The Invitation

A classmate posted this in our USM group and I absolutely loved it. Speaks Loud.

 

artistlaurieb1

The Invitation   By: Oriah Mountain Dreamer

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’

It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

 

:::sigh:::

 

xoxo,

barista

I EXIST FOR YOU

I have seen this story come up a few times, you may have as well, but just in case, I wanted to share it with you!

Shikoba

This could just be the best way to resolve all conflicts. — Originally posted on Films For Action In this African tribe, when someone does something harmful, they take the person to the center of the village where the whole tribe comes and surrounds them. For two days, they will say to the man all the good things that he has done. The tribe believes that each human being comes into the world as good. Each one of us only desiring safety, love, peace and happiness. But sometimes, in the pursuit of these things, people make mistakes. The community sees those mistakes as a cry for help. They unite then to lift him, to reconnect him with his true nature, to remind him who he really is, until he fully remembers the truth of which he had been temporarily disconnected: “I am good.”

Shikoba Nabajyotisaikia!

NABAJYOTISAIKIA, is a compliment used in South Africa and means: “I respect you, I cherish you. You matter to me.” In response, people say SHIKOBA, which is: “So, I exist for you.”

Boy could we all learn from this one. To see the loving essence in others even when they can’t see it themselves. To inspire others of their true nature even when it feels hidden. To exist to serve others instead of ourselves. How the world would change.

Next time you are speaking to someone, even better if its a difficult relationship, I challenge you to do so while ONLY connecting with their loving essence. SEE them for the loving being they are. Listen to what they are saying behind the words, behind the behaviors, behind the personality. Connect love to love

I can bet it will make a difference.

xoxo,

barista

Pale Blue Dot By Carl Sagan

Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot, atheism

“From this distant vantage point, the Earth may not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Considering in that dot,  That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every “superstar,” every “supreme leader,” every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there-on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand.

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”
Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A Vision of the Human Future in Space

 

 

The Egg

image via tantrictransformation.com

image via tantrictransformation.com

A classmate shared this story the other day and I absolutely loved it so of course I can’t hold out on you. So hope you enjoy it like I do.

The Egg
By: Andy Weir

You were on your way home when you died.
It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.
And that’s when you met me.
“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”
“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point in mincing words.
“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”
“Yup,” I said.
“I… I died?”
“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies,” I said.
You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”
“More or less,” I said.
“Are you god?” You asked.
“Yup,” I replied. “I’m God.”
“My kids… my wife,” you said.
“What about them?”
“Will they be all right?”
“That’s what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”
You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Or possibly a woman. Some vague authority figure, maybe. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.
“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”
“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”
“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”
“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right,”
“All religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”
You followed along as we strode through the void. “Where are we going?”
“Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”
“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”
“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”
I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part of yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.
“You’ve been in a human for the last 48 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for long enough, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point to doing that between each life.”
“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”
“Oh lots. Lots and lots. An in to lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around, you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 AD.”
“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”
“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”
“Where you come from?” You said.
“Oh sure,” I explained “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there, but honestly you wouldn’t understand.”
“Oh,” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, I could have interacted with myself at some point.”
“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own lifespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”
“So what’s the point of it all?”
“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? You’re asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”
“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.
I looked you in the eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”
“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”
“No, just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature and become a larger and greater intellect.”
“Just me? What about everyone else?”
“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you and me.”
You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”
“All you. Different incarnations of you.”
“Wait. I’m everyone!?”
“Now you’re getting it,” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.
“I’m every human being who ever lived?”
“Or who will ever live, yes.”
“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”
“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too,” I added.
“I’m Hitler?” You said, appalled.
“And you’re the millions he killed.”
“I’m Jesus?”
“And you’re everyone who followed him.”
You fell silent.
“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “you were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”
You thought for a long time.
“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”
“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”
“Whoa,” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”
“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”
“So the whole universe,” you said, “it’s just…”
“An egg.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”
And I sent you on your way.

Are You Having A Hard Time Staying Motivated? Here’s Why

Competition

“A lot of people jump into higher consciousness, and forget about lower consciousness. They haven’t done their ego work, their feeling work. They’re bliss’d out. It’s just another mood alteration, and it’s a hell of a trip. I did it myself….it became very important to me to realize all of that was a kind of intellectual defense – a wonderful mood alteration, compulsive spirituality. It was a way to stay out of my feelings. I think all that stuff is really valid, but if you don’t do your ego work – what I call the original pain work – it WILL pull you back” – John Bradshaw

Have you ever felt highly motivated about something, you feel great about it and slowly but surely that motivation fades away and you feel like your back where you started? I feel like that happens to me a lot in a lot of different areas. One for example is when I want to start working out and feeling healthy. I will start to wakeup early, maybe do some morning exercise videos. Eat a healthy breakfast, maybe even juice and drink some tea. Go to the gym after work, occasionally fit in some bikram yoga. Start a nice bedtime routine and feel wonderful like “This is how the day should go everyday“. Then slowly but surely over the course of a few weeks, sometimes even just a few days, some of the new habits starts to fall off until eventually I’m back where I started agonizing over why I can’t keep going.

One of the first things we learned in class was the different realms we work from. At the top there is the physical realm. The act of DOING stuff. Underneath that is the Mental realm which is our THINKING. Next under that the Emotional realm which of course is our FEELING. Together the Mental realm and the Emotional Realm is what we call our EGO. Underneath that is the unconscious, things that are there but we do not remember whatsoever. And lastly under that is our Spiritual Realm aka our Authentic Self which is one of Love, acceptance, peace, joy etc. It’s who we TRULY are, our SOUL.

DOING leads to THINKING leads to FEELING. Things that are in the unconscious are unknown of course (otherwise we’d be conscious of them) and those things will come up as they need to when its perfect time for you to deal with them.

So to explain this method of DOING something and feeling motivated and then regressing back to your original state, we have to look and work on our ego. Our ego likes to play tug of war with our authentic self. It doesn’t like being pushed to the side and forgotten about. So in moments when we feel our Authentic self and we act on it, our ego will feel a bit left out so you know what he does? He gently and sometimes not so gently will start to a game of tug of war with our soul. 

The soul has us thinking and feeling “You will feel wonderful…you will be at peace and grateful and full of love and wanna dance in the field of happiness with the world”  well the ego pulls back and says “oh no….you can’t forget about me…I’m gonna make you feel separated, jealous, intolerance and anger” and he lead us into situations in which we will be forced to deal with all the mental and emotional unresolved issues that were stopping us from acting from our Authentic selves in the first place.

We might feel very spiritual and authentic in a moment but unless we have the knowledge, skills, and experience etc to deal with and resolve the stuff the ego has brung forth, we will be unable to sustain the positive physical actions. On the other hand when you are able to resolve them, when you find yourself in situations, the feelings the ego will try to push on you will no longer bother you and it is then when you can consistently start to move forward in the physical task you are wanting to progress in.

I have come to see how this pattern has been true for me. I have been living in a sort of spiritual entertainment state for the last 4 years. Reading the books, attending the seminars, helping others, feeling the bliss from the positive physical actions. But I also know I have done very little to really work on the ego aka original pain work. I just haven’t had the right skills to be able to effectively do so. So with no fail, I do find myself pulled back into a war in which my ego likes to win. That one time I skip out on going to the gym or eat something bad takes me to a place of negative self talk, shame, and all the pain work that had me in a place of “not-doing” to begin with and that discourages me until im back at…..you guessed it NOT DOING!

The question then becomes, Well Barista, how do we deal with ego and the pain work? How can we work to dissolve it?

Yoga at the nature

That answer can be different for everyone. I don’t know if I have that answer. Previously for me the answer was to read lots of spiritual books, listen to online conferences, read uplifting blogs, immerse myself in spirituality and while that all is awesome, without doing the “pain work”, it’s nothing much different then alcohol or drugs. It became addicting because it’s was giving me the blissful feeling without having to deal with the hard stuff. And when stuff did get hard it became really easy to blame others…well he isn’t doing all the “work” I’m doing so he just doesn’t understand.

Listening to people talk and reading blogs are good but it’s just words. It’s just someone talking or me reading. Doing yoga, juicing, exercising, attending seminars, even me making a move and applying to school and any other “spiritual” practice is all good stuff, definitely GREAT STARTS but if you’re just using it to temporarily forget about the “pain work” and not experiencing and dissolving the ego then you WILL find yourself back in the same place you were before you started.

This is one reason I am highly appreciative and grateful for my school in this moment. It is giving me the tools and most importantly the experience in a safe environment which is VERY important. I am able to not only work on myself through experience with my classmates but I also get to experience these classmates as other souls working on the same goal. Connect to their loving essence. This is teaching me to release judgement and learn self compassion and compassion for others. Having this experience in this type of environment then allows me to enter into the “outside world” which may not feel so safe all the time, and allows me to fully practice and recreate the feelings I have created inside the safe environment. Not only that its one full weekend at a time.

Although I do highly recommend USM to everyone on the planet, I’m not suggesting its the only way to go. But I am suggesting to find the support that works for you. One that allows you to practice without judgement and one that is full of love and acceptance. You’re current practices may work but when you see that ego surface use that opportunity to figure out the underlying pains and work on dissolving those.

A common thing for us to do is to blame and try to change the outside factors so we don’t have to deal with what’s going on inside of us. but it’s when we learn to take responsibility for those moments that we start to dissolve them. Those moments may not always feel so great. There is crying, and headaches, and lots and lots of turmoil, but there’s also connection and love and forgiveness and acceptance…most importantly in yourself. The ego can then no longer sustain our authentic selves and our soul becomes stronger. It’s when feeling and thinking those qualities in ourselves that we no longer have to blame the outside world. We then welcome it with open arms and love. These are the moments in which you grow and good news is, those are the moments that prove you are willing to feel alive. If you aren’t feeling the Ying and the Yang, you are moving through life dead and we all know there’s no fulfillment in that.

In what areas do you find yourself highly motivated but then regressed? Do you notice if you are pushing away the ego or do you work on dissolving it? Take a moment to look at your practice and see where you can improve on the pain work.

Vulnerability leads to connection. Connections allows us to see we aren’t alone. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and share your thoughts or story in the comments section below so that you can open the opportunity for a connection with someone else

Stay tuned and see how my process is developing along the way while attending USM.

xoxo,

barista

Ps: If you are indeed ready to start working on dissolving the issues that are holding you back, I am Very very proud to announce USM is still enrolling students. The only requirement is that you want to become a better YOU. While, if you qualify,  you can get your Masters Degree, there are people that aren’t working on that. Being that it’s only one weekend a month, you can live anywhere on the planet and attend. There are people in my class from Boston, Florida, Virginia, Canada, Mexico and many more places other than Los Angeles. Invest in YOU. ITS YOUR TIME!

for more info click here

HaHa Funny!

I realized we probably don’t LAUGH on here as much as we should. Just because we’re getting all spiritual doesn’t mean it’s serious talk all the time. So let’s relax some and get our laugh on:

trueself

 

Zen Master Has A Hotdog

So the Zen master steps up to the hot dog cart and says: “Make me one with everything.”

The hot dog vendor fixes a hot dog and hands it to the Zen master, who pays with a $20 bill.

The hot dog vendor puts the bill in the cash drawer and closes the drawer.

“Where’s my change?” asks the Zen master.

The hot dog vendor responds: “Change must come from within.”

 

dharma

 

the middle of a forest, there was a hunter who was suddenly confronted by a huge, hungry bear. In his fear, all attempts to shoot the bear were unsuccessful. Finally, he turned and ran as fast as he could

The hunter ran and ran and ran, until he ended up at the edge of a very steep cliff. His hopes were dim. Seeing no way out of his predicament, and with the bear closing in rather quickly, the hunter got down on his knees, opened his arms, and exclaimed, “Dear God! Please give this bear some ‘religion!'”

The sky darkened and there was lightning in the air. Just a few feet short of the hunter, the bear came to abrupt stop, and glanced around, somewhat confused. Suddenly, the bear looked up into the sky and said,

“Thank you, God, for the food I’m about to receive….”

 

meaning

 

Two men meet on the street.
One asks the other: “Hi, how are you?”
The other one replies: “I’m fine, thanks.”
“And how’s your son? Is he still unemployed?”
“Yes, he is. But he is meditating now.”
“Meditating? What’s that?”
“I don’t know. But it’s better than sitting around and doing nothing!”

 

sacred_cows1

 

One zen student said, “My teacher is the best. He can go days without eating.”

The second said, “My teacher has so much self control, he can go days without sleep.”

The third said, “My teacher is so wise that he eats when he’s hungry and sleeps when he’s tired.”

 

imagesCA4ZBQIU

 

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