The Struggle of being Strong

To remember on that day through pride and struggle

The turmoil of those lost in chaos and pain

See us as we labour to survive this challenge

This day to day living with the weight of atlas

Bearing on our shoulders and weighing on our soul

Like others we were broken then built anew

Hearing that which doesn’t kill us will make us stronger

Optimism of youth believing the challenge

Belittling those that fell by the way as we showed that we were better

The true carriers of esprit de corps

The mono colour of cloth has passed

And in different uniforms we stride

Carrying the bearing of hours of strain and moulding

The external mode in keeping with customs and traditions

Seeing others but perceiving the cracks in the façade

Knowing that which doesn’t kill you doesn’t make you stronger

And makes you broken in multitude of ways

Hidden from the surface until a true mate asks “are you OK”

The years of conditioning fade and the truth be told

Is given, “doing it hard, but I’ll be ok”

The pain of living with the defects makes the alternative a way to go

To cease the roar of confusion, of images long past

Seen as the happening of every day

The frustration and confusion of a mind reprogrammed

To see and do what should not be condoned

Lack of comprehension by those that we love

Wishing for you to move on and to love them as we should

Not knowing that we are broken and that love is far from where we are.

See them stand our siblings in arms

Bearing bright and tall but bearing the pain

Cracked and broken in degrees

Hiding it all

Which one will break and wish to end it all

While we band together and support their fall


Day to day we interact with people, places, spaces and feelings. All that becomes apparent to us due to chemicals in our body that interact with our brain to provide a subjective view of the world in which we exist. An existence that our mind tells us that is real without any empirical proof that what our mind says to us is as it is.

Our consciousness observes this parade of images as it plays out as the soap opera of our life. Our relationships, our inspirations, our pain and our joy as they filter through the lens of our perceptions.

To have that lens clear of stain, to know our mind and our perception as things truthfully are rather than we perceive them to be is a joy to aspire.


Day by day we are exposed to messages from modern mass media that implies, directs and judges us on what we should or should not value. What we wear, what we have, what we drink, consume and do for entertainment is, if we are to believe the doyens of judgement, the values by which we can take our place on this earth.

This smoke screen of ludicrous social white noise distracts us from the values that underlie the way in which we walk upon this earth and this current existence. My value of a person is based on which phone I use? How does this stand up to the value of a child in Ghana that is sold into slavery for the total value of $400. Or a girl in Nepal is taken into prostitution to pay off a relatives debt. How does this relate to the social value of a mobile phone?

Our values reflect whether we walk heavily or softly on this earth and this existence. The accumulation of values that we carry and that influence our behaviour are not hard wired or carved into our psyche but are fluttering in front of the lens of our perception like butterflies or transient dust that we can cleanse at any time once we realise that what we are, in fact, seeing/perceiving is not truth but our version of truth.

The premise of our existence is that we are all in this fish bowl of breathable air together. The breath that I take as I write this has passed through the lungs of many sentient beings before me just as my DNA has been passed down to me from my ancestors long buried and forgotten. Also, we have this one earth that sustains this biological transportation vessel for this consciousness/soul that we all share and that if we walk heavily on this earth then the consequences reverberate in ways that we can not conceive.

Our values in order to promote a life worth living should be, I believe, premised on giving thanks for our ancestors, this land on which we tread, those that are the traditional carers of this earth and the realisation that our breath and blood are common to all.

a prayer

I bow to the one who signs the cross.
I bow to the one who sits with the Buddha.
I bow to the one who wails at the wall.
I bow to the OM flowing in the Ganges.
I bow to the one who faces Mecca, whose forehead touches holy ground.
I bow to dervishes whirling in mystical wind.
I bow to the north, to the south, to the east, to the west.
I bow to the God within each heart.
I bow to epiphany, to God’s face revealed.
I bow. I bow. I bow.

– Sr. Mary Lou Kownacki

My Guide


Sitting in contemplation

Incense smoke rising

My eyes closed

Thoughts of things that matter

That had no meaning

Come to mind – clarity

The hawk drifting

In circles in front

Eyes touching

The past gone

The present now

The hawk and I are one

Through its eyes I see

The wings feel as part

When the mind is troubled the breeze is broken

When the I is calm the wind is smooth

When the me is as one the smoke drifts in a steady line

Keeping my guide with me brings me to now


Being Friends with the Person you spend the most time with – YOU.

Today I wish for all of us to make friends with our own set of aggregates.

In a visualisation of yourself, wish to you that you are well, that you are happy, that you are free from suffering and that you live at ease. Then give yourself a hug.

Being nice to yourself is a step in the right direction towards all that is good.

A’ha, its not all about me!

All about me

As we progress on our spiritual practice we have quite a few a’ha moments. These include the many and varied realisations about: our practice, our friends, our job, the nature of existence and the futility of our existential angst.

After we experience one of these moments of realisations it is common to have that self talk and self congratulation of “I have realised …”. However,,,,, the true realisations are those that are able to be experienced without the filter of perception as we see the true nature of the phenomenon that we are contemplating.

For this reason a true realisation is the furthest thing from “I” or “me” as you can get because you have managed to eliminate all of “you” in the understanding of that phenomenon. Therefore, it is not a matter of “I have realised …” or “now I understand” as that has immediately welcomed the ego dog into the process.

The true realisation is a matter of “so THAT is the nature of that phenomenon!!”. To speak of that understanding is to bring the perception and filter of language. To speak of that realisation in specifics is to bring the ego back and to drive away the realisation.

To hear, to know, to realise.

Words contain t…

Words contain the essence of thoughts as a result of a realisation of truth. Therefore, it is important to be aware that our own reality is but an interpretation of truth.

Just as the shadow is not the object and the angle of the light influences our interpretation so does our own bias influence our interpretation and view of truth.

Take a moment

In the vein of practice makes perfect.  And we do aspire to being perfect or to being the best us that we can, don’t we?

Every 30 minutes or so stop, breathe and do one of the following:

  • Think of another and with compassion wish for them to be happy and free from suffering (anybody – not just your friends), or
  • Pick one element of your life and with a true heart give thanks for that blessing, or
  • Look at something and, without judgement, truly see it, coffee cup, or anything else in front of you, or
  • If applicable take the time to say those mantra’s, rosary, or other pledge/aspirational statement, or
  • Just breathe, in and out, and feel the breathe and let thoughts, feelings or emotions wash over you.

Take a deep breath and with clear vision of what you will achieve – get back to work! 😀


As the day dawns and the external light brightens the day

Our mind drawn to actions planned and paid

Leaving our spirit to lay in submission to ego

Growing weary as the sun traces its path across the sky

The ego falters and fades as the light

The spirit glows and beams as it pleads

To give the chance to occupy and grow

Take advantage of the weary ego

To practice and perfect the way of compassion

With the basis of wisdom of an intelligent mind

Free from the basis of self and the deception of I

To soar and occupy the realms of all that is, was and will be.

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