Dogs – Really?

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Dogs – Really?


It’s the day after Thanksgiving and I just got to thinking this morning while meditating, that I wanted to give thanks to all of my teachers.  All the people that come to mind are ones that inspired and challenged me to be a better person. However the ones that did so on a spiritual realm with such ease weren’t people at all,  they were and still are my dogs.  Now I know you are thinking, Dogs – Really?

Have I lost my mind?  Yes I have, and that is the point.  To lose your mind and just be without all the mental noise that the mind tends to burden us with, and my dogs show me the way.  However, sometimes they just want a cookie.

I have lived with many Zen masters, all of them cats – Eckhart Tolle

After reading that quote from Eckhart it made me look at my dogs in a different way. If you truly study them you will come to see that time is an illusion to them, actually its an illusion to us humans as well.

I’m sure you love the fact that when you arrive at home your dog is always happy to see you.  No matter what – unconditionally.  They live in the moment.  They don’t know what time it is.  If you were to ask a dog – “Hey dog, what time is it? ”  The dog would look at you (assuming he understood what you said) “Time ? The time is now. Isn’t it always now?

All this time I thought that my dogs were only good for the following things:

  • Chewing up everything
  • Shitting in the house
  • Barking for no reason
  • Farts that clear a room (seriously)

And those are the good things……

I have a new found respect for my beasts.  They have taught me to be more in the moment by their example.  We share many aspects of life with our dogs – We both breathe, have a heart, lungs, legs, eyes, nose, ears etc…  We use those senses in the same ways, however we obviously interpret them differently.

Nature’s amazing creatures – Us and Them

Are you Focused?

thHave things become out of focus? Have we lost the focus we once had? Are we not seeing things clearly?  Do the many lenses that we perceive life thru need adjusting?  Am I asking too many questions at one time? 

The eyes are useless when the mind is blind

For me it’s an on-going process and learning experience as my lenses are in a constant state of flux.  Adjusting and re-adjusting as if I’m landing an airplane on the tarmac, making sure to land it smoothly with as little bumpiness as possible.

We all have seen, experienced, lived on this planet with different lenses to see thru. We may all see the same accident but all see it differently by using the lenses/filters of our upbringing.  After all we are only the product of our environment or at least we derive many of our social attributes and nuances from our surrounding.

Are you looking for what you don’t have instead of appreciating what you do have? Isn’t that a recipe for anxiety or any other myriad of ailments?

Before you start looking outwards, do yourself a favor and bring the journey inside.  If the inside gets settled the outside will follow suit.  I’ve learned to look in my own backyard as i’ve found things that I thought were only achievable outwardly.  As I keep the focus on the inside I hit many roadblocks but continue to persist and move forward.  The journey is filled with emotions and experiences that allow us to learn and grow from the path we choose to follow.

Enjoy the path…..remember It’s Only Stuff

Weekly Quote

Every man has in himself a continent of undiscovered character. Happy is he who acts as the Columbus to his own soul. – James Fitzjames Stephen, 1829-1894

Physical – Mental Transition

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Physical – Mental Transition


Finally I feel good enough to start hitting the gym again. For almost 5 months I have been rehabbing my knee and its been one of the toughest things i’ve had to deal with in many years.

Both mental and physical challenges have been my constant companions as I dealt with issues surrounding my knee/physical situation.

Life is messy and unpredictable. It has its way with you, no matter how hard you try to control it. The trick is to experience each moment with a clear mind and open heart. When you do that, the game-and life-will take care of itself. – Phil Jackson

Working out has a way of releasing all of the pent up shit that our mind thinks is important.  As we know its just our thoughts attempting to take us away to either future or past events.  Both illusory at best and both take us away from the only moment we really have……..Now.

This concept of only having Now was a transformational moment for me. When I delved deeper into the concept of Now, I realized, with extreme clarity, what that meant and its impact.  Once it took hold I felt I could never go back to my old way of thinking. It was a shift in consciousness.

So here is the thing about the Now.  If you really think about it – its the only thing we have. Have you ever experienced, done, thought, or felt anything outside the Now? Do you think you ever will?  Is it possible for anything to happen or be outside the Now?  The answer is obvious, is it not?

Nothing ever happened in the past; it happened in the Now.   Nothing will ever happen in the future; it will happen in the Now.

What we think of as the past is a memory trace, stored in the mind, of a former Now. When we remember the past, we reactivate a memory trace, be we do it in the Now.

The future is an imagined Now, a projection of the mind.  When the future comes, it comes as the Now.  When we think about the future, we do it Now.

Those are teachings that I’ve incorporated into my life from Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now”.  I recommend utilizing these concepts in your life to see if it makes a difference.  It has for me and I hope that it can for you as well.

Don’t forget to be in the present moment – The Now

Stillness Speaks – Chapter 1

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Silence & Stillness

When you lose touch with inner stillness, you lose touch with yourself.  When you lose touch with yourself, you lose yourself in the world. – Eckhart Tolle

In an earlier post I mentioned that I will examine each chapter and I encourage open discussions as I post some of Eckhart’s teachings.

I’m hopeful we will each learn something that we can use in our daily lives. Ok, back to the book.

I found it very powerful and deep on one level but then again simplicity at its best on many other levels.  Silence can and should be used whenever possible to allow us to break free from the daily noise.  We often think of silence as punishment due to some crazy notion that society burdened us with and our parents gleeful acceptance of nonsensical thinking didn’t help.

Go to your room and be quiet” we were told as kids.  That was then, however now it’s freeing to Go to my room and be quiet. 

Eckhart reverberates how essential stillness is in our lives.  Stillness is your essential nature he states.

The Inner space or awareness in which the words on this page are being perceived and become thoughts.  Without that awareness, there would be no perception, no thoughts, no world.  You are the awareness, disguised as a person.- Eckhart Tolle

  • External noise = Inner noise of thinking
  • External silence = Inner stillness

By listening to silence, stillness awakens inside.  Only through stillness one can be aware of silence.  At first It’s kind of a strange concept to grasp, however once you get it things fall into place.

True intelligence operates silently.  Stillness is where creativity and solutions to problems are found. – Eckhart Tolle

In my experience I have found this to be dead on.  Some of us need solitude and quiet space to process the issues and their possible solutions, hence we just experienced true intelligence operating silently at work.

In a brief summary this chapter delves into the importance of utilizing silence and stillness as tools to gather our thoughts.  Let stillness direct your words and actions.

I will continue with Chapter 2 in a future post.

Enter The Zone

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ENTER THE ZONE


If you have ever competed in any sport, then I’m certain you have entered the ZONE from time to time.

Such an elusive yet unbelievable place to find oneself.  Our only wish is to stay in the bliss forever, however as soon as we realize that we are in the Zone – then poof, it’s gone.  We are out and can’t get back in.

If your game is Basketball then it seems as though the basket is as large as a lake. Every shot seems to gracefully tickle the net on its way down.  If Soccer or Martial Arts is your thing the Zone makes everything slow down.  Every movement becomes poetry – you can see a few moves ahead and counter with ease and simplicity.  You make the activity seem extremely easy.

The greatest in their respective arenas are the ones that make it look easy.

The Michael Jordons , Kobe Bryants, Leo Messis make the game look so easy, that to me is true brilliance.

The real question is how to STAY in the ZONE.

I learned a technique called NLP.  Neuro-linguistic Programming.  Its a simple strategy that creates triggers that allow you to control your state.  Here is an example of how I used it to maintain the zone for longer periods.

  1. Once I felt the Zone, (If you have to ask what it feels like, then you have never been in the zone), I would create a physical trigger to that state.  Its best to exaggerate the state to a hightened intensity.
  2. I would snap my fingers and emphatically yell out “YES”.  I would do this many times while I was in that intense state.
  3. Once the Zone feeling disappeared, as it always does, I then would snap my fingers and give a yell of “YES”.  The trigger would be set off and it would allow me to enter the Zone easier.

BTW, this technique can be used for many aspects of life not just athletics.  Be creative and try to create your own positive triggers.  Be safe and enjoy the journey.


Some Days Stuff Ain’t So Easy

sad-boxer-dog-mike-taylorSome days stuff ain’t so easy…

On those days try and keep a positive attitude…..Regardless of anything that happens.

What to do when the day or week gets the best of us.

Here are a few things that I do that might help you.  Your experience might be different but experiment and have fun with it.  Remember It’s Only Stuff

  • Go play in Nature
  • Exercise
  • Stillness (spend some time just being still and paying attention to your surroundings)  This is one of my favorite gifts that I give to myself daily.
  • Keep an eye on your self talk (I will cover this in more detail in another post)

The bottom line is the old cliche “Even this will pass”  Not sure who said it but it seems to ring true.

As an old friend of mine from the tiny island of Dominica would say. Be Safe