I have been wondering a lot about my own future and of those I love and have loved and lost.
I ask myself after studying Buddhism in a temple for many years and struggling with it, I must add, am I thinking thoughts or are they thinking me? We give so much power to the individual and we are suddenly God’s of our own mind. If indeed we are the God homunculus of our own minds, this article is food for thought. I have begun to wonder when I have had toxic employers how I could have coped better. I worked at Takashimaya for a few years and the serene environs did not always mirror the infrastructure within, nevertheless working with sensitive artist types is never going to be a piece of cake but perhaps a delicate case of the loony beautiful mind macaroons! Wonderful colors and intense emotions of a delicate navigation. I wrote before about my toxic boss and how painful it was to my health and in fact sensitive genius sorts are in fact requiring special amor. I ask myself many questions but most of all how different the notions of mind has developed from a historical perspective. Shaman’s felt that they could go out into the etherspheres and connect with conflicting forces that were eating at their patients. They made deals with the moguls whom bossed our brains around and managed to assuage the demons. We don’t believe in outside forces anymore so we are the big cheese. There are no demons hacking into our personal ecosystemic defense systems nor angels and Saints to protect us. It is all “every man for himself”
My personal attitudes have changed in my 52 years of life. Alas, without getting into it? The techniques of a higher power have saved countless lives from the horrors of addiction. We don’t know how or why. If we are suddenly the sole proprietors of our emotional brain stuff then it seems as though it is a very good idea to watch for invasions of toxic behaviors and to be gentle and forgiving most of all with ourselves and others. Yet, I have heard that being like an official bouncer is not so bad when it comes to employers whom bring their toxic emotions into our lives with gossip and swaying us to take sides or involve us in toxic choices especially when or if we are sick. I notice that when I am upset I gravitate towards fried toxic food! I seem to crave more of what mirrors my toxic mind. I am weak and I am wild. I am a child however of great faith in imagination. I believe that there are forces much too powerful and beyond me. I feel that many illnesses as they say are not only simply genetic but what does genetics truly mean on a psyche-spiritual scale? Tibetan Buddhists often cite the victory of a karmic illness afflicting ones body as genetic. Our Karma follows us? I find this so hard and inflexible. Frightful even! I hope that nature is much more forgiving and healing. Ressurecting as always from bad dreams, cuts and surges. Most of all from painful traumatic experiences. If only guardian angels truly tuck us in at night and ward off evil.
Yet, the idea that our genetic coding involves data which we are not privy to in our simple human shells, begs question as to whether there are contributing forces from another world? Hungry ghosts they are called in Buddhism which whisper in your ear or eat up your cells. During the most important Buddhist holiday, Ullambana we leave out special meals for the ghosts and we pay special care to give alms to those whom work in the spiritual world such as Priests, monks, Nuns, and those of the arts whom are channels for the untapped sources of inspiration and “Mono” In Japan we call it “controlling the Mono” or life forces of the living and the beyond and how they influence this world. Of course which are all purely personal choices. Genetics to me are not simply a hard, fast, fixed and unpliable dimension. So, I pray and beg the powers that be for their help. Just my bag. So before I can take credit for any great ideas which come to me? I must thank nature first. Anyway, some thoughts on wellness and avoiding toxic environs. I wish my invisible friend Giorgio was still here. When he found out that his cancer had metastasized? How harsh. I cannot judge him nor decipher what may have pained him, he did tell a close confidant that his heart and soul were broken, as if he had no feet to stand upon in this world. I don’t know why or what this meant. I know that cancer is never simple, but I do beg the God’s everyday to pull a magic trick out of his hat and stop this menacing killer. Malicious is how Giorgio saw it. Like scissors it cuts one up and makes mince meat with intrepid oxidative stress on ones cells. I beg the world to stop such stressful lives. To avoid stressful people. How can we in New York? I feel so helpless in helping. I get abscesses and infections when I am deeply stressed. I have realized that with acceptance, prayer, diet and a stress outlet and philosophical inquiry these infections are less and less . Our thoughts can be magical castles that build wondrous lives to serve others and like bodhisattvas and angels help others or we can blindly terrorize for money and power. How we aid to the harm of others is impossible to see? Yet when we loes a loved one due to the violence of ideas which self replicate like cancer. The toxic effects of the holocaust and to some degree the Japanese internment will be long term. I pray for peace and for beauty. I pray. I pray. In the meantime, lots of love and garlic during the winter. Love to all. The blackout was hard here in NYC but frankly I saw electricity must be a friend not a source of addiction and terror.
87% to 95% of the illnesses that plague us today are a direct result of our thought life. What we think about affects us physically and emotionally. It’s an epidemic of toxic emotions.
The average person has over 30,000 thoughts a day. Through an uncontrolled thought life, we create the conditions for illness; we make ourselves sick! Research shows that fear, all on its own, triggers more than 1,400 known physical and chemical responses and activates more than 30 different hormones. There are INTELLECTUAL and MEDICAL reasons to FORGIVE! Toxic waste generated by toxic thoughts causes the following illnesses: diabetes, cancer, asthma, skin problems and allergies to name just a few. Consciously control your thought life and start to detox your brain!
Medical research increasingly points to the fact that thinking and consciously controlling your thought life is one of the best ways, if not the best way of detoxing your brain. It allows you to get rid of those toxic thoughts and emotions that can consume and control your mind.
Change in your thinking is essential to detox the brain. Consciously controlling your thought life means not letting thoughts rampage through your mind. It means learning to engage interactively with every single thought that you have, and to analyse it before you decide either to accept or reject it.
How do you go about doing that? By “looking” at your mental processes. That may sound like a strange, if not impossible thing to do. After all, it’s not as if you can just crack open your skull like an egg and have a look at what is going on inside your brain.
It is possible, however, to look at your mental processes. In fact, it is not just possible, it is essential.
For example consider the following:
If you answered yes even to just one of these, your thought life needs detoxing right now.
A potential pitfall on the path towards detoxing your brain is the fact that toxic thoughts come in many guises. On the surface, a thought like “I must do well” seems positive enough. It is only when you look at it closely, and check out the feelings it generates and their effects on your body and mind, that you will be able to judge fairly and squarely if this is a thought that serves you well.
If you base your thought life on assumptions like the above the foundations will be shaky and the edifice (your body mind) that you create thereafter will be highly unstable. As you think more toxic thoughts and generate more toxic emotions, that edifice will show cracks, cave in and eventually collapse altogether as burgeoning illness and disease takes hold.
Right off, you need to ditch unrealistic thinking and keep in mind some key principles to kick-start the process of controlling toxic thoughts:
Thoughts create your moods
When you experience a fear-based emotion you will feel depressed and your thoughts will be characterised by negativity
A negative thought linked to emotional turmoil will be distorted
“…bringing all thoughts into captivity to Christ Jesus” (2 Corinthians 10:5) becomes the golden rule of safe thinking
There are four simple techniques involved:
Must be karma for me to see this! We live in twittering times where facebook takes the place for real faces. We are in such an over saturation cosmodrama. We can monitor others conversations which affect our own egos and suddenly our voices at times even against our own permission take on a life of their own. All the while all of the intimacy and courage of beauty is lost. I for one must confess I have not followed these extremely wise words enough. In atonement or “at- ONE- ment, i have edited the Crow article of my usual preface of anecdotes. The heart so often needs no words? Do we live in an even more cerebral era? Thank’s to Sloppy Buddhist! Have a Buddhaful Day!
from Lectures, published as part of Nature; Addresses and Lectures
Ralph Waldo Emerson
A Lecture read at the Masonic Temple, Boston,
The first thing we have to say respecting what are called new views here in New England, at the present time, is, that they are not new, but the very oldest of thoughts cast into the mould of these new times. The light is always identical in its composition, but it falls on a great variety of objects, and by so falling is first revealed to us, not in its own form, for it is formless, but in theirs; in like manner, thought only appears in the objects it classifies. What is popularly called Transcendentalism among us, is Idealism; Idealism as it appears in 1842. As thinkers, mankind have ever divided into two sects, Materialists and Idealists; the first class founding on experience, the second on consciousness; the first class beginning to think from the data of the senses, the second class perceive that the senses are not final, and say, the senses give us representations of things, but what are the things themselves, they cannot tell.
The materialist insists on facts, on history, on the force of circumstances, and the animal wants of man; the idealist on the power of Thought and of Will, on inspiration, on miracle, on individual culture. These two modes of thinking are both natural, but the idealist contends that his way of thinking is in higher nature. He concedes all that the other affirms, admits the impressions of sense, admits their coherency, their use and beauty, and then asks the materialist for his grounds of assurance that things are as his senses represent them. But I, he says, affirm facts not affected by the illusions of sense, facts which are of the same nature as the faculty which reports them, and not liable to doubt; facts which in their first appearance to us assume a native superiority to material facts, degrading these into a language by which the first are to be spoken; facts which it only needs a retirement from the senses to discern. Every materialist will be an idealist; but an idealist can never go backward to be a materialist.
The idealist, in speaking of events, sees them as spirits. He does not deny the sensuous fact: by no means; but he will not see that alone. He does not deny the presence of this table, this chair, and the walls of this room, but he looks at these things as the reverse side of the tapestry, as the other end, each being a sequel or completion of a spiritual fact which nearly concerns him. This manner of looking at things, transfers every object in nature from an independent and anomalous position without there, into the consciousness. Even the materialist Condillac, perhaps the most logical expounder of materialism, was constrained to say, “Though we should soar into the heavens, though we should sink into the abyss, we never go out of ourselves; it is always our own thought that we perceive.” What more could an idealist say?
The materialist, secure in the certainty of sensation, mocks at fine-spun theories, at star-gazers and dreamers, and believes that his life is solid, that he at least takes nothing for granted, but knows where he stands, and what he does. Yet how easy it is to show him, that he also is a phantom walking and working amid phantoms, and that he need only ask a question or two beyond his daily questions, to find his solid universe growing dim and impalpable before his sense. The sturdy capitalist, no matter how deep and square on blocks of Quincy granite he lays the foundations of his banking-house or Exchange, must set it, at last, not on a cube corresponding to the angles of his structure, but on a mass of unknown materials and solidity, red-hot or white-hot, perhaps at the core, which rounds off to an almost perfect sphericity, and lies floating in soft air, and goes spinning away, dragging bank and banker with it at a rate of thousands of miles the hour, he knows not whither, — a bit of bullet, now glimmering, now darkling through a small cubic space on the edge of an unimaginable pit of emptiness. And this wild balloon, in which his whole venture is embarked, is a just symbol of his whole state and faculty. One thing, at least, he says is certain, and does not give me the headache, that figures do not lie; the multiplication table has been hitherto found unimpeachable truth; and, moreover, if I put a gold eagle in my safe, I find it again to-morrow; — but for these thoughts, I know not whence they are. They change and pass away. But ask him why he believes that an uniform experience will continue uniform, or on what grounds he founds his faith in his figures, and he will perceive that his mental fabric is built up on just as strange and quaking foundations as his proud edifice of stone.
a girl who keeps slipping off,
arms limp as old carrots,
into the hypnotist’s trance,
into a spirit world
speaking with the gift of tongues.
She is stuck in the time machine,
suddenly two years old sucking her thumb,
as inward as a snail,
learning to talk again.
She’s on a voyage.
She is swimming further and further back,
up like a salmon,
struggling into her mother’s pocketbook.
Little doll child,
come here to Papa.
Sit on my knee.
I have kisses for the back of your neck.
A penny for your thoughts, Princess.
I will hunt them like an emerald
Courtney Brooke is a New England based photographer who grew up in a dreamy place where Transcendentalism met with Utopian wonder and wooded ritual. While she travels frequently, Courtney will forever call the rolling foggy New England hills her home. She pulls inspiration from photos taken in earlier dates and the rich history of the environment that surrounds her. Self-discovery and personal conviction came quite easy for Courtney as she spent much of her time alone as a child which has been the precursor to a vigilant creativity, sensory sensitivity and vibrant imagination that cannot be destroyed. Courtney identifies herself as an artist rather than a photographer; photography is simply her preferred medium. She is both a sleepwalker and daydreamer with a camera in hand. In love with the human form and experience, she collects a strange history on film. Seeing the beauty in everything, even flaws, comes as a natural gift to her. Her images solidify the feelings of romance and awe, with rich colors and haunting natural light. You can feel her inspiration when you see the heat of an orange summer sun on the horizon. One can see her love for the 1960s and 70s in her models’ clothing, haunting expressions and tantalizing colors. Her work reveals an overwhelming sense of nature and mystery.