My Father’s Logic and The Dilemma

CypressGrove5x The long road of the heart

When I was in my early teens my father would bait me into discussions / arguments to use his premises and logic to win for the most part. He would use his premises as gospel and then the logic was a given. When he was backed into a corner he would shout me into submission. So I was always anxious and filled with trepidation when he tricked me into these discussions.

My father over-simplified the argument and the metaphor.

I didn’t necessarily have an opinion on the issues he thrust upon me, nor did I know when he would unexpectedly launch into one of his “arguments” so I was always taken off-guard.

In retrospect one of the most interesting arguments was an analogy between American Citizens and Native Americans land rights vis-à-vis Israel and Palestinian land rights. There is a long and complex history over regions in the Middle East where Jewish and Islamic faiths claim the same territories. In 1947 well after WWII was over the United Nations established Israel as the Jewish State in a hotly disputed territory between Palestinians and Jewish peoples. These disputes continue to this day.

My father over-simplified the argument and the metaphor.

It went something like this:

“The Jews kicked out the Palestinians and set up Israel through the UN. You wouldn’t give the Indians* (Native Americans) all the lands we took from them, would you? That’s what the Jews did and the world looked the other way when the UN gave the Jews the land the Palestinians owned. It would be if the UN came along and said we would have to give back the land to the Indians.”

I didn’t want to participate in being victimized by my father’s logic

Me: Well, if we agree that the Indians* (Native Americans) occupied the lands we live on then it is their land and they should have it back.”

My father: That’s not fair. We’d be kicked out of our houses and the Indians would take over.

Me: So you’re saying that the Palestinians should have the lands back that the UN gave the Jews?

My father: Yes, absolutely.

Me: I guess you’re right. (But I felt confused and I didn’t want to participate in being victimized by my father’s logic).

My father: Of course I’m right.

I began questioning my father’s premises


* In the 1960s and 70s Native Americans were referred to as Indians

 

Later it was the Viet Nam War.

My father: We have to stop the spread of Communism

Me: I feel war and killing is wrong.

My father: You’re wrong.

 

My girlfriend: How can “a feeling” be wrong. Feelings aren’t right or wrong they just are.

Me: Yeah.

 

After that I began questioning my father’s premises. That put an end to his desire to make be right and make me wrong.

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A New Kind of Christmas Prayer

X-MasCard

My mother liked buying Christmas cards all year long. She had huge clear plastic bags of them in the cedar closet and elsewhere in our house.

I told people I was from the future.

In my 20s she invited me to take some to send. I took some, she said take more… So I selected bunches that were all the same painting. I wasn’t much into sending Christmas cards but I took them because my mom wanted me to have some. I think she was overwhelmed with the amount of the cards she had stored up.

Every year for many years I had many of these Christmas cards. It was impossible to send them all to people I knew – maybe I had over 100 cards.

universal wishes

Every since I could remember I longed for a better world as if I had a memory of this world. Perhaps I did remember a different world because I told people I was from the future. I could feel a world and people at peace with themselves, everyone in the community, not just locally but nationally and internationally. And not just with people, but will all the beings of Earth. Often we ascribe life to biological beings only, I saw and I see all beings, rock, water, air and our sun as beings.

There’s something magical about getting mail (snail mail) from yourself especially if you don’t immediately remember that you sent it.

Every year sometime in my 20s I would write a Christmas card to myself with 7 wishes written inside. Four or five were universal wishes and the other two or three were personal. There’s something magical about getting mail (snail mail) from yourself especially if you don’t immediately remember that you sent it.

I began practicing finding a sense of peace within myself

You retrieve it from the post box and look at the envelope. The writing / printing looks familiar. You rip it open and your remember that old mill in winter and your read the wishes. I stopped sending cards when I ran out and I had begun thinking that wishes were melancholy ways to stay stuck – keeping wishes as wishes that would never come true because they postponed the event into a future that didn’t exist.

Create the peace you want in yourself and be it in the world.

I began to visualize using all my senses to what world peace might feel, look, smell and be like. I began practicing finding a sense of peace within myself and finding threads that would connect peace feelings to others.

I invite you to send a snail mail card to yourself of your wishes and then visualize with your thoughts and senses and your emotions what you are creating now. Create the peace you want in yourself and be it in the world.

For an unwind hot non-alcoholic beverage in a mug try: https://psychesweather.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/a-non-alcoholic-hot-toddy-for-sleep/

Lost and – Found

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As I get older I seem to lose stuff. I lost my cell phone a few years back, called my provider had them deactivate the account and then a few hours later found the phone. Where? It was where I had left it. But I didn’t employ the finding techniques I have sometimes used to find lost or misplaced stuff.

A friend who has since passed into another life without her body passed on this technique:

The Eye-Flicking – Remembering where I put It – tool

The women that discovered / invented EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) for dealing with people suffering from PTSD, used eye movement to recover and reintegrate repressed memories. My friend said – though this may not have been accurate that the woman, Francine Shapiro was flicking her eyes back and forth to allow a memory to return. My friend said it was possible to move throughout one’s home – flick your eyes back and forth – not in an attempt to visually find the object that you lost but to uncover the memory of where it was. This worked for me a few times.

Cleaning one’s house tool – Frantically cleaning your house to find where you misplaced stuff – works sometimes but not enough.

The Tony-Tony tool – was given to me by a good friend of Italian-American heritage who passed away too young (in my book). Tony is short for St. Anthony finder of lost objects and who also had an undying love and devotion to the poor and the sick. Here’s how this works:

  1. begin with this chant: “Tony, Tony, come around, something’s lost and must be found.” It could be chanted x3.
  2. Wait until it shows up – up to 48 hours
  3. If it shows give anywhere from $1 to $20 to St. Anthony’s to help feed the poor at Christmas.

This worked the best for me. Back in the day when I didn’t have much money to give I started with a dollar. When it reached 10 found items of more I wrote a check to St. Anthony’s of San Francisco, CA.

The Principle of Creating a new kind of Prayer

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Language and time creates an artificial separation between the ever present now and a future. There is no future. It is there in our minds as something we believe to be true based on language and the trick of ego.

When we pray or ask the universe for something to happen from the future we reinforce the illusion of separateness. This keeps us from having or achieving that what we wish to create. We are separated from having or achieving due to the action of wish in relationship to time. The past and future are illusions that we invented through language to manage the world. Time is now. Even money is the currency of this illusion.

Let’s say there has been a drought or fires and rain is needed.

Go to a place in your neighborhood in nature where you feel a connection or a feeling of awe and power. Take off your shoes and socks if you wish. Stand on earth – grass or soil, twigs or leaves and feel the water beneath your feet, the mud or soaked socks and shoes (if you didn’t take them off). Smell the scents of earth after a long rich rain. Feel earth’s relief and looseness with the richness of plentiful water. Feel the wet on your skin, hair and clothing from the rains. See the drought or fire ravaged areas having been rained upon.

 

Give thanks.

The Happiness Prayer

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Happiness is what we are blessed with as babies. We get caught up in a world of having, goals, and conquest in “the pursuit of happiness”. The past isn’t a separate place “back there” – the memories of the past exists in the present and the emotions are the link to the ever expanding now.

You’re scrolling through the photos on your phone, tablet or computer (or a photo album / loose photos) and you come across a photo of you and your friends, family or loved ones.

You remember what it was like in this photo, the sounds, the conversations, the quality of the air, the laughter, the feelings of companionship and love. Looking at the photograph you feel the happiness and love you felt with your friends, family and/or lovers – your community.

You reflect on those feelings and allow yourself to feel those feelings now. Feel the peace, feel the love, feel the happiness.

Reflecting on feelings of happiness elicits the feelings to arise now.

You give thanks.

 

 

The Other Side of Gratefulness

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Part of this season of giving thanks is a reminder to feel humbled and grateful for the blessings in our lives. This could be gratefulness to friends, to food, to shelter, to a thankfulness that the roof stays over the head and doesn’t fall down.

I think we’re all aware of feeling irritated, frustrated, infuriated by the injustices…

The other side of gratefulness is to be thankful for all that is irritating and produces feelings of frustration and anger. Feelings of gratefulness to loss through “breaking-up”, loss from death of a family members, spouse, and/or best friend. You may think these are strange feelings and happenstances to feel grateful.

This kind of gratefulness brings my attention to basic underlying questions of my existence on the planet. While its great to feel grateful for what I think I have or how I relate I automatically exclude all that is unpleasant, irritating and infuriating. When I feel grateful to the pain in some bones of my left foot my attention is drawn there. I’m paying attention to something I might ordinarily forget and then I’m entering into a form of sleep.

Its easier to fight the injustices I perceive when I am grateful to the people that are eliciting unpleasant responses in me.

I think we’re all aware of feeling irritated, frustrated, infuriated by the injustices we perceive in the world around us, but when we are reminded to feel grateful we exclude those unpleasantries, because their unpleasant. When I include all those unpleasant feelings and I allow myself to feel grateful for these feelings something extraordinary abet subtle unfolds. My heart softens towards those situations and people that triggers the irritation in me. Intellectually I begin to understand their point of view even though I voraciously disagreed with them. My awareness expands and I include their beingness while continuing to disagree.

When I make room in my life for irritation and the like more people are included in the tissues of interconnectivity.

Its easier to fight the injustices I perceive when I am grateful to the people that are eliciting unpleasant responses in me. It reminds me that I am a flawed imperfect being and that other human citizens are as flawed as I am. This teaches me to “not take the issues in contention not so personally”. Of course I do – I do take the issues I interpret as injustices personally.

I tell myself to expand my gratefulness practice to include, that which is easy, and that which is tough to practice on a daily basis – and I forget to do this. I often remember that the other person isn’t perfect and I am trying to include them by releasing my irritation and softening my heart to include them in friendship. This works sometimes.

When I make room in my life for irritation and the like more people are included in the tissues of interconnectivity. Debating with these individuals makes more sense when I am grateful for the irritations that connect us because I am working on taking this less personally.

Being the Wider Perspective in Troubled Times

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We live in troubled times. Part of the trouble has to do with the changing times. In 1992 the sun –our star shifted frequency and a new epoch was born. The patriarchal system not only stopped working but a new vibration began its existence. The new vibration isn’t fully manifest yet. The new vibration has to do with an economy without money and without tyranny from whence systems of money are built. The new vibration is based on community. A community-based economy is a long way off. And a world without money and tyranny is farther away.

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Intellectually the wider perspective is “seeing” that the trouble times we are in is part of the dying of tyranny from the perspective of the larger context of a world without money and tyranny, a world without as many laws, a blending of classes, a reduced need for police, no military, no war, sustained world wide peace and so on.

 

How do we begin?na-pali-95

 

A first step is working on Being and letting go of doing and attachment.

Letting go of doing and attachment is a lifelong process that can generate energy for Beingness.

So let’s skip to the good part: Being.

From a Being perspective go back to the beginning of your life and experience the beginning of this lifetime and the place your body occupies as one present moment. From this current moment of today go forward to the time of the death of your physical body. (From the linear time perspective your ego doesn’t know when your body will pass – or maybe you do know. It’s just the passing of your physical body. Maybe that brings up some fears. See if you can suspend those fears.) Experience your entire lifetime in your current physical body as one present moment.

Being from this larger perspective is incredibly freeing. When I first experienced an expanded present moment of 20 years I felt the difference being Being-Time and Doing (or Ego)-time. In Being-Time I saw that I am going to be okay no matter what. Sure I will feel happy, sad, have losses, suffer ect, and I will be okay.

I challenge you to practice an expanded present moment and then choose to feel okay no matter what happens.

Then we you feel stress or worry remember how you felt during your expanded present moment experience and that you are okay. This will help you to let go of so-called negative emotions and live in your Beingness of a wider perspective.

Home Remedies: Love in Cooking & Richness in a Recipe

Love in…
Cooking with love is easy and many of you most likely do this. Before elucidating the how – a story.
In the 1990s I cooked for my landlord’s wife in exchange for dollars off my rent. She had some severe food allergies. The aim was to make meals and prepare food to her specifications and keep food costs low. Her mainstay was chicken and I was a vegetarian at that time. I purchased boneless chicken breasts at Costco. When I began cooking the chicken I could feel how savagely the chickens had been killed. I had known – in the past this but had forgotten. Kosher chicken is the only chicken killed humanely to my knowledge. It was through directed love that I was able to ameliorate the effects of the violence done to these chickens – as much as possible.

I employed an exercise to activate the heart. Scientists have discovered neurons in the heart. The heart is an organ for sensing emotions, our cognitive brain givens language to delineate these emotions… The exercise is the “I-Am” exercise designed to activate feeling in the heart and allow love to expand. https://psychesweather.wordpress.com/2017/11/20/the-i-am-exercise/

I activated the “I-Am” and directed loving kindness to the chicken. Nora, my landlord’s wife reported that she felt the love in the meals.

Richness
Chicken Breast with White Wine Sauce, Asparagus and Rice (may be substituted with mashed potatoes)
These ingredients aren’t exact because it’s from memory – something I haven’t cooked for a long while.

Inner Prep Work:
Ground and pay attention to your breath as you begin and then periodically through the cooking process. Treat yourself and every ingredient with loving-kindness. As you handle each piece of meat and other ingredients infuse them with love and kindness. As you add the ingredients together project your love into them.

Hardware:
Long-handled wooden spoon for stirring
1 or 2 measuring cups
1 sauté pan
1 saucepan
a table knife or spoon
a sharp knife
Gravy or sauce bowl
Ladle

What’s in it:
2 to 4 boned and skinned chicken breasts (rinsed)
Chicken Stock
¼ to ½ cup white wine
½ to 1 stick of butter
1 pint of heavy cream
olive oil or butter
Some asparagus (rinsed)
Wild Rice or Brown Rice (rinsed)  or 7 – 10 Yukon Gold Potatoes

What to do:
Thaw the chicken stock in advance
If you’re preparing mashed potatoes prepare them in advance while thawing the chicken stock and reheat in the microwave or oven when close to serving.

Brown the chicken in a skillet on both sides until golden brown using butter or cooking oil.
Pour in the chicken stock (liquid only) until it nearly covers the breasts and bring to a boil.
Once boiling turn heat down to medium or medium low and reduce by half.

Add butter and let melt and diffuse.

Start the rice. (Rice cookers are a good for this kind of cooking)

Pour or ladle out ½ to ¾ of stock to a small pan and add the pint of heavy cream, put on medium heat and stir occasionally. Reduce by half.

Pour mixture back into the pan with the chicken, add the wine and reduce by half or three-quarters.

While reducing cut the bottoms of the asparagus stems and steam the asparagus.

Serving:
Take the breast out of the pan and place on a dish with the cooked rice and steamed asparagus.

Take the sauce or pan sauce and pour over chicken. Reserve the rest in a gravy bowl with a ladle

 

The Fires and The Firefighters

fires

Looking at this photo brings up the sadness, loss and grief I hope none of you have to experience first hand.

Nevertheless I feel immensely grateful that my place and neighborhood survived intact. I am grateful to these firefighters and emergency services that fought the fires in the Sonoma Valley (they report that some of the Glen Ellen fires should be contained on 10/27, tomorrow 20 days from the start of the fires on 10/8):

Sonoma Valley
Shellvista
Eldridge
Glen Ellen
Kenwood
Mayacamas

Sonoma Sheriffs

Alameda County Fire Department Alaska
Altaville-Melones Fire Protection District
Amador Fire Protection District
Angels Camp Fire Department
Apple Valley Fire Protection District
Arcata Fire Protection District
Arizona
Aromas Tri County Fire Protection Department
Arrowbear Lake Fire Department
Bakersfield Fire Department
Briceland Volunteer Fire Department
Butte Valley Fire Protection District
Calaveras Consolidated Fire Authority
California Office of Emergency Services
Canada
Carlsbad Fire Department
Central Calaveras Fire and Rescue Protection District
Chester Fire Protection District
Colorado
Colton Fire Department
Cypress Fire Protection Department
Dunsmuir Fire Department
East Bay Regional Parks Fire Department
El Dorado County Fire Protection District
Encinitas Fire Department
Fortuna Fire Protection District
Fresno County Fire Protection District
Georgetown Fire Protection District
Gridley Fire Department
Higgins Fire Protection District
Humboldt Fire Protection District
Idaho
Ione Fire Department
Jackson Volunteer Fire Department
Janesville Fire Protection District
La Verne Fire Department
Lewiston Volunteer Fire Department
Loma Rica Browns Valley Community Service District
Los Angeles Fire Department
Madera County Fire Department
Marin County Fire Department
Mariposa County Fire Department
Merced County Fire Department
Miranda Community Service District
Montana
Montecito Fire Protection Department
Monterey County Regional Fire District
Mount Shasta Fire Department
Mount Shasta Fire Protection District
Napa County Fire Department
Nevada
New Mexico
North County Fire Protection Department
North Lake Tahoe Fire Department
Ontario Fire Department
Pala Reservation Fire Department
Paradise Fire Department
Placer County Fire Department
Placer Hills Fire Protection District
Presidio of Monterey Fire Department
Rancho Cucamonga Fire Protection District
Redlands Fire Department
Rialto Fire Department
Rio Dell Fire Protection District
Riverside County Fire Department
Roseville Fire Department
Running Springs Fire Department
Salinas Fire Department
San Bernadino County Fire
San Diego County Operational Area
San Gabriel Fire Department
San Manuel Fire Department
San Marcos Fire Protection Department
San Mateo Fire Department
Santa Barbara County Fire Department
Santa Barbara County Fire Department
Santa Cruz County Fire Department Santa Fe Springs Fire Department
Seaside Fire Department
Shasta College Fire Protection District
Shasta County Fire Department
South Carolina
South Lake County Fire Protection District
Spaulding Community Service District Fire Department
Spring Valley Volunteer Fire Department
Stockton fire
Tehama County Fire Department
Tulare County Fire Department
Vista Fire Protection Department
Washington
Willow Oak Fire Protection District
Woodland Fire Department
Wyoming
Yermo Fire Department (Community Service)
Yocha DeHe Fire Department
Yolo County Operational Area
Yucaipa Fire Department
Also the police departments:
Alameda County Sheriff Office
Alameda PD
Albany PD
BART PD
Berkeley PD
Brentwood PD
Campbell PD
Central Marin PD
CHP
Clayton PD
Cloverdale PD
Concord PD
Contra Costa City Sheriff
East Bay Regional Parks
El Cerrito PD
Emeryville PD
Fish and Game
Fremont PD
Gilroy PD
Hayward PD
Humboldt Sheriffs
Livermore PD
Los Gatos PD
Marin City Sheriff
Mill Valley PD
Monterey Sheriff
Mountain View PD
Novato PD
Oakland PD
Oakley PD
Pinole PD
Pittsburg PD
Pleasant Hill PD
Pleasanton PD
Richmond PD
San Anselmo PD
San Jose PD
San Leandro PD
San Mateo County PDs
San Pablo PD
San Rafael PD
San Ramon PD
Santa Clara PD and Sheriff
SF PD
SF Sheriff
Solano County Sheriff
UC Berkeley PD
UCSC PD
UCSF PD
Union City PD
Vallejo PD
Walnut Creek PD

Australia and Canada Fire Departments

I believe this list is part of Santa Rosa as well. Thank God they decided to Be a Firefighter or a Police Officer!!!