Be careful what you water your dreams with. Water them with worry and fear and you will produce weeds that choke the life from your dream. Water them with optimism and solutions and you will cultivate success.

Lao Tzu

The above saying covers this topic well but adding ‘perspective’ to the title of these thoughts is another way of describing the world from a positive or negative viewpoint. Perspective is reality.

Resistance arises when someone sees the world in a different way than we do. How do we then avoid conflict? More importantly, how do we not get knocked off our dream path or passion, by someone else’s reality or perception of the world.

Too often we tend to listen to those in authority. They don’t necessarily know what is best for us but they often think they do.

Can we keep up a positive attitude in the face of ongoing resistance or life circumstances? Don’t we have to pay the bills & thus sacrifice our dreams?

Being attached to outcomes, attachment to having enough in a world of unlimited desires makes the course difficult. Detaching from those wants is a mind & emotional shift that requires a steady course correction.

We are capable of that adjustment but it is an internal one that we each have to achieve.

To be satisfied with less is to open doors to more. Uncluttered, we can move on to dream realization. Focus where the heart leads & experience peace.



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January 27, 2013Permalink Leave a comment

A Love Story

In the late ’90’s Ina & I spent 6 months in the little Baja town of Todos Santos. El Molino was our home & it gave us a haven to think.

Thoughts of what we didn’t have & how fortunate we were competed for recognition. That, of course is a choice that we all have.

Another thought that struck me was how powerless we are to change events, unless of course we open our mind.

This led me to ask the Universal Mind, ‘what one person or couple could do to influence world peace’. The answer came back ‘you start walking & I will take care of the contacts & necessary resources’.

I could have shrugged off that quiet internal voice as meaningless. However, the path since then gives me cause to pause.

I first was asked about the development possibilities, for La Paz, by the Governor’s brother. La Paz, meaning City of Peace, was concerned about a healthy development plan for families. Two months later, two planes hit two buildings in New York. We suggested a Peace Park on an island in the Bay.

A friend in San Francisco suggested we add education to our vision & Ina mentioned an institution I had never heard of, a United World College, http://www.uwc.org/

We were ultimately unsuccessful at putting together the La Paz Peace Park with the UWC, but we carried on the dream, back in Canada on Pender Island where we live now.

Ina suggested that I provide a service on the island & I came up with an unconditional wood chopping service. I knew how to swing an axe & had read a Buddhist philosophy in Todos Santos, that went something like, ‘Before enlightenment chop wood & carry water, after enlightenment chop wood & carry water’.

That led Ina & I to a gal on Pender, Jane McIntosh, who wanted to give two years of her life to the Mercy Ships, http://www.mercyships.ca/.

We didn’t know anything about them either. Who would have known that a large group of Penderites would come together, around chopping wood, to support thousands of life saving operations in Africa.

When the UWC turned down our proposal for La Paz, we were disappointed but the Canadian UWC Director told us about the United Nations University of Peace, Costa Rica, www.upeace.org. I didn’t know about them either but we have been in conversation with them recently to establish a Canadian affiliate with their Executive Education Division.

Following is their mission statement: “to provide humanity with an international institution of higher education for peace with the aim of promoting among all human beings the spirit of understanding, tolerance and peaceful coexistence, to stimulate cooperation among peoples and to help lessen obstacles and threats to world peace and progress, in keeping with the noble aspirations proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations.”

Do you remember that Todos Santos still small voice that I mentioned earlier, ‘I will provide the contacts & resources’.

Ina has introduced me to social media, which along with the internet, was not in existence when this journey began. I subscribed to the Ted Talks recently & just as I was ready to write these thoughts, my email suggested the following video.

Love Stories & World Peace, wow, what next:


Vaya con Dios,


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January 22, 2013Permalink Leave a comment

Who We Are – Soil or Soul

Before I suggest that you take 17.5 minutes & see what Satish Kumar has to say about this topic, I have been wondering whether my individuality has impeded my understanding & personal growth.

My developed ego leads me to believe I’m an island unto myself & generally my viewpoint of the world is the ultimate reality.

I’m beginning to see that is a myopic view which creates blinders & a supposed safety net.

Am I really connected to the trees, the plants & the animals around us?

We are made up of the soil & will return to the soil, dust to dust. There’s a connection. Through that same soil trees bloom & often provide fruit. The fruit, plants, & animals we eat, are then part of our makeup.

The thought process is separate from the physical body & enters through my mind. I had thought from our mind. Emotions originate from the heart or is that their doorway?

From whence comes these thoughts & emotions?

Do we need others? Aren’t we self contained?

Let me turn it over to Satish:


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January 14, 2013Permalink Leave a comment

Life is a Gift

The title above is from a new book by Tony Bennett.

“The reason for Bennett’s serene look is that he is doing what he wants to do, the way he wants to do it. He makes art. He makes friends. He gives away. He owns very little.

The word Zen is tied into enlightenment. First you seek it; then you share it.

The Zen of Tony Bennett is that he’s still doing both.”

I chop wood as a service to others & Ina just sent me this:

Thanks to our good friend, Gary, I’m enjoying immensely a book he loaned me, called Trauma Farm, the ins and outs of farming on Salt Spring Island.

Here’s what the author says about chopping wood:

“Finding yourself out on a cool autumn day, shimmering with sweat in a red plaid shirt, wood chunks flying, is as satisfying as pausing on the way into the house to admire a full woodshed. Cutting wood means losing yourself, the way you do in meditation. That’s why electric or gas powered splitters are an abomination. It is with the muscles that humans most easily obtain knowledge of the divine, according to Aldous Huxley. The Woodchopper is a famous yogic posture, a continuous motion exercise, used to release tension and to ‘energize and stimulate the whole body’. Zen monks learned long ago the meaning behind wood cutting. ‘I pump water, I cut wood. How wonderful!’ Their texts are full of such quotes. ‘When chopping wood, chop wood, when breathing, breathe.’ My favorite is attributed to a particularly venerated sage. ‘ Before enlightenment, I chop wood and carry water. After enlightenment I chop wood and carry water.’

Perhaps we woodcutters are all students of the Catholic monk, Saint Benedict of Nursia, who said ‘To work is to pray’. Cutting firewood, moving fluidly yet living inside the cave of the body, is a kinesthetic meditation. Every log holds the possibility of enlightenment – the moment the blade drives through, following the grain, splitting its linear universe. It’s the poetry of the everyday, the kind those monks preach, the ability to find the extraordinary in ordinary life, like a wolf on the hunt, at perfect attention to the world.”

Tony says live for the moment & you won’t have any regrets. It is hard to come to that place. I wince when I think of things I did & could have done better.

However, if I wake up alive on January 1st, 2013, my birthday, I definitely will appreciate it. A gift for sure!

We recently visited some places that I have wanted to go since I was a teenager. It did not look like I had imagined & remembered it all these years. Things change, life goes on. No matter how hard things have been I am still here. That must count for something.

Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you, must be owed to somebody.

I didn’t create me, someone did. My parents & what did they see in each other? Was I even a gleam in their eye & if not, who arranged my entrance to this life?

Lots of questions & beginning to realize I don’t need the answers.




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