for it.

Be compassionate with yourself and others and thanks for stopping by. Hasta pronto!

Faith

Coming Home

Dear readers, time and time again I always come back to the same place.  Some think that life in its own funny way always makes you go round in circles.  However, its just probably us.  Our now and yesterday just intertwine pressing the play and replay many times.

Maybe that’s why many believe that we live over and over again in different time periods during the infinite life of our spirit.

For instance, I love cats.  What I like the most of them is their unbothered way of life.  They just go about doing their own thing.  However, my point is that during my life I’ve always had a cat, as a child I recall having a white Siamese cat, Mom told me recently that she wasn’t white, but black, probably she’s confused with my other cat, Miss Me-aw.  I had a hard time after she passed, so it took me a while to let another cat into my life.  My son convinced me of adopting a kitten and four years down the road, Jinx  lives happily (or I would think) with us in our home.

882569_10203012771549794_1012525924_o

But hey this isn’t about cats!!! So let’s move on.

Isn’t it quite funny how things just happen to us so many times, the SAME things.

So, why wouldn’t it be different with my blog.  When I first started writing I was invested in it.  My blog was a way I would write myself through my difficulties, but than I just lost the thirst for writing.

It transitioned from reacting to Sunday’s sermon, to a place where I began growing as a person.  It was an eye opener to what was going on in a world that I had never bothered to look at closely.  Injustice rang loud and clear as I witnessed devastation created by those with power.  I began to question what I had thought was my faith.

I saw Christianity with new eyes.

I saw Buddhism with new eyes.

I began reading books about how to live a mindful life.

My spiritual exploration had been set in place and all these years down the road it’s still is.

Believing is a place where that exploration takes  place and I think I’m over with people who put you down spiritually.   It’s time to come back home and just write about the ups and down of life and faith.

My fingers are eager to type away my thoughts and experiences of a new path I’ve discovered.  A path where my spirit rests knowing that each and every day I try to not fall into practices that do  not contribute to my growth or those who I encounter with each day.

Because at the end of the day, we all want to feel the comfort of being in peace with ourselves  and the world, we all want to come home.

See you around and thanks for stopping by.  Hasta pronto!