The Sacred Moment

Sacred - highly valued and important; entitled to reverence and respect.

What could be more sacred than life?  Yet, I'm not sure we give it the respect it deserves, in fact, I know that I do not.  To honor something sacred we should give it our full attention and reverence. 

Life is here in this moment, but how often are we present right here and now?  I am guilty of spending a large portion of my consciousness making plans or worrying about the future.  I know others that dwell on the past.  Life is not tomorrow, nor is it yesterday - it is NOW!   The following quote from Thich Nhat Hanh emphasizes the importance of being in the present moment.

"Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see.  Every breath we take, every step we take, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity.  The question is whether or not we are in touch with it.  We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment."  ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

We have on average around 60,000 thoughts a day, most of them worrisome and negative.  When we focus on now, instead of worrying about the future, our worries fade.  When I slow down enough to be in the present moment, I notice even my breathing is different.  My stress level reduces with every breath and each breath feels is sacred.  As I concentrate on the moment I find that the incessant mental noise in my mind subsides and I am able to experience life as the miracle that it is. 

Please take a moment to notice your breath and experience the miracle of life.

Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful Living

Down Deep.....Raw and Sincere

"Woke up this morning with love in mind,
It was raining outside, but my love still shined
Kept me warm til my plane touched the sky..."

Neil Young's album, 'Time Fades Away' is a classic to me.  Why? Because it's honest, raw, and sincere.  He was in a hard place and just singing his heart.  He later regretted the album because it was so raw, but it is highly acclaimed by true artist because of it's sincerity.

Raw sincerity is refreshing.  Give me your heart, your soul.  I don't care for carefully edited content.  Don't try and anticipate what the world wants to hear.  I want to know it's real.  Show me who you are.....down deep inside. 

Zen Presence.  Ideas for meaningful living
Art.  Sincerety.  Truth.

Being apart vs. a part

As a minimalist and an advocate of simple living I often find my core values at odds with most of the modern world.  I've always felt different - not the same as most people around me.  I've written about it here and here. 

There is nothing wrong with being an individual but beware; it can lead to feeling apart from others and to the illusion of being disconnected.  There are two negative outcomes from feeling apart:

  • We begin to feel isolated, different, and alone.  With this we will begin to see others as a threat.  Fear creeps in and begins to control our decisions.  When we make fear based decisions we limit ourselves and our experiences.

  • We begin to feel smug and superior.  We lose our connection, our love, and our compassion.  Before long our hardened hearts will feel empty and isolated and we are back to number one.

Although you may or may not conform to standard lifestyles and expectations, it does not have to translate into "I am an oddball don't fit in" - nor does it have to translate into "I am superior and above."

The bottom line is we really are not all that different. We have different levels of awareness and understanding. We have different roles to play and diversity is what makes this Universe alive and dynamic.

Even with our different levels of awareness and uniqueness we are not alone.  We are all connected in this vast, ever-changing Universe.  Better to be a part of it than apart from it.

Zen Presence - Ideas for Meaningful Living
Inter-connectedness, Inclusive, Zen Buddhism.

What can you do?

Image: Franco Folini at

Do what you can.  Say a prayer, share the message, whatever -  please just do what you can to make this a more caring world.

Thank you Diane.

p.s. You can go to and donate as little as $2 to help homeless children and get a digital copy of 'Monetize Your Passion'.  You'll help the homeless and yourself in one step.

p.s.s. You always help yourself when you help others. - Ideas for Meaningful Living
Caring, Bodhisattva, Compassion.

Ebb and Flow

This is the first post in over three weeks on a blog that is normally updated two - three times a week.  Why?  Because I chose to follow my own advice and disconnect for a while.  I chose to sort out some new plans without the mental clutter that often comes with being online and connected.  I chose to listen to the sometimes quiet and peaceful,  sometimes loud and turbulent voices in my head.  I often experience a very reflective period during winter.  It is not always fun at the time, but I normally experience tremendous growth following a spell of inner turbulence.

As spring comes I feel a surge of energy, strength, and clarity coming on.  I am very excited about the life changes that my wife and I will be making.  Just as the seasons change, so does life.  Life is a mix of beautiful sunny days, grey overcast days, and sometimes violent stormy days.   I'm learning to go with the ebb and flow of life - not to question what comes at me, but to change the manner in which I react. 

The ebb and flow of life is dynamic and challenging.  I find it beautiful and invigorating.

Zen Presence - Ideas for meaningful living.