Within many meditative traditions “insights” are common, perhaps even the goal in some cases. The most well-known meditative traditions in the West are the myriad of Buddhist traditions and among them the top two most well-known, I would bet, are Zen and what is termed “Tibetan Buddhism”. The Buddhist traditions are not, however, the only game in town. Meditation has become so mainstream that it is being taught and practiced everywhere from the corporate world to the prison world. With good reason I might add because it works if done correctly and regularly. But it has also become so commercialized that words and phrases such as “mindfulness”, “being present”, “living in the moment” and so on have become mere caricatures of the wisdom they once pointed to. Whenever I see or read and advertisement using those words or phrases, or see an article with them in the title I catch
Fair warning: If profanity offends your sensitivities then be forewarned that this is a profanity-laden post. However, it’s a very important post… in fact, I would say that it is the most important post I’ve done on this site. So if you are one of those who are offended by profanity, please set that aside for just long enough to read this post. My emotions were very raw as I wrote it and therefore it is, to say the least, unbridled, unapologetic, and some may even call it confrontational. But when people are losing their lives because others aren’t listening to them on a scale I’ve never seen before, it’s time to put away the niceties and just call it as it is. I’m particularly aiming this post at you, Wise County, Texas and any other place that is so caught up in their radical religious beliefs that meaningful discussion
We live in a cookie-cutter society, I think that much is obvious to anyone who looks closely. In case it’s not clear, allow me to elaborate a bit. Take a look around you the next time you’re at work or shopping or even watching TV. 99.9% of the behavior, dress, hair style, and everything else is either exactly the same or so similar that it could pass for exact. There are very, very few variations and all too often those variations, especially if they are actually stark differences, are labelled as misfit, crazy, or some other derogatory term. There’s very little that’s new or different. People in offices are made to dress according to company standards, much like the school uniform codes in Japan. People working outdoor jobs are now required by government to wear OSHA approved clothing. The cookie-cutter mentality is even in schools, from very young all the
I attended a family reunion a few days ago and while it was nice to see and visit with people I don’t see very often, there was one conversation I had that left me angry and sad simultaneously. After the reunion and on the way back, there was a very near miss. One could almost say that it was a miracle that there wasn’t a crash involving the loss of lives… mine included. I don’t believe in miracles so I’ll put me being here and able to type this down to sheer, dumb luck. The combination of the upsetting conversation and the near miss caused me to reevaluate some things. The first thing I’ve done is made a very conscious decision to beware of placing anyone on a pedestal. I hadn’t even realized I’d been doing this for more than 30 years but I certainly realized it during the extremely
I’ve been thinking a lot about my aunt lately. The one I mentioned here. The one I watched die. She was a lifesaver for me during a period of my life in which I was getting into a lot of trouble. She took me to her farm and things rapidly got better for me. I wish I could talk with her now. I could use her advice right now. Out of all the people in my family… parents, sibling, uncles, aunts, grandparents… only she and my grandfather “got” me. Only they understood me. I could talk to them. I could tell them about things going on in my life without worry of getting a condescending lecture, judgmental looks, or simply walking out on me. When someone like that is no longer around when they’ve helped so much with their wisdom it truly leaves a void.
Then There Was Silence
I, along with
Every single time I’ve hesitated to act on an instinct or strong feeling to either do something or avoid doing something it turned out to be a disaster. All throughout my life it’s been that way. When I was younger, much of the hesitating to act stemmed directly from a misguided desire to make my parents proud of me. I’ve always wondered if that trait, to want to gain the approval of parents, is hardwired into us. If so, it’s clearly a major blunder of evolution. Especially when the parents and offspring couldn’t possibly be any different. Adding to that the fact that I’ve always been the “black sheep” of the family, the “ne’er-do-right”, and it’s little wonder that even when I did try to do something I thought would make the family proud it still turned out to be a complete disaster… mostly for me. Because I was acting
Being in New Mexico is healing for me, and healing is something I need. I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder for the second time recently (I wanted a second opinion). As I type this out I’m not in a good place. To make matters worse in a most literal sense, I’ve had to come back to Texas. Texas always makes things worse for me. The confrontational/adversarial attitude of Texas cops, the oppressive heat and humidity, tornadoes, hail larger than your open hand… the list is almost endless. So why do I keep coming back to a place such as Texas? Family. ALL of my family reside in Texas. The reason they stay in such a place is beyond my comprehension but they do.
I don’t know if it’s my shrink or the drugs I’ve been put on but I just can’t seem to get any help when I’m like this. I
I recently learned, in the most painful of ways, to be wary of recording devices such as a helmet camera that have been acting buggy. My helmet cam has for some time been turning on with movement, wasting both battery and space on memory. Other times, when I try to turn it on it won’t turn on. Recently I stopped by to visit some people who were very dear to me. I not only loved them but trusted them… something that does not come easily for me. When I arrived I removed all my riding gear, including the helmet with the camera just mentioned. When I set it down on a piece of furniture the camera evidently turned itself on again. I had even checked it to make sure it wasn’t on and I didn’t see the little blinking light that indicates it is recording. But it was. We talked
There is a place in Texas that I can actually say I like. It’s Denton. It’s as if someone took the spirit of Santa Fe, NM and plopped it into one area of Texas. Of course Denton doesn’t have Santa Fe’s architecture, history, or climate but it most definitely rocks. There is always something to do or see in Denton. The locals even have a hashtag and name for enjoying the many things Denton has to offer. It’s #Dentoning. Nice, huh?! I kinda like it.
Something For Everyone In Denton
Denton has something for everyone! It’s a college town (two colleges actually, North Texas and Texas Women’s University) so there is of course a wide variety of places geared specifically for college aged people. That doesn’t mean, however, that those of us somewhat older are left out in the cold (or heat and tornadoes, rather, since Denton is in Texas). On the
Another round of storms is in the forecast for tonight and the following 72 hours so I thought I’d drop in to a Starbucks, grab my favorite green tea, cool off before getting as far as I can before I have to take shelter from the coming storms. I wanted to share some of the pics I’ve taken along the way. If you like rural areas and flowers, you should like these. There are some pretty places but I’m still yearning for the mountains and if the storms will ever let me ride for more than a few hours at a time I’ll eventually get there. Then I can show you some truly amazing scenery. Oh, and this makes my 100th post on this blog!
Here is one of my favorite types of wildflower. I’ve always heard it called an Indian Paintbrush. They sometimes grow alongside or near Bluebonnets. I saw