Most lives are spent waiting. Waiting for dreams to manifest, for trouble to end, and for life to be happy. Golden Zen reflects on the brillance of the NOW and the winks we receive from our Source to remind us we possess it all. Golden Zen is practical and mystical, instructive and reflective. You are my invited guest.

Archive for October, 2008

Can You Trust Someone In Heaven?

There is a short, very short story about Heaven and Hell.

We are told it’s a myth.

Both destinations are depicted in a picture.
Both are set in large rooms with banqueting tables.
Each table is laden with delicious food and every diner has 5 foot long chop sticks.

In hell, they are trying to feed themselves, with no success.  They are starving and in the agony of deprivation.

In heaven, they are feeding someone else across the table, with no guarantee that they will in turn, be fed.

A COMTEMPLATION FOR YOU

Are you feeding anyone across the way from you love, attention, kindness, gentleness or peace?
Do you fear you will give and not receive back enough in return?

Or do you find yourself too afraid to be that vulnerable?

Are we creating our own experience of hell by trying desperately to feed all our insecurities, only to find ourselves starving and in want?

In the Grace of the Moment

Harmony

Thank you to Andrew Corbett for the picture for today.

Humor for the Soul

Humor for the Soul – the Friday Fiasco Series

Enjoy a laugh, drink a latte, play with your kids, paint your flower pots or skip in fall flowers but whatever you do, don’t worry about what you can’t control.

 

1. I don’t suffer from insanity; I enjoy every minute of it.

2. I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

3. You’re just jealous because the voices only talk to me (check out the voices for a laugh if you don’t mind some bad bird words!)

4. Out of my mind. Back in five minutes.

5.  Consciousness: That annoying time between naps.  

6. Ever stop to think, and forget to start again?

7. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a cash advance.

8. Being ‘over the hill’ is much better than being under it!

9.  Drink coffee now – you can sleep when you are dead.

10. I keep hitting the “escape” button but I am still here!

In appreciation for every reader,

and in the Grace of the Moment,

Harmony
 
 PS. Although they can go overboard sometimes, if you need some laughter to get past all the political tension these days, visit Jon Stewart and The Daily Show
 
 

 

Thank you to http://www.macsparky.com/2008/10/22/napping-101/ for the napping photo and to http://www.vagabondish.com/wp-content/uploads/desert-travel-walk.jpg for the travel shot. (unfortunately I lost the links for the other shots – #28 reason not to write posts at 12 am.)

 

 

 
 
 
 
 

 

Stop Thinking

Stop Thinking (Guest Post by Simon O.)

Simon O from  Secret of Life, greeted me with welcome arms my very first day in blogging.  He encouraged me, helped me with my questions and has supported me ever since.  I think his actions, more than his excellent posts show that Simon has some idea of what the secret to life is really about. Based in England – he is geographically a long way from me in Vancouver BC, and yet I feel he is a part of my community.

I wanted to begin hosting guest posts and promoting the perspectives and insights of others.  Who better to have the first guest post at Goldenzen, than the guy who had the first comments to make?  I encourage you to visit  Secret of Life  and check out some of the well written and researched posts.

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Eckhart Tolle  was asked how we could gauge our spiritual development. His reply was an interesting one:

by the extent to which we have learned to stop thinking.

Not so long ago, this answer would have horrified me. If I had to stop thinking, that was it. I wouldn’t have wanted any part of spiritual development, thank you very much. I valued my brain and wanted to keep using it.

But of course, Eckhart Tolle wasn’t really suggesting that we should stop thinking entirely. Our brain is a useful tool. There are times when we need to use it. What he was talking about was stopping all the *unnecessary* thinking we do: the endless ‘mind chatter’ which is the unbidden soundtrack to our lives.

A good way to explain this is to think of computers. There are times when we need to ask our computer to do something for us: like download a file, for instance, or save some photos onto a DVD. So we make the necessary clicks of the mouse and the computer starts working away. The light on the box flashes on and off and there’s a strange sort of grinding noise which I’ve never understood. I assume that this is the cogs of the microprocessor turning round or something like that, though I don’t claim to have a deep understanding of technical matters. Anyway, a short while later, the light stops flashing, the grinding goes quiet, and the task is complete. All is well and good.

If our computer isn’t working too well, however, it sometimes starts flashing and grinding away for no apparent reason. It’s clearly working away at something or other, but nothing that *we’ve* asked it do do. The flashing and grinding seem to go on for ever, and all the things we try to do on the computer are slowed right down. It’s this sort of unnecessary background activity that our brains get up to all the time. This is the ‘mind chatter’ we’d be better off without. There’s nothing useful about it. It just gets in the way of our lives.

What is Mind Chatter?

This mind chatter is usually all about regrets of the past, fears for the future, and unnecessary judgements about things which – as Harmony would put if – are ‘none of our business‘. This is not about using our brains in any meaningful way. It’s unnecessary noise which gets in the way of us experiencing the joy of the present moment. It means that we’re stuck in our heads instead of living our lives.

But how do we lose this mental chatter? How can we lose this unhelpful habit of constant unnecessary thought?

Harmony touched on this in an earlier post, Help – I Want To Lose My Mind!  in which she encouraged us to observe our thoughts. This is a very powerful practice. It helps us to understand that we are *not* our thoughts. It is the first step to taking back control of our minds, instead of being controlled *by* them. Our mind is supposed to be our tool, not our master…

Here are a few other tips you could also try:

Focus on your breathing. This gives your mind something to occupy itself, instead of the constant ‘yammer, yammer’ of the internal chatter.

Focus on your heart centre. This can shift us away from being in our heads all the time, so it can help to quieten the mind. After all, we are not just our heads. Other parts of the body are also available.

Go out into the garden – or into nature. These are good places to focus your attention in the present moment, because there’s a lot going on to distract the mind from all that thinking: the smell of the flowers, the feel of the breeze on your face, the song of the birds…

Set an alarm (e.g. on your computer) to go off every hour and remind you to come out of your head and connect with the present moment. A good way to make this connection is to focus on any one of your senses. This might be the feel of your hands on the desk or the sounds in the room.

Perhaps you also have some tips that might help us to kick this terrible habit of thinking? Please share them with us if you do!

Here’s one more before I go. This is another idea which comes from Eckhart Tolle. Imagine you are a cat, waiting outside a mousehole. Now ask yourself this question:

“I wonder what my next thought will be….”

Simon O.

P.S. From Harmony:  I think this photo is extraordinary in portraying mind chatter.  In fact, the artist, who creates marketing materials, logos, illustrations and such can be found at Dianne Johnson

As for Simon’s blog, here are a few of the posts I have enjoyed lately:

Earth Doomed – (not quite as scarry as it sounds!)

Global Financial Crises – A Blueprint for Transformation

How Does it Feel to Win a Million

When A Good Seed Goes BAD

THE FRIDAY FIASCO: Good seeds go bad.

I have been a health NUT all my adult life. 

I was into brewers yeast in late 70’s.

Anything but FAT content in the 80″s.

The 90’s meant a host of supplements, greens, juices and various teas.  Healthy me.

    

Around the TURN OF THE CENTURY (yes I am truly that old) I learned I needed fat (thank God)  and found out that when I do get old, I will wish I had eaten more ice cream and worn more purple, (thank Erma) so I started eating as much ice cream as I could get my skinny hands on.

  

                         SKINNY ME BEFORE ERMA

(Skinny me before i met Erma.  New me – too wide to fit on the page. But I wear a lot of purple!)

Other health updates in the New Millennium (HOLY MOLY OLD):

  •  Work less, love life
  • Don’t clean the bathroom with bleach
  • Eat less meat, more lentils
  • No more flour – only sprouts (Ask Davina)
  • Fresh fruit in the am
  • Eat lots of NUTS and SEEDS….

And that leads me to today’s lesson:

DON’T JUDGE A SEED BY IT’S COVER

seeds053006.jpg

You may have heard many benefits to eating the famous FLAX SEED.
Grind it for bowel cleansing ~ Sprinkle it for nutty flavor ~ Mix it for variety in your seed melange.

My friends, ( I sound like John McCain – ooops), I trusted the seed.
I believed the propaganda.
But now I am warning you…EATER BEWARE – not all FLAX SEEDS came to the earth with good Karma.

MY SAD, SAD STORY

While the “Bail Out” was only a twinkle in the Senate’s eye, one bad seed was on a mission.
Refusing to follow the crowd and eat toast or donuts for breakfast, I made myself a bowl of RED RIVER CEREAL.  Cooked to perfection I enjoyed my hearty porridge with some milk and raisins.  Pure Yum.

Until the truth was told. 

Within a day or so I noticed that the roof of my mouth was swollen, but since I am a health nut after all, and don’t favor running to the doctors office, I chose to ignore it in hopes it would “go away.”
Alas, after a couple more days the pain was increasing and I realized that something had lodged itself up inside my upper gum.  That something was a saucy flax seed that forgot the GOLDENZEN motto: “Do no harm.”   As the days passed, the swelling increased and my entire mouth, including back molars were aching like someone had a jack hammer in my mouth, excavating tender flesh and troubling the bones.

I couldn’t take it anymore.  I was getting sick of the pain, and SICK in my entire body.  The crazy seed infected my gum and left me SICK from being a health nut!  

What the fig newtons is that all about?

It reminds me of my mother, an RN, who works the night shift in a high stress ward.  She smokes, she eats junk, she rarely has fruits and vegetables and is addicted to sweets and pop.  SHE IS HEALTHY AS A HORSE!

This horse knows the secret

And then there’s me.  Goody two shoes.  Almost vegetarian, eats mostly fresh and natural foods, drinks the finest of coffees eats the darkest of chocolate…(okay, everyone has to have some vices,) and what do I get but a FLAX SEED ON A FLIPPING MISSION OF DOOM.  This kamikaze is still bearing it’s soul in my gum as I write, but not without a fight from me. 

(Oh Yes, I am a fighter.  Believe you me, and I have the scars to prove it!  FIGHT FIGHT…I may be down, but not out!  Whoops…again I digress)

DOCTOR PLEASE MAKE ME SAY “AHHHHH”

On the weekend, when I could bear it no longer, I went to the clinic and begged the doctor to look and see.

   

He asked me if I could consider eating oatmeal in the future – like normal people .  He offered me a donut gum at.  (no chewing for me!)

Armed with ANTI-FLAX INVADER PILLS I have been waiting to feel better, and I’ll admit that tonight, I ate more than soup- I ate a sandwich.

But I am still fighting mad at FLAX and have started a non-profit organization called “HEALTH NUTS AGAINST SEEDS”  Watch for ads on your local television station.

WHY DO BAD THINGS HAPPEN TO GOOD NUTS?

I have asked that question many times in the past seven days.  I think I know the answer.

It’s the Friday Fiasco.
My life was a breeze until the FF.
First week in, Ginger gets stung by wasps and swells to new dimensions.                                                        
Last week, just to BOND with my readers and create a buzz of cheer, I wrote what I wasn’t grateful for.

I got me in so much trouble with the Universe

that I missed THANKSGIVING. 

That’ s right “My Friends”, (whoops, there I go again, I think I need a “CHANGE”), I didn’t get to go to the family dinner, and even tough they sent me leftover turkey – since I can’t chew or even GUM IT, regretably it has remained in the tupperware in the frig. 

Ginger says to pass it on to her, but I haven’t the heart.  She likes to remind me I don’t eat meat.  Whatever!

If I had only followed Alexys and been noble in my post, or Liara, and seen only the magic of beauty, I would not be in this painful pond of pity and platitudes…

Lord have mercy!

BEWARE.  Look out for those seeds that promise life, health and vigor. Watch out for the “good guys” who leave you writhing in pain and sorrow for your choices. 

Eat oatmeal instead and GO FOR THE FLAKES!

In the Grace of the Moment,
Harmony

PS.  Okay, I’ll admit to a wee bit of political satire on the side.  But come on, give me a break.  What else was I to do with all this sick time?  I watched the pundits watch the candidates, who watched the polls, who bugged the people, who want answers.  🙂

PPS.  Don’t get fooled!  If you see one of these healthy, hearty seeds hanging about – eat ice cream instead! 🙂

Many thanks to the following websites whose photos helped tell this silly story.

http://www.kitchengardeners.org/2006/05/ – yummy!  http://bi0nic-eating-habits.blogspot.com/2008/03/snack-attack.html?showComment=1205972640000 – bless her heart, she REALLY NEEDS to read this story! :-), http://www.martialdevelopment.com/blog/cultivating-happiness-with-the-secret-smile/ – so funny, a blogpost suggesting we cultivate happiness with a smile, http://blog.pricegrabber.com/shopgreen/2007/11/14/the-turkey/ – go green blog!, http://www.oneplanetonesolution.com/shop/index.php/cPath/36_28?osCsid=gpin200ivo0psk1ktgbj14toe2 – healthy site for flax seed.

What Happens When You Plant a Good Seed in the Wrong Spot?

I think I have learned my lesson.

There are consequences to planting seeds at the wrong time, or in the wrong place, or with the wrong companions.

I know that NOW.  These past several days have been a painful reminder.

Join me for this week’s Friday Fiasco: THE STORY OF A GOOD SEED THAT WENT BAD.

(sorry I have missed answering my comments and scooting around the Blogosphere – again, blame it on the seed!)

In the Grace of the Moment,

Harmony

PHOTO CREDIT

FRIDAY FIASCO – MY NON-GRATITUDE LIST

What I Should Be Grateful For …

This coming weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving weekend. 
I can hear gobble gobble and smell pumpkin pie already, but am I always thankful?

THANKLESS CONFESSIONS

THANKLESS CONFESSIONS

Here is a list of things I simply struggle with to express sincere gratitude .  I’ll bet if you read a few it will inspire one or two of your own.  Feel free to leave your THANKLESS comments, and  don’t expect thank-yous in return! 🙂

 

1.  I don’t feel thankful when people drive by and SPLASH the heck out of me and Ginger talking a walk in the rain.  Can anyone say drenched?

2.  I lack that loving feeling when I order a dark roast coffee from those cafes that keep them in the big urn and they are LUKEWARM in my cup from the first sip.  YUCK!

3.  I lack the gratitude attitude when the nail tech goes bonkers on my toenails and cuts them so short they radiate pain waves ~~~~~~for at least a week when I wear my heels.

4. I don’t go “singing in the rain” when I order a vegetarian pizza only to get home and open the box to find circles of PEPPERONI smeared recklessly around the entire surface. 

5. The THANK O METER is motionless when telephone marketers continue to call me, only to have me answer (finally), and find there is on one on the line.  I am now supposed to WAIT for them to find the time to chat!

6. WHO MADE MILK CHOCOLATE?  Ick!  Bring on the Dark Tones Baby!

7.  I am NOT FEELING THE LOVE when I try on several pairs of jeans to try to update my wardrobe to the latest size I require, only to find that designers have conspired to prove that the state of Texas and my bum have more than natural oil in common!

8. Have you ever entered an empty elevator only to discover that SOMEONE was there before you, and that someone had something going on “inside” that wanted OUT?  Come on, how do we become grateful for that?

YES a live in mouse!

YES a live-in mouse!

9. A few years ago I kept hearing the strangest noise coming from the kitchen when I was working quietly on my computer.  I couldn’t pin point from where, but I gradually got curious.  I WAS NOT SAYING “Well Blessed Be”  when I investigated to find a MOUSE living INSIDE the toaster!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

10. Come on…you gotta write number 10!  Let’s hear it…

In the Grace of the Moment,
Harmony

PS Find the toaster at Chiasso   

Create The Week You Want to Live

(I apologize for the wacky formatting. I have tried to fix it repeatedly and now would rather publish it than spend one more minute on formatting.  Perfectionists, I am at your mercy. 🙂

Why let your week happen without your creative design? 

They tell us over 90% of our thoughts are UNCONSCIOUS,
meaning we are not aware of what we are thinking, or creating!

Instead we think the same routine, boring 10%. 
For most of us is full of worry, details, scheduling, concerns,
resentments, frustrations, regrets, and unanswered questions.
Very few thoughts, in the whole scheme of things, are serving
us by creating what we want – because we are not even aware of
what they are.

Imagine being behind the wheel of your car late at night.
There are no street lights, only the moon is offering her silver shimmersfrom the sky (or the unconscious).    It is dark.
You are then instructed to put your foot to the gas pedal and drive full
speed.  You are going somewhere, but you have no idea where, or how to
take control of it.  You are in the dark and moving fast.

We are driving our lives at full speed, but in the dark.

What can we do about it?

Bring more of your thoughts into your awareness.

Create what you want with a thought, not a reaction.

For instance:  It’s Monday evening and you had another frustrating day
at work.  The same things, with different names, seem to happen on most Monday’s.
As you sit down to eat your dinner and suddenly realize, that they deep sigh you just
let out, and the intrinsic fatigue in your deepest self, is the same sigh and
weariness you feel most everytime you sit down to the table for your evening meal.

It’s a repeating pattern.

1+2=3 1+2=3 1+2=3

TRY THIS: After dinner, find a paper and pen and your most comfortable lounging chair.
Ask yourself: What would I like to remember about this week when Sunday night rolls around?

If you were sitting in this same chair on Sunday evening, and this had been a really great week, what
would have happened?

  • Would you be sharing the evening with someone you love?
  • Would you have received an unexpected $500?
  • Would you have lost 3 lbs?
  • Would your collegue have asked to resolve an issue?

Only you know what defines “a really great week” for you.

Choose one thing.

Imagine yourself FEELING how you would feel if your old friend, whom you have missed
so much, called you this week out of the blue and suggested having dinner with you on
Sunday night?  Feel how happy you would be to hear from them.  Hear their voice.
Let yourself enjoy the evening in advance with your imagination.

(Now don’t tell me you can’t do that!  You are doing it whenever you worry about the
way things will turn out…it is your imagination in action. You can do this- it may simply
feel unfamililar, and that is okay.)

Once you decide on a creative thought, here are a couple tips that may help.

1. State the creation in the present tense.  “I am enjoying a warm and relaxing evening with someone
I love.  Our converstion is refreshing, I am feeling alive and connected and hopeful
about life.”

2. Ask yourself if your creative desire is beneficial to you, for those around you, and for the planet?
If it’s not, you will not get behind it fully, and you are wasting your time.  Enough bad stuff happens from
the 90%.  So be sure you are in agreement, at your values level, with the outcome.  If so…

3. Give yourself permission to enjoy it.

I, Harmony, give my permission for Harmony to enjoy the company of someone she
loves and loves her.  Harmony is free to meet, or reconnect with human beings that are loving
and kind and supportive.  Harmony can feel good, or elated or satisfied.  She is authorized to
live her wildest dreams and feel content in the process.  I am behind Harmony 100%

4. Give thanks.   “I am moving toward my creations.  I am blessed and powerful and my heart
is full of gratitude as I enjoy the process of creating blessing for me and for the world around me.

You probably read a lot f blogs and take in a lot of information.  But this blog will do you NO GOOD,
unless you STOP, and take some time for creative intentions.  I wish you light and love on your creative journey.

In the Grace of the Moment,
Harmony

PS Many thanks to Mark DM at Flickr for the nighttime photo and all the other photos so generously shared with the world.

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