The Benefits of Meditation

The Benefits of Meditation

01
Meditation can help us embrace our worries, our fear, our anger; and that is very healing. We let our own natural capacity of healing do the work.             ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Originally posted January 2015

Tonight I want to talk about meditation.  The first thing I want to say is that meditation is NOT some mystical eastern practice only undertaken by aged yogi’s in Himalayan mountain caves.  Meditation can be as simple as sitting quietly and focusing on your breathing.  It is actually a very practical and accessible idea that you can put into practice in your everyday life quite easily.  It just takes, dedication, practice and consistency, just like any other skill you’ve acquired.  So tonight some links on both the practicality and benefits of undertaken meditation.  Enjoy, and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Practical tips on how to meditate

Everything you need to know to start meditating – This is a great piece and tells you how to start meditating in a very practical and down to earth kind of way.

5 Tips for beginning mediators – A nice piece from the Psychology Today that gives some basics on getting started, the article starts with some of the benefits and the useful stuff is further down in the piece.

Meditation 101 Tips to help beginners – A nice piece with some options other than single focus meditation, although focusing on breath or a candle is the easiest way to get started.

 

Benefits

76 Scientific Benefits from Meditation – A very long piece, but from the title you had to expect it, right? The great news, benefits can arrive from as little as 20 minutes of practice per day for a few weeks.

8 Ways Meditation Benefits Your Life – For the little bite version of the big piece above here’s a shorter piece on meditation from the Huffington Post.

The Benefits of Meditation – A piece from the The Art of Living, a little more in-depth version of the Huffington Post piece.

 

Other pieces you might enjoy!

Deng Ming-Dao on Reflection & Meditation

The Dude on True Grit, Meditation & Buddhism

Happiness & Meditation

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Happiness Moments: Manta Ray Night Dive

Happiness Moments: Manta Ray Night Dive

If you’re a regular reader you know my penchant for adventure and travel. I have wanted to see the world since I was a little kid. As a younger adult I had to be satisfied with car trips and cross-country road trips. I scored my first professional full-time job in the early 90’s. As part of that job I got to work in Hawaii quite a bit. One of the places I used to stay at was the Kona Surf and Golf Resort. I loved that place, they had an all you can eat lunch buffet for $19.99 that included yellow tail tuna sashimi. They never made a penny off of me at that buffet. Back then, the resort was down a long dark drive outside of Kona. In the cove outside the hotel I would see divers every evening doing night dives, I would come to find out what they were doing was diving for manta rays.

Working on the big island from time to time was wonderful and I got to do a lot of minor adventures while I was there. I did some hiking at the volcano and once even got to see some active lava flows reaching the ocean. One night returning from some hiking I pulled off of the road back to the resort at a little place called turtle beach. I had a couple of hours til sunset and had my snorkeling gear in the trunk so I decided to jump in the water. The area was an old Hawaiian fish pond and I was swimming around for a while, checking out the huge schools of pipe fish and diving down to the corral heads. It was starting to get dark and so I decided to head back to shore, I spun around and came face to face with a green sea turtle. It was comical, we almost head-butted each other, both of us then suddenly paddling in reverse frantically.

After that, as long as I stayed about six feet away, the turtle just went about it’s life which was utterly fascinating. I got to watch it feed and swim around, it was absolutely beautiful. I kept swimming as long as I could and the sun went down. I pushed it a bit too long and by time I surfaced it was dark. I wasn’t worried as there was a dive shop across from the beach and so I knew I could swim back to shore by using the lights from the store. Except of course, they didn’t have any lights on. So now I was treading water trying to figure out which way shore was, because the other direction was open ocean.

You learn if you do enough of this sort of thing that the most important thing to do in this situation is to stay put. Don’t just jump into action, stop and think. So I thought through the fact that eventually a car had to come down the road. It was very dark. And it took way longer for a car to come down the road than I had hoped. In the meantime, I had decided which direction I was pretty sure was the shore and was facing that way when I heard a car coming. It was getting closer and I couldn’t see it, which is when I realized it was behind me. The direction I thought was shore, was actually open ocean. So I spun around, saw the headlights and swam to shore.

That night was well over twenty years ago and a couple of years ago I decided to return to Kona in particular to do a Manta Ray night dive. A lot had changed over that amount of time. Kona had really been developed, the road out to the hotel was no longer deserted but developed all the way to the hotel. Turtle beach was well lit by lights on the road and unfortunately I didn’t had the time to recreate my previous experience there. The Kona Surf and Golf Resort had now become the Sheraton Kona Surf Resort. I had a wonderful couple of days there including doing my first Luau. The highlight of course was my night dive.

I’d actually opted to do the Manta Ray snorkel and we started out at the marina down the street. There we were given our wetsuits, snorkels, masks and our instructions for the night. We boarded the boat and headed over to the cove outside the hotel. The way the dive works is that the group hangs onto a floating board that has lighting underneath. The lights attract algae and the rays come into scoop up the algae. Now that this has been happening for twenty years the rays have become accustomed to this process and show up pretty regularly.

We jumped into the water and swam out to the board they set up. Not my dive but the picture above is what the set up looks like. Initially it was a bit disorienting until you got used to the gear and the wave action and after a few minutes I finally go comfortable. It didn’t take long for the rays to show up.

We saw a half a dozen huge rays that night, the pictures above give you a pretty good feel for what we saw, but not how close they got. Often they would do these circular loops under the board so that they would actually pass just below us upside down. Sometimes they were no more than a foot or less below us. It was incredible having this huge sea creature cruising so close to us in the wild. I don’t remember how long we were out there but it could have been an hour and the rays just kept coming. Eventually, one by one we let go of the board and began to swim back to the boat. As we got closer to the boat some people were taking quite awhile to climb the ladder so the rest of us were treading water.

Suddenly something caught my eye in front of me and I put my mask down into the water and I was face to face with a cuttlefish. It’s little tentacles suddenly waving in my face. It was absolutely gorgeous and something I never expected to see.

It’s time for me to start planning my next adventure, nothing brings me more happiness. Of course COVID has changed things a bit, so it will certainly be somewhere I can go by car. Would love any suggestions that you have. Have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

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Happiness is Poetry: Alan Kaufman

Happiness is Poetry: Alan Kaufman

alan kaufman, poetry

Alan Kaufman

The more sober you get, the more clearly you feel. ~ Alan Kaufman

Originally posted, 2015

I first encountered Alan Kaufman as one of the primary authors of the American Bible of Outlaw Poetry.  This first piece, Let us, is really magnificent, like most outlaw poets, he doesn’t conform to what you expect and that’s part of his magic.  So give him a read and have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

LET US
For the Poets of January 15th and the Women of January 21st

Let us
take ourselves aboard a bus
and travel to the dispossessed
And let us praise their dreamless eyes and hardened smiles
with rogue words of truth
to the killing fields of their hopes
The slum wards and ragged towns and stolen farms
Let us take to them the carnival of our mad and scattered lives
Let us bring them the mountain, let us give them the vision
of an open window, an unlocked door, a bed to sleep in, a plate of food
Let us give them the keys to the house of our love
Let us bare our throats tattooed with roses, our breasts sequenced with diamonds
our loins hot with dragons, our hands and feet pierced with beauty
Let us come to their dusty squares and drinking holes with canticles of magnificent defeat
Let us deliver to their mangers
of pollution and penitentiaries, shopping malls and tenements
the hard beautiful birth of the heart
Let us bring renewal, let us declare the death of despondency and tyrants
For I have seen our campfires beside the roads, like fallen still-burning miraculous stars
I have seen our bus voyaging to innocence
I have seen us tossed this century like a bone
after decades of science and war reason and corporation
art and Auschwitz
I have seen my vocation descend like a pen to a page
that can never be filled with enough truth
I have crossed a continent of despair and I swear to you, Poets,
I live for greater than myself
You, street-Latin Elizabethan hustlers, I tell you time has come to deal
death’s passionate kiss to kings
Time has come to bare our asses in Paradise
Time has come to write the Constitution with poetry and flesh
Time has come to costume up and ride
with words like steel-tipped whips
into the soul of American
and rage there and sing
till the mouth of every hungry child
is fed.

THE SADDEST MAN ON EARTH…

…ignored how the rain felt
as he left home
for the last time

Wore down
his boot heels
searching for the woman
of his dreams,
but never understood
that life is a woman

Lived in a town
where sadness was illegal
and where grinning
cops ticketed his face
so often
that he lost his license
to cry

The Saddest man
on earth
tuned guitars
but couldn’t play them,
cheated the IRS
of his own refund,
fathered a child
who thought she saw
him in perfect strangers
yet didn’t recognize
him face to face

I met him once
in a bar
toasting the mirror
with his stare

He had come
south to start
life over

He was a
Mozart of silence

 

i don’t want to remember this

in the east village, just arrived
hiding from a war
running from the
we’d murdered
the bare flat didn’t like us
yet we crowded it
with ghosts
let me tell you
when our bodies cried
i held her like a baby
in my arms
but
a broken chair
a damaged wall
the police began
to know us
and the neighbor’s
eyes looked away
and one day i

woke screaming
called her father
in canada to get her
and he did

he makes me smell him

among the faceless
deodorized
masses on
the streetcar
i sit
inhaling
the
trash bag stuff
squeezed between
his
knees
the stink
that doesn’t
care
that residentially
challenged
unwashed
ass
smell that is
a prophecy
of fallen
empires

More poems and poetry!

Doug Draime

Warsan Shire

Hosho McCreesh

Charles Bukowski

Ashe Vernon

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Happiness is Poetry: Warsan Shire

Happiness is Poetry: Warsan Shire

happiness, poetry

Today a relatively recent discovery for me on the poetry front, Warsan Shire is amazing.  Her poetry is at times very dark, but always passionate and powerful.  We had a brief interaction on Twitter once, I told her that her writing was so good, it almost made me want to stop writing just to find the time to take care of her so she could write more.  Here’s a sample, enjoy, read more poetry and have a happy day my friends ~ Rev Kane

Excuses for why we fail at love

I’m lonely so I do lonely things
Loving you was like going to war; I never came back the same.
You hate women, just like your father and his father, so it runs in your blood.
I was wandering the derelict car park of your heart looking for a ride home.
You’re a ghost town I’m too patriotic to leave.
I stay because you’re the beginning of the dream I want to remember.
I didn’t call him back because he likes his girls voiceless.
It’s not that he wants to be a liar; it’s just that he doesn’t know the truth.
I couldn’t love you, you were a small war.
We covered the smell of loss with jokes.
I didn’t want to fail at love like our parents.
You made the nomad in me build a house and stay.
I’m not a dog.
We were trying to prove our blood wrong.
I was still lonely so I did even lonelier things.
Yes, I’m insecure, but so was my mother and her mother.
No, he loves me he just makes me cry a lot.
He knows all of my secrets and still wants to kiss me.
You were too cruel to love for a long time.
It just didn’t work out.
My dad walked out one afternoon and never came back.
I can’t sleep because I can still taste him in my mouth.
I cut him out at the root, he was my favorite tree, rotting, threatening the foundations of my home.
The women in my family die waiting.
Because I didn’t want to die waiting for you.
I had to leave, I felt lonely when he held me.
You’re the song I rewind until I know all the words and I feel sick.
He sent me a text that said “I love you so bad.”
His heart wasn’t as beautiful as his smile
We emotionally manipulated one another until we thought it was love.
Forgive me, I was lonely so I chose you.
I’m a lover without a lover.

UGLY

Your daughter is ugly.
She knows loss intimately,
carries whole cities in her belly.

As a child, relatives wouldn’t hold her.
She was splintered wood and sea water.
They said she reminded them of the war.

On her fifteenth birthday you taught her
how to tie her hair like rope
and smoke it over burning frankincense.

You made her gargle rosewater
and while she coughed, said
macaanto girls like you shouldnt smell
of lonely or empty.

You are her mother.
Why did you not warn her,
hold her like a rotting boat
and tell her that men will not love her
if she is covered in continents,
if her teeth are small colonies,
if her stomach is an island
if her thighs are borders?

What man wants to lay down
and watch the world burn
in his bedroom?

Your daughter’s face is a small riot,
her hands are a civil war,
a refugee camp behind each ear,
a body littered with ugly things

but God,
doesn’t she wear
the world well.

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness is Poetry: Ashe Vernon

Happiness is Poetry: Doug Draime

Happiness is Poetry: Sapphire

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Happiness is Poetry: Peter McWilliams

Happiness is Poetry: Peter McWilliams

Desire happiness, aspire to gratitude, long for health, crave compassion, seek satisfaction, lust after God, however & whatever you perceive God to be, want to love yourself, others & everything around you more and more each day. ~ Peter McWilliams

happiness love poetry

Today friends we continue with my favorite poets, Peter McWilliams was the master of short profound and powerful works on love, no one else could spin my head and my heart with so few words.  So we provide a few examples for you today to help you have a happier day my friends ~ Rev Kane

So there’s no confusion I’ll line between the poems, most of his works were untitled:

Am I mad?
Am I remarkably lonely
or remarkably perceptive?
How can I be feeling this so soon?
How have I lasted without it so long?

***********

Cold outside,
warm inside,
and warmer still
inside our stillness.

Come morning
you & I discovered we
and the snow
had fallen
in love.

Outside
we will build a snowman
and a relationship
and love it
until it melts.

************

When we are
together,
we are
one.

When we are
apart,
each is
whole.

Let this be our dream.
Let this be our goal.

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness is Poetry: Ashe Vernon

Happiness is Poetry: Warsan Shire

Happiness is Poetry: Doug Draime

Happiness is Poetry: Sapphire

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Happiness is being prepared

Happiness is being prepared

Tonight a bit of a different kind of post for the Ministry of Happiness. It’s been a weekend where we have had several small earthquakes in the Bay Area of California. While I didn’t feel any of the ones this weekend, when you live less than a mile from San Andreas Lake, on the San Andreas Fault you take earthquakes pretty seriously. There are a lot of scary things in life. Over the last year, I think we’ve all had a healthy dose of living with our fears. One of the best ways to address any fear or concern is to get educated and prepared. First, learning what you can about the threat, what could realistically happen and how it happens is the first step. The second step is to understand what you can and can’t control, and preparing yourself for the things you can do to make yourself safer and how best to respond if your fears come to life.

In the Bay Area people are encouraged and many have what they call “earthquake kits,” essentially a set of supplies to get you by in case of a major earthquake. In case of an earthquake it’s possible to be without power or water for several days. Additionally, you or a family member may have become injured during the quake. So the kit typically consists of several days of food and water, a first aid kit, a radio for news and any medications you need in the short-term. Essentially the basic necessities you need to survive the initial emergency with the expectation that after several days you’d be able to access assistance from the authorities.

A Survivalist is prepared

Most earthquake kits are in a box or stacked under the sink. But another way to go is something called a go bag. Now that terminology comes from the survivalist movement and I’ll admit to being a low level survivalist. Don’t start imagining secret bunkers, armories and shelves of supplies. I’m very much a low-level survivalist. What does that mean? It means as you’ll read below that I have a well supplied go-bag at the ready. It also means that I’ve done some reading around the topic as well as having educated myself on some basic wilderness survival techniques. That all sounds far more impressive than it is, the best way to think of it is I’m a really advanced camper. Spending three months hiking the Appalachian Trail was a great bit of training toward this interest. So this also means that as a hiker and camper I have the supplies on hand to head and live in the wild if I need to, hopefully that won’t happen.

So when COVID started, I was a bit less stressed than most people. I already had N95 masks, only a couple but I had some. I always have on hand basic cold/flu medicines as well as a couple of weeks of food and water available. So I was able to be cautious and patient as we all figured out what we needed to be doing.

In having a conversation with a friend recently, her family has a similar mindset but is not quite as prepared as I am, I told her I’d let her know what was in my go bag. So tonight’s post is to let her and all of you know what’s in my bag. Hopefully, this will help you in developing your own emergency preparedness kit at home. I think everyone should have the necessities at home that you could live off of for several days in case of an emergency. Not only may it come in incredibly handy someday, but it will also give you an additional sense of safety knowing you have those supplies to fall back on. The last thing to mention is that every few months it’s a good idea to go through your kit and make sure things are up to date. That nothing is broken, change out batteries if necessary and rotate any food to keep it fresh. Also, in addition to your supplies, you should always have a plan with your family about how you’ll stay in contact, and someplace you would gather if you ever get separated.

My go bag

So below are images of the items in my go bag, the entire packed bag is pictured above and as you can see it is basically a fairly standard backpack. I’ll talk through the items in each picture and provide as much detail as possible. Of course, if you have any questions please feel free to throw them in the comments, if you’re asking, someone else probably wants to know as well.

Here we go:

There is no particular order to the photos and the first one is camouflage gear. While most of the times a go bag will just be needed to get by in your car in the street, if something worse happens and there is social disorder, it pays to be able to get at least a little remote and stay concealed. The other thing to keep in mind in order to minimize what you need to carry is to make sure items have multiple uses. So while the jacket pictured is camouflage, it also serves as both a wind-breaker, waterproof shell. Additionally, a cap, gloves, a buff, a bandana, and two small roles of camouflage tape.

Not much description needed, shirts, underwear, socks and gloves. Having a couple of pairs of socks is incredibly important to keep your feet clean and healthy. You’ve likely left home in a hurry and might be doing a lot more walking than you’re used to doing.

Electronics and safety devices. The Nekteck is actually a solar charger that can used to charge anything with a USB. Also a chemical and solar flashlight, a hand-crank flashlight/radio combination. I also have several small sets of earphones, if you’re trying to stay concealed, the earphone allow for listening to the radio discretely. Sunglasses, batteries, a compass, a GPS unit, a headlamp and local/regional maps. Finally, a small MP3 player which is the only luxury I allow myself in this setup.

Of course, food and water are your primary concerns for your go bag. Pictured above is a life-straw, which is a filter straw that allows you to drink water out of ponds, streams or puddles if necessary. My absolute favorite water filter, the Sawyer mini-filter, same concept as the life straw but but filters up to 10,000 gallons, comes with a liter bag and conveniently the Sawyer cap size is the same as some soda bottles. This means you can utilize larger bottles for convenience. Also, some iodine tables and both a plastic water bottle as well as a light plastic liter bottle. Water is the one area where I believe in redundancy in an emergency kit. Additionally pictured is my Jet Boil which contains a cooking gas container and the ability to boil water. The green cup is a plastic cup with a lid that also could serve as bowl when necessary, the cup has a click-on lid which is nice. But also allows me to store things while packed, the cup holds a set of matches and my hand lamp in the pack.

Pictured above are five Mountain House freeze-dried camping meals and a box of six Cliff Bars. All total this is about 4500 calories. This is enough easily for 3-4 days of decent survival eating. The dinners only need boiled water to be added, which is where the Jet Boil comes in, I also often have several packets of tea, hot chocolate and instant oatmeal in as well which can bump up the calories. Actually, if absolutely necessary the camping meals can be hydrated without boiling water, but just take much, much longer to prepare.

After food and water, shelter is the most important thing. The tarp is a six by four foot tarp, just enough for a one person camp cover. I also include two survival (space) blankets and one of my favorite things, a survival sleeping bag, same material but in the shape of a mummy sleeping bag you can slide into. The cotton roll up is not in the bag, but is something I would grab if I could and tie to my bag.

These are all optional items that are not in the bag. A hammock, a sleep pad and the one I would absolutely grab if I can, my mylar sheet. This sheet, made up of the sunshield material people use in their cars, reflects heat and makes a great under surface to lay on that will keep you dry and warmer than without it and is super lightweight and can easily be carried or tied to my bag.

Materials to stay sanitary. The obvious toilet paper, in the actual bag I’ve removed the cardboard tube so it can be smashed down and stored more easily. I have a couple of bandanas that have so many uses and a microfiber washcloth that I use as a towel. Also an ace bandage, soap, hand sanitizer and sunscreen sticks.

First aid materials including an array of bandages, alcohol wipes, antibiotic wipes, small packs of ibuprofen, a tube of antibiotic cream. A snake bite kit, medical tape, duct tape and a tick puller. I also have a sewing kit, two sets of latex gloves, and very importantly two small tubes of super glue. Super glue was actually invented for the Vietnam War as a way to quickly seal soldiers wounds in the field and as such is a must in any first aid kid. Finally, make sure to include some anti-diarrhea tablets like Immodium D. After an emergency if water is in short supply you could end up getting some bad water that makes you sick. Vomiting and diarrhea can be very dangerous when untreated, so these pills could really save your life.

This is the necessary tool section of the bag. A couple of knives including a Swiss Army Knife, a leatherman tool, a small pair of scissors, a sharpie and pencil, a titanium spoon, a couple of spools of rope, a fire-starter and the black bag is actually hand-held chain saw. And finally a hatchet. The hatchet and hand-held saw are really extras, very useful but far more useful for a longer period of time. I’ve also got some matches and a lighter and caribiners in the bag. One note on why many things are in sealable plastic bags. One thing you learn when living out of the mainstream is that it’s really nice to have plastic bags to store foods and other things in. So they serve as a way to protect materials and for future storage.

Some safety items. A couple of N95 masks, a bug net, which if you’ve ever hiked in an area with severe gnats, black flies, midges or mosquitoes are, you’ll know a head net can keep you sane and takes up minimal space. The binoculars are a small extra but it’s nice to have the ability to see a ways ahead of you if you’re having to search for shelter, water, food, etc.. as well as for safety reasons. Finally, there are two boxes of shotgun shells. In an emergency as I grab my go bag I’ll also be grabbing my shotgun with the slug barrel installed. With the five rounds in the weapon it mans twenty-five rounds to serve as self-defense and useful for hunting if needed.

Finally a small backpack. You can see it in the first picture hanging from the pack in a small ball. The pack folds in on itself into a tiny pouch. The bag really serves two purposes, one, as an additional bag to store or carry things in. Second, if needed you could hide your main bag and use the small bag to go out foraging or to get materials from relief workers.

No one can ever tell you what the perfect contents of a go bag would be for you. We all have particular needs and preferences in types of materials. The only certainties are water purification, food and something to assist in shelter and staying warm including fire starting. Beyond those things you need to decide for yourself how many of them you need to include. Every item is a choice between usefulness, comfort and how much weight you want to carry. One thing not pictured are my medications but I have a small bag where I keep them so I could quickly grab them, however it’s wise to keep a five day supply inside your bag.

I hope this helps you in thinking about your own safety and preparedness and as always, have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane

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Happiness is Poetry: Dominique Lowell

Happiness is Poetry: Dominique Lowell

poetry, poems, writing

Dominique Lowell

Poetry is thoughts that breathe, words that burn. ~ Thomas Gray

A warning right off of the bat, Dominique Lowell will not be for everyone.  If you like flowery, lovely poetry stop now.  If you like your poetry, in your face, rude, full of explicit language and vulgar language, read on. Which of course is what I like it’s why I really dig poets like Sapphire and Warsan Shire.  It’s hard to find any of Dominique Lowell’s work online, I’ve read a few of her pieces in compilations.  I found her in the American Bible of Outlaw Poetry, my favorite poetry compilation.  So I’ve gathered up two pieces for you tonight.  Enjoy! ~ Rev Kane

I’ve just about had it with all of you a Youtube performance of spoken word poetry

poem, poet, poetry

Women are Hungry

women are hungry
they be hoes
they be sittin on your stoop waitin to drink your beer
eat your food
suck your dick
women are hungry

they need your favorite shirt your leather jacket
a house and a car
they just neeeeeed
they wanna tell you things, pretty little things about
the light in your eyes and the feel of your thighs
they wanna shave your balls
have you tell them about every clit you ever licked every ass
you ever eyed so they can
slice them all to ribbons
they’re insatiable
it’s biological

they just want and want and stretch their yearning arms at you
their craving lusting insatiable envelopes gawking open mouthed
must have must have must have it
you
now

whore mother goddess priestess convict jailer
needy neeedy needy needy
need your sperm need your job need space need more impossible paint
for another impossible face
crimson lips and concrete sharpened nails
blackened purple eyes
the beaten look, that’s it
already been hit

feed me
feed me beer and cigarettes and dead idols who make me feel like
I might have a reason to die too
give me War and Coca-Cola and the promise of another American
chance
give me another good song to dance to
tell me I’m not fat
tell me my tits are jewels, my nipples gumpdrops
tell me we can pay the rent tomorrow
tell me we are just like John and Yoko only I get to die first
O.K.? I get to be the one they light the candles for in Central
Park, O.K.?

Fuck Women.
They are such sluttish catfight evile bitches
every one of them
Beware. Beware.
They know what they are doing.
Does that scare you, are you scared

women are hungry
hungry for balance
I been called a whore so many times I almost became one
and it’s not you personally I want anything out of
It’s the world
the World owes me BigTime
The World leaves me hungry

— Dominique Lowell, “Women Are Hungry” (as appears in New American Underground Poetry: Vol. 1: The Babarians of San Francisco – Poets from Hell

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Happiness is Poetry: Rumi

Happiness is Poetry: Rumi

happiness poetry rumi

Tonight a selection from one of the most popular and most quoted poets, Rumi.

A Moment of Happiness

A moment of happiness,
you and I sitting on the verandah,
apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.
We feel the flowing water of life here,
you and I, with the garden’s beauty
and the birds singing.
The stars will be watching us,
and we will show them
what it is to be a thin crescent moon.
You and I unselfed, will be together,
indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.
The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar
as we laugh together, you and I.
In one form upon this earth,
and in another form in a timeless sweet land.

**********************************************

Be Lost in the Call

Lord, said David, since you do not need us,
why did you create these two worlds?

Reality replied: O prisoner of time,
I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity,
and I wished this treasure to be known,
so I created a mirror: its shining face, the heart;
its darkened back, the world;
The back would please you if you’ve never seen the face.

Has anyone ever produced a mirror out of mud and straw?
Yet clean away the mud and straw,
and a mirror might be revealed.

Until the juice ferments a while in the cask,
it isn’t wine. If you wish your heart to be bright,
you must do a little work.

My King addressed the soul of my flesh:
You return just as you left.
Where are the traces of my gifts?

We know that alchemy transforms copper into gold.
This Sun doesn’t want a crown or robe from God’s grace.
He is a hat to a hundred bald men,
a covering for ten who were naked.

Jesus sat humbly on the back of an ass, my child!
How could a zephyr ride an ass?
Spirit, find your way, in seeking lowness like a stream.
Reason, tread the path of selflessness into eternity.

Remember God so much that you are forgotten.
Let the caller and the called disappear;
be lost in the Call.

********************************

Because I Cannot Sleep

Because I cannot sleep
I make music at night.
I am troubled by the one
whose face has the color of spring flowers.
I have neither sleep nor patience,
neither a good reputation nor disgrace.
A thousand robes of wisdom are gone.
All my good manners have moved a thousand miles away.
The heart and the mind are left angry with each other.
The stars and the moon are envious of each other.
Because of this alienation the physical universe
is getting tighter and tighter.
The moon says, ‘How long will I remain
suspended without a sun?’
Without Love’s jewel inside of me,
let the bazaar of my existence be destroyed stone by stone.
O Love, You who have been called by a thousand names,
You who know how to pour the wine
into the chalice of the body,
You who give culture to a thousand cultures,
You who are faceless but have a thousand faces,
O Love, You who shape the faces
of Turks, Europeans, and Zanzibaris,
give me a glass from Your bottle,
or a handful of being from Your Branch.
Remove the cork once more.
Then we’ll see a thousand chiefs prostrate themselves,
and a circle of ecstatic troubadours will play.
Then the addict will be freed of craving.
and will be resurrected,
and stand in awe till Judgement Day

 

 

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Happiness is Catching Leaves

Happiness is Catching Leaves

leavesIt’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary; only wise men are able to understand them ~ Paulo Coelho

It’s finally Fall, my favorite season of the year, the weather turns sunny but cooler, there is that smell on the air, fallen leaves, wood smoke, Halloween and Thanksgiving on the horizon.  It’s a great time of the year to be outside in nature and I’ve always spent more time in the forest this time of year than any other.  Driving today in the country I passed lots of signs for apple picking and pumpkin patches, the roadside stands in addition to selling fruits are now well stocked with pies as well.

Of all of the Fall memories that I have the most cherished one of them all is being on the playground at lunchtime as a little kid.  Our school had a really large tree right in the middle of the playground, it always saddens me to go by there and see that the tree is now long gone.  But in the Fall, when the weather would start to turn cold and windy, a lot of the other kids would stay inside during lunch.  For me though, it was the best time, you see on those cold Winnie the Pooh type blustery days I would go outside to catch leaves.

winnie the pooh happiness

There was nothing more fun that running round and round in dizzying circles trying to catch those spinning flashes of gold.  The joy of catching one of those simple leaves was immeasurable, a feat not easily done.  I would spend all of my lunchtimes for weeks catching those leaves until that sad morning when walking into school I would look up and see only bare branches.  But that is the essential nature of the Fall, beautiful sunny wonderful days that fade into the cold grey fingers of winter.  So while those sunny days are here, go outside and catch some falling leaves and have a happy day my friends              ~ Rev Kane

Other Posts You Might Enjoy!

Happiness and the Benefits of Gratitude

Fear is Killing Your Happiness

Happiness is a Choice

Writing Away the Darkness

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Happiness Resources: Mindfulness

Happiness Resources: Mindfulness

happiness mindfulnessThe best way to capture moments is to pay attention. This is how we cultivate mindfulness. Mindfulness means being awake. It means knowing what you are doing. ~ Jon Kabat-Zinn

Tonight a look at an idea that is gaining a lot of attention these days, mindfulness.  Mindfulness and specifically mindfulness meditation has some excellent benefits in life.  A great book on the subject is Thich Nhat Hanh’s, Miracle of Mindfulness a book I very much enjoyed.

First from the Greater Good, The Basics of Mindfulness

A piece on everyday mindfulness, exercises to relieve stress

Want a Happier Brain, Try Mindfulness

Finally a nice little four-minute video with Thich Nhat Hanh answering the question, What is Mindfulness

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