Tag Archives: Suffering

Your Refuge – A Heart That Is Ready for Anything

A dark heart silhouetteWhen the Buddha was dying, he gave a final message to his beloved attendant Ananda, and to generations to come:

“Be a lamp unto yourself, be a refuge to yourself. Take yourself to no external refuge.”

In his last words, the Buddha was urging us to see this truth: although you may search the world over trying to find it, your ultimate refuge is none other than your own being.

There’s a bright light of awareness that shines through each of us and guides us home, and we’re never separated from this luminous awareness, any more than waves are separated from the ocean. Even when we feel most ashamed or lonely, reactive or confused, we’re never actually apart from the awakened state of our heart-mind.

This is a powerful and beautiful teaching. The Buddha was essentially saying: I’m not the only one with this light; all ordinary humans have this essential wakefulness, too. In fact, this open, loving awareness is our deepest nature. We don’t need to get somewhere or change ourselves: our true refuge is what we are. Trusting this opens us to the blessings of freedom.

Buddhist monk Sayadaw U. Pandita describes these blessings in a wonderful way: A heart that is ready for anything. When we trust that we are the ocean, we are not afraid of the waves. We have confidence that whatever arises is workable. We don’t have to lose our life in preparation. We don’t have to defend against what’s next. We are free to live fully with what is here, and to respond wisely.

You might ask yourself: “Can I imagine what it would be like, in this moment, to have a heart that is ready for anything?”

If our hearts are ready for anything, we can open to our inevitable losses, and to the depths of our sorrow. We can grieve our lost loves, our lost youth, our lost health, our lost capacities. This is part of our humanness, part of the expression of our love for life. As we bring a courageous presence to the truth of loss, we stay available to the immeasurable ways that love springs forth in our life.

If our hearts are ready for anything, we will spontaneously reach out when others are hurting. Living in an ethical way can attune us to the pain and needs of others, but when our hearts are open and awake, we care instinctively. This caring is unconditional—it extends outward and inward wherever there is fear and suffering.

If our hearts are ready for anything, we are free to be ourselves. There’s room for the wildness of our animal selves, for passion and play. There’s room for our human selves, for intimacy and understanding, creativity and productivity. There’s room for spirit, for the light of awareness to suffuse our moments. The Tibetans describe this confidence to be who we are as “the lion’s roar.”

If our hearts are ready for anything, we are touched by the beauty and poetry and mystery that fill our world.

When Munindraji, a vipassana meditation teacher, was asked why he practiced, his response was, “So I will see the tiny purple flowers by the side of the road as I walk to town each day.”

With an undefended heart, we can fall in love with life over and over every day. We can become children of wonder, grateful to be walking on earth, grateful to belong with each other and to all of creation. We can find our true refuge in every moment, in every breath.

Adapted from True Refuge (2013)

Enjoy this video on The World in Our Heart:

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Why World Peace Is Not Possible and That’s Okay

PRAYERBy Vanessa Gobes

I love writing about my spiritual awakening. And I love reading about other people’s spiritual awakenings. What tickles me most about it all, is how we all seem to feel as if we’ve just discovered uncharted insight or invented a revolutionary technique that can help not only us, but anyone who is willing to try to think like us or act like us or serve the world like us.

We’re Utopians in that respect – so sure that if the pained people of the world could just drop their weapons, feel gratitude for their challenges, treat others with kindness, be mindful of the environment and eat healthier food, that a giant wave of tenderness would wash over the planet and soothe humanity’s woes.

I’ve had a revelation or two of my own following a particularly meditative and pensive week. I’ve realized that, while world peace is the goal, it is simply impossible. Earth is designed to be a place of learning. And without suffering, there’s little opportunity to understand the incredible depth of love.

Though this tiny shift has been simmering quietly in my being for quite some time, I’ve been unable to accept it. Unable to accept that man is robbing the earth of her heartbeat; unable to accept that our children are being taught to value competition over collaboration; unable to accept that national leaders are so angry and disturbed that they truly believe nuclear attacks will heal their pain; unable to accept that children are abused and people are starving and corporate greed rules the world and there’s very little a peace-yearning person like me, like you, can do about it.

I cannot change the world. I can only change myself and, as Gandhi said, “be the change [I] wish to see in the world.”

This whole planet spins for us. So we can learn. The Universe lives only in our own hearts, and there we can find peace. This tormented planet serves our human existence so we can learn and elevate and evolve. It’s all so clear to me today. I get it.

Heal thyself.

The Universe in Krishna’s mouth.

Work hard to gain your own salvation.

Instead of wishing that the world were different, I’m replacing that wish with a feeling with gratitude. I’m thankful for the existence of this place of learning, grateful for the opportunity to serve my soul as a human experiment, joyed with moments – the highs and the lows – knowing that each experience is a valuable addition to my soul’s journey. I see that the best thing I can do to create peace in my heart is to love unconditionally and serve others as much as I can. I don’t have to fix the world, in fact I can’t. I just have to fix myself.

Honestly, I’m a bit weepy typing out these thoughts. I feel like I’m mourning a lifetime of misdirected thoughts, but I’m also relieved to come to grips with what I believe is truth, even though it’s a hard pill to swallow.


Photo credit: Flickr

* * *

vanessaheadshot-3Vanessa Gobes is a full time house frau and jane of all trades. She’s currently blogging her way to awakening through a steady diet of kindness, compassion and mindfulness – considering herself not quite Buddhist, but Bu-curious. Her current intent is to work on infusing a daily morning meditation routine into each public school in her town. Vanessa is a community activista, philanthropista and newspaper columnista in Winchester, Massachusetts. Read her stories on her blog Bringing Up Buddhas.

Deepak Chopra: Why Does God Allow Evil?

slide_292101_2341733_freeEvery senseless, horrific act of violence brings up the question of good versus evil, and when you read that children have died by violence – a common thread linking the Newtown shootings and the Boston Marathon bombing – there’s even more reason to shudder and doubt. In fearful times maintaining the most minimal idea of “God is good” becomes harder. If it is blasphemy for believers to think God isn’t good, it betrays humanity to let God get away with turning his back while innocents die in random acts of terror.

I don’t want to parse theology. Every faith argues for a just and merciful God, which means finding a reason why evil persists under the gaze of a loving deity. If the reasons satisfy you, you stay with your faith. If they don’t satisfy you, you may stay with your faith anyway. There are real benefits to being part of a religious community, and no one is forced to confront cosmic questions that have baffled centuries of debate.

In the aftermath of mass violence, after the horror and shock recede, all of us cobble together a truce with good and evil. But why not confront the issue head on? Our emotional revulsion against evil is powerful; it’s one of the main reasons that moral people are moral: They want to identify with good. They want to oppose evil. So where does evil come from? If we break this question down, it’s not so monolithic.

Evil has many explanations that sound plausible, each taking a different tack. Here’s a sampling.

  • In ancient India, evil is whatever leads to suffering.
  • In the Old Testament, evil is sin born of disobedience to God.
  • In the New Testament, evil is complicated, since in some gospels Jesus speaks like a rabbi promoting the Old Testament model of Satan versus God, while in other gospels evil is the absence of love. The redemption of the world, where all sin is forgiven, would abolish evil through an act of divine love.
  • In the medical model that’s usually dispersed by mass media after a violent tragedy, evil is mental illness. Bad people are sick.
  • In the minds of countless everyday citizens, evil is what “they” do, and “they” is simply defined as “not us.”

Instead of trying to settle which definition is true – a totally impossible task – I’d point out that each explanation is paired with a solution.  You can counter evil with good from any angle.

  • If evil is due to sin, the solution is not to sin.
  • If evil is whatever causes suffering, go out and relieve suffering.
  • If evil is the refusal to accept God’s love, find a way to experience that love.
  • If evil is a mental disorder, help those who are afflicted.
  • If evil is us-versus-them, remove the walls that divide us from them.

I can’t think of any explanation for evil that doesn’t imply a solution, a way for good to prevail. This, for me, is the best answer to the issue of good versus evil. It isn’t necessary to excuse God, run into the arms of militant atheism, or seek revenge as if revenge is the answer that goodness gives to evil. It isn’t. Revenge may be a lesser evil or a necessary one – every nation that wars against its enemies adopts its own justifications – but it can’t be called an absolute good like love and compassion.

In other words, I’m a pragmatist about evil, because at heart I believe in the ancient Indian definition of evil as anything that creates suffering. I don’t have to go cosmic; I only have to be useful in relieving suffering wherever I can. Where does God fit into this scheme?  He can no longer coast on his reputation. If God is good, he needs to be good here and now. Also, God can’t be a blind eye who ignores suffering, because that merely excuses our own blind eye.  Evil is a human problem, not a cosmic one. If God reaches down to help us be good, he’s part of the solution.

I realize that millions of people doubt that God does reach down. The Holocaust, the killing fields of Cambodia, 9/11 – pick any mind-numbing episode of evil-doing and you clear the stage for rage and doubt directed against God. Wasn’t it his responsibility to save us, to protect us as a loving Father should? Sadly, that metaphor has worn out. Evil has become our sole responsibility, a pollution of the heart akin to pollutants in the atmosphere. Only after we take up the burden to foster good, even when our lower instincts howl for revenge and hatred, do we have the right to enlist God.  The divine is a hidden power, a silent voice, an invisible ally. For some people, that will never be good enough.  Our best hope are the witnesses who testify that at the most unexpected moment, what was silent and invisible suddenly manifested itself, and then God began to be clothed in reality.


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Photo credit: John Tlumacki / The Boston Globe / Getty Images

Benefits of a Broken Heart

Anyone who has ever loved and lost knows what it feels like to suffer from a broken heart.  And when your heart is broken, you feel that the intense grief is a bottomless well of tears. However, suffering from a broken heart might be the best thing that ever happened to you if you just step back and look at the larger picture.

Benefits of a broken heart 

  • A broken heart strengthens your humility and softens the hard edges. You realize that you have a great capacity for deeper emotions and profound thoughts – feelings that you never knew you had.
  • Continual exposure to anyone or anything reduces your awareness of its presence.  Because of the absence, you are more receptive to simple pleasures and natural beauty.
  • Grief inspires you to handle other people’s hearts with greater care, making it more likely that you’ll be able to create a more compassionate intimacy in the future.
  • You now understand that you don’t have to work so hard to be interesting; rather you need to be interested in the other person.
  • While your first thought might be, “What will happen to me?”  Your next thought is learning how to adapt by tapping into your inner strength.
  • You have come to understand that love is not unconditional. Love has its conditions. The next time around you will be better equipped to choose which conditions are acceptable to you.

In a new relationship you will now have an improved awareness, the ability to hone your perceptions, as well as boost both your emotional and analytical intelligence. Every intimate relationship you experience deepens your understanding of all other relationships including, colleagues, clients, friends and acquaintances – especially the one you have with yourself.

A little insurance to prevent future heart break:

  • A love relationship thrives on imagination and novelty. For a relationship to go the distance be prepared to see the other person with fresh eyes and really listen to what is being said and not said. Also, don’t assume the other person is clairvoyant and knows what you want. Express yourself.
  • When disagreements arise, address rather than belittle concerns.
  • The nature of perfection is always mutating. Don’t assume the role of the teacher; try being a student eager to learn and explore. Approach a love relationship with a beginner’s heart.


Tara Brach: Suffering–The Call To Investigate Beliefs

“Reality is always kinder than the stories we tell about it.” – Byron Katie

Can you imagine understanding, even loving, someone who belongs to a group of people responsible for killing your father, brother, or best friend? Can you imagine growing close to someone whose people have driven you from your home, humiliated your family, and turned you into a refugee in your own country?

Twenty-two teenage girls from Israel and Palestine were flown in to a camp in rural New Jersey, where they would live together in the face of these questions. As part of a program called Building Bridges for Peace, these young people were called upon to examine beliefs that seemed central to their identity, beliefs that had fueled estrangement, anger, hatred, and war.

Even though they had volunteered for the program, the girls were initially mistrustful of each other, and sometimes overtly hostile. One Palestinian teen drew a line in the sand right from the start: “When we’re here, who knows, maybe we’re friends. When we return, you are my enemy again. My heart is filled with hatred for the Jews.” In another exchange, an Israeli girl told a Palestinian: “You expect to be treated as a human being, but you don’t act like one. You don’t deserve human rights!”

Yet from this harsh beginning, some of the girls left camp having formed deep bonds, and for most, it became impossible to see each other as the enemy. What allowed for this change of heart? The girls contacted thetruth of each other’s pain and the truth of each other’s goodness. Reality, when we let it in, dismantles the iron grip of our beliefs. As one Israeli girl put it, “If I don’t know you, it’s easy to hate you. If I look in your eyes, I can’t.”

The Buddha taught that ignorance—ignoring or misunderstanding reality—is the root of all suffering. What does this mean? He surely didn’t mean to deny the inevitable pains and losses in our lives, but he wanted his followers to grasp how their beliefs about what is happening—their thoughts about themselves, others, and the world—represented a contracted and fragmented view of reality. This distorted view, described by the Buddha as a dream, fueled the cravings and fears that confined their lives.

The Buddha also told an ancient teaching story that we still repeat to our children. A king instructs a group of blind men to describe an elephant. Each man feels one part of the elephant’s body—the tusk, leg, trunk, tail. Each gives a detailed—and very different—report about the nature of the elephant. Then they come to blows about who’s right. Each man is honestly describing his immediate and real experience, yet each misses the big picture, the whole truth.

Every belief we hold is a limited snapshot, a mental representation, and not reality itself. But some beliefs are more fear-based and injurious than others. Like the teens in Building Bridges, we may believe that certain people are evil. We may believe that we can’t trust anyone. We may believe that we’re fundamentally flawed and can’t trust ourselves.

These beliefs all arise from the primary fear-based belief the Buddha identified: that we are separate from the rest of the world, vulnerable, and alone. Whether our beliefs arouse self-loathing, trap us in self-destructive addictions, ensnare us in conflict with a partner, or send us to war with an enemy, we’re suffering because we’re mistaken about reality. Our beliefs narrow our attention and separate us from the living truth of how things are. They cut us off from the full aliveness, love, and awareness that is our source.

The sage Sri Nisargadatta teaches “illusion exists . . . because it is not investigated.” If we are attached to untrue beliefs, it’s because we have not examined our thoughts. We have not met them with mindful investigation; we have not asked whether they truly represent our current, living experience of reality.

Suffering is our call to attention, our call to investigate the truth of our beliefs.For the teenage girls in Building Bridges, the call to investigate was the hatred tearing at the fabric of their lives and society.

For a parent, the call might be the stranglehold of worry about a child’s welfare. For a social activist, it might be exhaustion and despair in face of seemingly endless war and injustice. For a musician, it might be the disabling terror that accompanies performance. Wherever we feel most endangered, most separate, most deficient—that is where we need to shine the light of our investigation.

Adapted from True Refuge  (for sale Jan, 2013)

For more information visit: www.tarabrach.com

photo by: Neal.

Yoga and Addiction: What It Took a Brush with Death to Learn

Can yoga stand in as an alternative to violence and addiction?

The latest episode of URBAN YOGIS on The Chopra Well features the story of a healer and recovering addict who discovered the path to recovery through yoga, meditation, and martial arts. Abdi was fifteen when he moved to New York City from Iran, and the city immediately overwhelmed him. The stress of life as an immigrant, on top of the struggles of being a teenager, eventually led Abdi to drugs and violence. He remembers thinking at one point that his lifestyle would either land him dead or in prison, but as it turned out, there was another path in store for him.

Many people refer to a single point of awakening at which recovery and transformation begin. It may be a near-death experience, a rite of passage, or even a poignant word from a friend that makes us pause and re-evaluate. For Abdi, the back-to-back deaths of several of his friends forced him to step back and take stock of the path he was on. Now, with nearly thirty years’ experience as a healer, Abdi can look back and see the pain and turmoil of his youth as the fodder for his spiritual awakening. As he says in his book, Shadows on the Path, “Pain is what puts us on the journey back to ourselves.”

In his daily work as an acupuncturist and trained shaman, Abdi interacts with patients who, like himself, have suffered from addiction. In fact in Abdi’s opinion all of us confront “the addictive system” throughout our lives, whether we are aware of it or not. “An addict,” he says, “can be anyone who uses a behavior to escape reality or to resist being in the moment.” By that definition, how many of us might be classified as television addicts, or exercise addicts, or reading addicts? How often are we thoroughly present in the moment – and when we aren’t, what are we doing instead?

What Abdi ultimately discovered is that practices like yoga, meditation, and martial arts can be instrumental in the healing process. These practices force us to stay in the moment. They defy numbing addictive patterns by bringing us back to our center, back to the moment. They force us to slow down and make conscious choices about our actions. Yoga, in particular, also encourages self-love by challenging us to find comfort and peace even in the most difficult of positions.

These practices became Abdi’s alternative to violence and addiction. Where the latter are unproductive and lead ultimately to destruction, Abdi found that yoga and meditation provided him with the tools to transform suffering into what he calls “the inner connection.” And once found, there is no need to return to old habits.

Subscribe to The Chopra Well for more inspiring episodes of URBAN YOGIS, every Monday!

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How to Die Without Regrets

By Bethany Butzer, Ph.D.

There is immense truth and wisdom behind a simple statement that I came across in an episode of Oprah’s Lifeclass: “You are responsible for your life.”

On the surface, most of us would probably agree that we’re responsible for our lives. But when you take a closer look, it becomes obvious that very few of us are actually taking responsibility for the way that we live. We have good intentions—we want to live healthier, happier lives—but these intentions rarely manifest.

In January, we typically set resolutions: “I’m going to lose ten pounds,” “I’m going to quit smoking,” “I’m going to eat healthier,” “I’m going to go to the gym.” Then around two weeks later, we find ourselves stuck in our old routines. Why? Because it’s easier.

Thich Nhat Hanh put it perfectly when he said, “People have a hard time letting go of their suffering. Out of a fear of the unknown, they prefer suffering that is familiar.”

In many cases, we stay stuck in our old patterns because they are familiar to us and because we’re afraid of change. We continually put our goals off until “tomorrow.” Until we make more money or the kids leave home or the ever popular “I’ll get to it when I have more time.” This is a vicious trap that leads to a deeply unsatisfying life. I promise that this line of thinking will send you to your grave with immense regrets. Regret that you didn’t follow your dream. Regret that you always put everyone else’s needs before your own.

As Wayne Dyer says, “Don’t die with your music still in you.”

Earlier this year, a palliative care nurse revealed the top five regrets that her patients expressed before they died:

  1. I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
  2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
  3. I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
  4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
  5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

Do any of these sound familiar?

I bet that in their final moments, many people who have died of a heart attack thought to themselves, “I wish I’d taken my doctor seriously and gone to the gym,” or “It really would have been worth the extra time to make myself a healthy breakfast every morning.”

Today, I’m asking you this: Is your life worth it? Is your happiness worth it? Is your well-being worth it?

If the answer is “yes,” then you need to start taking responsibility for your life. Stop blaming other people for your current situation. Stop saying that you can’t take care of yourself because you’re broke. Your life is worth the cost of a gym membership or a therapy session or a naturopath appointment. When I was on antidepressants, I went into debt by spending money on therapy, naturopathy, yoga classes, and a host of other wellness services. But guess what? That debt got me off antidepressants. It also made me a happier and more confident person, which helped me land a job and eventually pay off my credit card.

You owe it to yourself to stop making excuses and start living life like you mean it.

Albert Ellis once said:

“The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own. You do not blame them on your mother, the ecology, or the president. You realize that you control your own destiny.”

In her Lifeclass, Oprah shared that we are also responsible for the energy that we bring into a room. Start paying attention to how your energy is affecting those around you. Is there a specific relationship that’s ticking you off? Get honest with yourself about how you might be contributing to the situation.

Even if you’re suffering from a serious health condition or are recovering from a traumatic event, you are responsible for how you perceive and react to these situations. It’s up to you to make the best of everything that you encounter in life—even tragedy.

What are you putting off until “tomorrow?” Are you pinching pennies to save for your retirement thirty years from now instead of taking your dream trip to Europe? Are you convincing yourself that it’s ok to stay at a substandard job because the economy is bad right now? Are you settling for an unsatisfying relationship because you’ve convinced yourself that you’re too old to find your soulmate?

Stop it. Right now.

Get up off your butt and take responsibility for your life. No one else is going to do it for you. When you leave this earth, would you rather feel immense regret or a deep sense of inner peace?

It’s your choice.

Cheryl Richardson put it perfectly:

“You are not your mother, your father, your history, or your cultural influences. You are uniquely and originally you. Be bold and daring and fearless and unconventional. Be willing to use your voice in service to your soul. Go on. Rock that damn boat. The wave you create might just change the world…”

Bethany Butzer, Ph.D. is an author, speaker, researcher, and yoga teacher who helps people create a life they love. Check out her book, The Antidepressant Antidote, follow her on Facebook and Twitter, and join her whole-self health revolution.

*Photo by cosmic stellar

Puppets On The Strings Of Destiny

There is only one way to judge the quality of any psychic reading. The moment you finish your conversation with the reader, you should feel ready to make a choice, prepare for a decision… or at least take some sort of action. You should also have a basic idea or plan outlined for the way forward. A good psychic reading will leave you feeling inspired, informed, enlightened and ready to take a step forward in your life, for better or worse. But, sadly, this is not always what people want from their psychic readings.

Do you believe that your life path is entirely pre-destined? Some people do. They prefer to see themselves as helpless puppets on a string, hanging around, while fate takes its course. For them the future is firmly carved in stone. Their destiny is pre-determined and their life path non-negotiable. The writing is on the wall. Period.


There’s much to be said for challenging fate instead of ducking behind it ~ Diana Trilling


I call them the ‘Marionettes’. During psychic readings these clients are typically only interested in what will happen to them and when it will happen to them. They show no interest in the possibility that they have much more control over their destiny, and that they can make great things happen for themselves and by themselves. Indeed, there is much for them to learn from the story of Pinocchio, who dreamed of becoming a real boy and set out on a brave adventure to achieve his goal!

The Marionettes appear to be unwilling to accept the fact that they can change the course of their lives, or prevent personal calamities from occurring. Neither do they realize that they can get what they want from life so much sooner, and enjoy those outcomes for so much longer. They can also achieve far better results, whether some of the twists and turns were pre-destined for them, or not.

I have never been able to understand why anyone would prefer to merely cruise along, like a tourist through their own life? Why would you ignore the opportunity to be truly alive and experience the power of your own free will? Do you not realize that this is the very reason we came here in the first place? We came for the experience, the adventure, the fun, the drama and the sheer thrill of it all!


Failure and success seem to have been allotted to men by their stars.  But they retain the power of wriggling, of fighting with their star or against it, and in the whole universe the only really interesting movement is this wriggle ~ E.M. Forster


Sadly, the Marionettes among us will probably have to come back and do the whole thing over again. Their souls get stuck in a rut. Their incarnations can also become somewhat like habitual supermarket shopping trips when they have to plan and design their next physical experience, between this lifetime and the next. They will just buy the same old toothpaste or washing powder their mother, grandmother and great grandmother preferred, each and every time, life in and life out, for as long as it takes, or possibly for all eternity. If you listen closely you can actually hear their current Spirit Guides sighing.

Such a dull business indeed. No change, no risk, no adventure. No challenging choices or brave decisions. The Marionettes do not like such things. Pushing their cosmic shopping trolleys around is exhausting enough as it is. Oh, the burden of bad karma! And if their favorite product is way past its sell-by-date, they can always blame the Manufacturer.

Personally, I prefer not to go through a repeat version of my current lifetime. I would much rather move up a notch, or two, or at least come back and have another amazing, but very different experience. To me the alternative is too ghastly to contemplate. Why would I want to waste a whole lifetime, only to return and relive it, like the endless re-run of a failed sitcom on cable TV? The jokes only stay funny for so long, you know what I mean?


One of the annoying things about believing in free will and individual responsibility is the difficulty of finding somebody to blame your problems on. And when you do find somebody, it’s remarkable how often his picture turns up on your driver’s license ~ P. J. O’Rourke


Marionettes also go through a lot of unnecessary pain, suffering and misfortune in their lives. Much of this can be prevented, or at least be alleviated. Too often I have to be a helpless bystander, watching these clients turning themselves into powerless victims of their circumstances. They become martyrs to their own fear, laziness or indecision and they are unwilling to change their self-destructive ways. ‘Denial’ is not a river in Egypt, that’s for sure!

As if cruising along is not boring enough, some Marionettes take their tedious road trips to an even more pointless, mind-numbing level altogether. Not only are they content to sit back and wait for Fate, Chance, Luck and Destiny to drag them by the hair along their ‘pre-written life path’, but they also recruit psychics, mediums and astrologers to join them on this lacklustre, uninspiring journey to nowhere.

Now, asking a psychic for some directions along the way may seem like a step in the right direction, but in this case the psychic is usually not invited to act as a tour guide. Quite the contrary. No, the Marionettes merely need their psychic advisor to provide a detailed itinerary. They want a pre-designed schedule for the trip; a full-color brochure of their future.


There is an unseen life that dreams us.  It knows our true direction and destiny.  We can trust ourselves more than we realize and we need have no fear of change ~ John O’Donohue


And so, the Marionettes travel daily through the most amazing and exotic locations in the human experience, without noticing or enjoying a single sight, sound or tourist attraction. Instead they yawn, cry or whine, while they read their brochures repeatedly…staring with great long-suffering at the colorful snapshots provided by their favorite fortune-teller. They care only about getting to the next pre-determined destination. What happens along the way is of little consequence. And the fact that they may pass by several shortcuts along the way, well, that is also irrelevant.

The Marionettes never get to feel the wonder of the monsoon rain on their faces or the miracle of the desert winds in their hair. Heck, they don’t even get off the bus, when it is time to re-fuel or change a flat tire. No, the Marionettes prefer to just hang around in the stuffy cabin, while patiently waiting for predictions to come true and outcomes to manifest, without any active input or participation.

Ironically, for the Marionettes the long-anticipated outcomes are often an anti-climax and a non-event. Not playing ‘snakes and ladders’ usually leads us to finish yet another round of life’s game without feeling any real sense of achievement or fulfilment. This is what they had been waiting for all this time? So, they wandered through the maze via the long and difficult route. Well done. Now what? Life is what happened to them while they were waiting for the master plan to unfold.


Man is made or unmade by himself. By the right choice he ascends. As a being of power, intelligence, and love, and the lord of his own thoughts, he holds the key to every situation ~ James Allen


One can clearly see the evidence of a person’s level of self-determination and spiritual growth by simply looking at the kind of information that comes through for them during psychic readings. People, who know what they want and know where they are going, often receive very clear and specific details about outcomes and timelines during readings. They are typically aware of their own power, or are at least keen to increase their awareness, and they often reap the rewards their status as co-creator brings. They even receive clues to alternative routes and fun stops along the way. Reading for them always feels like being part of a treasure hunt; an extreme sport of some sort.

But for the Marionettes, who are out of touch with themselves and live without any real purpose, the content of their readings can be somewhat like the twighlight zone. Certainly not the highlight of any reader’s day. Marionettes show little interest in how they can improve their life, gain wisdom, develop spiritually or meet their true destiny. They have no idea where they are heading, or what they really want. They are definitely not ready to make any choices or decisions. Yet, they expect a clear indication of the outcome. Due to their indecision and passive inertia their readings often become blurred. Predictions become mere probabilities; timeframes remain vague, outcomes appear fluid and uncertain.

The psychic usually knows the general direction of where their Marionette clients are heading, but how soon they will get there usually remains to be seen. The psychic is also relatively powerless to reduce the amount of trauma that will be experienced along the way. Warnings and advice fall on deaf ears.

The Marionettes will eventually get to each of their pre-determined destinations. All roads do lead to ‘Rome’. But they will probably take the longest route with the most obstacles. And they will have as little fun as possible getting there.


The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and their destination ~ John Schaar


If you suspect that you may be a Marionette, you need to know that your future is not entirely pre-determined. There is also no such thing as ‘fate’ or ‘bad luck’. There is only destiny and free will. Destiny is the cards we are dealt in this lifetime. Free will is how we play them. Any successful card player will tell you that the secret to success lies in a combination of opportunity and strategy. They will also tell you that it is possible to win the jackpot with a weak hand, or lose millions with a royal flush. It is all about the attitude, the faith, the patience, the confidence, the self-control, the focus and, most of all, the timing.

Yes, most of the major events in our lives are predestined. You can identify them easily, because they are the events and circumstances that are truly beyond your control. These are the signposts and pit stops we have planned for ourselves, like an elaborate obstacle course, before we entered into this lifetime.

Pre-determined events and outcomes serve as the highlights and low-points for our roller-coaster ride through life. They are destined to happen to us, one way or the other. But how good or bad the actual experiences are, how much time they require and what route we take to get to each of them, all depends on what we think, feel, decide, choose and ultimately do.

When life gives you lemons, you don’t make lemonade. You use the seeds to plant a whole orchard and build a new lemonade brand… an entire franchise. And once you have had enough fun being the CEO of your lemonade empire, you sell your stock, buy a flying carpet and travel to Atlantis or The Pleiades on holiday. Along the way you could visit each of the Seven Wonders of the World and maybe meet your Knight in Shining Armor, before you ride off into the sunset.

Or you could just stay on the bus and drink lemonade someone else has made, from a can.

© 2010 Anthon St Maarten

The Gift of the Japanese Deceased to Us? That They Still Exist. Our Purpose? To Remember.



The Gift of the Japanese Deceased to Us?

That They Still Exist.

Our Purpose? To Remember.


Do not care what people say, do not miss the chance to RETURN TO YOURSELF. It is not the beginning of the end! Everyone has come here to remember the truth of Oneness. Have no belief in loss and horribleness. This event can be used for love. For remembering. Be of true service, step into the heart, be a miracle worker.


The current belief in loss has come up for our healing. SEE THE BLESSING HERE! You cannot serve two masters. Don’t choose the lie of separation, the battle of nature versus humanity, the identity of devastation and fear. There is no battle in love, in God! Do not allow yourself to be pulled into the identity of limitedness and fear, but remember the truth all Masters have spoken of- eternal life, Oneness, unity and Love.


Serve the recently deceased in Japan, by remembering that they are light and love in essence. Hold this blessing for them, remembering this holy (whole) relationship with them. They are not lost! They are all ONE. Not 10,000.  Hold your heart open also for all beloveds still in the body who are choosing the suffering belief of separation and loss. Surrender the idea that you are a body born to get, fight, and suffer.


All the news stirs up FEARS OF OUR OWN DEATH, of being separate and limited. Trust that you can not die! There is only eternal life. Your fear of loss is a camouflage for feeling that you are on a separate island from God, and have been abandoned from Source. But love cannot leave its source! Every master offered this.




Say “YES” to the beloveds who stepped out of their bodies this week. If they left where their thoughts were, they left in fear. Dispel the shroud of fear by picturing them holy whole, and lighten their journey. They are eternal light and love and have gone no where. They are Here, in this pure now moment of Oneness.


Open your own heart wider, by taking a leap of faith. Change your choice of menu. If the appetizer is ONLY LOVE EXISTS, the main course is ETERNAL LIFE. Hafiz said, “Why just show you God’s menu? Hell, we are all starving -let’s eat!” It’s time to stop reading the menu, and eat. To BE holy (whole), we must be humble and give up what we thought we knew, as a limited self. There is a world of freedom, joy, peace and harmony, if you let go of what you know. Miracle workers have the freedom of letting go right now. The unknown doesn’t seem safe, but it is!




Focus on truth constantly; you do not need to know. This is the nectar of love. And, you will automatically help others find the Light.

         Someone said FEAR IS A GREAT REBELLION, rebelling against God, and saying “No” to love. Many faces of fear are anger, conflict, battle, desperation. The dead are not lost! As we offer them love… it heals our own hearts. Choose this existing Divine Alchemy in your heart, and serve humanity in REMEMBERING.

This is our call to love, to healing, as the miracle worker who lets go of the false identity for humanity.

Bless us, every ONE.


by Karima     www.experiencebeing.com


———- She asked ‘why do I need to suffer?’

I was thinking of ignoring the question and just smile, shrug my shoulders, and move on to another subject. But her eyes told me differently. What and why I do not know and neither would I ask. There are places that one must not tread on, even in friendships.

I don’t have the answer to that nor pretend to know. But others perhaps could as gleaned from own experience. That enough can be quite confusing, let alone leave you wondering. Because I once asked that same question long ago and I got gazillions of answers to it. Yet each was sufficient to its own. I now understand. And now have added mine to that same pot.

Nobody likes to suffer. It’s one word in the dictionary that people wished wasn’t there. Everybody knows that suffering changes lives, like it or not. But we know too that when one suffers it most definitely is caused by something or someone.

Hers was caused by someone. That much I can say.

The one who suffers may think that everything is lost, that the world gave up on her, that misery is her company for the rest of her life. I beg to disagree to that. Suffering as bad as it may seem or look to anyone is not hopeless. Fact is, it holds a promise somewhere there just waiting to be uncovered or revealed. But one has to look very hard to see it or better yet with steel courage seek it out. Because when you do — a thousand doors begin to unlock, windows fling wide open, and your soul soars to higher ground.

the blind tenor —–    andrea bocelli
blind and deaf —–    helen keller
deaf composer —–    ludwig van beethoven
and many others more lived that promise.

The person who caused the suffering won’t, as you may perhaps think otherwise, go scot-free. How is this? In the deep of the night when everything is quiet his soul goes to work. It begins to gnaw at his conscience. Oh yes, it’s still there but he just tries to ignore it or push it aside or bury it at the far bottom. Unfortunately conscience is something you can’t extinguish delete or eliminate yourself. In some it may take awhile or longer, but definitely it will do what it was set out to do. Outwardly the person may live a life seemingly unperturbed by his misdeeds but that’s just a facade. One that would soon break down as he constantly day by day struggles with keeping a lie he fiercely adheres to and warding off truth arrows seeking to pierce his armor.

That isn’t all it is yet because one day he will have to contend with someone coming forward with the truth, or someone who will look him straight in the eye and say — ‘Enough!’. Or as Judas must have felt when he caused Jesus’ suffering, the burden of misery and guilt would now fall upon his head.

So then while the one who suffers may have learned to cope and move on perhaps to bigger and brighter things, the one who caused the suffering would be journeying to his own destruction. ‘Whatsoever you shall sow…. so shall you reap."

Suffering, as seen through the eyes of God, is not an abomination nor a perceived punishment as many may wont to or customarily believe. It’s simply a tool, one of many, to work God’s purpose… to lift one up to higher ground of hope, faith, courage, glory or splendor. Like gold is passed through fire to come out shining, one must go through some pain to get to the place of joy and happiness. But take heed and pay close attention and learn.

We will never know God’s thoughts and ways. But all that we need to do is trust in His work in our lives. It behooves us to understand this well for our peace and joy.

So to my friend and your question, why not try to have a good chat with your God — He’ll help you figure that out. He always does magnificently. God bless you. ———-


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