Welcome to my blog!! May it provoke your thoughts, stir your imagination and move your spiritual being.
What would you pack if you were going on a long trip for 6 months? Would you pack a huge travel case and pack as much as you could until you could fit nothing else? This is how I used to pack when I was a teenager going to summer camps or family vacations. It wasn’t fun lugging that huge travel case to wherever my destination was. Even when I got to my destination, it took me a while to unpack everything and get settled in. Once it was time to leave, it took a while to get everything packed and then haul it back to home. When you pack a lot of things, it’s hard to keep track of everything. If I remembered to keep track of anything I was pretty lucky. I don’t travel this way for doing any kind of traveling anymore. It could be a weekend trip, a week or a month; I’ll still carry the same 40L backpack with required essentials. I started doing this after being exposed to ultralight backpacking; this is what got me turned onto living more minimally. It got me thinking about why in the world don’t I apply this principle of packing only the essentials for my backpacking and take that principle and apply it to life. The appreciation for life isn’t the same as living in excess than it is living minimally. I can accumulate so many things that are unessential and be distracted from the things that really matter. It’s hard to focus on the one or two things when your mind is thinking of 10 or 20 different things. Remove the excess. Remove the clutter. This isn’t just with material things but also the unseen. How many thoughts go through my head that are really necessary?? How many cares and concerns do I have that are really necessary?? These are just hindering my focus and ability to live a more efficient life. I won’t tell you that the answer is when you own 33 items or 100 items. I think the answer lies in balance. What’s essential for your life won’t be the same as what it is for me. The only way in finding out what that balance is is to experiment with it. I still live in a house and drive a car, but I have this desire to live more simply. Over the past four years, I’ve donated unneeded clothing and items to goodwill. We can allow our possessions to distract us from the need of others. If I own so much, my mind is going to be on what I own and not my neighbors, family, friends or the world around me. I can allow my possessions to own me. I can allow social media, tv and internet ads, Hollywood to program me how to live my life. I don’t want to be a programmed robot and follow the crowd; I want to be my own person and individual. How can I be in tune with myself as a person and who I am as a human being if I allow myself to just consume what everyone else is consuming?? One of the unique things about human beings from any other creature on Earth is that we have a free will and choice. The danger is I can have that free will and choice taking away from me and be a slave and not even realize it. I don’t feel that I should quit my job and throw away my license and go off grid and become a survivalist, but there’s that desire in discovering what it is that I really need in this life. Look at astronauts that are launched into outer space and live on the international space station. They are living in such extreme environments that the only things they can live with is the essential and nothing else. They learn to make the most use out of their tools and NASA only sends the very best into space. Every astronaut relies on each other and depends on each other for survival. The astronauts also get to experience a life that very few human beings get to experience. Look at elite athletes and how they train, they’re daily schedule and how they eat. They are focused on becoming the very best athlete that they can be. They are focused, they are disciplined, they give up on a lot of things they don’t need. Not all of us want to be an elite athlete, but we all can give up on certain things we don’t need. It could be to stop drinking soda or coffee. It could be to set a budget or stop shopping for clothes or shoes every month. A lot of little choices will result in big life changes. The more I progress in this journey, my balance of what it is that I really need evolves. I get to learn more about myself in the process and I get to experience deeper levels of peace and contentment. One of the things that gives life meaning is discovering more of who you are. Who you are as a person and who you are as a human being and what it is that’s important to every human being.
My practice of minimalism has been evolving. I’m donating my leather wallet and leather belt to Goodwill. Part of the reason I’m doing this is because I’m vegan also. I’ll try to explain my reasoning. For the vegan aspect, I don’t like the inhumane way industrialized and factory farms “raise” the animals, it’s unnatural. I wouldn’t even call it “raising”, it’s more like abusing and assaulting. I have no problems against free range farming when its concerning the animals. In my eyes this is a natural and humane way to raise animals or hunting animals for food out of necessity and not of sport; I don’t see this as unnatural or inhumane. I’m sure there’s vegans out there that disagree with this view, that their view is that killing of any animals is unnatural and inhumane. Where am I going with this?? Back to why I’m uncomfortable possessing leather products or objects. My conviction is that leather is a luxury, just like eating meat and dairy is a luxury. Luxuries lead to greed and lust. I had this conviction even before when I went vegan 4 years ago. I used to own an Audi A4 car. A few months driving it and I just felt guilty and uncomfortable about it. There was nothing practical driving a luxury vehicle. Our egos and pride like luxuries because it’s proclaiming a social status in society. The more luxury we indulge in, the less satisfied we are and the more desensitized we become. Instead of being empathetic, I keep devolving into more and more apathy. No feeling, no conscious, I become dead inside yet am still alive. That isn’t being human, that’s becoming more and more inhumane. Why can human beings carry out such atrocious acts against humanity, the environment, animals and against life itself!! I’ll tell you why. No conscious. No empathy. No reverence. How can we get these things back. Stop indulging or participating in things that take them away. That’s why I’m donating my leather wallet and leather belt to Goodwill. My convictions about luxury are compelling me to do this. I even feel convicted about eating sophisticated meals and expensive dining. It doesn’t matter whether the menu is vegan or not, it’s the principle of not living luxuriously and living simple. What would happen to the United States and the rest of the world if everyone just started living more simply and not lusting after things we don’t need. Would the U.S. be in such great debt?? Would the U.S. be so overly obese?? Would we be suffering from heart attacks, cancer and diabetes?? Would there be less people overdosing on prescription and illegal drugs because more people would be satisfied with their lives. One of the results of living simply is feeling more satisfied. Luxury just creates an illusion that my lifestyle is more elevated than your lifestyle which means that I’m better than you and you’re not as good as me. That’s why there’s racism and prejudice. That’s why Americans can eat meat and dairy and live a luxurious lifestyle and not care about the harm and damage their lifestyle is causing for poor impoverished souls overseas that are starving and in famine and ravaged by disease because of the effects of animal agriculture and luxurious living. It’s why people don’t care that their lifestyle is polluting the earth and the oceans and causing deforestation because their little world is more “sacred” than all of Creation. Creation is supposed to be more sacred. People would truly respect themselves and those around them and the earth as sacred if they had a reverence for life and not be so concerned about their own!! All I ask is when you’re done reading this, examine your lifestyle. Maybe you could give up a few things or stop doing or buying certain things or stop and start thinking a certain way. It may take weeks, months and years but it gets better and easier the longer you live consciously. Humanity and life in the future will thank you.
Perfection says I need to be perfect. Excellence says I need to improve. Excellence can devolve into perfection; that is why there must be a balance. I can make the effort to improve each day, but then I can hit a roadblock that improving each day isn’t enough. Even though I fulfill to improve in an area that day, whether it be big or small; it isn’t enough. Yes, things can always be better but perfection will rob that sense of fulfillment of telling you, “yeah, you did improve, but you could have done a little more or it could be just a little better.” If you give something everything you’ve got, and you’ve successfully improved that day; you are excelling. That is excellence. Perfection will say it isn’t good enough even when you are excelling. I’m not saying settle for less, we have to settle to improve. I think “settling” for perfection is a lesser way. You won’t go as far trying to be perfect. Perfection is unsustainable, while improvement is sustainable. I think perfection is rooted in pride and ego. Everything must be perfect and just right. The truth is it never will be. There are brief moments we experience moments that things are going well but those moments don’t last. When they do happen, soak it in because it won’t be like that forever. The ups and downs cultivate in us gratitude. Perfection, pride and ego will rob you of your gratitude. When things are down, that moment will pass and I can cultivate the gratefulness of appreciating that moment of not being down. Who is stronger?? The person who adapts and learns to operate in an imperfect situation or the person who refuses to operate unless the situation is exactly how they want it and refuses to learn because they “know” everything. Life will never be perfect. My friends, family, myself and every human being on this planet won’t be perfect. Perfection shuns grace, compassion and mercy. If I’m “perfect”, do I need to have grace, compassion and mercy?? Perfection doesn’t need these things, but excellence requires them. Perfection, pride and ego picks and chooses who it thinks is worthy of love. Perfection can also tell you that you are not worthy of love because you aren’t good enough. Excellence can only be achieved through humility. Don’t try to be perfect, try to be a better you each day. If we all do this, the world will become a better place each day.
Truth reveals more truth. Lies will create more lies. Having questions isn’t a bad thing. It’s a bad thing when asking a question leads into more questions that lead into confusion. Truth will not do this. Only lies will. Truth will reveal a part of itself. When something is revealed to me by truth, there’s no doubt or uncertainty. I know my question has been answered and I will experience peace. Even though that answered question may lead into another question, there’s no doubt or confusion caused from it. The more truth I know, the more peace and certainty I get to experience. Lies do not produce peace. They produce doubt and confusion. Truth is a hard thing to handle at times, but I would rather handle a hard thing than be deceived and have no peace.
How much more important it is to be than it is to know?? Knowledge is information. What about the application of that information?? I can know lots of things without the application of that knowledge. What is a doctor?? Is he a doctor because of his master’s degree?? If he does not have any work experience he cannot become licensed as a medical professional. Lots of people like to claim to be certain things. I can claim to be a philosopher, poet, architect, Christian, Buddhist; if I am not practicing what I claim to be, my experience of practice will not produce what it is that I claim to be. Another perspective is how secure am I in my identity in what I am if I have to claim to be something?? I think the reason people like to pretend to be certain things is the recognition or status that comes with an identity. It’s like owning a status without paying any cost. It’s a slippery slope to be self-important in one’s own eyes. What is being important?? Is it wealth, power, influence?? What is true wealth, power and influence on this Earth?? I can acquire “wealth, power and influence” one day and have “it” stripped away the next. Living by values, by principles and integrity is more important than the amount of money in a private bank account on the Cayman Islands. Am I calling money evil?? Money isn’t evil. There’s a scripture in the Bible that states the love of money is the root of all evil. Where does that root take place?? It’s in the heart. A person’s character determines if the root of all evil will take hold in their heart. Money simply magnifies the character who is in possession of it. Those with good character are not controlled by it and those with bad character are controlled by it. Bad character needs a mask to cover its face of corruption. Good character doesn’t need to cover its face because it is exactly what it is on the surface. There are no forms of trickery or deception when it comes to good character. We all have the potential to become corrupted. Even if I am a doctor and have a license I am not to abuse others with my practice, my profession is to serve others and to help heal people. What are human beings supposed to do?? What is our practice?? We are not to be lovers of our own selves, we are to be lovers of our neighbors. Mankind is our neighbor. Do I not having any feeling or empathy when humanity is cut, bleeding and dying?? If I don’t, it’s because I have become indifferent to selfless love and familiar with only loving myself and love only those I think that are worthy of love. Unconditional love is the highest practice. Have I attained it?? There are brief moments I get to experience it. I do know this, the more I am focused on myself; the lesser I get to experience unconditional love. I do not want to be deceived in believing I’m self-important. Pride is the gateway to all vices. Humility is the gateway to all virtues. Do not claim to be something. What it is that we practice will reveal what it is we really are.
What we think, we become. What affects our thoughts?? The thoughts we think affect our mind. Positive thinking affects our being. The same goes with negative thinking. Love, anger, bitterness, compassion. These things affect our being. These metaphysical things affect our physical being. Does it also work the other way around. Could human biology affect our consciousness?? What we eat, we become also. The principle is that what we consume, we become. Do you know someone that needs coffee first thing in the morning to function?? They are not the same without that coffee. It affects their mood, how they feel, act and talk. Do you know someone that uses food as medication?? What I mean is they use food to suppress feelings and emotions. It could be junk food, comfort food, desserts, cheese, ice cream, etc. That feeling and emotion they’re suppressing may go away temporarily but before long its there again. They could play this cycle out for days, months, years and be a victim to it. Food affects their well-being or not so well-being. Our brains produce certain chemicals when consuming certain foods. Unhealthy foods create unhealthy habits, feelings and thoughts. If you don’t believe me, try eating McDonalds for a month. Food affects how we feel and how we feel affects our thinking. Our thinking affects our consciousness. Someone who is medicated on painkillers is going to have a different awareness than someone who isn’t on them. What I am proposing is to eat and live more healthy. It could be cutting out drinking soda and dairy, eating less salt, eating less or no meat. Eating more cooked vegetables and drinking just water. Your consciousness will determine where that line is drawn. It’s a progressive way of living. The more progress, the more our consciousness evolves. Living healthy could also mean just living more consciously. Are you trying to live a life that has less of a carbon footprint?? Are you trying to be more present for your family and friends or practicing to be more grateful and compassionate. Experiment with it and see where it goes. It could lead you into a life that is more fulfilling and into a greater purpose.
When we harm the earth, we are harming ourselves. Have we become so blinded by greed, pride, selfishness and ego?? We were once so in tune with the natural intuition of ourselves and the earth. Now we are disconnected. Disconnected by smart phones, computers, movies, processed food, etc. Do oil and mining companies even care about the harm caused to the land?? They do not want to be held accountable or responsible for any damage done. In its mind if making a profit means doing the wrong thing then so be it. If it can make more money hurting others while being sued then so be it. A machine doesn’t have feeling or convictions, it carries out its purpose. A purpose of a corporation is to get ahead today and tomorrow. What is mankind’s purpose?? What is our natural design?? We were not made to kill each other, hate and backstab one other. Maybe the reason we see this is because were not fulfilling our purpose as human beings. It’s because we’re so disconnected. It’s because we do not respect ourselves and do not respect Creation. We are as dust. The earth is of ashes. We are part of the same being. I should care about other human beings. I need to care about the animals and the environment. All our well-being is connected to each other. All life is interconnected. Am I so numb that I only care about myself?? Am I so dead that it doesn’t bother me seeing all the injustice being done to mankind and this Earth?? Maybe I need to stop being so entertained and distracted. Maybe I need stop giving in to my base desires and transcend them into a higher consciousness. That higher consciousness is our natural consciousness. When we evolve more and are more aware and live more consciously, we are merely evolving into our natural being. The problem is we’ve devolved. If technology, progress and the modernization of society causes us to be disconnected in fulfilling our purpose as human beings, I’m not sure if it’s a good thing. These things have the potential in causing us to be lazy, passive, irresponsible, weak, immature, and so on. Is the convenient way really the convenient way?? Maybe in the short term. Commitment is inconvenient. Discipline is inconvenient. Saying no and sacrifice is inconvenient but in the long term it makes a difference. How is my lifestyle affecting this world?? How does it affect those around me?? How does it affect the earth, the environment and all living things?? Mankind is on this earth for a reason and all Creation has a reason. Maybe that reason is because we need each other to exist. If we do not learn to co-exist and co-habitate life in our world will not be able to sustain itself. Sustainability and the fruitfulness of life is a part of life’s purpose. We see this in nature. We need to live consciously. We need to be in tune with our natural intuition as human beings. We need to have a reverence for life. I do not want to become like a machine, like a corporation that has no heart, no soul nor does not care. I’m not against capitalism, I’m not for socialism. The reason why corporations and people need to be held accountable and held responsible for their actions is because they are prone to operate without a conscious and without a reverence for life. That’s the issue. Ask yourself am I being awakened to my natural consciousness or am I falling asleep to it?? Am i giving in to my base desires which are dulling my ability to sense and feel?? Don’t wait for tomorrow. Start right now. Start today in becoming awakened. There is no end to being awakened, it is a life pursuit. We all have our limits but it’s no excuse in not making an effort in moving forward.
Pollution is quite the problem these days. The ocean, the air, the land; wherever there are human beings the planet is being polluted. The pollution that we are seeing is a result of what us human beings are consuming. What we are consuming determines if there will be pollution or what kind of pollution there’ll be. Our consumption affects the livelihood of everything else and the quality of life on this planet. Do we not care for the quality of life for the next generation of human beings?? Do we not care for the quality of life of this planet and living things?? Humanity has lost a respect for life. We have lost a respect for ourselves, of our minds, hearts and own being. The oceans continue to be polluted with oils, plastics and other toxic substances. This has to stop, we cannot continue living the way we are doing things. Contaminated animals APPEAR to look fine at first but they are not. Look what’s in their stomach. They’ve consumed oil, they’ve consumed plastics and poisons. We do the same with intangible things. We pollute are minds and spiritual being with toxic thoughts and poisonous attitudes. We think destructively and consume beliefs and views that aren’t healthy, sustainable, good for our lives and the planet. Our thinking, our way of life, convictions, love and fears is what molds us and molds our planet. Life on this planet is precious. Our lives are precious. This planet is sacred. Our human bodies and being is sacred. How we spend our money and what we spend it on has an effect on this world. What we eat and how that food was grown has an effect on this world. We can continue to be distracted and be entertained and keep avoiding the problem that is facing us and affecting everyone’s future. Industrialized farming uses up so much natural resources and pollutes this earth, never mind the inhumane and unnatural practices used to grow plants or raise animal and the continuous pollution it forces on the land and community surrounding it. The world is interconnected. All life is interconnected. Nature when it is functioning as it should be functioning is thriving, multiplying and filled with abundance. This is what the goal of humanity should be. That all humans and all life can coexist and thrive and the planet can thrive as well. Don’t look at the colossal statistics of how this planet is being polluted or how humanity is failing in certain areas and be overwhelmed in not doing anything. Take small steps in your own small little world. Recycle all the plastic in your household, use chemical-free cleaners, use appliances that are energy efficient, try eating less meat or eat food that was grown or raised locally and shop at farmers markets. We can all do something in making a difference. If we can all succeed in little areas of our community, our community will change. We need to be mindful of each other, of this planet, of how our life affects life and the being of life itself. Try thinking more positively, deny more negative thoughts. None of us are perfect, but we can make a difference working collectively. The only way to get rid of the pollution problem is to get rid of the problem that is polluting our minds and consuming our being.