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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Heroes and Heroines of the Fourth Cornerstone

Greetings my gentle readers to the “Be Yourself, Often” blog. A time when we can sit down with ourselves and our reflective thoughts and mind interfacing with matter.

Over the past 3 weeks (with the exception of the week I took off to be in Copenhagen), we have taken a look at the perfect, parfait driven live from the cornerstones and ultimate pinnacle of a pyramid. In God we trust, with the All-Seeing eye on the obverse of the American $1 bill. But this is the pyramid symbolic of personal and strength that we are reflecting up. The 4 bases of this pyramid will be the Mindfulness, Reflection, Gratitude and Altruistic giving with the pinnacle representing Prayer/Spirituality.

As we have learned, the main 2 cornerstones and anchors of the pyramid that is the person in strength and humanities is mindfulness. That is being at one and connected and in the moment, appreciating all aspects of the moment.  That we are able to mirror also says so much and that reflection on the acts and also the root causes and etiologies of the action. Gratitude is the giving of thanks for what we are able to experience… and embraces both the positive and the negative. It is very hard to give thanks for the negatives when compared to the positives, yet they are needed.

Altruism is I feel the fourth corner of the square that denotes being able to have a life with depth and breadth. This is the corner that presents the most challenge in reflection and action, as it is the hardest to capture. While on the surface, it may appear simple that a person does an act without expecting anything in return; identifying the root motivation may make altruism greyer than we expected. 

For example, if a person does something nice to another and hope to simply advance their karmic positives, it would be hard pressed to really consider that altruism, even if it was meant as giving. Sadly, the thing that comes to my mind is the blatant hypocrisy that people go to church on Sunday and then slander someone through gossip or negative actions the rest of the week. That is like giving for karmic positives.

Indeed, I believe a more accurate depiction of altruism comes clearer when we look at actions across time. Why indeed must we expect something in return? For we know that that creates resentments and negatives often, which is on that slippery slope, swirling down the drain.

To get a real feel of altruism, I believe we need to look at examples where there is unconditional love and giving, with an intelligent concern for others and the ego-rat has stopped nibbling away at the base psyche. The examples I come up with are nature in its habitat, where everything is as it should be and the falling leaves begat life for the tree and that unending cycle. Such a perfect ecosystem, repeated over and over again at a macro and micro level. 

A mothers’ love would b a close second and very much intertwined with the Mother that is Mother Nature that we have defined above. Even in times of challenge, when mankind is at their worst you hear real altruism. I know a wonderful person who was a young girl in Stalingrad in 1942. When the bombs were falling in the siege of Stalingrad, with the enemy at the gates, the mother by the grandmother covered the child. This is to me one of the most touching reflections of altruistic giving, and can be seen in the Madonna of Stalingrad, painted by a German Officer at Christmas 1942. I have seen and heard both sides of this picture, and they are humbling.

Down the linear (or circular) conceptualization of altruism is the unerring love and giving of pets and animals. Those that have been loved or abused yet are still dedicated and full of true love and giving. Despite the fact that we think we are superior, we as humans can learn a lot from animals. Any hero who has rescued a pet knows that.

And that leaves the concept of a hero. Those people with nothing to gain, lots to lose but stand on their belief systems and integrity.  We see them identified across the centuries and we know some of them from time to time if we are lucky to cross their paths. They speak with conviction and belief and want to advance what others can learn and do, even when there is no remuneration, rewards, gifts, accolades or titles. In my experience, they often have or are facing major health crises and yet always want to look after and give a positive word or thought or learning or just by being is an inspiration. Like the boundless love of an pet, the protective embrace of a mother or the seamless perfection of Nature, these people enter your life to be themselves. 

And if you have the courage to let them do what they do and listen and learn with the openness of a child with peace, patience, silence, humility and serenity… then their touch will I believe, impart a window of their magic to you. And know that maybe you too can be a hero to someone someday.

Can you imagine and then to see and know and resonate and feel that you can be yourself, often


--- Rev. Dr Joel Lamoure     May 2012 

12:03 pm edt 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Gratitude-The Third Element of the Pyramid

Greetings my very gentle readers to this week's installment of the "Be Yourself, Often" blog. Ah yes, a time to look at the metaphysical moments of the day and all the blessings that we have that cannot be bottled or ingested, but appreciated and loved.

Over the past 2 weeks (with the exception of the week I took off to be in Copenhagen), we have taken a look at the perfect, parfait driven live from the cornerstones and ultimate pinnacle of a pyramid. In God we Trust, with the All-Seeing eye on the obverse of the American $1 bill. But this is the pyramid symbolic of personal and strength that we are reflecting up. The 4 bases of this pyramid will be the Mindfulness, Reflection, Gratitude and Altruistic giving with the pinnacle representing Prayer/Spirituality.

As we have learned, the main cornerstone and anchor of the pyramid that is us in strength and humanities is mindfulness. That is being at one and connected and in the moment, appreciating all aspects of the moment. Its so very hard to fill ourselves with crap and fear and anxieties when all of our efforts are rooted in the flower in front of it! And of course, right beside that beautiful rooted flower is the anchor of reflection. Ah, so many sights, colours, flavours and anything that titillates and impacts on our five senses with imprint a reaction on us. That is part of reflection. Reflection is inwardly or outwardly. Sadly for many, it is often cowardly... and the glass is distorted or a true image is never obtained. It reflects a world of delusions within illusions.

If we are truly aware and feel with all of our sense what we are doing and how we are doing it and for what cause and see it to be good, then that inherently will create the third component of the triangle. That is gratitude. In and of themselves, a pyramid is comprised of the three dimensions of three triangles with a solid square at the base. This square allows the pyramid to gain height, stability and structure. Yet within the structure lies the trinity. The number 3 is mystical and often found in cultures around the world, and links into the concepts of theology. 

So, to round out this triangle, we look to and appreciate gratitude. And truly what better day than today to express such, than Mothers Day? Almost seems like my agent had these steps conceptualized perfect! Have to swing them a bonus! A triangle with no third point is a plain ole line. Boring. No third dimension and flat as the Earth was 600 years ago (except to the inspired- and they were called crazy-> Ah, thats a story on the insanity of the sanity for another day). Gratitude means that we can take the moments that we have mindfully appreciated and reflected on how well they fit in the the story of a life that we are writing word by word, page by page and chapter by chapter and FEEL it with thanks.

Gratitude means that we take the good and the bad, positive and sad, yin and the yang and see it in the incredible harmony that it is. Gratitude is realizing that everything happens for a reason and appreciating that it has happened and has added to the complement that is us. We tend to apply gratitude to the tangible gifts that come in life and cover those said gifts. The more expensive, the more the gratitude. The better the date, the more likely to have (ahem) fun time at the end of it. That is the most screwed up concept of gratitude I have heard of, yet it defines our society.

Maybe, just maybe yet again the societal driven way is a perversion of what we should really do and feel and have. We already discussed honesty, integrity, being a kid and putting together things that may normally done in a "proper" concept; up can be fun, overcome dis-ease and thus disease and more. So why not gratitude as well? Im more grateful for a $100 gift than a $1 gift? Because it means more? Is that not a societal driven expectation from the men in the blue pinstripe suits? I had to work harder, lose more of life to make more money to get more gratitude? Whacked.

Lets try a gratitude of actions and appreciation instead. That we feel at ease with what happens, and even when life takes a turn you didnt expect, we are mindful of that, reflect what it will mean and do and fit in with the moment and then hive thanks. The thanks is gratitude. The best gifts in life come through kindness and actions. Maybe thats why Mothers Day is so valuable and moms mean so much and its easy to give thanks and gratitude for your mother... all that they have given, given up and sacrificed when we reflect has made us part of who we are. We know the love of a mother and even if there were bad times and days, we must remember that they are human, but they do put their babies first. I give thanks for the mom I had as she gave everything, even when there was nothing. That is intelligent concern for others.

Want gratitude? Be grateful for the miracle that is you first and all the miracles that exist in the moment about you. Get over yourself and the ego driven concept of self importance and know exactly where you fit into the big blue marble. Appreciate the flowers, earth, sky, wind, fire, water and life that is in such abundance about you. Gratitude for the colours, sight, sound and ability to communicate. That you are not trapped in a mind with demons and cant see, or communicate that hell you are in. To see that (and I know a person like that, deaf/mute/ blind and suffering :( ) helps you put everything in perspective.

Why are some grateful for small wonders and that begats happiness while those in mansions with millions are in personal agony and suffer? This is perspective and perspective defines reality. Perspective is in large part gratitude.

Be at ease with the surroundings you are in and at ease my gentle friends. Appreciate and give thanks that you are a miracle, surrounded my miracles, for then you shall see and be yourself, often.


  --- Rev. Dr Joel Lamoure    May 2012   (Mothers Day)

11:38 am edt 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Reflecting the 2D Image of the 3D Cornerstone of Reflection

Greetings my gentle readers to another week's instalment of the "Be Yourself, Often" blog. A time when we can all stop and reflect on ourselves, our interface with others and nature and the big blue marble that we call earth, plus the heavens and all things good in between. There are so many aspects that we can stop and look at like we discussed last week in mindfulness, but what do they mean to us through Reflecting? Do you take a red door and paint it black? (Rolling Stones) Is it or not? These are reflections that may define reality.

No matter what we do it has an association with us. It may be a sepia tinged memory of a song or taste or something that has stated ina  way that we must be. There are so very many lenses and filters that we reflect with. Awareness of those filters is key.  There are the 4 cornerstones to the pyramid and right beside mindfulness comes reflection. Or if you perfect, the scond layer of our 5 layer parfait! 

This week let us take a look at stopping and reflecting. Reflections. These are mirrored back if the surface that is creating the reflection is good and true. Small ripples or aberrations in the reflecting source will cause a corresponding change in what is seen. Awareness through us, our society and our value system will help us determine the pain or validity of what we see and feel. There are inward and outward reflections. These are often driven and impacted by our personal, cultureal and as stated ego driven or societal expectations. But really, why should things be assigned different values? What really is big vs small if you take away the societal filter? Should not there be equanimity in the world of person, plant, animal and mineral and equality?

Perhaps filters and reflections can actually be made stronger through our acts of mindfulness and beinga ble and aware, plus WILLING to step outside of the box? Match two things together that perhaps are never usually matches and then see the feelings through mindfulness. Reflect on the days and experiences past through reflection.  

So...let us reflect on actually how we reflect and when we do, what is the filter or surface that mirrors the reflections back to us. We know that the tincture of time tends to heal things and adds a reflective filter of sepia that we consider to be nostalgia. There are more sinister, yet hidden reflective surfaces. One is that of self delusions and the other that of self preservations. Both of these surfaces or filters are inherently what I would call an "Ego-Filter" and as such the reflection that is considered is one of fallacy as it is created to enact and preserve one's own objectives, even at the cost of others. These forms of reflections often come across as gross hypocrisy to then informed and mindless pandering to the general population and wise expressions of insincerity to the uniformed mindless ones who are not able to reflect on their own. In my experience, the latter category people are more worries by people that I call "Boobs Cubed". The body fixated ones, the TV type (immersed with their shows and fashion) and the blunder (self-image) type.... all self (and false)- idoltry. That is a reflection of delusion sadly. Expectations and filters are set in a way that cannot be collected.

What we need to REALLY do is to look at HOW we reflect and our meditative patterns that create that patterns. It should be in line with reality, as easy as that. And sometimes those reflections and corresponding honesty and truth hurt. I know that from experience. The ego-centric "all important ME" takes over and defends, cajoles and then pummels into submission those that dont reflect the way we want. "Tell the Truth"- you cant handle the truth unless you are able to SEE it my gentle friends!

So, how do we gain this clarity of filter? By example. By practice. By a fearless acceptance of the truth. By listening. By self-reflection and honesty. Our closest friends are the ones that can give us the clarity of honesty and allow us to see our filtering system as it really is. By mindful reflection, we can actually FEEL and be at ease in the head, heart and gut if what we are thinking is indeed accurate. Children and their thoughts and play and perceptions in youth is pure and they speak that of wisdom in honesty. They appreciate the beautiful sounds and such for what they are, not what they see, or even worse are TOLD to see.

To filter through a defective filter is to get an altered image.  I love the idea of a polished reflective filter that is within and without. That I am able to look at myself and have others look at me in the same way and through fairness. That sepia toned as discussed above can give some incredible memories and reflect on the days gone by and when willing to fearlessly use that information can reflect on a bright promise and future of Light and prosperity. Cross reflections here with some matching of mirroring filters and reflective moments with fun along the way, stepping away from the dictates and demands of the 2D that is out there all the time in society with a 3D bent to it. What the heck, what lies BEYOND that wall if we wish to hunt? I believe this will allow me to be good to myself and others. Join the filter polishers and be yourself, often


--- Rev Dr. Joel Lamoure    May 2012 

1:18 pm edt 

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