Wednesday, March 16, 2011

How To Handle Today's Disturbing News

Reporters and rescue workers from countries around the world assisting in the Japan rescue efforts, are amazed how calmly the people of Japan are enduring such a horrific crisis.  
They noted there is no looting or blatant displays of public anger like we have seen in other countries struck by earthquakes and disasters, including the US.
Japanese store owners are giving away their supplies.  People are quietly helping one another sharing their last morsels of food with strangers.   
Reporters say it is the culture to not show much emotion. Maybe, but is also  part of their Spiritual practice. Shinto and Buddhism are Japan's two major religions. They have been co-existing for several centuries and have even complemented each other to a certain degree. Most Japanese consider themselves Buddhist, Shintoist or both.
About 91 million people in Japan claim to be Buddhist practitioners.
This Sporting the Right Attitude newsletter is based on the 2,500 year old Buddhist practice of Mindfulness, along with Christianity and other ancient religions, including Judaism, and Native American teachings.  All are leading to the one path, discovering your Higher Self. 
We were first introduced to  Mindfulness through our Japanese teacher, Eiko Michi, nearly 30 years ago.  Eiko is a mystic from Japan who was also a former UCLA professor.  We were blessed to know her.  She changed our life and our path.   For decades we have remained in touch with her.  

Unfortunately, the last few days we have been unsuccessfully trying to contact her.  
This is what we learned from Eiko which helps to understand the mindset of how the Japanese are enduring this horrific crisis, and why you won't see blatant displays of uncontrolled emotions.   
Buddhism is based on the Four Noble Truths:
  1. Suffering exists
  2. Suffering arises from attachment to desires
  3. Suffering ceases when attachment to desire ceases
  4. Freedom from suffering is possible by practicing the Eightfold Path
The Eightfold Path is practicing:
 1) right view 2) Right Intention 3) Right Speech 4) Right Action 5) Right Livelihood 6) Right Effort 7) Right Mindfulness 8) Right Concentration.
Mindfulness Practice, a type of meditation, is the way Buddha taught us to live, which is closely aligned to the Christ Mind.  However, Mindfulness which comes from Buddhism, is not a religion.  It is a practice to help us live in the moment.
Mindfulness is increasingly being employed in Western psychology to alleviate a variety of mental and physical conditions, including obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and in the prevention of relapse in depression and drug addiction.  Pain and cancer clinics around the country are teaching mindfulness as well as in some schools and branches of the military. 
Mindfulness is having less emotional reactivity and more stability of mind.  Not overreacting emotionally brings greater mental clarity, which is healthy,  Having stability of mind makes you better able to cope with any disaster in your life.
YOU TOO Can Practice Mindfulness to Deal and Overcome You Suffering.
As you watch the news of Japan's disasters, or when you are handling disasters and bad news of your own, remember Buddha's teaching.  You don't have to suffer despite the circumstance.

Here is the Mindfulness practice to help you deal with the news in Japan, and in your own life: 

Try to get comfortable as you can in your sitting posture.  If you lie down (not recommended), try not to go to sleep.  You can also do this standing in line at the post office.  Mindfulness can be done anywhere at anytime.
First take a few deep breaths and allow yourself to connect with your body.  Notice how you back feels against the chair.  How do your clothes feel on your body?  How do the soles of your feet feel in your shoes if you are standing?  What does the floor feel like?

Bring your attention to the area of your body that feels uncomfortable.  Usually people feel a clutching or tightening in their body when they are dealing with an unpleasant situation, or hearing bad news.

Explore in your body  where you may feel uncomfortable,  Is it sharp or dull?  Burning? Stabbing?  Is it moving, or does it stay in one place?  How deeply does it go into your body?  Get very curious about the changing set of bodily sensations.

After 30 seconds or so (you can choose any short amount of time), Notice your attitude toward the unpleasant feeling.  Do you hate it, fear it, resent it, blame yourself for it?  Do not judge or criticize your feelings.  Observe and let them go.
Be sure to breathe.  
Thich Nhat Hanh, a world renown Zen Master (we currently study, and attend his retreats), teaches this way of practicing Mindfulness:
"There are three sorts of feelings--pleasant, unpleasant, and neutral.  When we have an unpleasant feeling, we may want to chase it away.  But it is more effective to return to our conscious breathing and just observe it, identifying it silently to ourselves:  "Breathing in, I know there is an unpleasant feeling in me.  Breathing out, I know there is an unpleasant feeling in me."  Calling a feeling by its name, such as "anger," "sorrow," "joy," or "happiness," helps us identify it clearly and recognize it more deeply."
Remember you are simply observing, not trying to change anything.  The first law of Science, is what is observed, changes.  Mindfulness is the act of awareness, which acts like a laser to dissolve any blocks emotionally, mentally,  or physically.  You will notice during this practice, a space between you and the uncomfortable feeling happens.  Suddenly, you won't feel overwhelmed by this emotion.  In this space is where you will find peace, understanding, and clarity.
Make Mindfulness a daily practice to release stress and to help you deal with any and everything in your life.

Coming soon:  "Your Happiness is Within"

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


The very people who drive us nuts, are the ones who will help us to become stronger.
They are some of our biggest challenges.  However, they also can turn into our biggest triumphs.
No matter if it's a relative, a co worker, a child, or significant other who is difficult, the challenge is the very thing we need in our lives for character development.  
We don't necessarily ask for those people challenges.  However, there is a part of us that needs the life lesson.  The lessons can take any of these forms:
Learning to stand up to someone.
Being more patient.
Knowing when to release someone.
Learning how to love.
Appreciating and honoring yourself like you honor others.
Respectful of other's feelings.
Being more compassionate.
Releasing fearing others.

Forgiveness of others.
Forgiving self.

Being more understanding.
Simply letting go of trying to be right.

The way I have found to deal with others is to ask the question.  What inside of me has caused this to reflect in_____________?  In other words, if John, a co-worker does not speak to you.  Ask yourself, 'What inside of me is reflected in John?'
It may be the memory you store as a child.  Someone completely ignored you, and your subconscious stored that memory that is reflected in John. 
If your child is not behaving, no matter how you discipline that child, the lesson may be you are trying too hard to make them behave.  You may be overbearing and too controlling.  It could also be the opposite.  You are too soft and not disciplining the child.  Or, the lesson could be to take more time to listen to the child and find out why is she misbehaving.
Standing up to ask why you are having difficulty with anyone is the first step to healing that relationship.  Too often we are quick to dismiss someone's behavior and not look at the responsibility we have to take in that experience.
Even a rude clerk in a grocery store can easily be a lesson overlooked.  Are you going to let that one person ruin your day?  Do you need to stand up and take the time to speak to their manager?  Are you going to overlook one more person being rude to you, or are you going to speak up?   Or maybe you are going to recognize that this clerk has a  problem and is suffering, and just release the incident? 
The answer to dealing with any difficult person is to first take responsibility and know this is something you need to clean up which is why that experience came to you.  These experiences are from old data, old memories that keep us stuck and keep repeating in our lives.
The way to cleanse the data and memory it is to say, to your data and memory,
I love you
I am sorry
Please forgive me
Thank you.
You are not saying this to the difficult person, but to your own data and memory to erase the program.  
I have found in my own life, just saying I love you over and over to the data inside of me that has attracted any unpleasant situation, has given me almost instant freedom and peace, especially with difficult people.  
Remember, You are not trying to change the other person.  You are only working on yourself and taking full responsibility.
Light, love and blessings,
Here is a video on this ancient practice of the old Hawaiian practice called Ho'oponopono,  One of our teachers, Dr. Ihaleakala Hew Len, co-author of Zero Limits, who is being interviewed, explains this powerful cleansing process to deal with any challenge.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Try This to Succeed

Have you ever decided you were going to change a bad habit, or deal with someone's negative energy, and you get a tremendous surge of strength and power.  You feel this time you are going to succeed.But, before long you find yourself back in the same rut?  
You may have stopped the behavior temporarily, or you go to a minister, a healer, or do whatever you need to do, and whatever form of treatment works for a while, but before long, you are back at the beginning. 
This is because somewhere deep inside, you have a thought, or a belief that keeps you  from achieving your goals.
When you take out these old beliefs, this leaves a void.  Nature abhors a vacuum.  It will fill it up with something.  So this is where many people slip back into old behaviors and situations that keep them stuck.  The old beliefs come back. 
So What Do You Do?
You fill up that void with a thought, an affirmation, a prayer, a mantra, a chant, a prayer or meditation to nullify the old thoughts that keep coming back until your thoughts change.
We know, we know.  In each weekly message, we keep emphasizing meditation, however, it is a practice, and it may not work for you.  There is no sense beating yourself up if you can't do it.  Many people can't.  There are other ways to find your center.  Prayer, mantras, and affirmations are other ways.
If you have a person, a situation bringing you down, instead of resisting, which does not work, it only makes the negative energy stronger, find a one or two line scripture, or affirmation that you can use to nullify the old thoughts.
For example:  You may be lonely.  However, you have decided to change your attitude.  You get out of the house and go where you can  meet people. But,those old thoughts come back to haunt you.  "I won't meet anyone."  "It's too hard to meet someone."  "Men  (or women) are no good." "I'm too old to meet someone."  "I'm too young." "I'm too fat." "I'm too skinny."
This is when you use a counter affirmation, scripture, or mantra to nullify the old thoughts.  And, you keep saying it over, and over.   How many times?  A thousand times or more until you believe it.  Too many times you say?  OK, then go back to your old way of thinking and suffering.  Keep thinking you are lonely a thousand times.  This will get you no where.
If you say affirmations, scriptures, etc. over and over.  How will you know you are believing positively?  You will know, because people will come into your life, and you will look around and have a new friend or friends.
Here are some affirmations to use:
"I am breaking through the illusion of loneliness."
"Someone out there is looking for me."
"The perfect friends are coming into my life right now."
"I am now attracting the perfect person who will love me." 
There is an old adage, if you want friends, you have to be a good friend.  Start helping others, and also volunteer. 
God wants me to have a rich, full and happy life of love.
By doing this you become a Spiritual Warrior, or as Spiritual Gangsta!    You are refusing to be a victim.  
This is a key point.  You are not trying to trick your mind.  You are not trying to make something happen.  You are not trying to hypnotize yourself.  You are simply stating the truth.  
You were not put on earth to be broke, lonely, or unhealthy.  You were placed on earth to live a rich, full and abundant life.  
Affirmations, scriptures, and mantras reaffirm your Divine Right for these gifts.  Your thoughts have kept you from these gifts.  Choose to claim them.
Here is a wonderful affirmation that you can use for any challenge, by Catherine Ponder in her book, "The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity."  All of her books are wonderful
"No.  I do not have to accept this situation.  God in His (or Her) almighty goodness is dissolving and removing all negation from my world.  No situation dismays me, for God the Spirit of Good is with me, upholding and sustaining me and making all things right."

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Having a Super Rich State of Mind

I have always been fascinated by Russell Simmons, the media mogul, because he is so outspoken about his practices of meditation, yoga, and being a vegan.
Forbes Magazine recently named Simmons one of "Hollywood's Most Influential Celebrities." USA Today dubbed him one of the "Top 25 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years," calling him a "hip-hop pioneer" for his groundbreaking vision that has influenced music, fashion, jewelry, finance, television and film, as well as the face of modern philanthropy.    
How does he stay on the spiritual path being so vested in the world with all of his high profile, multi-media ventures, and parenting duties?  So many of us find it difficult dealing with just one job. So, I got an  interview with him for the Los Angeles Sentinel newspaper and our Sporting the Right Attitude podcast.  (Hear it below)

Over the years Walter and I have heard many speakers on spirituality from world religions, including Buddism, Native American religion, Judaism,  Hinduism, Christianity,  and various metaphysical practices.  It's  what brings us joy.  But, we have never heard anyone so successful in business speak so openly on the practice of meditation.  
Simmons' shares a remarkable easy technique how to meditate in his new book,"Super Rich," his second  NY Times Bestseller.  Readers may find the title misleading.  It is not a manual on how to get money. Instead, it defines a higher state of abundance through consciousness.  Obviously, it works for him.  

Twenty-five years after he helped found the hip-hop movement and turn it into a huge money-making machine — and an "aspirational lifestyle" for a generation of young people worldwide — his Rush Communications includes three clothing lines, jewelry, fragrances, TV and movie production, a Broadway show, financial services (his own credit card), and philanthropy (he has 3 non-profits),
Simmons produced The Nutty Professor starring Eddie Murphy, the Def Comedy Jam series on HBO and other ventures. His net worth has been variously estimated at somewhere between, $325 million and $500 million.

However, the mogul says practicing the principles in the book, which he humbly says are not new to the world, may bring readers the residuals of good health, better relationships, and yes, financial success. "The ultimate state of being rich is to honestly be in a state of needing nothing," says Simmons.  " To need nothing is to be super rich."

Simmons doesn't claim to be enlightened, but wants people to know that the effects of meditation will enhance their work, relationships and general well being. 
"You want to live in moving meditation, a moving prayer," says Simmons. "When you come out of meditation, you take that quiet place with you.   When you do, you become so much more productive."  

Studies have shown that it is easier for meditators to live in the present moment.  "The anxiety people carry slows them down," says Simmons.  "Nothing happens, except in the present.  No laughter, no creativity.  No special talent. No execution of any idea will come to you.  Nothing happens when there is noise in the mind.  Settling the noise in the mind, should be the number one concern of anyone who desires happiness and success.  You must settle the mind to be successful and happy."

In addition to quieting the mind, Simmons says giving and being one with your Higher Self are vitally important.  "What we are moving toward, is a place of comfortable with the universe, or connected.  And the idea of being connected is the union with, as Yogi's say, a union with God.  So that's what we are moving toward.  I think the practice in the book, including meditation, bring you toward the space, where you can be a good servant, a good giver.  A selfless servant.  And the way that the service component works, is good givers, are great getters."

Click Here for the Sporting the Right Attitude Podcast with Russell Simmons

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

You Can Overcome Any Change or Setback 

Inside of you is a power house to help you deal with any change or setback in your life. You have already been given an infinite supply of love, health (ability to heal), instincts, mind, and prosperity just waiting for you to tap into.

Have you given your power away saying and thinking, "I am sick," "I am broke," "I am fat," I am lonely," "I am too young," "I don't look good," or "I am old"?

If you are, you are looking away from your true power and gifts. Nothing will change in your life until you recognize that inside of you is all that you need to handle any challenges that you may face.

I am half way through a rigorous docent class at the Los Angeles Zoo, and it is clearer than ever that we all have inside of us the tools to overcome difficulties. The class is one of the most intensive,rewarding programs on many levels. But, extremely difficult since it is science based, and credits for UCLA. I can't believe I got a B- on the midterm. Better than I thought.

At first look at the zoo, it may seem cruel that the animals are captive. However, the zoo is primarily a research and conservation program to save wild life and to preserve their habitants from their biggest enemy. Man.

Our study is on the habits of the wild, and how they have adapted to environments.

As we study these animals, it is incredible to see their built in survival mechanisms and skills. The amazing thing is how they have adapted to changes in the wild over hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of years.

You Are No Different

I have learned that no matter what species we are, we have been given everything inside of us to not only survive but thrive. Humans of course, are of the highest order. 

It doesn't matter if it is a reptile, primate, bird, inspect, or amphibian, every species has been given the tools to find a mate, the ability to heal, instincts to find and capture food, and build or find shelter.

We too have been given those gifts. And, despite any setback or change,we cannot only adapt to any situation, but overcome and thrive with the right attitude. Nature meant for us too to have the perfect mate, abundancy, shelter, and perfect health.

Whether you call it nature, God, Infinite Wisdom, Higher Self, Infinite Intelligence, or Divine Mind, It doesn't matter. That magnificent force inside of you has already provided you with these gifts, but it has also given you a thinking mind on the highest order of any other species on the planet.

The problem is, we allow our minds to be filled with thoughts that are counter productive. We look away from our gifts, instead of thanking our Higher Selves for what we have already been given, and use those gifts wisely and with faith.

Animals don't have that complicated thinking process. They just know what they have, and go after what they want.

The Tiger, my favorite animal, doesn't think "I will never get food again." Even though Tigers only successfully hunt 10 percent of the prey they go after, they keep trying until they succeed. If you look at that magnificent animal, you will notice that the natural beauty is their breath-taking radiant stripes. However, those marking are meant to blend into the environment to help them to hunt.

And so instead of thinking about what you don't have, think about and give thanks for your gifts. Since you are obviously reading this, a magnificent gift you have already been given is your eye sight they you may be taking for granted. It doesn't matter if you don't have 20/20 vision, you can still see, where many can't/ When was the last time that you gave thanks for your eyes?

When you give thanks for what you do have, you attract what you want in your life. Why? Because you will be on a higher vibration. You can't attract wealth thinking about lack. You can't attract health immersed 24/7 thinking of your health challenges.

I once met Norman Cousins, author of "Anatomy of an Illness" when I publicized his TV movie of the same title. The book is a classic on restoring health. Norman said what helped heal him from cancer was when he had comedy movies delivered to his hospital room. He stopped thinking of being sick and filled his heart and mind with laughter. His healing quickly followed.

I also volunteer for a continuing education program to help high-risk pregnant teens, and teen moms learn how to write. "Write Girl."

When I first met these girls, my first impression was, "These girls are too young to have babies." However, as they talked to me about their plans, and how they have adapted to their new way of life. I see how they have accepted the change in life, and they are now focused on providing a better life, by continuing their education and working. These girls are not sad, but instead are focused on using what gifts they have been given. They proudly show me pictures of their babies, and tell me of their dreams and plans to not only survive, but thrive. Do they wish that they didn't get pregnant? I'm sure some do, but the ones that I work with inspire me because they are not looking at their past. They are focused on the here and now, and their dreams.

And so in all forms of life, from the reptiles, insects, primates, and the teen moms, we have all been given gifts to not only adapt to changes and setbacks in our lives. We can use them to become better.

The key is not to dwell in the past. Learn from it. Live in the present moment. Despite your circumstances, you can be like the Phoenix bird and rise from the ashes.

Light and Love,

see the video below

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Letting Go of Worry

There are certain things we can control. Other things we can't.

Worrying about those things that are out of our reach is a waste of time, and a complete waste of our precious resources. Worry depletes our energy, our nervous system, our short time on earth, and fills us with toxic thoughts. 
It is so important to take the time throughout your day to tune into your thoughts to be aware of worrying habits.  The problem is, many of us are not aware that we are worrying, because we are on automatic.  When you commit to giving yourself the gift of meditation time, twice a day for at least ten minutes, you will wake up and tune into your thoughts.  
If you take the time to observe your thoughts, you are practicing Mindfulness which distances you from those toxic emotions stemming from worry. Once your thoughts are observed in the light of your awareness, you can then discriminate and ask yourself,  "Is this worth my time to worry about______?"  "Will worrying about _______change anything?" 
Be especially aware of the stories you are telling yourself about the thing you are worrying about.  The story is often worse than the object of worry.  Ask yourself, "What story am I telling myself about________?"
Here are some quotes we particularly like about worry:
There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things
 which are beyond the power of our will.

Pray, and let God worry. Martin Luther The only thing to worry about is worrying.
If only the people who worry about their liabilities would think
 about the riches they do possess, they would stop worrying.
Dale Carnegie
We would worry less about what others think of us if we realized
how seldom they do.
Ethel Barrett
Don't worry about the world coming to an end today.
It's already tomorrow in Australia.
Charles M. Schultz
Worry is a state of mind based on fear. 
Napoleon Hill
Every morning I spend fifteen minutes filling my mind full of God,
and so there's no room left for worry thoughts. 

 Howard Chandler Christy
Worrying is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do,
but it gets you nowhere.
Glenn Turner

Listen, if you start worrying about the people in the stands,
before too long you're up in the stands with them.

Tommy Lasorda

Rather than worry about foods to avoid,
I think of everything I can eat - lobster, mussels, crab, tomatoes.

Sarah Beeny

I don't worry about rivals. After all, there will never be another me.
Michael Jordan

A hundred load of worry will not pay an ounce of debt. 
George Herbert

Choose you this day whom ye will serve

Bible: Joshua 24:15 (King James Version)
God makes a way when there is no way.
Bible: Exodus 14:1-31

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dealing With Other People's Stuff

"Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't. " Dan Poynter

Watching the news lately, we see the uprising in Egypt.  Witnessing  anyone angry, sad, or plain unhappy often affects how we feel as well.
However, you must remember that this is their "stuff," and it doesn't have to be your "stuff" too.  You can choose what you allow to come into your consciousness.  You can choose to suffer with one person, or a group of suffering people.
Now naturally when a loved one is suffering it can deeply affect you.  But, you can lessen the emotional draining through Mindfulness/Meditation, and by holding the truth in mind about them and their situation.  The truth is;  In back of all suffering is perfection.  This is what Jesus and Buddha taught.  
Behind illness is health, behind poverty is wealth, behind sadness is joy. 
When a  loved one is going through pain,  it doesn't help them if you become depressed over their misfortune or illness. This simply makes two  miserable people.  You can empathize with them. However, what helps them most , is for you to hold a higher consciousness of them with love, because they can't see light in their present condition.  
An example is when a child comes home depressed because he received a bad grade.  You can hold a lofty vision of them, knowing that they can do better. Often people, no matter what their age, see themselves as complete failures. But, when you see them achieving and express that to them, they are inspired.
When you hold a higher consciousness for someone, you are radiating light.  And, since we are all made up of energy, they feel your positive energy which in turn lifts them up without you ever saying a word.  Telling them to think positive is often difficult when someone is in fear and pain.  
More Ways to Help
You can see their problem in your mind's eye as already resolved to a perfect solution.  If they are sick, picture them well.  If they are broken-hearted, see them happy in love.  If they are broke, see them having wealth.
You can even do this sitting next to a person lying in a hospital bed.  See them whole, perfect and complete.  You are not trying to will them well, or keep them from dying.  Everyone must travel their own path.  You are simply holding the light for them.  They may get well, aided by your love.  If they make their transition, it helps them to go in peace.  And, for you, it's one of the highest, most beautiful experiences you can have, by loving someone leaving this plane. 
(If you fear that you too will get their disease, counter it with, "This doesn't apply to me.")
Visualizing perfection is not a child's play.  What you are doing is looking behind their problem to the truth and that takes courage.  Try to see others as whole, perfect, and complete.
Remember,you are not trying to change, heal, or will them out of their misery or illness.
You are simply are looking at their true selves. 
Your thoughts focused on the good in any situation helps it to transform.  As they say,  "Find the good and praise it."
You can do this with world problems. 
If you are reading about any disturbance or seeing it on television, see that there is a perfect solution.  This helps you from becoming depressed, and sends light to the situation.
See peace restored in Egypt. (Don't get into how their uprising will affect the U.S..   Leave that to the politicians).  It won't make the Egyptians' situation better, if you are upset and living in fear too.  If you can't do something about a problem, let it go.
If you are working with grumpy, gossipy, rude, egotistical co-workers or bosses, know they are simply reacting to their insecurities and fears.  Something disturbing is going on in their minds that is causing them to live in darkness.    You can protect yourself from their "stuff," by surrounding yourself with love, and sending it to them as well. Yes, they will feel will feel your vibration of love because we are all one.
Use this same technique for yourself.  See whatever challenge you are facing resolved easily effortlessly and beautifully. Surround yourself with love.
Here's a great article on how to deal with people in the "Ain't It Awful?" club at work.