JUST FOR LAUGHS | MAKING THE BRAIN A FASTER AND MORE EFFICIENT MACHINE
With thinner hair - having enjoyed a great haircut mingled with a delightful conversation - I continued with my exploration of the streets in downtown Calgary. This time I was in search of a place to enjoy a simple dinner.  I landed at Belgo, a place where I could enjoy one of my favourite Belgian dishes: “moules-frites” (mussels and fries) and a Belgian cold beer on tap. The above is the sign that kept me company throughout the whole meal. It read:
A herd of buffalo can only move as slow as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it.s the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of its weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. We know that an excessive alcohol intake kills brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular alcohol consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That’s why you always feel smarter after a few beers.

JUST FOR LAUGHS | MAKING THE BRAIN A FASTER AND MORE EFFICIENT MACHINE

With thinner hair - having enjoyed a great haircut mingled with a delightful conversation - I continued with my exploration of the streets in downtown Calgary. This time I was in search of a place to enjoy a simple dinner.  I landed at Belgo, a place where I could enjoy one of my favourite Belgian dishes: “moules-frites” (mussels and fries) and a Belgian cold beer on tap. The above is the sign that kept me company throughout the whole meal. It read:

A herd of buffalo can only move as slow as the slowest buffalo. And when the herd is hunted, it.s the slowest and weakest ones at the back that are killed first. This natural selection is good for the herd as a whole because the general speed and health of the whole group keeps improving by the regular killing of its weakest members. In much the same way, the human brain can only operate as fast as the slowest brain cells. We know that an excessive alcohol intake kills brain cells. Excessive intake of alcohol, as we know, kills brain cells. But naturally, it attacks the slowest and weakest brain cells first. In this way, regular alcohol consumption of beer eliminates the weaker brain cells making the brain a faster and more efficient machine. That’s why you always feel smarter after a few beers.

ON PUSHING AND PULLING
My first retreat in Alberta is over. It’s a day off. I went out walking, exploring the streets, roads and avenues of Calgary, in search of a barber shop to have a hair cut.
All barber shops and hair salons seemed to be closed on Monday! Except one! When I almost gave up and was about to walk away, I saw the Barber Shop sign on one of the side streets! This is the sign I found greeting me: "Whenever you feel sad, just remember that somewhere in this world there is an idiot pushing a door that says "pull".
So, I very carefully PULLED the door, walked in, and asked for a haircut. 
There was no sign inside but as the hair on my head got lesser and lesser, and the conversation between the barber and myself got deeper and deeper,  I kept whispering to myself: push push push. 
And I wondered:
How often in my life did I push when I was supposed to pull and pull when I was supposed to push?

ON PUSHING AND PULLING

My first retreat in Alberta is over. It’s a day off. I went out walking, exploring the streets, roads and avenues of Calgary, in search of a barber shop to have a hair cut.

All barber shops and hair salons seemed to be closed on Monday! Except one! When I almost gave up and was about to walk away, I saw the Barber Shop sign on one of the side streets! This is the sign I found greeting me: "Whenever you feel sad, just remember that somewhere in this world there is an idiot pushing a door that says "pull".

So, I very carefully PULLED the door, walked in, and asked for a haircut. 

There was no sign inside but as the hair on my head got lesser and lesser, and the conversation between the barber and myself got deeper and deeper,  I kept whispering to myself: push push push. 

And I wondered:

How often in my life did I push when I was supposed to pull and pull when I was supposed to push?

WHOLENESS AND COMPLETENESS
Plato said that we are all born whole but we need each other to be complete.
as a simple match,whole in itself,carries a light withinmade visible when strickenagainst something
so it is with you and me:a flame burns deep withinawaiting birth
kindledwhen my storystrikes another’s,blessing the worldwith a blaze - mine and yours!
Philip Chircop | 27th July 2014

WHOLENESS AND COMPLETENESS

Plato said that we are all born whole but we need each other to be complete.

as a simple match,
whole in itself,
carries a light within
made visible when stricken
against something

so it is with you and me:
a flame burns deep within
awaiting birth

kindled
when my story
strikes another’s,
blessing the world
with a blaze - mine and yours!

Philip Chircop | 27th July 2014

YEARNING TO BE RELEASED
Amongst the many amazing sculptures that emerged from the hammer and chisel in the hands of Michelangelo, I find "the Prisoners" or the "Unfinished Slaves" amongst the most impressive.
Bruce Sanguin, in The Advance of Love, says about these statues:
"These are the statues of human figures that he (Michelangelo) never finished. Human figures trapped in marble, prisoners in stone, struggling to be free and whole. They capture the inner yearning of humans to be released into our fullness and our freedom of being. The difference between those imprisoned marble figures and us however, is that we can consciously cooperate in our own release. We can chip away at whatever it is that confines us. It’s a lifelong project. And if we get free enough, we can even dedicate ourselves to helping others to gain their freedom." 
What is it that is still keeping you captive?
What tools can you employ to chip away all that is still imprisoning  you?
How can you help others gain their freedom?
Images: Awakening Slave, Bearded Salve, Young Slave, Atlas Slave
Zoom Info
YEARNING TO BE RELEASED
Amongst the many amazing sculptures that emerged from the hammer and chisel in the hands of Michelangelo, I find "the Prisoners" or the "Unfinished Slaves" amongst the most impressive.
Bruce Sanguin, in The Advance of Love, says about these statues:
"These are the statues of human figures that he (Michelangelo) never finished. Human figures trapped in marble, prisoners in stone, struggling to be free and whole. They capture the inner yearning of humans to be released into our fullness and our freedom of being. The difference between those imprisoned marble figures and us however, is that we can consciously cooperate in our own release. We can chip away at whatever it is that confines us. It’s a lifelong project. And if we get free enough, we can even dedicate ourselves to helping others to gain their freedom." 
What is it that is still keeping you captive?
What tools can you employ to chip away all that is still imprisoning  you?
How can you help others gain their freedom?
Images: Awakening Slave, Bearded Salve, Young Slave, Atlas Slave
Zoom Info
YEARNING TO BE RELEASED
Amongst the many amazing sculptures that emerged from the hammer and chisel in the hands of Michelangelo, I find "the Prisoners" or the "Unfinished Slaves" amongst the most impressive.
Bruce Sanguin, in The Advance of Love, says about these statues:
"These are the statues of human figures that he (Michelangelo) never finished. Human figures trapped in marble, prisoners in stone, struggling to be free and whole. They capture the inner yearning of humans to be released into our fullness and our freedom of being. The difference between those imprisoned marble figures and us however, is that we can consciously cooperate in our own release. We can chip away at whatever it is that confines us. It’s a lifelong project. And if we get free enough, we can even dedicate ourselves to helping others to gain their freedom." 
What is it that is still keeping you captive?
What tools can you employ to chip away all that is still imprisoning  you?
How can you help others gain their freedom?
Images: Awakening Slave, Bearded Salve, Young Slave, Atlas Slave
Zoom Info
YEARNING TO BE RELEASED
Amongst the many amazing sculptures that emerged from the hammer and chisel in the hands of Michelangelo, I find "the Prisoners" or the "Unfinished Slaves" amongst the most impressive.
Bruce Sanguin, in The Advance of Love, says about these statues:
"These are the statues of human figures that he (Michelangelo) never finished. Human figures trapped in marble, prisoners in stone, struggling to be free and whole. They capture the inner yearning of humans to be released into our fullness and our freedom of being. The difference between those imprisoned marble figures and us however, is that we can consciously cooperate in our own release. We can chip away at whatever it is that confines us. It’s a lifelong project. And if we get free enough, we can even dedicate ourselves to helping others to gain their freedom." 
What is it that is still keeping you captive?
What tools can you employ to chip away all that is still imprisoning  you?
How can you help others gain their freedom?
Images: Awakening Slave, Bearded Salve, Young Slave, Atlas Slave
Zoom Info

YEARNING TO BE RELEASED

Amongst the many amazing sculptures that emerged from the hammer and chisel in the hands of Michelangelo, I find "the Prisoners" or the "Unfinished Slaves" amongst the most impressive.

Bruce Sanguin, in The Advance of Love, says about these statues:

"These are the statues of human figures that he (Michelangelo) never finished. Human figures trapped in marble, prisoners in stone, struggling to be free and whole. They capture the inner yearning of humans to be released into our fullness and our freedom of being. The difference between those imprisoned marble figures and us however, is that we can consciously cooperate in our own release. We can chip away at whatever it is that confines us. It’s a lifelong project. And if we get free enough, we can even dedicate ourselves to helping others to gain their freedom." 

  • What is it that is still keeping you captive?
  • What tools can you employ to chip away all that is still imprisoning  you?
  • How can you help others gain their freedom?

Images: Awakening Slave, Bearded Salve, Young Slave, Atlas Slave

STUMBLE FORWARD
Don’t stumble over something behind you. | Seneca

Regardless of our geography and physical location we often dwell in our thoughts.  How often do your thoughts drift to past happenings that were negative and upsetting? As human beings, we have the ability to instantly travel back in time, to revisit and yes, stumble over these same events along with all their limiting feelings.
CONSIDER THIS
Imagine that you’re born equipped with a time machine that has three settings: past, present and future. How can you, through self-awareness, and the gentle attention to the unfolding of your life, limit your drifting backward to the past  to better maximize your living fully in the present?
AND FROM THE GOOD BOOK

"… this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal …” | Philippians 3:13b-14a
 

STUMBLE FORWARD

Don’t stumble over something behind you.Seneca

Regardless of our geography and physical location we often dwell in our thoughts.  How often do your thoughts drift to past happenings that were negative and upsetting? As human beings, we have the ability to instantly travel back in time, to revisit and yes, stumble over these same events along with all their limiting feelings.

CONSIDER THIS

Imagine that you’re born equipped with a time machine that has three settings: past, present and future. How can you, through self-awareness, and the gentle attention to the unfolding of your life, limit your drifting backward to the past  to better maximize your living fully in the present?

AND FROM THE GOOD BOOK

"… this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal …” | Philippians 3:13b-14a

 

BORROWING FROM GOD

A man was taking it easy, laying on the grass and looking up at the clouds. He was identifying shapes when he decided to talk to God.

“God”, he said, “how long is a million years?”

God answered, “In my frame of reference, it’s about a minute.”

The man asked, “God, how much is a million dollars?”

God answered, “To me, it’s a penny.”

The man then asked, “God, can I have a penny?”

God answered, “In…

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THE HUMAN EYE
"The human eye is one place where the intensity of human presence becomes uniquely focused and available."
"When you really look deeply at something, it becomes part of you… To look at something that can gaze back at you, or that has a reserve and depth, can heal your eyes and deepen your sense of vision."
Spend some time reflecting of the gift of eyes. Write a short list of things and people you really took the time to see today with the eye of amiable regard and appreciation. 
Quotations | John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic WisdomPhoto | Augusto Serna

THE HUMAN EYE

  • "The human eye is one place where the intensity of human presence becomes uniquely focused and available."
  • "When you really look deeply at something, it becomes part of you… To look at something that can gaze back at you, or that has a reserve and depth, can heal your eyes and deepen your sense of vision."

Spend some time reflecting of the gift of eyes. Write a short list of things and people you really took the time to see today with the eye of amiable regard and appreciation. 

Quotations | John O’DonohueAnam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom
Photo | Augusto Serna

FALLING TOWARD THE GLASSBLOWER’S BREATH
Here’s a poem for to get drunk on, a lovely poem to walk with. Consider the new rule: "Break the wineglass and fall toward the glassblower’s breath". How about that? What do you think or feel, leaning into the breath of the artist who dances and loves into being all that is? 
There’s an old rule that drunks have to argueand get into fights.The lover is just as bad. He falls down a hole.But down in that hole he finds something shining,worth more than any amount of money or power.
Last night the moon camedropping its clothes in the street.I took it as a sign to start singing.Falling up into the bowl of sky.The bowl brakes. Everywhere is falling everywhere.Nothing else to do.
Here’s the new rule: break the wineglass.And fall toward the glassblower’s breath.
Rumi as rendered by Coleman Barks in The Essential Rumi(HarperOne, Reprint, 2004) page 8.

FALLING TOWARD THE GLASSBLOWER’S BREATH

Here’s a poem for to get drunk on, a lovely poem to walk with. Consider the new rule: "Break the wineglass and fall toward the glassblower’s breath". How about that? What do you think or feel, leaning into the breath of the artist who dances and loves into being all that is? 

There’s an old rule that drunks have to argue
and get into fights.

The lover is just as bad. He falls down a hole.
But down in that hole he finds something shining,
worth more than any amount of money or power.

Last night the moon came
dropping its clothes in the street.
I took it as a sign to start singing.
Falling up into the bowl of sky.
The bowl brakes. Everywhere is falling everywhere.
Nothing else to do.

Here’s the new rule: break the wineglass.
And fall toward the glassblower’s breath.

Rumi as rendered by Coleman Barks in The Essential Rumi
(HarperOne, Reprint, 2004) page 8.

THE CYCLIST

On the day of the race, he waited with the others and felt that life was waiting in the hills. He couldn’t quite say why, but a blessing was about to happen. As the gun went off, he could hear the rush of all the racers breathing—like young horses in the morning.

He had trained for months, up and down the sloping hills, cutting off seconds by wearing less and leaning into curves. His legs were…

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WINGING IT
IT IS NOW 5.08 AM. I have been up for a while listening to the precious sounds of silence. On my way to the airport and readying my whole being for another retreat with genuine seekers who desire to plunge deeper and deeper into the mystery. May I have the courage to take the plunge too, yet again. Keep all retreatants and myself in your thoughts and your prayers. The image depicts my journal entry this morning.
Photo | curtain on the bus during a celtic journey in Ireland | Philip Chircop  

WINGING IT

IT IS NOW 5.08 AM. I have been up for a while listening to the precious sounds of silence. On my way to the airport and readying my whole being for another retreat with genuine seekers who desire to plunge deeper and deeper into the mystery. May I have the courage to take the plunge too, yet again. Keep all retreatants and myself in your thoughts and your prayers. The image depicts my journal entry this morning.

Photo | curtain on the bus during a celtic journey in Ireland | Philip Chircop