TAKE CONTROL
Perhaps we’re not meant to be in total control of our lives. A virus puts us out of commission for a while … caught unexpectedly in a traffic accident  disturbs our plans for the day … a cancelled flight, a loss, an unexpected storm … these are all happenings beyond our control! 
And yet sitting quietly with the above illustration I found myself asking, "Am I in control of my life? If not, who or what is controlling my life? What can I do when faced with happenings beyond my immediate control?"
As I looked at the keyboard on my laptop, I noticed that above the ’control’ key there is the 'shift' key!  And I thought to myself, "when the going gets rough and tough, what one tiny ‘shift’ can I make to stay grounded and aligned to the natural flow of life?"
Cartoon | Nabhan Abdullatif

TAKE CONTROL

Perhaps we’re not meant to be in total control of our lives. A virus puts us out of commission for a while … caught unexpectedly in a traffic accident  disturbs our plans for the day … a cancelled flight, a loss, an unexpected storm … these are all happenings beyond our control! 

And yet sitting quietly with the above illustration I found myself asking, "Am I in control of my life? If not, who or what is controlling my life? What can I do when faced with happenings beyond my immediate control?"

As I looked at the keyboard on my laptop, I noticed that above the ’control’ key there is the 'shift' key!  And I thought to myself, "when the going gets rough and tough, what one tiny ‘shift’ can I make to stay grounded and aligned to the natural flow of life?"

Cartoon | Nabhan Abdullatif

TWO BAD BRICKS

After we purchased the land for our monastery in 1983 we were broke. We were in debt. There were no buildings on the land, not even a shed. Those first few weeks we slept not on beds but on old doors we had bought cheaply from the salvage yard; we raised them on bricks at each corner to lift them off the ground. (There were no mattresses, of course — we were forest monks.)

The abbot had the best…

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ADJECTIVES
Think of the person you admire the most … now draw a list of adjectives that describe that person … adjectives that paint brightly and crisply the person’s traits and characteristics.
Once the list is done, spend time with it … move slowly from adjective to adjective … relish each word … hear the sound each word makes as you pronounce it … feel the texture of each … 
Now think about this …
What if those adjective are in fact a description of who you desire to be?

ADJECTIVES

Think of the person you admire the most … now draw a list of adjectives that describe that person … adjectives that paint brightly and crisply the person’s traits and characteristics.

Once the list is done, spend time with it … move slowly from adjective to adjective … relish each word … hear the sound each word makes as you pronounce it … feel the texture of each … 

Now think about this …

What if those adjective are in fact a description of who you desire to be?

THE PERSON OF YOUR DREAMS
Did you know that the world we inhabit is a mirror? As it happens, we attract not what we want but what we are. So make it a daily habit to become the person you want to meet! Only then, will that person want to meet us too!
If it were possible for someone to arrange for you a face-to-face meeting with three people - each from a different period in history - who would you choose to meet and why?

THE PERSON OF YOUR DREAMS

Did you know that the world we inhabit is a mirror? As it happens, we attract not what we want but what we are. So make it a daily habit to become the person you want to meet! Only then, will that person want to meet us too!

If it were possible for someone to arrange for you a face-to-face meeting with three people - each from a different period in history - who would you choose to meet and why?

GOING IN CIRCLES
O you who are going in circles,please stop.What are you doing it for?
“I cannot be without going,because I don’t know where to go.That’s why I go in circles.”
O you who are going in circles,please stop.
“But if I stop going,I will stop being.”
O my friend who is going in circles,you are not one withthis crazy business of going in circles.You may enjoy going,but not going in circles.
“Where can I go?”
Go where you can find your beloved,where you can find yourself.
Thich Nhat Hanh, Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems (Parallax Press; New edition edition, 1996) page 181

Cartoon | Speed Bump by Dave Coverly

GOING IN CIRCLES

O you who are going in circles,
please stop.
What are you doing it for?

“I cannot be without going,
because I don’t know where to go.
That’s why I go in circles.”

O you who are going in circles,
please stop.

“But if I stop going,
I will stop being.”

O my friend who is going in circles,
you are not one with
this crazy business of going in circles.
You may enjoy going,
but not going in circles.

“Where can I go?”

Go where you can find your beloved,
where you can find yourself.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Call Me by My True Names: The Collected Poems (Parallax Press; New edition edition, 1996) page 181

Cartoon | Speed Bump by Dave Coverly

LEARNING TO BE SILENT

The pupils of the Tendai school used to study meditation before Zen entered Japan. Four of them who were intimate friends promised one another to observe seven days of silence.

On the first day all were silent. Their meditation had begun auspiciously, but when night came and the oil lamps were growing dim one of the pupils could not help exclaiming to a servant: “Fix those lamps.”

The second…

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SAINT FRANCIS DANCING ON WATER
I love the fact that the artist, Monika Kaden, depicts Francis of Assisi with wings instead of arms, and dancing in a water-basin. Isn’t it true perhaps that dancing, and body gestures and movements give us wings?
Without ignoring for a moment the serious, painful, troubled and sometimes tragic aspects of life it is always worth remembering those wise words of G.K. Chesterton: "Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly."
Cathedral Church of St. Francis of AssisiSanta Fe, New Mexico
Art | St Francis dancing on water by Monika KadenQuotation |  G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy in Chapter VII, The Eternal Revolution

SAINT FRANCIS DANCING ON WATER

I love the fact that the artist, Monika Kaden, depicts Francis of Assisi with wings instead of arms, and dancing in a water-basin. Isn’t it true perhaps that dancing, and body gestures and movements give us wings?

Without ignoring for a moment the serious, painful, troubled and sometimes tragic aspects of life it is always worth remembering those wise words of G.K. Chesterton: "Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly."

Cathedral Church of St. Francis of Assisi
Santa Fe, New Mexico

Art | St Francis dancing on water by Monika Kaden
Quotation |  G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy in Chapter VII, The Eternal Revolution

THE OTHER SIDE

A drunk crossed the street and accosted a pedestrian, asking him, “I shay, which ish the other shide of the shtreet?”

The pedestrian, somewhat nonplussed, replied, “That side, of course!”

The drunk said, “Shtrange. When I wash on that shide, they shaid it wash thish shide.”

Source | Desmond Tutu, God is Not a Christian: And Other Provocation
(Harper One, 2011) page 5.

CONSIDER THIS

Where the…

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LAUGHING TOGETHER
"I have been confronted with many difficulties throughout the course of my life, and my country is going through a critical period. But I laugh often, and my laughter is contagious. When people ask me how I find the strength to laugh now, I reply that I am a professional laugher."  | The Dalai Lama
“Human beings are fundamentally good. The aberration, in fact, is the evil one, for God created us ultimately for God, for goodness, for laughter, for joy, for compassion, for caring.” |  Desmond Tutu

LAUGHING TOGETHER

"I have been confronted with many difficulties throughout the course of my life, and my country is going through a critical period. But I laugh often, and my laughter is contagious. When people ask me how I find the strength to laugh now, I reply that I am a professional laugher."  | The Dalai Lama

Human beings are fundamentally good. The aberration, in fact, is the evil one, for God created us ultimately for God, for goodness, for laughter, for joy, for compassion, for caring.” |  Desmond Tutu

JESUS CHRIST, LIBERATOR
What is now commonly referred to as “Laughing Jesus” or “Laughing Christ” was in fact titled "Jesus Christ, Liberator", by its originator, artist Willis Wheatley.  He was ahead of his time. He sketched the image in about 1973, when he was working for the United Church of Canada. It was one of four portraits Wheatley created of Jesus. The others showed his more serious sides.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION
“Jesus used humour and hyperbole to punch holes in pomposity … Part of Jesus’ charisma, was that he attended parties, drank wine, used irony and hung out with outcasts.” | Robert Funk
Image | Ralph Kozak, "Jesus Laughing," 1976 (based on the original black-and-white line drawing by Willis Wheatley, 1973).
The black and white photo is of Willis Wheatley, creator of the Laughing Jesus. Probably taken in 1983. UCC Archives, Toronto. 97.084P/14.
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JESUS CHRIST, LIBERATOR
What is now commonly referred to as “Laughing Jesus” or “Laughing Christ” was in fact titled "Jesus Christ, Liberator", by its originator, artist Willis Wheatley.  He was ahead of his time. He sketched the image in about 1973, when he was working for the United Church of Canada. It was one of four portraits Wheatley created of Jesus. The others showed his more serious sides.
FOR YOUR REFLECTION
“Jesus used humour and hyperbole to punch holes in pomposity … Part of Jesus’ charisma, was that he attended parties, drank wine, used irony and hung out with outcasts.” | Robert Funk
Image | Ralph Kozak, "Jesus Laughing," 1976 (based on the original black-and-white line drawing by Willis Wheatley, 1973).
The black and white photo is of Willis Wheatley, creator of the Laughing Jesus. Probably taken in 1983. UCC Archives, Toronto. 97.084P/14.
Zoom Info

JESUS CHRIST, LIBERATOR

What is now commonly referred to as “Laughing Jesus” or “Laughing Christ” was in fact titled "Jesus Christ, Liberator", by its originator, artist Willis Wheatley.  He was ahead of his time. He sketched the image in about 1973, when he was working for the United Church of Canada. It was one of four portraits Wheatley created of Jesus. The others showed his more serious sides.

FOR YOUR REFLECTION

“Jesus used humour and hyperbole to punch holes in pomposity … Part of Jesus’ charisma, was that he attended parties, drank wine, used irony and hung out with outcasts.” | Robert Funk

Image | Ralph Kozak, "Jesus Laughing," 1976 (based on the original black-and-white line drawing by Willis Wheatley, 1973).

The black and white photo is of Willis Wheatley, creator of the Laughing Jesus. Probably taken in 1983. UCC Archives, Toronto. 97.084P/14.

LAUGH UNTIL YOU LEAK

In A Christmas CarolCharles Dickens writes It is a fair, even-handed, noble adjustment of things, that while there is infection in disease and sorrow, there is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good-humour. Laughter is contagious!

Listen to the short clip and surrender to it. Perhaps you will end up laughing! Remember what the other Charles (Charlie Chaplin): “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” 

Laugh, and laugh often. Laugh until you leak! That is when you know your are not in charge after all and you are not in control!