Let’s Get Together

Today I officially launched my new website: unwittingmystic.com!  With this tool I can finally begin filling in dates and details for my summer book tour in the US.  Please click on the Blog tab for more information, then invite me to your town so we can incite some love, peace and joy in your community!

I will be blogging from my website now, so be sure to follow me there!

Namaste.

Striking a Nerve

Hundreds of readers in twenty-one countries in just five weeks – with no advertising.  THANK YOU!

ImageWord of Unwitting Mystic: Evolution of The Message of Love is spreading fast, and around the world early responses have been absolutely fantastic.  Ordinary people from all walks of life are feeling inspired, excited, and relieved to find such a powerfully resonant message of hope.

There’s clearly an exposed nerve of anticipatory change on this planet, and I’m striking it with an unusually large mallet of Divine love.

If you haven’t seen what the fuss is about yet, check it out on Amazon.com for Kindle and iPad e-readers or download it in PDF format, either of which you can do here on the right side panel of this blog.

After reading the book, please consider a donation to help me expand my message of hope to others.  Please also share your thoughts here or on Amazon.com or in a private email (I read all of them), and then help spread the word.  The more the merrier on this exciting journey.

Immense love, peace and joy to all.

Come Fly With Me

In my book I write about an unusual friend whom I first met in spirit form months before I met her in person at the nunnery in which I live in India. The woman’s name is Lisa, and she’s a mighty big spirit traveling in a mighty small body.

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The day I released my book to the public, which was my birthday, April 7th, I received a card from Lisa with a drawing of two people paragliding on the front, and on the inside the card said, “Come fly with me.” Any activity involving a parachute has always been high on my Hell No Not Ever list, but since this offer came from someone with whom I share a uniquely cosmic bond, I said yes. And because that yes came from a place of supreme trust, it easily turned into four days of experiencing the spiritual magic of India.

Paragliding was just the first stop on our pilgrimage to several sacred sites in northern India, traveling with our friend and fellow nunnery resident, Jampa. We did most of the trip on motorcycles until the routes were too winding or steep, then we continued by car and on foot. I put the highlights of this trip in this fun video so others could come along for the ride at their leisure. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WjzkYbQKnRQ

A few things to note:

1. The background song was playing when we were being driven up the mountain for paragliding, and since it helped get us ready to jump off into the sky it became our musical anthem for the trip.

2. The village around the lake with the big statue is the small settlement of Tso Pema and is sacred to exiled Tibetan Buddhists as well as Sikhs and Hindus. As you’ll see, it’s a place where man and animal of all different walks of life live together peacefully.

3. The enormous bull is a gentle baby named Sonu and he’s the unofficial mascot of Tso Pema.

4. I loved the poignancy of the crow holding on for dear life atop a sacred flag.

5. The bracelets in the title and closing shots are blessing cords given to us by a seriously adorable elderly Tibetan man at the entrance to the sacred cave.

6. The historical town of Mandi is unusual even by India standards and has 80+ colorful Sikh and Hindu shrines.

As you watch this video, think about that YES that’s waiting for you to trust it – and then go ahead and jump. This is your invitation to fly.

Peace and blessings to all.

My Book is Now Available on Amazon.com

Woohoo! My book is now available on Amazon.com for all you iPad, iPhone and Kindle e-readers!

Early responses have been incredible.  Here’s just a sampling of what folks are saying…

“I truly have been rattled to the core in such a way that words can’t describe.”

“I cannot put into words how truly amazing reading your book is.”

“I love, love love your book. Beautiful book, beautiful writing, beautiful story!”

“A riveting and quick read.”

“I can honestly say it may be one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read ~ and I have read A LOT of books in my life!”

“I am in awe. I loved every word.”

“It feels like another light has been brightly illuminated in the world.”

“Unable to stop reading it!”

“I have read it twice and will read it again and again.”

Visit Amazon.com here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JTXQLY8 to get your e-reader copy of click on the link to the right to get your PDF copy today.

If my work has inspired you please consider a donation at thedailylama.blogspot.com to help me continue this journey and invite me to your area for a speaking opportunity to help spread the word!  Much love and gratitude to all.

Namaste

Love Like You’ve Never Seen It

Today my long-held secrets are finally revealed to the world! It is with enormous relief and gratitude that I release my new book, Unwitting Mystic: Evolution of The Message of Love.

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Most religious mystics throughout recorded history were known to have a significant connection to theology before they were given sight into Divine realms. They were nuns, priests, monks, yogis or at the very least experienced followers of some kind of faith.

I, on the other hand, was given sight into Divine realms without any understanding of, or interest in, religious teachings. In Unwitting Mystic: Evolution of The Message of Love, I share the firsthand account of what happens when an ordinary person has to hold the heavy burden of extraordinary wisdom until it ripens into a blessing of hope that cannot and will not be suppressed. With the release of this book today, I am officially unleashing that hope!

Unwitting Mystic: Evolution of The Message of Love is currently available as a download in digital PDF format at no cost; look for the download button to the right. This story contains rare teachings directly from God, Jesus and Buddha – none of whom ever charged anyone to hear their words, so a free copy of the book will always be available to the public. If after reading my story you are inspired to make a donation to allow me continue this journey, then I welcome your company and thank you humbly for your helpful support.

In the coming weeks the book will also be released on Kindle and iPad, and print publishing is planned for early summer.

My aim is to use this book to inspire and incite new dialogue around self-discovery and spirituality, and I look forward to meeting many old and new friends in the process. I will be available for in-person interviews and public speaking engagements outside of India starting in July 2014; in the meantime I am available for interviews via Skype or other internet options. Later this month I will have a website up where you can inquire about my availability. In the meantime please simply inquire by email at happyeasylife@me.com

To get this book in shape I had the option of working with a professional editor who is a former senior in-house editor at Doubleday publishing in New York. While I would have loved that level of skillful help and the connections to large-scale publishing possibilities, it would have been a significant financial and labor investment motivated primarily by commercial success. After careful consideration I could not bring myself to share my God-given experiences with commercial intention, even if it meant potentially making the book available to more readers. I am leaving open all options for future publishing, but for now this is a more intimate release and I trust it will find its way to the right audience at the right time. You can help spread the word by sharing the link to my book with others whom you think may be interested.

This has been, then, primarily a do-it-yourself project until the critical last stages when my friend Kerry Beach swooped in to help with a final review and tackling the online formatting/publishing requirements. If you are considering self-publishing in the future and need help maneuvering through the many technical mine fields, I highly recommend contacting Kerry at kerrybeach@msn.com to lower your stress and raise your confidence.

The Acknowledgements page at the end of the book is lengthy, with good reason. I could not have done this without the small army of friends, family and perfectly placed strangers helping me every step of the way. Getting to this point was a massive team effort, and I hope all who have traveled some or all of this journey with me will feel a sense of accomplishment after reading what is ultimately our story.

May this heartfelt offering be a blessing to universal efforts to bring love, peace and joy to all beings.

Namaste.

Heaven Is Now More Mischevious

My friends Sheila and Curtiss have had many barnyard kids over the years, most notably two huge oxen named Calvin and Hobbes – the latter being lovably ornery and funny.  Calvin died a few years ago and today I received the following obituary for Hobbes.  I share this with friends because I think it is a good reminder that even an animal the size of an SUV can have a sense of humor and tenderness on par with the most beloved little child…

Despite the fact that we knew it was coming, it is with the heaviest of hearts and even shock that we let you know that we put Hobbes down this afternoon.  His grave is right next to Calvin’s, so they are literally and spiritually back together as a team again.  His death was peaceful and we sent him on his way with his belly and mouth full of grain.  That is right, he died as he lived, which means he died eating.  

Hobbes was loved by too many to count.  Many stopped by yesterday to pet him and say goodbye.  It was interesting because a bunch of the people who stopped neither Curtiss nor myself had ever seen before.  They told us stories of driving by the Rt. 5 Ox or the Skunk Cow for years on their way to and from work, always looking to see where he was and what he was doing.  They had always admired him from afar and he was a source of comfort, strength or majesty for them.  They were thrilled to get to pet him.  They were impressed with his coloring and size, but it was his gentleness that stood out.  For a being that weighed in the neighborhood of 3,000 lbs. and had horns, he stood for hours while people scratched him…craning his neck just like a dog, so that the person would scratch right on the sweet spot.  

Curtiss and I both readily admit that we misnamed the team.  Hobbes’ name most definitely should have been Calvin, as Hobbes was the mischievous one.  He taught himself how to pull the fence posts out using his horns, thus causing the fence to lay down on the ground.  At that point Calvin and Hobbes would simply step over the fence on their way to visit the neighbor’s bird feeder (when they were younger) or head for greener pasture (when they were older).  Hobbes was also the one who would walk whichever way he wanted back to the barn when Mary Brigid would oxen-sit for us.  His way always went by the apple trees which was the way we told Mary Brigid not to go.  For the record, many people offered Hobbes an apple yesterday and he refused them all save one…the one that Mary Brigid offered him.  When Curtiss would work with them in the woods, Hobbes would be the one who would intentionally put a standing tree between himself and Calvin just for kicks.  Hobbes was also the one who bellowed for nights after Calvin’s death, so much so that Curtiss went and slept in the barn with him.  Calvin’s death would have been the first time Hobbes had ever been alone in his life.  Curtiss and I both know that we were lucky to have these two gentle giants be a huge, both literally and figuratively, part of our lives.  

Hobbes is survived by Earl, the barn cat.  Earl created a nest in Hobbes’ stall this afternoon in the leftover hay which he has never done before.  Curtiss will leave the nest.

For some reason this has been the hardest obituary to write, perhaps it is because I already sent out a notice warning most of you or perhaps it is because he is the last of the Calvin and Hobbes named pets or perhaps it is because it is midnight or perhaps it is because it is still inconceivable to us that he is gone.  

Letting Go

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I shared this recently on my Facebook page, and given the response I received privately from several people I thought it might be helpful to share it in a wider circle.  “Letting go” is a topic of recent interest to many who are feeling a tug from the present Now that is growing more powerful than the pull of Past.  Since I could not articulate the simple wonder of this issue any better, I’ll let Ernest Holmes tell you how freeing it can be.  Enjoy.

She Let Go

She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go. She let go of fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the ‘right’ reasons. Wholly and completely without hesitation or worry, she just let go.

She didn’t ask anyone for advice. She didn’t read a book on how to let go. She didn’t search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all the memories that held her back. She let go of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all the calculations about how to do it just right.

She didn’t promise to let go. She didn’t journal about it. She didn’t write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn’t check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.

She didn’t analyze whether she should let go. She didn’t call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn’t utter one word. She just let go.

No one was around when it happened. There was no applause or congratulations. No one thanked her or praised her. No one noticed a thing. Like a leaf falling from a tree, she just let go. There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn’t good. It wasn’t bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.

In the space of letting go, she let it all be.
A small smile came over her face.
A light breeze blew through her.
And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.

~Ernest Holmes

To Tell the Truth

Sometimes differing versions of “truth” are not the result of differing perspectives, but rather the result of emotional upset so powerful even the reality of the masses can be obscured.

A few years ago, I was Deputy Executive Director at a large, high profile charity in Washington, DC.  Media from television, radio and newsprint visited the organization frequently because inspiring stories were always in abundance.

One day a television cameraman was upstairs filming “B roll” footage in a warehouse-like packing area while a reporter was interviewing volunteers or staff elsewhere.  The cameraman, while lugging a large video camera on his shoulder, spotted a volunteer heading out the door and ran after the person to film them.  As he ran, he slipped on a wet spot on the concrete floor and fell elbow first on the same arm with which he was carrying the heavy camera.

I was called upstairs by the communications director and the volunteer director and helped get the cameraman into an office.  Bone was protruding through the skin and he clearly needed professional care.  With my medical background I was able to clean the man’s wounds superficially and help him through the initial stages of shock until I could convince him to go to the hospital.

The facilities assistant, Noor, was an African immigrant who had come to the organization through a job placement agency for mentally challenged individuals.  Noor had mopped the floor just minutes before the accident, and initially he adamantly claimed that, per protocol, he had set out orange caution cones topped with signs warning people to watch their step.   But in speaking with the communications and volunteer directors, both said there were no cones or signs posted anywhere.

As you might imagine, this was a very serious incident.  The organization relied heavily on positive portrayal by the media and could not risk being seen as negligent, especially negligence that resulted in injury to media personnel.

Noor, a gentle and sensitive man, was deeply shaken – so much so that he began to doubt himself; maybe he only thought he had put the cones out, he couldn’t be sure.  The two directors vehemently denied seeing any cones and the cameraman, too, said he had seen no warnings.  There were numerous volunteers and staff in the area when the accident occurred, and not a single one reported seeing any “wet floor” caution signs.

After several hours and a great deal of stress for everyone, I was able to review the video tapes from the security cameras, and low and behold the tapes showed there was not one but TWO bright orange cones topped with “CAUTION WET FLOOR” signs in the area of the accident.  In fact, the cameraman had slid right by one when he fell.  In his panic and desire to be helpful, Noor had actually removed the cones to get them out of the way of the rush of people hurrying to help the cameraman.

The directors, cameraman, other staff and volunteers had no malice whatsoever towards Noor that day; they genuinely did not know what was true.  Even Noor himself – the very truth maker – began to doubt what was true.  The unexpected emotional shock of the moment focused everyone so forcefully on one aspect of a reality that other aspects became completely obscured from memory.

We become blinded like this in our own lives when, in times of emotional upset, we “spin up” a single opinion or perspective in our mind with such force we cannot see or entertain the idea of any other reality.  We do this on a larger scale when we get so caught up in a collective emotional upset (the riot mentality) we lose sight of important details of the broader reality.

We rarely have the luxury of video tapes to prove what is absolutely true for ourselves and those around us, so when we judge ourselves or another person or a situation while in an emotionally charged state, chances are good that some significant portion of truth will go unseen.

Learning to replace reactionary impulses of blame and judgment with objective consideration and language not only helps stave off blinding emotional escalation, it also opens our eyes, our minds and our hearts to greater possibilities of truth.

This is perhaps our hardest and most important challenge as humans, for reactionary impulses are rooted deeply in old wounds and fears.  But every such root we are willing to work hard to pull up makes room for new sources of compassion and understanding to grow.   And God knows, our world desperately needs more fruits born of these more loving seeds.

The Heart of Christmas

The advantage of making a What If post in which you say your final words just in case you croak is that you never have to do it again unless there’s a revision you’re just dying to make.  ‘Scuse the pun.

With that task done (see previous post if you’re new here), it’s time now for an uplifting Christmas message!

As many of you know, at this time last year I was living in a remote area of northern India at the foothills of the Himalayas.

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The nearest village was accessible in twenty minutes by way of narrow stone and dirt paths and leaps across six rocks in a creek.  It was a small, traditional Hindu, Muslim and Sikh community into which many Tibetan refugees and Buddhist monks and nuns had integrated.  Everywhere you looked, varying brands of faith were advertised in the clothes people wore, what they did or did not put on their heads, and how they greeted you.

While there were no practicing Christians in sight, it was not at all unusual for this blended community to embrace the spirit of Christ.  Jesus was, after all, considered a Buddha, a prophet and/or a divine being by many in these other religions.  So it should not have come as a surprise that I saw this notice posted outside a local shop just a few days before Christmas:

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But this was, in fact, quite a surprise, for beneath the veil of spiritual harmony in this village, there were plenty of tensions constantly brewing.

For more than 50 years, India has been host to high profile exiles like the Dalai Lama and other Buddhist teachers, and every year thousands of new Tibetan refugees find their way into communities near their beloved leaders.  In the village, it was clear that many Indians alternated between being gracious and blatantly resentful hosts to these Tibetans, and many Tibetans alternated between being grateful and blatantly mistrusting of the Indians.

The wariness of both sides was easily visible to me, and I found this troubling.  From a distance I assumed their spiritual devotion implied a constant dedication to kindness and compassion, but up close I often saw them behave contradictorily to these very ideals in particular.  Without tending to this troubling feeling, I let it casually wall off my heart so that I mindlessly discounted the spiritual sincerity of both the Indians and the Tibetans.

So I paused when I saw this sign.  At first I thought it was fantastic, that’s why I took a picture of it.  But then I began to think…wait.  Was it genuine or was it gratuitous?  Was it meant to keep the peace or keep the pretense?

As I walked home, I considered this issue in the manner requisite of any good spiritualist: First, I wondered the hell was wrong with the world.  Then I wondered what the hell was wrong with me.  I had taken a perfectly lovely gesture and promptly allowed my mind to make it suspect.

Wasn’t Christmas precisely the time when people with differences should come together?  Wasn’t the whole point of Christmas that we celebrate in honor of one who sought to unite us through love and peace?

And wasn’t I being just as lax in my own devotion to kindness and compassion as those by whom I was troubled?

Ahhh, there was the path I was looking for – out of the drama of my head and into the honesty of my heart.  Unconditional love and understanding were much easier to find in that light.

And so it was that last Christmas a village of Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims and Sikhs helped lead me back to the spirit of Christ I held so dear.  I had wandered away from it in my expectations of how Christ-like others were supposed to be, and that’s just how Christians have been ostracizing people for years – including me.  Because I wanted no part in knowingly ostracizing anyone, I promptly committed to staying centered in my heart every time I walked back into the village from that day forth.

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This Christmas I am again firmly centered in my heart, and it is from that place that I send out prayers of love and blessings to family and friends of all faiths in all corners of the world.  May the light of peace and goodwill shine brightly in your own hearts as you gather with loved ones and those in your own communities throughout this holiday season.  I love you.

 

What If…

No matter what, December 21, 2012 will be just like any other day: it is going to be the last day on Earth for someone, somewhere.  Maybe more than the average number will transition on that day, and maybe not.  The reality is, not a single person in this world knows for certain what will happen to any of us on that day or any other.

So since no one knows for certain, I have to wonder: what if that day is, in fact, my last?  What if this is the last blog post I ever write?

On the slim chance that is true, here is the last thing I want to say:

-       I did my best

-       I have no regrets for loving anyone

-       I have no regrets for any apology I ever made

-       I have no regrets for any dance I danced

-       I have no regrets for any song I sang

-       I have no regrets for any sigh of nature I shared

-       I have no regrets for any night of stargazing

-       I have no regrets for any hand I held

-       I have no regrets for letting dogs kiss me on the lips

-       I have no regrets for seeking understanding

-       I have no regrets for seeking the lesson in every mistake

-       I have no regrets for constant prayers of gratitude for my teachers and every single person who supported me on my journey

-       I have no regrets for believing in humanity

-       I took risks

-       I made friends

-       I saw the world

-       I forgave genuinely

-       I made helping others a sincere priority

-       I tried in earnest to find, reveal, and honor my purpose

-       I was the best BEing of love, compassion and kindness I knew how to be

-       No one and no moment was insignificant to the beauty of my experience as a human

If Friday is not my last day, then I have no regrets for taking a few minutes to just appreciate my life.  I wish each of you deep appreciation in the reflection of your own journey.  I love you.