Now those who take a SUPERFICIAL and unreflecting view of things observe the outward appearance of anything they meet, e.g. of a man, and then trouble themselves no more about him. The view they have taken of the bulk of his body is enough to make them think that they know all about him. But the penetrating and scientific mind will not trust to the eyes alone the task of taking the measure of reality; it will not stop at appearances, nor count that which is not seen among unrealities. It inquires into the qualities of the man’s soul.  -Gregory of Nyssa


My grandparents found reasons for the existence of their family and the fulfillment of their duties in serious writings, and they interpreted their special sufferings with respect to a great and ennobling past. … There was a respect for real learning, because it had a felt connection with their lives. … I do not believe that my generation, my cousins who have been educated in the American way, all of whom are M.D.’s or Ph.D.’s, have any comparable learning. When they talk about heaven and earth, the relations between men and women, parents and children, the human condition, I hear nothing but clichés, SUPERFICIALITIES, the material of satire.  –  Allan Bloom, The Closing of the American Mind (New York: 1988), p. 60.


“The shape of evil is much more SUPERFICIALITY and blindness than the usual list of hot sins. God hides, and is found, precisely in the depths of everything.”  ― Richard Rohr, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life


Generally, we are more concerned with handling and using things than with knowing them in their true nature. Thus we usually grasp in haste the very first few signals conveyed to us by a perception. Then, through deeply ingrained habit, those signals evoke a standard response by way of judgements such as good-bad, pleasant-unpleasant, useful-harmful, right-wrong. … A world perceived in this SUPERFICIAL way will consist of shapeless little lumps of experiences marked by a few subjectively selected signs or symbols. The symbols chosen are determined mainly by the individual’s self-interest; sometimes they are even misapplied. The shadow-like world that results includes not only the outer environment and other persons, but also a good part of one’s own bodily and mental processes. These, too, become subjected to the same SUPERFICIAL manner of conceptualization. – Nyanaponika Thera, “The Power of Mindfulness”


Superficiality  noun  Lack of: thoroughness, depth of character, or serious thought.

“The ignorance and superficiality of the media hinder a serious examination of the question”


The relationship of superficiality and evil consists of being more concerned with manipulating and using things (including people) for our own benefit rather than with knowing their true nature.

A thing perceived in this SUPERFICIAL way will consist of shallow experiences determined mainly by the individual’s self-interest. The illusory world that results includes not only the outer world and other persons, but also reaches into one’s own sensory and mental processes.


John 7:24 “Stop judging according to appearance, _but_ be judging the righteous judgment.”

Judging – Greek  κρίνω   (krinō)  Properly to distinguish, that is, decide (mentally or judicially); by implication to try, condemn, punish: – avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.

Appearance – Greek   ὄψις  (opsis)  ;properly sight (the act), that is, (by implication) the visage, an external show: – appearance, countenance, face.

Righteous – Greek   δίκαιος  (dikaios)   From  δίκη  (dikē); equitable (in character or act); by implication innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively): – just, meet, right (-eous).

Greek    δίκη  (dikē)  ; right (as self-evident), that is, justice (the principle, a decision, or its execution): – judgment, punish, vengeance.

In the meaning of the Greek words:

Stop distinguishing or deciding; by sight or an external show, but be distinguishing or deciding with equitable (considering innocent, holy) or right (as self-evident) judgement.

So if we judge something as pleasing to our own eyes rather than judging it in a fair and impartial way; we are treating it in an unholy fashion?

Sounds like evil (selfish) intention to me; it’s how we can look at a single person or small group within a large group and define the large group because a single person or small group are different from us.

Let’s look at a hot button issue; Muslim Ban. Because of Islamic Extremist Terrorists we judge all of Islam by them.

Islam – from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Islam (Arabic: الإسلام‎, IPA: [alʔɪsˈlaːm] is a verbal noun originating from the triliteral root S-L-M which forms a large class of words mostly relating to concepts of WHOLENESS, SUBMISSION, SAFENESS, and PEACE.

Sufism – from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

Sufism, or Taṣawwuf (Arabic: الْتَّصَوُّف‎; personal noun: صُوفِيّ‎ ṣūfiyy/ṣūfī, مُتَصَوّف‎ mutaṣawwuf), which is often defined as “Islamic mysticism”, “the inward dimension of Islam” or “the phenomenon of mysticism within Islam”, is a mystical trend in Islam “characterized … [by particular] values, ritual practices, doctrines and institutions” which began very early in Islamic history and represented “the main manifestation and the most important and central crystallization of” mystical practice in Islam.

Sufism is one of the most peaceful nonviolent practices in the whole world.


Extremist groups like ISIS promote the idea that Sufism is a heterodox form of Islam, and then go further to declare Sufis legitimate targets. But it’s not just violent extremists who foster the heterodoxy misconception. In Saudi Arabia, for example, crown prince Mohammed bin Salman claimed on Sunday that “the greatest danger of extremist terrorism is in distorting the reputation of our tolerant religion”yet intolerance with regard to Sufism is the bedrock of much of the purist Salafi approach that underpins the Saudi religious establishment.


So even a single person or small group within the same large group can be judged as different and the small group can be discriminated against or even persecuted by the same group it is in; with no twinge of conscience.

Now a list to reflect on in the light of superficial decisions: Race, Gender, Sex, Nationality …complete the list yourself. You can reflect on this for a very long time if you want to avoid SUPERFICIALITY!

Polonius: This above all: to thine own self be true, and it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE, Hamlet, act I, scene iii, lines 78–80.




“He who has a WHY to live; can bear almost any how.”  – Frederich Nietzsche

A man who becomes conscious of the responsibility he bears toward a human being who affectionately waits for him, or to an unfinished work, will never be able to throw away his life. He knows the ‘WHY’ for his existence, and will be able to bear almost any ‘how.’  – Viktor E. Frankl

“People don’t buy what you do; they buy WHY you do it.” -Simon Sinek

Excerpt –

The Why, How, What model is actually grounded in biology (not psychology).

If you were to look at a cross section of the brain from top down, you’d see that it corresponds perfectly to the golden circle.

Starting at the top, our “newest” (evolutionary) brain, our Homo-Sapiens Brain, called our Neocortex – it’s our what, it’s responsible for all our rational, analytical thought, and language.

The middle two sections make up our Limbic brains, which is for feelings, trust, and loyalty, it’s also responsible for all human behavior and decision making. It has no capacity for language.

In other words, when we communicate from the outside in, yes, people can understand vast amounts of complicated information, features and benefits and facts and figures, it just doesn’t drive behavior.

When we communicate from the inside out; we’re talking directly to the part of the brain that controls behavior, and then we allow people to rationalize it with the tangible things we say and do.

This is where gut decisions come from. It’s why you can give someone all the facts and figures and they’ll say that they know what all the facts and the details say, but it just doesn’t ‘feel’ right.

Why would they use that verb?

Because the part of the brain that controls decision making doesn’t control language.

Sometimes we say we’re leading with our heart, or our soul. That’s all happening in your limbic brain.



The Golden Circle

The Golden Circle


Why? Answering this question is not only good for a corporation; but it is the single most important question you can answer before making a choice or decision.


  1. Neocortex – our “newest” (evolutionary) brain, our Homo-Sapiens Brain – it’s our WHAT, it’s responsible for all our rational, analytical thought, and language.

Your conscious mind is your objective or thinking mind. It has no memory, and it can only hold one thought at a time. This mind has four essential functions.

First, it identifies incoming information. This is information received through any of the six senses: sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, or feeling. Your conscious mind is continually observing and categorizing what is going on around you.

The second function of your conscious mind is comparison.

The third function of your conscious mind is analysis, and analysis always precedes the fourth function, deciding.

  1. The middle two sections make up our Limbic brains – it’s our HOW and WHY, referred to as the paleo mammalian cortex, which is for feelings, trust, and loyalty, it’s also responsible for all human behavior and decision making. It has no capacity for language. The limbic system is a set of structures in the brain that controls emotion, memories and arousal. It contains regions that detect fear, control bodily functions and perceive sensory information (among other things).

Let’s first take a moment to consider the fact that your subconscious mind is like a huge memory bank. Its capacity is virtually unlimited and it permanently stores everything that ever happens to you.

The function of your subconscious mind is to store and retrieve data. Its job is to ensure that you respond exactly the way you are programmed. Your subconscious mind makes everything you say and do fit a pattern consistent with your self-concept, your “paradigm.” Your paradigm is your set of assumptions, concepts, values, and practices that have been imprinted on your subconscious mind – your way of perceiving reality.

Your subconscious mind is subjective. It does not think or reason independently; it merely obeys the commands it receives from your conscious mind.

Just as your conscious mind can be thought of as the gardener, planting seeds, your subconscious mind can be thought of as the garden, or fertile soil, in which the seeds germinate and grow.

Your subconscious mind is an unquestioning servant that works day and night to make your behavior fits a pattern consistent with your emotionalized thoughts, hopes, and desires. Your subconscious mind grows either vegetables or weeds in the garden of your life, whichever you plant by the mental equivalents you sow with your conscious mind.

WHY did I just go through all of that? Precisely!

The WHY is your belief, cause, intention, mission, or purpose? The question that should be asked and answered before any action is taken. It is what goes on inside of you; these are the most important things in your life; where your value comes from.

Deliberate action turns knowledge into practical wisdom. © 2016 Russel Steffy

Deliberate action: The conscious intentional process of doing something.

Practical wisdom: the actual repeated application or use of valued ideas, beliefs, or methods; as opposed to theories.

Deliberate Choice (done consciously and intentionally); every moment you choose what you see, hear, touch, taste, and smell. You choose how to move your body. You also get to choose value to what is happening to create an experience.

Do you do it consciously and intentionally? If you do not make a deliberate choice to control the input, you will go into automatic mode and accept input from outside as valid. Then Religions, Political Parties, TV advertisements, and etc. get to program subconscious intention; they create your beliefs for you.

Deliberate Belief (created consciously and intentionally by you!), do you now see WHY this is important?

What am I unwilling to experience

What am I unwilling to experience?




  1. A particular instance of personally encountering or undergoing something:
  2. The process or fact of personally observing, encountering, or undergoing something:
  3. The observing, encountering, or undergoing of things generally as they occur in the course of time:
  4. Knowledge or practical wisdom gained from what one has observed, encountered, or undergone:
  5. Philosophy. The totality of the cognitions given by perception; all that is perceived, understood, and remembered.

Verb (used with object) – experienced – experiencing.

  1. To have experience of; meet with; undergo; feel:
  2. To learn by experience.


  1. Experience religion, to undergo a spiritual conversion by which one gains or regains faith in God.


Events that unfold around me are only happenings; they become experiences when I add value to them inside myself. I am careful, the value can be positive or negative.


It is what goes on inside of me; these are the most important things in my life; where my value comes from.


It all starts with what am I unwilling to feel?


What emotions am I trying to hide?


I try to hide them in the shadow realm of the subconscious mind, but they keep returning to conscious thought.


Whatever I try to hide I mentally muddle myself into.



verb (used with object), muddled, muddling.

  1. to mix up in a confused or bungling manner; jumble.
  2. to cause to become mentally confused.
  3. to cause to become confused or stupid with or as if with an intoxicating drink.
  4. to make muddy or turbid, as water.
  5. to mix or stir (a cocktail, chocolate, etc.).
  6. Ceramics. to smooth (clay) by rubbing it on glass.

verb (used without object), muddled, muddling.

  1. to behave, proceed, or think in a confused or aimless fashion or with an air of improvisation:


  1. the state or condition of being muddled, especially a confused mental state.
  2. a confused, disordered, or embarrassing condition; mess.

Verb phrases

  1. muddle through, to achieve a certain degree of success but without much skill, polish, experience, or direction:



I become stuck in an argument of my conscious and subconscious minds — a non-verbal debate with the things I dislike; a struggle that exists solely within my mind.


I become trapped by my very resistance of the things I dislike — I get stuck in the middle of a twisted and tangled mess with the things I dislike.


The truth is my suffering is in my resistance of the things I dislike.


The things I try to hide are the things I need to pay attention to the most. These are the things at the core of my deepest struggles — these are also the very things that will set me free.


When I resist experiencing an emotion and its underlying causes; it only makes it fester, turning it rotten so it eventually infects my soul.


I sit with my emotion and its underlying causes adding a value to make an experience that I can live with. I try to have the courage and willingness to open myself completely to vulnerability. I don’t do this just once; it takes many sessions to create an experience I can truly live with.


Only when I am no longer in conflict with myself I am able to realize true peace and contentment in my life.



“Remember, you cannot be both young and wise. Young people who pretend to be wise to the ways of the world are mostly just cynics. Cynicism masquerades as wisdom, but it is the farthest thing from it. Because cynics don’t learn anything. Because cynicism is a self-imposed blindness, a rejection of the world because we are afraid it will hurt us or disappoint us. Cynics always say NO. But saying “YES” begins things. Saying “YES” is how things grow. Saying “YES” leads to knowledge. “YES” is for young people. So for as long as you have the strength to, say “YES.”   ― Stephen Colbert


In an entry from January of 1882 under the heading Sanctus Januarius, Frederich Nietzsche writes:

For the New Year—I still live, I still think; I must still live, for I must still think. Sum, ergo cogito: cogito, ergo sum. To-day everyone takes the liberty of expressing his wish and his favorite thought: well, I also mean to tell what I have wished for myself today, and what thought first crossed my mind this year,—a thought which ought to be the basis, the pledge and the sweetening of all my future life! I want more and more to perceive the necessary characters in things as the beautiful:—I shall thus be one of those who beautify things. Amor fati: let that henceforth be my love! I do not want to wage war with the ugly. I do not want to accuse, I do not want even to accuse the accusers. Looking aside, let that be my sole negation! And all in all, to sum up: I wish to be at any time hereafter only a YEA-SAYER!


Definition of cynic

1 : a faultfinding captious critic; especially : one who believes that human conduct is motivated wholly by self-interest

2 capitalized : an adherent of an ancient Greek school of philosophers who held the view that virtue is the only good and that its essence lies in self-control and independence


The three power words of the English language

YES, NO, and WOW (Wonder of Wonders).


There is a function of YES that I didn’t include in “The three power words of the English language”.


That is the concept of THE FIRST YES.

THE FIRST YES is the agreeing to fully investigate something.

But saying “YES” begins things. Saying “YES” is how things grow. Saying “YES” leads to knowledge. ― Stephen Colbert

THE SECOND YES means I want that in my life.

This is how you fully investigate something (THE FIRST YES):


Young’s Literal Translation

Matthew 5:25-26  `Be agreeing with thy opponent quickly, while thou art in the way with him, that the opponent may not deliver thee to the judge, and the judge may deliver thee to the officer, and to prison thou mayest be cast, verily I say to thee, thou mayest not come forth thence till that thou mayest pay the last farthing.


Agreeing  εὐνόεω  (eunoeō) Greek – From a compound of εὖ and νοῦς; to be well minded, that is, reconcile: – agree.


εὖ (eu) Neuter of a primary word εὖς eus (good); (adverbially) well: – good, well (done).

νοῦς (nous) Probably from the base of γινώσκω; the intellect, that is, mind (divine or human; in thought, feeling, or will); by implication meaning: – mind, understanding.


γινώσκω (ginōskō) A prolonged form of a primary verb; to “know” (absolutely), in a great variety of applications and with many implications (as shown at left, with others not thus clearly expressed): – allow, be aware (of), feel, (have) known (-ledge), perceive, be resolved, can speak, be sure, understand.


Opponent  ἀντίδικος (antidikos) From ἀντί and δίκη; an opponent (in a lawsuit); specifically Satan (as the arch enemy): – ADVERSARY.

ἀντί (anti) A primary particle; opposite, that is, instead or because of (rarely in addition to): – for, in the room of. Often used in composition to denote contrast, requital, substitution, correspondence, etc.

δίκη (dikē) Probably from deiknuō (dike-noo’-o; to show (literally or figuratively); right (as self-evident), that is, justice (the principle, a decision, or its execution): – judgment, punish, vengeance.

This concept of having an ADVERSARY is not only about other people, but also includes attitudes, beliefs, and thoughts inside of us that cause us to take an adversarial position in our life.


involving or characterized by conflict or opposition.

“industry and government had an adversarial relationship”

opposed; hostile.

“the reviewer’s presumed adversarial relationship to his subject”


(of a trial or legal procedure) in which the parties in a dispute have the responsibility for finding and presenting evidence.

“equality between prosecution and defense is essential in an adversarial system of justice”


So, we get a position in our life characterized by conflict or opposition.


What did Jesus say we should do with this adversarial position? Be agreeing (reconcile or settle) with thy opponent (adversary) quickly. Now agreeing does not mean that you just roll over and say “I give up”. It is THE FIRST YES the agreeing to fully investigate something. The end of the process is coming to a settlement with the adversarial position in our life.

This is an acceptance and a willingness to coexist with the adversarial position in our life.




When something does not go as expected or planned; what do you see?


When asked about his search for a successful lightbulb filament: “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”   ― Thomas A. Edison

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”   ― Thomas A. Edison

“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”   ― Thomas A. Edison

“We often miss opportunity because it’s dressed in overalls and looks like work”   ― Thomas A. Edison

“Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.”   ― Thomas A. Edison

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.”   ― Thomas A. Edison

“Just because something doesn’t do what you planned it to do doesn’t mean it’s useless.”   ― Thomas A. Edison


Nobody ever fails at anything. It is just a perfectionist label the ego uses to hide the truth “I cannot fail.”


The ego loves to keep you in a state of confusion and disarray. It does its best work when it can get you out of the mental state of attention to awareness.


Everything you have ever done has been a success. If the answers the universe gives you do not meet your expectations or plans; that does not mean the answer is wrong. Your perception that the answer is wrong is the problem.


The universe always gives you feedback; if only you give attention to awareness you can hear or see it.


So I ask you again; FEEDBACK OR FAILURE?




Your life is not a series of If___Then___ conditional statements.


If I get a better job – Then I will be happy.

If I get a bigger house – Then I will be happy.

If I find the perfect mate – Then I will be complete.

If I get into good physical shape – Then I will be content with my body.


We expect to find the truth about ourselves; outside of ourselves.

We expect to find happiness; outside of ourselves.


You need to discover unconditional happiness. The state of “I AM ENOUGH!”


You do not need to meet conditions to be happy, complete, or content.


“If you are unable to find the truth right where you are, where else do you expect to find it?”  ― Dōgen

“No matter how bad a state of mind you may get into, if you keep strong and hold out, eventually the floating clouds must vanish and the withering wind must cease.”  ― Dōgen

“What you think in your own mind to be good, or what people of the world think is good, is not necessarily good.”  ― Dōgen

“Only those who have the great capacity of genuine trust can enter this realm [the realm of the buddhas]. Those who have no trust are unable to accept it, however much they hear it.”   ― Dōgen, Beyond Thinking: A Guide to Zen Meditation


Go to the link and read the whole article:

An excerpt from the website-
  1. It disrupts our sense of identity.
  2. It challenges our defenses.
  3. It causes us anxiety.
  4. It stirs up guilt.
  5. It forces us to face pain.


How to Pursue Your Own Happiness

It’s a strange twist that the very thing that we most want, or that will be best for us, is often what we are most resistant to. No one else can tell us what will make us happy or what’s most important to us. This is something we all have to determine for ourselves, and once we do, it’s our job to fight for it.


There are 5 good ways to pursue the happiness you desire:

  1. Don’t go it alone. Share your journey, and tell someone else your goals, so that you feel accountable.
  2. Recognize a pattern to your critical inner voices and self-destructive behavior. This will help you to recognize when your inner critic is triggered so you can act against its hurtful directives.
  3. Find active ways to differentiate from negative influences in your past. Try to choose the qualities you want to emulate and reject those you don’t.
  4. Don’t take the mentality of a victim. Nothing, not even your past, can control you if you’re an independent adult, making your own choices.
  5. Recognize that you’re powerful, capable, and that setbacks won’t unravel you.
-An excerpt from the website

Little Deaths of Self

Little Deaths of Self

The mystical and shamanic paths are sprinkled with what has been called ‘Little Deaths’.

We experience ‘Little Deaths’ each time we confront and move through a great learning experience.

These ‘Little Deaths’ are deliberate choices to get rid of negative (bad) parts of our self. The self or ego is not necessarily evil; it is the personal individual expression of consciousness “in the space where you are”. It is how you choose to develop the self or ego that makes all the difference; your intention.

Quote from Hamlet: There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. William Shakespeare

If you only think of yourself as separate and alone it can be very limiting in living your life.

If you think of yourself as connected to everything it can open you up to all possibilities.

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear. Nelson Mandela

THIS IS COURAGE – My journey to the North Pole and beyond | Jade Hameister | TEDxMelbourne:

Now that you have built up your courage; time to get to work:

Deny Self

Mat 16:24  Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, he must deny [or, disown] himself and take up his cross and be following Me.

Deny:  from Greek – to deny utterly, that is, disown, abstain

Student:   Sir, if one gave up the I (self), nothing whatsoever would remain.

Ramakrishna:   I am not asking you to give up all of the I. you should give up only the “unripe I.”  The “unripe I” makes one feel: “I am the doer. These are my wife and children. I am a teacher.”

Renounce this “unripe I” and keep the “ripe I” which will make you feel that you are God’s servant, His devotee, and that God is the doer and you are His instrument.   Sri Ramakrishna


Things that are done just for the I (self) need to give way to things done for WE.


Fear Not

Luke 12:32 Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.

Fear:  from Greek phobos fearing, fear, flight. This is the root of the English word phobia.

Judge Not

Matthew 7:1-2  `Judge not, that ye may not be judged,  for in what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged, and in what measure ye measure, it shall be measured to you.

Luke 6:37 “And stop judging, and by no means shall you* be judged. Stop condemning, and by no means shall you* be condemned. Be forgiving, and you* will be forgiven.

Judge:  from Greek – Properly to distinguish, that is, decide (mentally or judicially); by implication to try, condemn, punish: – avenge, conclude, condemn, damn, decree, determine, esteem, judge, go to (sue at the) law, ordain, call in question, sentence to, think.


Matthew 6:14-15 “For, if you* forgive the people their transgressions, your Father, the [One] in the heavens, will also forgive you,* but if you* do not forgive the people their transgressions, neither will your* Father forgive your* transgressions.

Forgive:  from Greek – to send forth, in various applications: – cry, forgive, forsake, lay aside, leave, let (alone, be, go, have), omit, put (send) away, remit, suffer, yield up.

Matthew 5:3 “Happy [or, Blessed] [are] the poor in spirit, because theirs is the kingdom of the heavens.

heavens –  Greek(through the idea of elevation); the sky; by extension heaven (as the abode of God); by implication happiness, power, eternity; specifically the Gospel (Christianity): – air, heaven ([-ly]), sky.

Luke 17:20-21  Now having been questioned by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God is coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; neither will they say, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ For listen! The kingdom of God is within [or, among] you*.”

The kingdom of the heavens or the kingdom of God is within [or, among] you*.

Your Father, the [One] in the heavens is within [or, among] you*. Your Father, the [One] is a presence that resides within you. This presence seeks to give you the inner desires of your heart. You were made as a creation machine; for good or bad, you choose.

Matthew 6:21  for where your* treasure is, there will your* heart [fig., inner desire] be also.


If the inner desire of your heart is:

Fearing; you will receive fear.
Judging; you will receive judgment.
Forgiving; you will receive forgiveness.

Peace is This Moment Without Judgment

Peace is This Moment Without Judgment

Do you think peace requires an end to war?
Or tigers eating only vegetables?
Does peace require an absence from
your boss, your spouse, yourself? …
Do you think peace will come some other place than here?
Some other time than Now?
In some other heart than yours?

Peace is this moment without judgment.
That is all. This moment in the Heart-space
where everything that is is welcome.
Peace is this moment without thinking
that it should be some other way,
that you should feel some other thing,
that your life should unfold according to your plans.

Peace is this moment without judgment,
this moment in the heart-space where
everything that is is welcome.

© Dorothy Hunt

All Roads That Lead To God Are Good


Nachiketa’s Mirror and Yama –  the Lord of Death

This story is a conversation between Nachiketa a young boy and Yama – the Lord of Death. The teacher is Yama – The Death Himself and the student is a young Nachiketa in his teens.

In ancient India, there was Vajasrawas, a famous person .He was performing a sacrifice named Viswajet Yajna. In this Yajna, the performer had to give away all his wealth. It was a unique occasion. The place was beautifully decorated. Many rishis attended and they were chanting the mantras while offering to the holy fire. Cows were designated as valuable and special possessions in those very ancient days, and hence Vajashrava decided to donate all his cows to Brahmins.

Nachiketa was in his teens, and he was observing the sacrificial ritual with innocent interest. He was surprised to notice that his father was giving away only old and disabled cows. Those cows, who had given their milk for a long time and who were not capable of bearing calves.

This ‘worldly cleverness’ of his father brought a lot of change in the heart of the young boy.

Nachiketa, in order to dissuade his father from giving old cows, asked,” O father, to whom have you decided to give me away?”.

The purpose of the boy was to stop his father to do such things.

At first his father did not take any notice of this ‘childish’ question, but Nachiketa was insistent. He repeated the question thrice when the irritated father said,” Nachiketa, I give you to the God Death.”

Vajasrawas did not mean what he said. He had uttered these words in anger. No father would like to send their son away to the land of death. Nachiketa decided to obey the words of his father by going to the abode of Yama. Vajasrawas asked his little son to stay back. Nachiketa loved was very firm. Folding his hands he told his father that their ancestors never went back on their words and he would like to follow the same. He wanted his father to follow the same tradition. Nachiketa knew that all the things in this world are temporary and he was not afraid of death. He understood that following the path of truth is the gateway to heaven.

Vajasrawas was very sad but gave him permission as a follower of truth. Nachiketa left for the abode of Yama.

On reaching there he found that Yama was not at home. For three days and night the young boy waited without food, water and sleep at the doorstep of Yama’s abode. Yama on his return, was deeply grieved to see that there was no welcome to Nachiketa. Yama himself greeted him with due respect. For having kept Nachiketa waiting for three days, Yama granted him three boons.

The first boon, Nachiketa said, “I seek the welfare of my father as my first boon.” Yama granted him happily.

The second boon, “Sir I desire to know how one could reach heaven where there is no sorrow, old age or death”. Nachiketa did not ask this second boon for himself but for the sake of the people. He wanted everyone to learn this secret knowledge and free themselves from the sufferings.

Yama was pleased with the unselfishness of Nachiketa. Yama gave all the details of a particular sacrifice, the performance of which would take one to heaven.

As Nachiketa was an intelligent and a sincere boy with a spiritual knowledge, he could understand all that was taught. Yama was pleased with him and in appreciation, named that particular sacrifice after Nachiketa himself.

The third boon … Nachiketa asked to learn the mystery of what comes after death.

Yama was reluctant on this question. He said that this had been a mystery even to the gods. He asked Nachiketa to ask for some other boon, and offered many material gains.

But Nachiketa argues that all worldly treasures and heavenly pleasures come to an end sooner or later. If not the day after, after a hundred years. These are not permanent means of enjoyment. He insists to get the ultimate knowledge of Self, ” O Lord of Death, you have promised me the third boon”.

Yama was pleased with such a young truth-seeker who had rejected the path of enjoyment and chose the path of goodness. Then Yama taught him the knowledge of the Atman, realizing which man attains immortality. Know the Self as lord of the chariot, The body as the chariot itself, The discriminating intellect as charioteer, And the mind as reins.

The senses, say the wise, are the horses; Selfish desires are the roads they travel. When the Self is confused with the body, Mind, and senses, they point out, he seems to enjoy pleasure and suffer sorrow.

The all-knowing Self was never born, nor will it die. Beyond cause and effect, This Self is eternal.

When the body dies, the Self does not die.

One must discriminate the Soul from the body, which is the seat of desire. After death, it is the Soul that remains; the Soul is immortal.

Brahman can be seen, as in a mirror

In a pure heart; in the world of the ancestors

As in a dream; in the gandharva world

As the reflections in trembling waters;

And clear as light in the realm of Brahma.

Thus having learned from Yama that the way to find Brahman was within himself as in a mirror, Nachiketa searched in his own self to discover the highest Universal Principle.

One cannot be told with words what the highest Universal Principle is; but must discover it within himself(herself).


Nachiketa has been one of the most influential characters in Hinduism. Indian monk swamy vivekananda said: “If I get ten or twelve boys with the faith of Nachiketa, I can turn the thoughts and pursuits of this country in a new channel.”

This forms the subject matter of one of the Upanishads called Katha Upanishad.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Impact of a drop of water in water, a common analogy for Brahman and the Ātman

In Hinduism, Brahman connotes the highest Universal Principle, the Ultimate Reality in the universe. In major schools of Hindu philosophy, it is the material, efficient, formal and final cause of all that exists. It is the pervasive, genderless, infinite, eternal truth and bliss which does not change, yet is the cause of all changes. Brahman as a metaphysical concept is the single binding unity behind diversity in all that exists in the universe.


Hebrew variation of Brahman

We start with the first two words in Genesis 1:1:

ראשׁית rê’shîyth ray-sheeth’ the first principal thing

אלהים ‘ĕlôhîym el-o-heem’ the Supreme One

Eloheem is a plural masculine noun used with singular masculine verbs. This is contrary to rules of Hebrew grammar, but done on purpose..

The plural is used to show majesty, honor, or fullness.

One not as a separate entity; but as Complete Collective Consciousness (BEING).

Gen 1:1-3 Created by the Elohim were the heavens and the earth. Yet the earth became a chaos and vacant, and darkness was on the surface of the submerged chaos. Yet the spirit of the Elohim is vibrating over the surface of the water. And saying is the Elohim, “Become light!” And it is becoming light.

Spirit  רוּח  rûach  roo’-akh  wind, breath, a region of the sky, mind

Light  אור ‘ôr ore illumination; to be or make luminous (be, give, or show light) enlightened, set on fire, shine.

Let enlightenment or illumination become; this is the first action of the Supreme One.

This is the same principal that Buddha called enlightenment or illumination.

I see now that all creatures have perfect enlightenment – but they do not know it.  Buddha


Jesus’ version of Nachiketa’s Mirror

Psalms 91:1  He who is dwelling In the secret place of the Most High, In the shade of the Mighty lodgeth habitually,

Matthew 6:6  “But when you* are praying, enter into your private room, and having shut your door, pray to your Father, the [One] in secret, and your Father, the [One] seeing in secret, will reward you in the open.

your private room

a dispensary or magazine, that is, a chamber on the ground floor or interior of an Oriental house (generally used for storage or privacy, a spot for retirement): – secret chamber, closet, storehouse.


concealed, that is, private: – hid (-den), inward [-ly], secret.

Luke 17:20-21  Now having been questioned by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God is coming, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; neither will they say, ‘Look here!’ or ‘Look there!’ For listen! [Strong imperative](what I am saying next is very important) The kingdom of God is within [or, among] you*.”


There are common threads through all religions.


All Roads That Lead To God Are Good

– Poem by Ella Wheeler Wilcox


All roads that lead to God are good.

What matters it, your faith, or mine?

Both centre at the goal divine

Of love’s eternal Brotherhood.


The kindly life in house or street –

The life of prayer and mystic rite –

The student’s search for truth and light –

These paths at one great Junction meet.


Before the oldest book was writ,

Full many a prehistoric soul

Arrived at this unchanging goal,

Through changeless Love, that leads to it.


What matters that one found his Christ

In rising sun, or burning fire?

In faith within him did not tire,

His longing for the Truth sufficed.


Before our modern hell was brought

To edify the modern world,

Full many a hate-filled soul was hurled

In lakes of fire by its own thought.


A thousand creeds have come and gone,

But what is that to you or me?

Creeds are but branches of a tree –

The root of love lives on and on.


Though branch by branch proved withered wood,

The root is warm with precious wine.

Then keep your faith, and leave me mine –

All roads that lead to God are good.


But; not all roads lead to God!

Say Something With Your Whole Being

Say Something With Your Whole Being

“When you say something like [I Love You]… with your whole being, not just with your mouth or your intellect, it can transform the world”. Thich Nhat Hanh

I have a cat named “Lil Kitty” who has taught me great lessons. I call her a high “needs” kitty; because when I sit down in the house, at the computer or on the toilet, she is right there to be petted and scratched.

This “need” is really her way of saying “I need you to say something like [I Love You]… with your whole being”. When I am present and give her attention she purrs and half closes her eyes in a state of bliss. When I am not present she will first rub up against me; if I continue to ignore her she will eventually stand up on her hind legs and slowly sink her front claws into my thigh.

Why is it so easy to say something like [I Love You]… with your whole being to an animal rather than a human being?

Well, human beings collect “alleged” offences from other humans and then view these same humans from the “gunnysack” of offences.

Animals don’t collect “alleged” offences from humans and then view these same humans from the “gunnysack” of offences.

A cat is very good at living in the present moment. If you don’t catch a cat at the exact moment of doing something you don’t want it to do; you cannot reprimand it. It will just look at you in an aloof fashion like saying “I would never do that”.

Our pets have an instinct that I call a “forget-ory”. Yell at your pet and they might cringe away for a short while; but they will be right back shortly.

Humans could use a “forget-ory”.

Our pets are world champions at being optimists. On their first approach to you when you get home they will expect only the good and best from you.

We should be more like our pets; find a human and say something like [I Love You]… with your whole being it will transform your world.