Archive for Discernment



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LIKE A TREE 5-29-2014

I stay aware of the moment and be like the tree is “being.”

The tree and I are both beings in this amazing circus of life.

The tree I see outside my window has nothing to do except be—nothing to prove, no judgments to make and in the breeze its leaves tremble.

The tree gets shot at and it never gets excited,

Birds build their nest in the tree and it never complains that the birds are noisy, dirty and they crap on it;

In the park dogs raise their hind leg and pee on it.

The tree never complains and always just retains its beingingness and observes the circus of life.

When I go on my walk my mind is still like a tree.

I observe a squadron of pelicans fly by and I realize they are part of the circus, and I’m in the circus with them.

I see cars roll by with the windows down and music blaring and people bebopping to the music and I feel one with them—we are all part of the exciting marvelous circus.

When I’m chopped down I’ll quietly go unperturbed like the tree as my “beingness” expands into the infinite Circus.

This is my final post. Many thanks to the few who have viewed and commented on my posts.



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Fighting For His Life

IHOP waiter, first day on the job
Taking orders while fighting for his life.

With trembling hands he writes,
And smiles while fighting for his life.

Left forearm displays gang tattoo
He’s now fighting for his life.

Jail tattoo on right forearm betrayed efforts
For redemption while fighting for his life.

Mixed up orders at adjacent table brought
Complaints as he was fighting for his life.

Manager called and warned him
He was fighting for his life.

Amidst the strife he flashed a smile
And continues fighting for his life.

Adjacent table shouted “Hey! Where’s our toast?”
Our tattooed waiter continues fighting for his life.

He whispers “Excuse me I’ll be right back.”
And nervously continues fighting for his life.

“Hey! we need more jam here!” neighbor table
Shouts and waiter continues fighting for his life.

Jam delivered. Waiter returns and with trembling
Fingers writes our order while fighting for his life.

Adjacent table said “This place sucks.”
And stiffed the waiter fighting for his life.

Order delivered with smile and stuttering hands
He continues fighting for child and wife.



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Last night I went into a deep pondering state, the soft twilight glow just before wakefulness slowly slips into deep sleep.

I was in a state of flow, my mind wandering aimlessly about like a neighborhood cat that wanders the neighborhood sniffing this and that until something particular in the environment, like the sight of a lizard perfectly still on the garden wall, will arrest the cats awareness and dramatically transfix the cat so that all else except the lizard recedes into a gray fog.

While my mind was still wandering aimlessly, for no particular reason I thought about the times that I jogged or ran over the years and concern would arise over whether I could make it to the finish line.

But as I approach the ultimate finish line there is no doubt that I will cross the bright finish line that is fast approaching. My bag of bones will surely get there, but what then?

But before the beguiling question, “What then?” (What happens after death?) could be answered the question “what now?” arose bright as the sun and transfixed my mind so that all else except the question “what now” receded into the cloudy background.

My mind perceived that in every age and almost in every culture sages observed that as long as we breathe we must avoid making a contribution to the chaos extant in the universe. Put another way, a more positive way, we should continually strive to contribute to the wellbeing of the universe.

While still in a state of flow and with the question “what now?” bright as the sun before me, and all else having receded into the shadowy background, my mind began to reflect on how I would choose to spend my scant remaining days on our planet. The question “What now? What now?” repeated itself over and over again like a sword smith’s hammer striking the steel blade into submission. What conclusions could I reasonably reach?

When the fires of passion have been tamped down and our tank is empty and we are running on fumes it’s relatively easy to avoid contributing to the chaos of the universe. We simply have no energy left to keep stirring the pot.

“What now?” as I fast approach the finish line clarifies into the positive question, “What must   I do to discharge my duty to contribute to the wellbeing of the universe?

Certainly nothing as trivial as scoring on a huge investment, or ferretting out the latest cuisine to satisfy my fading palate, or travel to exotic places. What now then?

To me the inescapable conclusion is that I simply must be. Be authentic, be loving, be aware of others and be compassionate towards them.

To the extent we just “be, we contribute to the wellbeing of the universe. “Being,” requires no great expense of energy, we can “be” while running on fumes.

Some will argue that greed is the driving force of the universe and one must do all that can be done to accumulate wealth and power. They argue that it’s the law of the universe as demonstrated by black holes gobbling up neighboring stars.

While this argument has solid acceptance with the extremely wealthy intent on accumulating more wealth even at the cost of surrendering their humanity to the forces of greed and corruption this argument did not appeal to my mind.

While my mind was in its state of flow it became clear to me that the better argument is that it’s better to be like the golden sun then a black hole.

The golden sun, merely by being, warms our bodies and brings us pleasure and happiness and helps trees grow on the mountain’s bosom. Being like the golden sun contributes to the wellbeing of the universe and has the added benefit of bringing us joy as well. 



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From sunrise to sun set—
Dancing in our brains with strife
Insistent kaleidoscopic traits
More or less determine fate.
These kaleidoscopic traits—an ensemble
Of atoms and molecules that rumble.
Endorphins and neurotransmitters flashing,
A fever of heavenly delight dazzling.
Atoms and molecules that we share
Always leaves us wanting more.
They weave a dance that never ends
Until the day that we transcend.
Dancers—a shank of hair, a bag of bones
Have danced in my head and set the tone.
The same dancers dance in your head
All are made for the same bread.
My traits were given to me I suppose
Like the color of eyes and shape of nose
Except unpredictably they shift daily
And can easily make sane men crazy.
Addicted to coffee, booze and, smokes,
Sex, power and pills and pure white coke.
Dancers never say no and never enough
Dancers can make life terribly rough.
I have a pleasant disposition, more or less,
And you have a pleasant disposition, more or less.
I’m mean and nasty, more or less
And you’re mean and nasty, more or less.
The constellation of traits: irritation, displeasure
Disgust, shame, indifference, bad temper
Hangs like a soot cloud over my white linen suit.
Disquieting me and urging me to shoot.
Primordial energy: Einstein’s beguiling
God-atom, hiding, laughing and clapping
Zapping, firing, and misfiring on high.
The singular event dazzling distant eyes
With dulcet voice The Infinite speaks
To tiny dancers in the head:
You! With Your greed, your lust, your rage,
Your killing fields,
You! So full of compassion and love,
You, listener of Beethoven,
I fashioned you to dance, stumble and
Rise again and dance towards the light.


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Stars and planets

And me)

Is a sea of


Which I’ll

Fall into

When I die


A snowflake

Returning home


Note: Aliska Webb was an ebook publishing pioneer. In 1999 her startup company,, published one of the very first e-books, a collection of short stories and essays about parenting.

I contributed this essay; I believe it is as relevant today as it was then.

(With helpful commentaries)

The goal of bad parenting is an unhappy emotionally disturbed child. It would not be unreasonable to hope that assiduous training would produce a wildly sociopathic child.

Discipline and training will give you the skills you need to practice the art of bad parenting.

When your son first wakes up in the morning, when he gets dressed and asks where his clothes are, when he brushes his teeth, when he eats breakfast and when he prepares to leave the house for school all furnish you with good opportunities to practice your bad parenting skills.

Give yourself a good bad parenting morning workout by taking advantage of these inexhaustible opportunities.

The evenings present their own limitless opportunities to practice bad parenting. Some of you might think that two workouts per day are excessive.

But bear in mind that you will be spending time with your children anyhow, and it takes no more time and effort to be a bad parent than it does to be a good parent.

RULE 1. Ignore your children:

Comments: Start when the child is still an infant. The best way to ignore an infant is to close the door.

If you can still hear your child cry, buy some earplugs.

With practice you will be able to read a tabloid without earplugs even when your child is screaming for attention while lying at your feet.

Do not succumb to the human instinct to pick up and cuddle and sooth your child.

Keep your eye on what’s important—becoming the world’s worst parent.

It’s only hard to resist at the early stages.

You’ll know that you are well on your way to becoming a bad parent when the urge to cuddle and sooth is gradually replaced by an urge to smack the child.

As your child gets older, practice using the mantra “Umm” to help focus your inattention.

Your daughter is telling you about the gold star she got at school, “Umm” her as you continue on with what ever you were doing.

Do not smile, do not make eye contact.

Do not even look sideways in the general direction of your child because she might perversely interpret your sideways glance as a spark of interest.

Showing interest in your child makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, to become a bad parent.

When the child becomes a constant screamer, or withdraws, or becomes overly cranky or aggressive, you’ll know that you’re advancing towards bad parenthood.

RULE 2. Criticize your children:

Comments: Criticizing is easy, and opportunities abound.

It is impossible to overstate the importance of criticism in helping you become a bad parent.

Tell the child as soon as it wakes up in the morning that it has bad breath.

Be dramatic!

Say, “Whoee! Your breath stinks!”

Tell them the bedroom is a mess, worse then a pigsty.

After the child is dressed and groomed, find fault with the dress and grooming.

If the child looks perfect, tell her she took too long to get ready and now her breakfast is cold.

A really good bad parent can criticize non-stop from the time the child first opens its eyes in the morning until the child disappears down the street headed for school.

With time you’ll notice more and more things to criticize.

The child can be too skinny, too porky, too dumb, or too bright for its own good, and posture is bad.

The child can be irresponsible, not grown up or too grown up; it can be lazy or too hyper (what are you, on dope?).

If your son lacks your sense of humor tell him he’s dull.

If your daughter was not blessed with your good looks be sure to criticize her looks, large nose, small eyes, stringy hair and so on.

The list is endless, and that is what makes it so easy to criticize.

If you take advantage of all the golden opportunities to criticize you will move easily and quickly along the road of bad parenting.

Although it is easy to criticize, an urge to show exuberant satisfaction with some outstanding quality or accomplishment might occasionally pop up, especially at the early stages.


You can undo weeks of bad parent exercises with just one well-deserved praise.

Look for signs of lowered self-esteem—a slouch, slovenly appearance, lethargy—to let you know that you’re on the right track.

RULE 3. Do not discuss; dictate to your children:

Comments: Bad parenting requires that you dictate to your children.

No matter how many times your children try to engage you in a conversation, avoid discussing anything with them.

Don’t engage them in meaningful conversation or explore the meandering path of authentic enquiry with them.

If you son asks “Why is the sky blue, mama?” head him off at the pass by responding with a voice dripping with condescension: “The sky isn’t blue” (make sure “dummy” is implied in the tone of voice) “everyone knows that it only looks that way.

Now, leave me alone, can’t you see I’m busy?”

Dedicated bad parents get exceptionally good at this.

By the time their child reaches puberty a glaring stare is enough to convey the message.

You can tell your efforts to become a bad parent are paying off when your child no longer can express himself.

When you try to engage your son in a conversation his face will harden with a smirk and he stares you down without uttering a sound, except possibly an expletive like “shit,”or, if you have trained exceptionally hard he might mouth the words “fuck you.”

To arrive at the point where the child audibly pronounces the words requires the highest level of bad parent training.

If you are willing to put in the effort, some day you will hear the words that will let you know you are approaching the highest level of bad parenting.

RULE 4. Vent your anger on your children:

Comments: After you become proficient at criticizing your children (See Rule Number Two) and you want to advance to a higher level of bad parenting, try coupling your criticism with bursts of venomous anger and observe how the anger greatly magnifies a little criticism.

Timing is important.

Practice until your criticism is mindlessly accompanied by a wild burst of anger every time.

Once you have your anger trained so it comes out automatically without your having to think, it is easy to ratchet up your bad parenting to the level of violence.

The combination of criticism, anger, and violence is a powerful vehicle that can propel you at jet-like speed along the path of bad parenting.

When a son comes home late from school rage and shout and slap him around.

If he wets the bed, yank him out of his sound sleep and shove him towards the toilet while shouting at the top of your lungs how stupid and baby-like his bed-wetting is.

Pull down his pajamas and give him a frenzied spanking.

A world class bad parent will also smack the son’s offending organ.

However, unless you intend to become a professional world class bad parent this extreme training is unnecessary.

Signs which let you know that you are making great progress are your son’s aggressive behavior towards his siblings and friends, torturing insects, birds and pets, sullen withdrawal of the child into his own world, always avoiding you, and your son’s friends unwilling to enter your home.

Less obvious signs are loss of appetite, undue meekness, lack of concentration and plummeting school grades.

RULE 5. Do not be moderate in confrontations with your children.

Comments: When done consistently and with ever increasing energy, overreaction during confrontations with your children is one of the surest ways to remain on the path of bad parenting.

The nice thing about overreaction is that it is so easy to do and yet produces such spectacular results.

When your daughter spills a glass of milk react as if you were witnessing a devastating train wreck caused by her.

Shout, scream, rant and rave.

Throwing something at your daughter will create a memorable event for her and greatly improve your bad parenting skills.

A subtle ancillary benefit is that overreaction places all of the child’s conduct from not washing her hands to killing the cat in the same category.

The child’s nervous system is constantly on a high state of alert and the child fails to develop any insights or understanding.

Your child’s escalating nervousness will let you know that you are moving along the path of bad parenting.

ONE SMALL CAVEAT: Everything has its limits—even immoderation.

While extreme physical abuse of your child resulting in its death might seem to qualify you for being the world’s worst parent, it in fact disqualifies you from ever becoming the worst parent.

It is self-defeating.

Do not attempt it.

If the child dies, you are no longer a parent in relation to that child and are disqualified from claiming to be a bad parent insofar as the deceased child is concerned.

RULE 6. Set bad examples for your children:

Comments: You can start being a bad parent even before the child is born.

As soon as you become pregnant, start smoking, use alcohol on a daily basis, and use whatever drugs you can get your hands on.

When you child is born, you will already be far down the road of bad parenting.

Your child will be underweight, irritable, impaired in most of its functions, and depending on the amount and duration of drug use, your child will be a drug addict at birth.

As soon as your child becomes aware of what’s going on around the house, bicker with your spouse in the child’s presence.

Almost all husbands and wives know how to bicker, so that part is easy.

Just be sure you do it in front of the children.

Bickering outside the presence of the children does very little to promote bad parenting. Your son or daughter becoming more and more whiney is a clear sign that your bickering in front of the child is working.

Racism, prejudice, ethnocentricity, and intolerance are powerful tools to improve bad parenting skills.

By being parents you are in a unique position to influence how your child develops.

Your child’s brain is constantly creating neural pathways and altering old ones in response to what the child hears, feels, sees and even to what it thinks.

Flood the child’s brain with degrading remarks about ethnic, religious, and social groups, and regions and countries.

You will know that you have acquired this powerful tool for bad parenting when you hear your child start using terms like “honky,” “nigger,” “kyke,” “beaner,” “faggot” “Jap,” “gook” and “keto.”
Determined bad parents, won’t overlook the opportunity to destroy their child’s ability to see a spider’s wondrous complexity, a snake’s lustrous beauty, a rodent’s resourcefulness and the love dogs, cats, horses, and other animals have for humans.

It is easy.

Simply scream and holler your head off each time you see a little critter.

If your child is observing a critter from a safe distance, yank him away as you holler “stay away from there” and tell him how much the tiny critters disgust you.

You will know that you have made progress in this area when you notice that your son responds to little critters by shutting his brain down with unreasoning fear and loathing.

CAVEAT: Do not expose your child to love, compassion, uplifting music, and authenticity.

It has been demonstrated in exhaustive studies that doing so can nullify bad parenting efforts far more than anything else can.

RULE 7. Be dishonest with your children:

Comments: If you cannot give up authenticity, you can never train enough to become a bad parent.

It is almost impossible for authenticity and bad parenting to coexist in the same household.

It is easy to become dishonest if you do it in small steps.

For example lie to your son about why you were late picking him up from school, (He doesn’t even know the game of bridge).

Lie to your daughter about trivial things so you can move up to more important things like lying about how the car got smashed.

Get your daughter involved by asking her to go along with the story.

If she is disinclined, let her know that you need her to lie so you can keep the insurance down.

Brag to your son about how much extra change you got and involve him by giving him the change to buy some candy.

Let your children know how clever you were when you bought your Nordstrom dress with the intention of returning it after you wore it to the party.

In hardly no time at all you will have etched dishonesty into your child’s brain until he or she can lie, cheat and steal smoothly and easily.

This is a sure sign that your are making splendid progress.

Keep up the good work.

RULE 8. Set unreasonable rules and enforce them:

Comments: This rule is the foundation of the most strenuous of all bad parenting workouts.

Setting unreasonable rules for your children may seem like a good effort at bad parenting but it has no lasting real effect unless you enforce them.

Enforcement of this rule leads to mentally and physically demanding effort on your part.

Prepare yourself for an onslaught of besieging confrontations, which never seem to end.

You’ll feel like the last remaining soldier of Custer’s last stand at Little Bighorn.

Each household has a different set of dynamics. You need to experiment to discover which one’s work best in your home.

In some homes, a rule requiring all children to remain in their rooms after sunset might be accepted by a child who is a loner, and loves to read, especially if you have been working on bad parenting by bickering with your spouse incessantly.

In other homes where the children are gregarious and outgoing you might encounter flaming, screaming opposition accompanied by violence, or at least the threat of violence.

So keep experimenting.

However don’t be satisfied with merely establishing an unreasonable rule.

Keep changing the rule. This leads to much turmoil. When your home is in turmoil you’ll know that your bad parenting exercises are working for you.

A variation of the “changing the rule exercise” is the “enforcement/relaxation technique.”

If the rule is “no watching television on school nights” relax the rule during the week.

Then when your daughter is enthralled by her favorite program on Friday night, turn off the set and remind her that it’s a school night.

She’ll of course rant and rave and tell you (actually she’ll holler at you) that tomorrow is Saturday and there is no school.

Holler back, “I don’t care, this is a school night and rules are rules.”

This exercise is guaranteed to greatly improve your bad parenting skills. A nice advantage of this technique is that it can be used with the computer just as effectively as with the television.

RULE 9. Do not respect your children:

Comments: Respect for children is inconsistent with bad parenting.

A lot of parents working on bad parenting skills fall into the trap of respecting their children.

This reduces the efficacy of bad parent training.

One easy way to disrespect your children is to eliminate “please,” “thank you,” and “excuse me” from your vocabulary insofar as your children are concerned.

Avoid saying “Would you please pass the salt.”

Say “gimme the salt.”

And of course never say “thanks” unless it’s appropriate to add “for nothing,” like “thanks for nothing, dummy”

If you accidentally bump into one of your children never ever say “excuse me.”

Saying, “excuse me” will increase their self-respect but decrease your bad parenting skills.

Ignore your daughter while she pours her heart out to you.

When a new book your son has just read excites him and he is trying to tell you how good it is, cut him off.

A good bad parenting technique for cutting off a child is to say, “I can’t understand a word your saying.”

You’re slurring your words and what your saying doesn’t make any sense.”

Faithfully following this rule of bad parenting is sure to deepen and widen the chasm that your bad parenting has opened between you and your children.

You’ll know your efforts under this rule are producing results when you notice hurt expressions on your children’s faces, a defeated slouch in their postures, and listless leaden steps.

RULE 10. Do not trust your children:

Comments: Nothing does more to improve relations between a parent and child and nothing is more inimical to bad parenting then genuine trust.

So avoid it at all costs.

The distrust must be manifested.

If the distrust is not manifested the child might naively assume that you trust her.

When cross-examining your daughter about where she was and what she did the previous night be explicit.

Say right out, “I don’t trust you little lady, and I am going to check up on what you tell me. So you better tell me the truth.”

And be sure to check up on what she tells you.

Call her friends and cross-examine them. Don’t worry about appearing to be like Captain Queeg; chances are your children are too young to have seen the Cain Mutiny.

Anyhow serious bad parenting devotees do not worry about what their children think.


Combining rules produce enormous synergistic effects provided it is done with a great deal of thought and skillful dedication.

Do not attempt the rule-combination technique until you have mastered the individual rules.

The following illustration should be enough to get you started on this advanced level of training.

Rule 6, setting a bad example, works superbly well with Rule 2, which deals with criticizing.

Set a bad example for your daughter with vulgar language.

When your daughter picks up this habit she will present you with a constant barrage of criticizable language.

If your daughter challenges you by pointing out that she is merely following your example, immediately practice Rule 5 and vent your anger while shouting, “Do as I say, not as I do.”

Rule combinations lead to the highest pinnacle of bad parenting.

The vista will reveal chaos swirling around your home and produce in your mind and heart the certainty that you have finally become the world’s worst parent.


Bad parenting is not for everyone.

If after you have given bad parenting a fair trial and you discover that bad parenting is not for you, you can take effective steps to unwind the bad parenting process.

It is easier to unwind the bad parenting process then you might think.

Just look at the rules above and do their opposite. It’s that simple.

Do not ignore your children, do not criticize them; discuss things with your children and explore with them the meandering path that leads to truth.

Do not vent your anger on your children.

Be moderate, do not overreact but act as a loving guide to your children and be a good example for them.

Be honest with your children.

Respect them; trust them.

The most effective rule you can apply to reverse the bad parenting process is, “love your children unconditionally and accept them warts and all.”

In spite of what you might think, your children really are human, and humans are never perfect.

Raging at your children, beating them, insulting them and cowering, them will not make them perfect.

But as Dante pointed out six hundred years ago, love spares no one who is loved from loving.

Love transforms us and the one we love.

So if you discover that bad parenting is not your cup of tea, loving your children might be a good option.

It’s worth a try.

Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.




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The Light 
Inwardly I found the Light which
Illuminates the calm tree
and the steadfast ground on which it stands.
Outwardly rules dogma and jingoistic ensigns,
badges and emblems and ethnocentric icons
have been absorbed by the Light.
My steps feel lighter now (although if you saw
me you would think them heavy) and I nestle in
The Light, the all encompassing Light and
Surrender to its sweet embrace.
—-neil bezaire
The Light
Through the prism eye of love all is beauty. From
Nothing am I estranged. I embrace my
Prickly neighbor who never smiles or
Looks my way. The prism eye of love
Looks through the porous clay
Of every face and marks
The radiance within.
—neil bezaire


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You know the day destroys the night; the night destroys the day; so break on through, break on through, break on through to the other side.

Jim Morrison (1943—1971)

          I know I’ll die, but I’m less certain about what lies beyond the divide. In the grave is there only blackness? Or is there Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, love, ecstasy and authenticity? When asked what happens to us after we die, the Zen monk replied: “I don’t know, I haven’t died yet.” But like munching on a cardboard cracker, yearning hearts find that response unfulfilling. We begin looking around, making deductions, learning, thinking, observing and arriving at conclusions. Beliefs in what lies on the other side range from nihilistic darkness to theistic brilliancy.

One’s view of consciousness shapes and colors beliefs about the afterlife.

Those who view consciousness as nothing more than a computer-like brain process are likely to view death as the black-screen of death. We are born, we copulate, we die and we are no more.

Those who view consciousness as personal to one’s “self”—the soul, are likely to believe in heaven and hell and a judgment day.

In The Phenomenon of Man, Teilhard de Chardin explored the nature of consciousness and concluded consciousness (primordial energy or God) supports everything. Those who view consciousness as the ground of everything are likely to believe that our bodies are a manifestation of consciousness—not separate and apart but part of the whole.

Platonists believed that biological death liberates consciousness from the body’s impediments and then everything is known, seen and understood with infinite clarity, an infinity of “aha moments.”

I think that almost all who believe in an afterlife recognize that to avoid the “black-screen of death” consciousness somehow needs to survive and break on through to the other side. Regarding this, David, posted this comment:  “As I was reading this [the blog on death] it occurred to me that death is like sending an email. The email never actually physically exists. It is only an idea in the form of electrical energy. When I send an email to you nothing actually physical goes from my computer to yours. Only the idea in the form of energy goes across the divide. Perhaps death is the same way. Our energy is sent like an email to an alternate universe outside of space and time. Does it reform as consciousness on the other side? We will have to wait and see.”

David’s comment provides a fascinating analogy for how consciousness-energy might make it through to the other side. It coincides with my belief that consciousness does indeed survive death. My belief on what will happen to my consciousness after death is not based on any ideology or dogmatism. It’s based on my looking around, making deductions, learning, and thinking, observing and arriving at conclusions that sound about right for me. Homo sapiens have been around for only about 40,000 years. I imagine that after we’ve been around for one billion years our consciousness will be so expanded that we will be aware of both sides of the divide.

Some of the commonly held beliefs about the afterlife are below, and afterwards I will add my own view.

Atheists naturally have no belief in an afterlife. Their advantage is they see no need pondering on an afterlife they don’t believe exists.

Agnostics have no belief about an afterlife either way. To an agnostic “There is no God” is as meaningless as the statement “God exists”—neither being susceptible to philosophical proof.

Organized religions have many different views of an afterlife life including one of God sitting on a throne attended by a squadron of angels with all the deceased blissfully basking in God’s brilliancy.

The humanistic view is based on the notion that since the beginning of time the vast majority of people, including the greatest and wisest of them, from vastly divergent cultures have all entertained some kind of belief in an afterlife. How could such a widespread instinct exist without the possibility of it being satisfied?

I imagine that when it’s my time to die the following scenario will play out.

I foresee no cure for death—at some point Soul will escape my bag of bones; it will take flight and speed into the light. Soul, which never really was “my” soul, will expand into an infinity beyond imagining. But before my soul takes flight I must go through the process of dying. The process can be as abrupt as a lightening strike or as prolonged as a lover’s absence. It can be as fearful as an assassin’s knife or as tranquil as a mother’s smile. My ideal death would be to lie down when the end is near and surrender to death’s sweet embrace. Regardless of how I die death will be welcome. If it’s painful then it will be a welcome release. If it’s the end of an illness without pain then I will cast off on a chorus of bon-voyages and with full awareness expand into the universe.

No time—no past—no future. I see from the beginning of time to the end of time. I see without fear, greed, lust and anger non-judgmentally. Unprismed eyes see the Light and I feel the ecstasy of a thousand roses offering themselves to me. I see universes forming and dying; my awareness expands into every universe and slips into every atom effortlessly. When I experience the rose with pure awareness, there is no separation of the rose from the universe. The observer, the rose, and the universe are one. I participate in the cosmic dance and I’m joyfully dancing, dancing, dancing. I partner with everything, including primordial consciousness. I view all the worlds, all the possibilities. In the eternal moment I see that in a billion years biological matter is incandescent with consciousness. The divide between life and death has been reduced to a filmy membrane which filters out matter as the soul passes on through to the other side. The universe is filled with the music of the spheres;

Before crossing over to the other side I wondered persistently about many things including the following: I wondered about Aldoux Huxley’s wondering about being born under one law, to another bound; vainly begot and yet forbidden vanity; created sick and commanded to be sound; he wondered “What meaneth Nature by these diverse laws, passion and reason, self-division’s cause?” I wondered why God was always “on our side” during wars, lynchings and massacres, ping-pong, football games and Monoply. Did God cast aside the other side? I wonder why there is so much violence—legal murders we call war, why galaxies gobble up their neighbors, why life feeds on life? Why ups AND downs. Why not just a steady improvement and movement towards perfection? I wondered if I would be reincarnated. I wondered why love can cause so much joy AND so much grief, pain and sorrow. I wondered why I wondered why; why couldn’t I just look away and let things be?

After crossing over to the other side I no longer wonder. With a glance I see with great clarity what lies behind the veil of wonderment. In a sidelong glance I’m aware of the past and future rolled up into the eternal now. Everything is known and seen and understood with infinite clarity—an infinity of “aha” moments—Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, love, ecstasy and authenticity. 

Awareness Exercise

Picture yourself on the planet Earth and visualize your atoms, particles, and underlying energy resonating and interacting with the energy of the Earth. Feel yourself at one with the Earth. Relax and just be aware without thinking or making judgments of any kind. Picture the Earth, a piece of dust floating in the black void, in the midst of billions of galaxies in black space. Let your awareness encompass the Earth, the solar system, the Milky Way, the universe, and finally, let your awareness be absorbed by the primordial energy. See it and feel it until it becomes as real for you as the rising sun

Picture yourself lying in the fetal position. Step outside your body and observe yourself lying there. Ask yourself, “What is me?”  Continue asking yourself, “What is me?” and get a feel for it so that you see, feel, and understand me.

          Imagine your left foot disappearing. Is your me diminished in any way? Next imagine your right foot disappearing. Is your me diminished? Imagine the rest of your body parts disappearing one by one. After each part disappears, ask yourself, “Is my me diminished?” Finally, when all your body parts have disappeared, including your head and brain, ask yourself, “Is my me diminished?”

Repeat the Awareness exercise, only this time imagine the disappearance, one by one, of your home, automobile, clothing, money, friends, relatives, job, the stars, sun and earth, and observe your me in the solitude of the cosmic sea. After each loss ask yourself, “Has my me been diminished?” Finally, when all your possessions and the universe have disappeared, ask yourself, “Is my me diminished?” See your me. Feel it. Can anything hurt it?

When all prisms drop I clearly see bright

Broad sails above the frothy foam and my arms

Open wide to embrace the undistorted light.





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Why depression, sorrow, death, loss and pain,
Black dogs of war slurping our children’s blood?
The question:  is it to our life germane?
If not so, why do at night bright stars flood?
Chaos: sovereign over seen and unseen.
Galaxies colliding, stars exploding,
Green, buzzing, swarming locusts strip fields clean,
The bacteria feeds on everything.
But empyrean crackles and flows through
Eternity’s infinite pinhole arc
To flower fields, to diamond morning dew,
To lovers entwining in Dulcet Park.
When the deeply buried seed awakens,
Earth will become as it is in heaven.


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We are born into pain; You probably don’t remember screaming when you poked your head into the world and got slapped for it; but you know that is the way it works from seeing it happen to others. Later in life we’ll stub our toe, (boy does that ever hurt), we might be rejected by our first love, (and that is way more painful than the pain of a stubbed toe). I imagine the worst pain would be the unimaginable pain resulting from Sophie’s Choice. Sophie while under the boot of her Nazi guard was given the choice of  keeping only one of her two children;  the child she chose, lived; the other child died. Healthy minds just naturally want to avoid pain. 

The healthy mind is drawn towards pleasure like honey bee is drawn towards a flower. We believe that pleasure will bring us happiness, and it usually does…for awhile. Scientific studies have shown that once we are satiated with anything the pleasure recedes like the outgoing tide and we are left with unpleasant feelings and we ask ourselves, “Is that all there is, why I am not happy?” And so we seek immoderately more—more luxurious houses, more sex, drugs, food, jewelry, adventure—anything to stimulate our senses in a pleasurable way.

But we ruefully discover multiple million dollar houses frustrate us because we can live in only one at a time; multiple sex partners exhaust us physically and emotionally; more drugs cause us to stumble over the edge into the abyss; more food bloats the body; more jewelry and we look like a Christmas tree; and more adventures in the outside world impoverishes our inner world. 

We seek pleasure because we believe that pleasure will bring us happiness. But when we explore our inner world we note that although self gratification might bring pleasure, it does not bring happiness by its side. 

 When I explore my inner world I discover which things bring me pleasure and which things bring me joy.

Self-gratification brings me pleasure.

Authenticity, awareness, acceptance, and compassion bring me joy.

I observe that—although I might incidentally amass wealth, build monuments or wield power—my destiny is to expand and deepen within myself authenticity, awareness, acceptance and compassion—in a word: goodness. 

Google has developed a culture of goodness.

Google has an ongoing program developed and presented by, an engineer, Chad-Meng Tan who, was hired by Google its infancy. After a few years of writing programs, Chade-Meng Tan was inspired to develop a program that would bring out the goodness in people. With the encouraging blessing of Google he developed a seminar that is given on an ongoing basis to roomfuls of Google engineers. The program has leaked out of the Google campus and has spread into the world wide businesses community.

The free seminar is avail on line at:

If you decide to watch the seminar I suggest you be sure to watch it clear through to the end because Chade-Meng Tan does a fantastic job of pulling it all together at the closing. 

Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.




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We Change the World by Changing Ourselves

To change the world, we must begin by changing ourselves.

Changing ourselves changes the world; to the extent we change ourselves the universe is changed, because we are part of it all.

The whole fabric of humanity is changed, to the extent we change ourselves.

The law of radiation and attraction states that vibrations we send out affects others; and the vibrations of others affect us.

It is impossible to ignore these vibrations.

Think of it this way: If you pee in the ocean, the entire ocean is changed—one moment it is an ocean without your pee in it, the next moment it is an ocean with your pee in it.

If you must share it with others, I don’t think it’s a good idea to test this theory in a swimming pool.

But “Why?” you might ask, would I want to change myself if I’m comfortable with the way I am. This is a fair question.

A fulfilling life involves the process of taking many small steps on the path towards perfection. 

Perfection is a static state in which nothing more needs to be done.

 Maybe after death we will reach a static state of perfection, but for as long as we breathe, the journey towards perfection will never end.

 Like the journey of a musician whose lifetime is spent studying, listening, and practicing to improve the music within, when we travel along the path towards perfection, our efforts will reward us with a life filled with Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, love, ecstasy and authenticity.

The process itself is fulfilling. 

Changing Our Self

When toxic emotions bring us unhappiness, we can well modulate them to bring us a satisfying measure of peace and happiness.

Millions of years of evolutionary forces have programmed us to self-program ourselves; now we have means to somewhat determine our measure of happiness. 

We are able to modify the programs that make us red in tooth and claw.

 We can become instruments of peace instead of war, love instead of hate, comfort instead of injury, hope instead of despair, and joy instead of sorrow.

Temperament might nudge us, but what we will be is mainly for us to say.

We can cheat or we can be honest; we can be cruel or we can be kind; we can be greedy or we can be generous—we have some say in these matters of morality.

 Our thoughts and actions significantly change us; each choice we make etches itself, atom by atom, into our brain.

Changing our Brain

Changing ourselves involves modifying behavior by changing the wiring of our brain.

At one time the scientific community widely believed we are stuck for life with the brain we were born with. 

However recent discoveries reveal that our thoughts and actions, atom by atom, etch new pathways, new neural connections, new filaments into our brains. 

Almost incredibly, we become what we think and do.  

It is now known that our brain is highly programmable; and the programming starts in the mother’s womb. 

The music the mother hears, the things she thinks about, her emotions, what she eats—all have an effect on her child’s brain. 

After our birth, our thoughts, observations, activities, and experiences, atom by atom etch their reality into our brain. 

Learning means forming new lines of communications, new filaments, which connects the various parts of our brain. 

I become what I think and what I do. 

Thinking stimulates my neurons and causes them to create new filaments and connecting points associated with the thought. 

Thinking also causes neurons to fire faster. 

The thought deepens and broadens the communication channel associated with it. 

The deepened and broadened channel makes it easier to respond in a certain pattern. 

If we constantly think about guns and physical violence, our brains develop a channel, atom by atom, for thinking in violent terms, and we are priming our body to respond in violent ways. 

In other words, we become more violent because we think about violence. 

We also become more trustful because we think about trust, more authentic because we think about authenticity, and more compassionate because we think about compassion. 

The environment can alter the way our brain controls our behavior. 

Nonviolent rats became uber vicious after they watched a rat in an adjoining cage rip the head off a mouse and eat it. 

By extrapolation, researchers have concluded that broadcasting stomach churning violence on television inclines us towards violence. 

A continuous diet of vicious propaganda induced Serbs, Croats, and Muslims to run amuck and massacre every man, woman and child that got in the way of their horrific ethnic cleansing. 

Overcoming Genetic Defects 

A genetic defect can result in a propensity for certain behavior. 

A predisposition for certain behavior arises when enough genetic defects so weaken the brain’s ability to process chemicals properly that a sufficiently stressful situation will cause the brain to misfire. 

Beginning as electrical storms in the emotional brain, uncontrollable outbursts of temper flood the brain and the rest of the body with harmful chemicals and hormones. 

The brain has more potential pathways than there are stars in the sky so insight, discipline, and medication can usually enable the brain to work around defective genes. 

Brain’s Moral Component 

At some magical point, a line of primates developed a brain that had fundamentally changed in quality. 

When humans appeared out of the mist of time, they could invent things, create pictures, music, poems; they could sing and dance, and they had a spiritual component that could preserve its integrity, even at the expense of the organism. 

The human brain is more than a hard-wired computer that serves to keep the organism alive. 

For example, sometimes at the cost of their own lives, unsung Germans in Nazi Germany helped Jews hide and escape. 

The human brain can explore the nature of moral values. 

Before acting, I can ask myself, “can I?” and, more importantly, “should I?” 

I can make choices, and assume responsibility for their consequences. 

I can explore the universe and trace the arc of my emergence from primordial energy and my return to it. (God has many names which people fight over, so I’ll use the somewhat scientific sounding name “primordial energy” and let others use whatever name they prefer. It’s all the same unnamable “I am who am.”). 

I can reflect on the nature of primordial energy. 

In short, the brain is headed down a spiritual path. 


Ancient wisdom tells us that when we come to a fork in the road, and one road leads to pleasure and the other to joy, the wise man will take the road that leads to joy; but no one can teach us what things bring us joy.

The things that bring us joy are nestled deep within us.

When we survey our inner realm, we discover for ourselves the toxic emotions that bring us pain and sorrow; and we also find the glorious things that refresh our souls with joy and delight—Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, love, ecstasy and authenticity.


Evolution produced genetic programs that enable us to reflect. 

When we reflect, an aspect of ourselves steps apart from us, looks within our mind and heart, and observes ourselves thinking, judging, and acting. 

No outside agency can compel us to reflect; it must be done freely or not at all. 

The ability to reflect is what enables us to modify our behavior. 

We are free to live a superficial existence of acting and reacting, making deals, making love, buying things, dancing, and in the end asking, “Is that all there is?” 

Or we can choose to reflect and discover that we are not doomed to remain red in tooth and claw forever. 

We can discover how to live a fulfilling life by honestly facing our fears, anger, judgments, ethnocentrism, hate, greed, lust, shame, guilt, anxiety, and all the rest. 

When we observe our inner life, we learn two critically important things: one, that toxic thoughts and emotions affect us badly; and two, that we can modulate our thoughts and emotions so they can serve us better. 

Desire to Change 

The first step on our journey to a more fulfilling life is a desire to change. 

This desire prompts us to turn toward love and compassion like a morning glory turns its face toward the golden sun. 

Contemplation of our vices and the suffering they bring us and our loved ones can be enough to create the desire to change. 

Once we have the desire to change, we will incline towards compassion and abandon cruelty, we will incline towards love and abandon hate, we will strive to be authentic instead of deceitful, and we will embrace peace and reject violence. 

Without the desire to change we are stuck. We cannot even step on the path that leads to happiness.         

Once desire puts us on the path, four qualities will propel us along the path towards happiness. 


The first is authenticity; it sets us free—free from lies, deceits, fears and anxieties. 

It gives us peace of mind and improves our relationship with others. 

Thinking about authenticity and being authentic develops neuron connections to support an authentic state of mind, which then makes it easier for us to be continually authentic. 

Pure Awareness 

The second is pure awareness; its radiance opens the window to our soul and sends our toxic thoughts and emotions scurrying away like cockroaches under a bright light. 

Under the influence of pure awareness nothing obscures our view or separates us from what we observe—we are one with the universe. 

When we attend to things with pure awareness, our face is relaxed, our jaw is slack, our mind is clear, peaceful, and calm, and observations flow in without our having to think or judge—we are in a state of flow. 

Awareness helps us sort out conflicting thoughts and emotions that battle for an opportunity to claim our brain; and it helps us make wise decisions. 

When we shine the light of pure awareness into the dark crevices of our mind, we observe ourselves—our emotions, desires and innermost thoughts—as we really are. 

Awareness helps us to avoid self-deception. 

If we are a habitual liar, awareness helps us recognize that we are a liar. 

Without recognition of the fact that we are a liar, we are stuck—stuck with being a liar and remaining unaware that we can change. 

But once we recognize that we are a liar, we can change and move on. (Sin and redemption in a biblical sense.) 

When we observe with pure awareness, a friend, a foe, ourselves, a piece of broken glass, a steamy dung heap, or a rose we experience these as they really are.

 But if we observe them as we expect them to be, or wish them to be, we are not observing them as they really are. 

Awareness means living in the present: it means observing what is before us here and now. 

When we are fully present to someone, we hear the tone of their voice, see the light in their eyes, and feel the texture of their skin, and share their pain, sorrow, joy, and happiness. 

But if our mind is stuck in the past—last night, last week, or last year, or stuck in the future—will this person go out with me, will this person like me, then we are not in the present. 

Instead our psyche is stressfully stretched between the past and the future and we miss the elusive joy of the moment. 

Even when we have fear for the future and regrets about the past, we can remain in the present by observing our regret and our fear (which is our present condition) without censuring ourselves for having such emotions. 

We are living in the present when we carefully observe our inner condition, whatever it is. 

Eventually fears and anxieties start to dissipate and soothing sunshine flows in through the window of our soul. 

If we are an angry person and easily explode into rage, we can decrease our inclination toward anger by observing our anger with pure awareness. 

Under the radiant light of pure awareness, we can see our anger with great clarity—we can feel the blood flood into our brain as the adrenaline surges; we can take note of our raging red brain, and feel the urge to strike out. 

If we quietly observe our anger and refuse to act on it, we can feel the anger begin to slip away. 

If we censure ourselves for becoming angry, we can observe the censorious judgment—just observe. 

If we censure ourselves for censuring ourselves, we can just observe that new censorious thought. 

Eventually we will feel the psychic energy that caused us to censure ourselves start to dissipate, and eventually we will return to the state of observing only the anger with pure awareness. 

This time we may note that our anger will have diminished even more. 

If we continue observing our anger with pure awareness, the anger will start to melt away like a snowflake in the warm morning sun; and a program for serenity begins to etch itself, atom by atom, into our brain. 

Completing Our Thoughts 

If our mind is cluttered with unwelcome thoughts which keep repeating like an endless loop, it’s probably because we have not completed them.

When left unattended, toxic thoughts remain in the brain, cluttering, growing, clouding, obscuring, ricocheting, and triggering more toxic thoughts and emotions like a runaway nuclear reaction.

Confusion sets in, we cannot hear ourselves think above the noise, and if the energy level is high enough and is not discharged, it can reach a critical state that cracks the mind.

Think of homicidal jealousy, road rage, or cruel child abuse.

Suppressing or ignoring repetitive thoughts does not discharge their negative energy.

Neither does self-censure or self-flagellation or reliance on cultural or religious ideologies.

Their energy remains in the brain whirling about like an atomic cloud, sickening our body, mind, and soul.

Discharging the harmful energy of negative thoughts and emotions requires careful awareness of what is going on inside us.

We have to follow our thoughts and emotions and see how they arose, how they affect us, and where they will lead us if we act them out.

We need to stay with what is and not try to behave according to an ideology or dogma.

As an example: assume a high-school teacher is sexually aroused by an alluring 15–year–old girl and begins to think of the excitement and pleasure that could follow.

If the teacher observes the arousal process taking place and reflects on it carefully he can see it for what it is, a primeval sexual program designed to get genes passed on to the next generation.

If the teacher doesn’t censure himself for what is taking place, and even recognizes the cosmic humor in the situation, once that’s done, the sexual energy starting to build up starts to fade away.

Atom by atom, his strategy will etch itself into his brain so that as time passes his strategy will automatically operate before the arousal starts. 


Acceptance does not mean that we abandon our goals and desires.

It simply means that we are not attached to them. It is the “I’ve got to, I’ve got to” impulse that clouds our vision.

Whenever we say “I’ve got to have a new car,” or “I need to keep my large, expensive house,” it is the attachment to the car and the house that brings us anxiety and fear.

When we do our best to attain our goals, and afterwards accept with a holy indifference whatever flows from our efforts without anger, fear, or attachment, we are programming ourselves for a detached attitude about life.

This leads to serenity; accepting what is programs ourselves for serenity.

When we are greedy, if we do not try to reject or suppress our greed, and we do not censure ourselves for being angry, we will observe the mind becoming progressively still, until finally it is illumined with pure awareness—observation without obscuring toxic emotions.


Compassion etches itself deep into our brain whenever our point of view changes to that of a person in pain and sorrow. 

Compassion can help us reprogram ourselves in a peculiar context. 

Suppose we are happily married. Yet, we might wind up in a strange bed snuggled next to a person with a come-hither smile and finally arrive home at two in the morning. 

Of course our spouse is angry and we respond to the spouse’s anger by denying everything and by making acrimonious accusations of our own.

 If we can change our point of view to that of our spouse, we might feel empathy and compassion while becoming aware of our partner’s hurt and vulnerability. 

Compassion compels us to tell our suffering partner how deeply sorry we are for violating her trust and having caused her suffering, and to assure her that it will never happen again. 

Compassion leads to a better resolution than anger and recriminations. 

And as our anger is replaced by compassion, the program for compassion is etched ever more deeply into our brain. 

Expanded horizons 

Expanded horizons help us dissipate unwanted emotions. 

While happily married, we might meet someone with a come-hither smile and find them sexually exciting; we can imagine an afternoon of sexual delights. 

(You might ask why another happily married person meets a com-hither smile as a sad example. It’s simply because a come-hither smile of a third party is the starting point of a many lamentable journeys which lead to the destruction of intimate and loving relationships.) 

Now back to imagining a delightful sexual encounter. Our nerves tingle with sexual excitement as we feel the surge of passion. 

Without an expanded horizon and a developed sense of awareness, like being caught up in a tsunami we might be helplessly swept away by our passions. 

With a developed sense of awareness and expanded vision, before the opening lines of the first act, we can see the beginning, the middle, and the end of the sexual drama unfolding. 

We can observe what passion is doing to our mind and body—the molecules cascading through our system, the quickened heartbeat, the tingling sexual excitement, the inability to think clearly, and the anticipation of sexual delights. 

And we can also see the trip home to the spouse that’s been betrayed and hurt, the anxiety, the lies and evasions, the loss of authenticity, the strain on the relationship, the sorrow of our spouse. 

We can see where our emotions are pointing us and decide if that is where we want to go. 


We can learn from our own experiences how we work and how we fit into existence. 

And we can also learn from others by what we see, hear or read. 

But we must ponder on these lessons for them to become our own experience, and not just information we have been exposed to. 

We can read that the emotion of anger can be destructive if uncontrolled and that the way of controlling one’s anger is not to reject it, suppress it, deny it, or fight it but on the contrary to accept it, embrace it, acknowledge it, and study it. 

We can read these words and even memorize them. 

But the words will not significantly help us unless we experience them. 

We make them our own experience by focusing all our attention on our toxic emotions, anger for example, and pondering on them. 

We can observe for ourselves what anger does to our mind and body. 

We can become aware of how the blood surges to the brain, how it feels swollen and tight inside the skull, how the temples throb, how the adrenaline makes us feel, how we develop an urge to lash out and strike or hurl something, and how we can lose control of our thought processes and begin to run amuck. 

When we experience our anger with pure awareness, and study it as if our life depended on it, we etch new programs into our brain. 

By observing and studying our anger in light of what we have seen, heard or read we make what we have seen, heard or read our own experience. 

No longer will it be a case where “I heard,” or “I read,” but rather one where I know with absolute certainty what anger is, and how it affects me and what happens when I quietly observe it. 

When we ponder on these things, we have made the words of others our own . . . and we can throw away the book. 

Group Influence 

A moment’s reflection reveals how our individual brain affects the collective human brain. 

If our brain becomes red and angry (or greedy, or lustful, and so on), our anger generates anger in others, which in turn increases our own anger and yet again increases the toxic emotion in others until violence and wars erupt. 

In a beneficial way an individual can positively influence a group. 

By reprogramming ourselves with inner serenity, we reduce the anxiety level of those around us. 

And when the anxiety level of those around us goes down, it becomes easier for us to deepen and broaden our own program for inner serenity. 

For example, if extensive and persistent misanthropic inclinations cause us psychic pain, they can be changed to benefit ourselves and the world.

Some morning after we wake up we might find ourselves in a bad mood: we do not love our mate as we once did, or a relative, friend, or associate.

In fact, we are downright hostile towards them.

Perhaps they didn’t properly respond to our kindness, and on a subconscious level we have tallied things up and discovered that they owe us.

If they owe us just a little, then the response might be mild irritation; if they owe us a great deal, and in addition they have committed an unpardonable offense towards us, the response might be homicidal rage.

Is their anything we can do about that?

After millions of years of marching with the unknowing herd down evolution’s highway, humans veered off onto a high road with scenic turnouts.

We can pull off, quietly reflect, sort through our stuff and discard unwanted baggage.

We can share information with our fellow travelers, lend a helping hand, serenely view our inner life, and discover where we are headed.

Slowly but unmistakably we are discovering that we can modulate our emotions.

With pure crystalline awareness (one free of toxic emotions) we can look beyond the skin, flesh, and bones, beyond the atoms and molecules, beyond the subatomic particles to the essential goodness of all things.

Pure awareness collapses our boundaries which enables us to experience the Primordial Energy in all things.

Empathy, compassion and love for all beings arise out of the state of pure awareness. 

Someday, maybe in ten thousand years, a phase change will take place in humanity and change it forever; and Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, love, ecstasy and authenticity will brim every heart with joy. 


Every moment awareness, every moment zen 

Relax in a comfortable position without any distractions. 

Select an emotion that causes you distress. 

Maybe it’s an emotion like rage that doesn’t happen often, but when it does, it is frighteningly overwhelming. 

Or maybe it’s an emotion like irritation over trivial matters that occur daily, and corrode your relationships. 

With your mind’s eye see yourself in that emotional state and observe it without censure or analysis. 

Observe how it affects you and those around you. 

Practice awareness when you wake up in the morning. 

Take the time to observe things in the soft glow of morning light. 

Just observe and let what you observe flow into you without thought or judgment. 

Stretch and feel the stretching. 

Don’t judge your condition to be good or bad, just be aware of the stretching. 

Step onto the floor with full awareness. Be aware of the sensation as you transfer your weight to your feet. 

Brush your teeth, comb your hair, and wash your face or shave, all with pure awareness. 

Be aware of your face; put a smile on your face. 

Do not judge it; just observe it with pure awareness. 

Observe your inner realm. 

Observe your authenticity or lack thereof, observe the movement of your mind; what thoughts and urges are flitting about—focus on the ones that give you problems and observe where they come from, how they affect you, and allow them to melt away. Easier said than done; but it can be done! Perhaps not in a day, or month, perhaps not even in years, but with whole hearted perseverance someday it will happen. 

Zen monks try to live their lives “every moment Zen” or “every moment mindfulness.” 

But they live in a monastery. 

If you live in a more hectic environment, tell yourself, “I can live the first five minutes of each day with pure awareness,” and etch a serenity mini-program into your brain. 

Notice how you become censorious during the day. 

Do you think you are too old, too fat, too tall or too short; was the coffee too hot or too cold; is the weather too gloomy? 

Some judgments are necessary in our daily lives, but not many: Are the eggs done? Does this top go with this skirt? Don’t be concerned with these. 

Just concern yourself with the gratuitous toxic judgments—that person sure looks like a geek; that person sure is dumb, and so on. 

Each time you catch yourself making a gratuitous toxic judgment, observe the judgment and how its toxicity affects you. 

Just observe the judgment until it dissipates, and continue observing with pure awareness the person or thing you previously judged. 

Let serenity etch a program into your brain. 

Another Mind Exercise 

Cascading Impulses 

With your mind’s eye look at your brain. 


See the outer surface, gray and convoluted, and enmeshed in a web of veins and arteries. 

Look deeper and observe the neurons, interconnected by a gauzy web of gossamer filaments. 

Go inside the neuron and observe the manufacturing, transportation, and utilization of chemicals, and the generation of electricity. 

See and feel the electrochemical impulses cascading through your body.

Observe the way your thoughts and emotions affect your brain. 

Continue observing your brain until you can see and feel its reality from the underlying subatomic level of pure energy to its convoluted gray surface.

Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.




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Conscious Capitalism sheds a shining light over the business community and reveals a deeper purpose for business—a much deeper and more noble purpose than just maximizing profits for the shareholders.

 Under the umbrella of Conscious Capitalism business is based on four principals.

 1. Social Purpose: The first principle is that businesses have a social purpose beyond merely maximizing profits for the shareholders. 

2. Stakeholder Principal: The second principle is that businesses  must consider the interests of the interconnected stakeholders—shareholders, employees, suppliers, customers and the community.

3. Leadership Philosophy: The third principle is that business leaders are professionals who are ethically bound to put the interests of all stakeholders ahead of their own. 

They must consider the impact their decisions will have on all the stakeholders. 

4. Business Culture: The business culture must nurture the leadership and stakeholders by encouraging all of them to recognize the principals of Conscious Capitalism. 

The CEO of Whole Foods Markets, John Mackey, practices Conscious Capitalism.

 CNN Money has posted Mackey’s inspiring presentation on Conscious Capitalism at the following site:

 Watch it and feel your heart trembling with excitement as you share John Mackey’s vision.

Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.




Letter To Dear Readers

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What follows comes from a letter I recently wrote to dear friends, Kathy and Gene St. Pierre,  a married couple who thirty-five years ago inspired Momo and me to attend a Marriage Encounter weekend.

The experience helped us smooth out a turbulent patch in our marriage.

Without Gene and Kathy’s help, Momo and I, our marriage, would undoubtedly have crashed and burned, the turbulence was that bad.

I’ve had chest congestion for the past week and it’s fogging up my brain.

I’ve been working on a new essay, but my foggy brain keeps me from completing it.

Today my friend thanked me for the letter with such enthusiasm that I decided to read it.

I thought “Hmm, with some modification this letter can become a letter to the readers.

And so, with Gene and Kathy’s permission, here I am scavenging their letter.  

A writer, Knut Hamsun, whose books I enjoy reading, when in his eighties, cynically wrote: “The advice of the old is like the setting winter sun: it sheds light but does not warm us.”

Hamsun’s cynical comment notwithstanding, I will post this blog and hope it sheds some light and warmth. 


Momo and I are healthy and happy and hope you are too.

There is no drama in our lives.

One day follows the next, time passes, no anxieties, no fears; we just serenely move along accepting whatever comes our way knowing that it does us more harm then good to rage and complain.

At our age we have seen so many ups and downs that we finally get it, and I’m sure you do too.

Ups invariably follow downs so why worry, just wait it out.

I guess that as death finally takes hold and pulls us down into the ground we will worry that that is an ultimate downer, without an upper following it.

But, who knows.

I know I’ll die, but I’m less certain about what lies beyond the grave.

Is there only blackness?

Or are there Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, love, ecstasy and authenticity.

I’m inclined to believe that after my death, my consciousness, my soul will expand into timeless infinity, into Primordial Energy, into God’s embrace.

I will experience infinite aha-moments as I become aware of all of existence–the path of every atom, molecule, every life form; every decision and every secret intention that was ever made and their causes.

And, Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, love, ecstasy and authenticity will brim my soul with joy.

Lately, I dwell on death; the process of dying, what to expect afterwards, and in that context what I should do with the few grains of sand left in my hour glass.

And I’ve finally reached a conclusion.

The most important thing for me is to use the final fumes left in my tank to make life a little better for Momo, the family, friends, and strangers I meet on the street.

It makes it easier for me to curb my temper, when I consider, that if I don’t, I’ll unleash bad vibes that make life miserable for those around me.

Sometimes, of course, I still fail to curb my temper, although it happens far less now.

Failing to curb my temper proves that that is not a good strategy for making life pleasant for those around me.

It’s worse then shooting myself in the foot.

Well, these are just some thoughts I’ve accumulated in my heart, like moss clinging to the north side of a tree.

I hold them out for you dear reader as I would a fragrant rose.

I find it peculiar that the atoms and molecules can carry my thoughts to you but cannot carry the rose to you.

Perhaps in ten thousand years.

Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.



Finding Ecstasy in Absurdity

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The merry-go-round in the sky spins round

And up and down while spinning around

And sometimes it breaks down.

Never pausing, never ending, chaos roams the universe.

Galaxies collide, stars dim, black holes devour everything.

Nations plan for war as casually as state dinners.

Ironically named smart bombs annihilate wedding parties, and red rain falls.

Love grows bitter with treason, hearts harden like stone when love stalls.

Heroin shooting parents torment their children, raging people pumping bullets;

Chaos everywhere—in meditation gardens earthworms mobbed by ants die deaths of a thousand cuts; locusts strip clean fields of green; bacteria feeds on everything; the earth rumbles and cities crumble; the wind blows and homes explode; unremitting rain drowns everything on the plain.

As the earth spins round love can be found—and Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, acceptance, compassion, and authenticity.

We ask: why soak the earth with blood? 

What drives depression, suicide and genocide?

Why born one way, commanded to be another?

Why pain, why sorrow?

Why not always Puccini Arias, morning mists in flower fields, acceptance, love, compassion and authenticity?

Like the Oracle at Delphi, theologians and philosophers answer us—don’t kill, don’t steal don’t lie; love one another; don’t mess with another’s mate; do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

To escape from suffering, contemplate beauty, sympathize with others and self discipline yourself.

The noted philosopher, Spinoza, reminded us that whenever anything in nature seems to us ridiculous, absurd or evil it is because we have but a partial knowledge of things.

The Indian mystic, Krishnamurti, urges: don’t philosophize just be aware, just be—and toxic emotions will slip away.


Just be he said, silk blouse unbuttoning

I am she said, slippery blouse sliding to the floor

Uncertainty both admitting.

 When fully aware we just are, she said

Perception without toxic emotions, he said

Uncertainty receding, let’s fuck she said

Ancient China Teaches Acceptance

A man named Sei Weng owned a beautiful mare which was praised far and wide.

One day this beautiful horse disappeared.

The people of his village offered sympathy to Sei Weng for his great misfortune.

Sei Weng said simply, “That’s the way it is.”

A few days later the lost mare returned, followed by a beautiful wild stallion.

The village congratulated Sei Weng for his good fortune.

He said, “That’s the way it is.”

Some time later, Sei Weng’s only son, while riding the stallion, fell off and broke his leg.

The village people once again expressed their sympathy at Sei Weng’s misfortune.

Sei Weng again said, “That’s the way it is.”

Soon thereafter, war broke out and all the young men of the village except Sei Weng’s lame son were drafted and were killed in battle.

The village people were amazed as Sei Weng’s good luck.

His son was the only young man left alive in the village.

But Sei Weng kept his same attitude: despite all the turmoil, gains and losses, he gave the same reply, “That’s the way it is.”

So where does all this leave us?

Emptying ourselves of toxic emotions and accepting fate, we see realms of beauty and serenity with clear bright eyes opened wide.

Joy beckons and fills up our senses. Primordial energy absorbs us like a raindrop falling into the cosmic sea and we find ecstasy in absurdity.


While in a comfortable position prepare yourself for pondering.

Picture yourself trying to decide what clothes to wear, what food to eat, where to go, what to do, how to behave, how to pay the bills, what’s right and what’s wrong.

Observe the effect this activity has upon your mind, your body and your heart.

Picture yourself in a place you consider peaceful and calm: an alpine mountain with pine fragrance in the air at sunrise, a redwood forest, a bluff overlooking the ocean, or a church.

If you can actually go there, that would even be better.

Mentally shed all your possessions and let your consciousness encompass the universe from the beginning of time to the end of time.

Let the boundaries of your consciousness dissolve and feel it blend in with the primordial Godhead.

If any emotions or judgments appear, let your consciousness observe them without any struggling.

Do not resist by thinking “I don’t want the emotions or thoughts.”

The emotions and the thoughts are “what is,” so just observe and let them dissipate like the morning mist while you joyfully expand into primordial energy. 

Here’s another one: Picture yourself on the planet Earth and visualize your atoms, particles, and underlying energy resonating and interacting with the energy of the Earth.

Feel yourself at one with the Earth.

Relax and just be aware without thinking or making judgments of any kind.

Picture the Earth, a mote of dust gliding into the void.

Let your awareness flow over the Earth, see it slde across the solar system, observe it spread over the Milky Way, the universe, and finally, feel it empty into the boundless sea of primordial energy.

See it and feel it until it becomes as real for you as the rising sun.

A classical Zen Awareness exercise:

Being chased by a hungry tiger you are forced to climb over a cliff and hang onto a vine.

One hundred feet below—two more hungry tigers are waiting for you to drop.

You spy a beautiful wild strawberry plant loaded with ripe berries glistening with dew.

You focus your attention on the berries and pick and eat them slowly one by one —how sweet they are!

Observe your state of mind.

Carry it a step further: the vine breaks and you fall with total awareness of the air flowing around you.

Again imagine yourself climbing over the cliff; this time you are screaming and cursing.

You don’t notice the strawberries; you lose your grip and claw and scream all the way down.

Death is inevitable.

Ponder on choosing which way you choose to die and note the choice which leaves you with the satisfied feeling that under the circumstances it is the best you can do.

Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.



Consciousness and Me

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Defining pornography is impossible.

United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart in 1964 abandoned his efforts to define pornography by saying that I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be pornography “but I know it when I see it.”

To which a wag commented, “It’s in the groin of the beholder.”

Defining consciousness is likewise impossible.

But you know it when you see it.

It’s in the heart of the beholder.

Teilhard de Chardin, a world renowned scientist, explored the nature of consciousness in his book, The Phenomenon of Man by extrapolation from what is known.

He observed that when matter is traced backward in space and time it becomes finer and finer until, at the level of subatomic particles, matter fluctuates between mass and energy.

And beyond the subatomic particles, beyond matter, there is only primordial energy, primordial consciousness.

Chardin reached the conclusion that Primordial Consciousness and our Consciousness is one and the same—there is only Universal Consciousness.

It’s the whole ball of wax. 

Why does consciousness

Hide in dark crevices

Like my beloved

In a Chador?

Who when revealing herself

Brims my heart with joy.

Over thousands of years of recorded history many names have been applied to Primordial Consciousness—Jehovah, Allah, God, Jesus, Buddha, The Light, Para Brahman and Shiva being just a few.

Consciousness is also known as “What is,” “Truth,” “Love,” and “Me” as in “Consciousness is the me that is not affected by the physical.

For example, if my leg is cut off, does it diminish the essence of who I am, the “me.”

Consciousness is that ineffable infinity that withstands every effort to be labeled or named.

It cannot be squeezed into the box.

Naming God is one thing, experiencing God by whatever name is quite another.

There are many ways one can experience God and they all require that we follow the path of our heart.

Following the path of our heart requires that through some form of meditation we expand and deepen within ourselves authenticity, awareness, acceptance and compassion—in a word: goodness.

Hectic modern life makes it difficult to practice formal sitting meditation where one quiets the mind by following one’s breathing in and breathing out.

But there are many ways to quiet the mind and one should use whatever method is suitable to one’s own inclination, physical and mental condition, and lifestyle.

You might try sitting in a comfortable position and imagining a golden thread pulling your head into alignment with the erect spine.

Slowly breath in and breath out and become totally aware of the inflow and out flow of your breath to the exclusion of all else.

Whenever thoughts intrude do not resist them, follow them moving across the back of your eyelids and letting them disappear on their own.

The purpose of the exercise is to let the toxic emotions like anger, fear, greed and lust dissipate and leave your mind clear and serene.

When we observe without judgment, without thinking, without desire, without anger or fear, we are observing with pure awareness, and at the same time we are experiencing consciousness, the light within, the God within.

Zen people say that staying in the moment is living your life “every moment Zen.”

Staying in the moment gives rise to pure awareness, pure seeing which observes without judgment, fear, or emotional disturbance.

When you stay in the moment time slows down, the chatter in the mind diminishes and the world becomes brighter, lighter and more peaceful.

Try imagining yourself observing a rose.

See the rose take your breath away and fill your heart with joy before any judgment, desire, emotion, or thought intrudes.

At that moment, before any judgment, desire, emotion, or thought intrudes, your pure consciousness is expressing itself by pure awareness.

You just see the beauty in the rose, without judgment, or desire to pluck the rose from the bush.

The Dalai Lama has observed that we all are the same in that we all want happiness and we all want to avoid suffering.

He also observed that when we are loving, understanding and compassionate we tend to be happy and when we are angry, greedy and judgmental we tend to become un-happy.

Paradoxically by thinking more about the welfare of others we increase our own happiness.

By our example we reduce the bad vibrations around us that our so toxic to ourselves and others.

This approach is followed by “Y. E. S.” a non-dogmatic program created by Dr. Thomas Hedberg which he dedicated to the personal and spiritual growth of the individual.

Y.E.S. focuses on achieving a better understanding of the self, a richer relationship with others, and a more personal experience with God (Primordial energy).

The program is enormously successful and has spread around the world, to North and South America, Europe and Africa and Asia.

Y.E.S. is based on the premise that focusing on the goodness of others, in helping the other grow and experience their inner light opens up a clear path to our own happiness.

Consciousness as an awareness of the primordial energy, of God, guides human affairs by assigning to them a moral value.

Our consciousness enables us to convert the electrical-molecular activity of the brain into value.

Organized religion is a great depository of spirituality and accumulated wisdom which can help us follow the path of our heart.

Regretfully, over the centuries organized religion has created a bureaucracy which is more inclined to self aggrandizement than advancing moral human values.

Instead of promoting a brotherhood of man the bureaucracy has operated in ways that push humanity into warring camps—woman vs. men, Muslims vs. Christians, believers vs. non believers, sect vs. sect.

When the Buddha was asked: “Are you God?” He replied: “No, I am awake.”

In Zen Flesh, Zen Bones when the monk was asked “What is Buddha?” he replied “Dried dung.”

Even more shocking is another comment: “when you meet the Buddha on the road, ‘kill him’.”

These are efforts to shut down the mind in an effort to break through to consciousness.

The Buddha urged his followers to rely upon themselves, to rely on the path of their own heart, to rely on their own light.

And when you meet the Buddha on the road, “kill him.”

Awareness Exercise

With your mind’s eye, trace your evolution backwards to the big bang and beyond.

Contemplate the primordial energy that gave birth to our universe.

Gaze upon it with an empty mind, a mind free of thoughts, judgments, and emotions.

Allow the primordial energy to reveal itself to you.

Maybe nothing will reveal itself to you in the beginning.

But later, maybe in weeks, maybe in months, or even years, a glimmer in the mind and a movement in the heart, like a spark, or a sliver of light will cut through everything and you will know that all is imbued with Primordial Conscious.

If you become impatient or discouraged, do not censure yourself, just quietly observe your impatience, discouragement, and censure until they dissipate and you are back with your quiet observer that sees but never judges, your quiet observer that can encompass the universe and embrace the primordial energy.

While evolution of our physical aspect has slowed down, our psyche has cast off its terrestrial moorings and is gaining speed as it heads out across the cosmic sea.

When all prisms drop I clearly see

Bright white sails above the frothy foam


My arms open wide to embrace the light.

COMMENTS: Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.


Dying is Difficult

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Talking about death in polite society is like farting at a cocktail party; people tend to become embarrassed and agitated if the subject of death is brought up in conversation.

Although it’s certain all of us will experience it, it’s almost impossible to get others to talk about it and to compare notes on it.

“It” being death.  

And the phenomenon of death is generally not a subject taught in schools.

Maybe it’s my octogenarian age, but I like exploring the topic of death.

I’m not referring primarily about the biological process of dying, although I believe everyone should have some idea of what to expect.

I’m interested in the various ways people die and the choices we have in the matter.

Do I close my eyes to the various possibilities open to me, or do I just go along with the default system, which usually starts with a 911 call, followed by a trip to the emergency room. 

And then depending upon the situation, an MRI or CAT scan is performed, a stay in the ICU follows where you’re hooked up, wired up, intubated and drugged.

After the medical warriors, with their formidable arsenal of technology, have beaten back death once more, you’re sent home patched-up and pallid, weak and wobbly.

Then, when Death inevitably gets close once again, the lamentable cycle is frantically repeated–911 call, ICU, hooked up, wired up, intubated and drugged.

The cost of each trip could easily be hundreds of thousands of dollars, and a great amount of anguish—depleting both the family’s resources and the body’s energy.

At the end, Death appears in the ICU to unlock the door to your prison and allow your soul to take flight towards the light.

Surely there has to be a better way to start out on what I believe will be the greatest adventure of my life. And I find it confusingly amazing that society discourages us from discussing the possibilities.

Einstein wrote to the widow of an old friend, Besso, that death is not the end, and the fact that Besso departed from this strange world a little ahead of him means nothing.

People like us, he told her, know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.

Immortality doesn’t mean a perpetual existence in time without end, but rather resides outside of time altogether.

Einstein found it peculiar that society finds it difficult to accept biological death as inevitable.

The poet, Dylan Thomas, expressed society’s sentiments as follows:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light

We spend thousands, hundreds of thousands, sometimes millions of dollars on medical resources to squeeze out a few extra days of life like we squeeze out the last bit of dried toothpaste.

Doctors train to squeeze out the last brittle bit of toothpaste no matter the cost.

If left alone our exhausted body in its own good time would die naturally.

I suspect that because we have ignored the prospect of death and haven’t given it much thought, when death draws close we think it’s “lights out,” annihilation, and our mind and emotions become agitated and we panic.

And we all know that discussing how medical resources should be allocated is political suicide for a politician.

He or she might just as well swallow a cyanide pill.

As part of the training to become a hospice volunteer, students perform mind exercises where they imagine themselves dying.

The instructor takes the students through the dying process step by step.


Picture yourself lying in the fetal position. Step outside your body and observe yourself lying there. Ask yourself, “What is me?”  Continue asking yourself, “What is me?” and get a feel for it so that you see, feel, and understand me.

Imagine your left foot disappearing. Is your me diminished in any way? Next imagine your right foot disappearing. Is your me diminished? Imagine the rest of your body parts disappearing one by one. After each part disappears, ask yourself, “Is my me diminished?” Finally, when all your body parts have disappeared, including your head and brain, ask yourself, “Is my me diminished?”

The world has only finite medical resources so it becomes a matter of their wise allocation.

Children and young people should receive what ever medical resources are required to keep them in good health because society depends on them to maintain a robust society and to support the old people no longer able to work.

Older people like me only need to receive treatment for the common ailments and in the end receive palliative care to make the end of our life comfortable.

One can reasonably question whether it’s really a good use of limited resources to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for open heart surgery, organ transplants and chemo therapy just so old people like me can hang around a few extra days on the planet.

And especially when there’s not enough resources to meet the medical needs of children who have their whole life before them.

I wonder if the allocation of medical resources is perversely inverted because old people are organized and vote and have political clout while children have hardly any political clout at all, especially if they live in poverty.

In most cases death is attended by irrelevance, futile attempts to hold on and control.

Even if the dying person wants to let go, the families frantically worry the doctor to continue the Sisyphus task of keeping their loved one alive.

The doctors, because of their training and out of fear of malpractice, hook up the dying person to the machines, inserts needles into their arms and tubes down their throat in a vain effort to beat back death.

Ideally, death for the elderly should be a serene experience under supervision of Hospice. In my hospice volunteer service I visited dying patients to give the caregiver a four hour break from caring for their loved one.

The patients usually were serene and seemed to have no fear of death.

During our conversations they would tell me how they felt about dying and what their expectations were after their biological death. Even though I told them, I often wondered whether the person realized how much I enjoyed our conversations and how much I learned from them. The smile on their face and the joy emanating from their eyes would fill my heart with joy.

An excellent book on this subject is

Death: The Final Stage of Growth by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

COMMENTS: Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.



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By a man without passions I mean one who does not permit good or evil to disturb his inward economy, but rather falls in with what happens and does not add to the sum of his mortality. Chuang Tzu

Disquietude is always vanity, because it serves no good. Yes, even if the whole world were thrown into confusion and all things in it, disquietude on that account would be vanity. St. John of the Cross

I can accept life’s offerings or reject them; but I must live with the consequences in the end.

Rejecting what fate is offering leads to unsuspected suffering.

When I accept my destiny my life becomes more carefree.

Acceptance is simply willingness to endure things without useless complaining.

It means doing the best one can and wisely leaving the rest in the hands of fate.

Doing our best is within our control, but the results of our efforts are beyond our control.

For example, when we travel between our home and the grocery store (any point A and point B will serve just as well), no matter how well we plan the trip and no matter how careful we are in carrying out our plan, there are just too many things happening in the world over which we have no control that can prevent our trip from going exactly as planned—nails in the road, other vehicles, pedestrians, car breakdowns, illnesses, car hijackings, drunk drivers, airplanes falling from the sky, and so on.

Acceptance is a mode of living.

It means going with the flow.

We live in the acceptance mode when we observe what life is presenting to us without anger, fear, or resentment and proceed serenely from there.

 Honda is a good corporate example.

When the United States government set strict standards to reduce pollution emissions, Honda said simply that it would have to work hard to meet the standards.

It did so, and on time.

By contrast the American carmakers complained that it was unrealistic of the government to expect them to meet the strict standards, dragged their feet, and fell behind.

Life’s unfolding presents us with a kaleidoscope of events to which we must respond—a friend betrays us, illness strikes, we are reprimanded in front of our co-workers, we lose our job, our investments fail, a loved one dies, and so on.

Acceptance is a way of responding to such situations.

Acceptance requires that we observe without censure, fear, or anger what life presents to us.

Acceptance requires us to quietly observe, and allow our mind to settle down so that we are observing with detachment, with pure awareness.

Observing with pure awareness clears our vision and enables us to put forth our best efforts.

Acceptance of what fate has in store for us leaves us in a state of detachment, a state where bias does not cloud our vision and fear does not weaken our ability to act effectively.

Struggling with what fate is offering uselessly wastes our energy.

The Samurai warrior contemplated life and death with equanimity.

Pure awareness and detachment enabled Zen-influenced Samurai warriors to respond to danger with lightening quick moves.

Acceptance requires that we observe with detachment.

A state of pure awareness arises when anger, fear, greed, and the like, do not cloud our vision.

Observe what happens if we are angry and we wish that we were not so angry. We have created a tension between the reality of our anger and the concept “we should not be so angry” thereby not accepting the fact that we are angry.

Suppression and refusal to accept our anger—to accept reality—creates tension between the reality of our anger and what we wish, and our mind is in worse condition than when it was simply angry.

Look what happens if we refuse to accept the anger, and struggle with it.

Our mind, which before was only in an angry state, now has the additional turmoil and stress caused by our efforts to suppress our anger and our wish that it, our anger, didn’t exist.

Observe what happens when we accept our anger and note what it is doing to our mind and body.

We feel adrenaline pumping, and blood rushing to the brain.

Does anyone need tell us that anger is bad for us—for our physical and mental health?

Notice what happens when we look within and allow our silent observer, our consciousness, to simply observe the content of our mind, without thinking about it, judging it, or trying to suppress it.

There is no struggle; there is only the reality of our condition and a consciousness that is clear and free to observe that condition.

When a loved one betrays us and we start to hate him or her, our silent observer can see the hate within us.

If we gaze on the hate without judgment or desire or efforts to suppress or reject it, we will presently see the entire processes of hate.

We will see how it arises because of a judgment we have made.

We will see it clouding our minds and making it impossible to see the person we hate as they really are.

We will see hate’s corrosive action upon our minds and bodies.

When we see the entire process of hate and its effect upon us, our hate will gently melt away like the sun-kissed snowflake on the garden wall.

When we look within and see our mind chattering like a flock of wild parrots, or we see that our desire for ever more power, wealth, and fame is causing us anxiety, thinking something like, “God, I wish my mind were peaceful and calm,” will only increase the chatter in our minds and add to our list of desires.

Philosopher and writer Aldous Huxley said this about acceptance:

This is, perhaps, the most difficult of all mortifications—to achieve a “holy indifference” to the temporal success or failure of the cause to which one has devoted one’s best energies.

If it triumphs, well and good.

If it meets defeat, that also is well and good, if only in ways that, to a limited and time bound mind, are here and now entirely incomprehensible.

The Latin term amor fati means to be in love with fate.

Amor fati allows us to not pursue happiness but to let it ensue as the unintended side effect of accepting with detachment whatever life offers us.

 Amor fati gives us vision to see from Himalayan heights and to live a robust life no matter what fate has in store for us.

Three Things: First: Awareness; Second: Changing Oneself; Three Acceptance. Easy to say—hard to do. But worth the effort.


 This is a classical Zen Awareness exercise:

Imagine yourself being chased by a hungry lion and you are forced to climb over a cliff and hang onto a vine.

One hundred feet below are two more hungry lions waiting for you to drop.

You notice a beautiful wild strawberry plant loaded with ripe berries glistening with dew.

You focus your attention on the berries and pick and eat them slowly, one by one.

How sweet they are!

Observe the state of your mind.

Carry it a step further and imagine the vine breaking and you falling.

Can you fall with total awareness of the air flowing around you?

Imagine yourself climbing over the cliff again; this time you are screaming and cursing.

You don’t notice the strawberries; you lose your grip, and claw and scream all the way down.

Death is inevitable.

Ponder on having to choose which way you are going to die.

Note which choice leaves you with the satisfied feeling that under all the circumstances it is the right one.

COMMENTS: Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.



Changing Ourselves

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The ancients recognized that to change the world one must begin by changing oneself.

Changing ourselves does change the world, the cosmos even, because we are part of it all.

To the extent we change ourselves we change the whole fabric of humanity.

The law of radiation and attraction states that we all radiate vibrations which affect others, and their vibrations affect us.

It is almost impossible to disguise these vibrations.

But when our toxic emotions bring us and those around us unhappiness, we can modulate them so that they bring us a satisfying measure of peace and happiness.

For example, if extensive and persistent misanthropic inclinations cause us psychic pain they can be changed for ones own benefit and that of the world.

Some morning after we wake up we might find ourselves in a bad mood: we do not love our mate, or our relative, or our associate as we once did.

In fact, we are downright hostile towards them.

Perhaps they didn’t properly respond to our kindness and on a subconscious level we have tallied things up and discovered that they owe us.

If they owe us just a little, then the response might be mild irritation; if they owe us a great deal, and in addition they have committed an unpardonable offense towards us, the response might be homicidal rage.

But is their anything we can do about that?

After millions of years of marching with the unknowing herd down evolution’s highway, we humans veered off onto a high road with scenic turnouts where we can pull off, quietly reflect, sort through and discard unwanted baggage, share information with our fellow travelers, lend a helping hand, serenely view our inner life, and see where we are headed.

Slowly but unmistakably we are discovering that we can modulate our emotions.

With pure crystalline awareness (one free of toxic emotions) we can look beyond the skin, flesh, and bones, beyond the atoms and molecules, beyond the subatomic particles to the essential goodness of all things.

Pure awareness collapses our boundaries which enables us to experience the Primordial Energy in all things.

Empathy, compassion and love for all beings arise out of the state of pure awareness.


Pure Awareness …

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 “If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite.” William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Pure awareness is the state that comes when toxic emotions like fear, greed, lust, anger, censure, pride, envy, hate, prejudice, anxiety, and all the rest, melt away like snowflakes on a warm sunny day.

When in a state of pure awareness the mind is still, vision is clear, and one is in a state of flow, completely absorbed and enthralled by the moment.

We might have experienced this state while listening to a symphony, or singing in a choir, or standing on a promontory looking out over the sparkling ocean under a clear blue sky or listening to a friend tell a story.

When our vision is clear and our mind is still, we experience the essence of things.

The essence of things is their divine quality, the primordial consciousness that supports all existence.

Experiencing the essence of things in others collapses our boundaries and we experience our oneness with all that is and we become more compassionate, authentic, and joyful.

Pure awareness is free from conflict and the seeds of pain and sorrow.

If one is judging a rose—it is past its prime, the stem is too long or too short, and so forth—then it is impossible to experience the rose with pure awareness.

Judging the rose immediately puts up a barrier between us and the hapless rose.

 The rose is kept at a distance while we compare it to the abstract rose we carry around in our head; we are here, and the rose is there while we are judging it.

But if we silently observe the rose with pure awareness, without thought, censure, or judgment, pure awareness unites us with the essence of the rose and fills our heart with joy.

We experience a rattlesnake with pure awareness if we remain calm and at a safe distance, and do not succumb to prejudice, fear, and loathing.

We can see the bright sun sparkle in its eyes and the beauty of the distinctive pattern of its skin.

We can see the gleaming white fangs and the hypnotic rhythm of its dancing tongue.

If there is no emotional barrier between the snake and us, we experience its essence and become one with its essence.

But censuring a rattlesnake prevents us from experiencing it. We experience only fright, loathing and agitation.

Censure is what causes us to rush away in panic and return with a double-barreled shotgun and blow the snake to smithereens.

Is it possible to love ourselves with pure awareness, without censure?

Observe what happens when we censure ourselves.

When we are angry with ourselves we think: “I should not be angry with myself.

That censorious thought creates a duality.

We are angry with ourselves, but we think that we should not be angry.

The tension between the reality of our anger and the thought “I should not be angry” creates anxiety and more self-reproach, which accelerates into a downward spiral.

Note what happens when we observe our anger with pure awareness—when we observe without thought, emotion, or censure.

There is no tension or anxiety when we observe “what is,” instead of an image of what we think.

Authenticity sets in and our anger melts away, maybe not quickly—but it’s a start.

And there is an added advantage: We are not anxious, because we avoided a conflict between the images that we shouldn’t be angry with our friend, and the reality that we are indeed angry with him or her,

When we observe others without any hidden agenda, prejudice, fear, anger, lust, greed, censure, or attachment, our mind is still and clear, our boundaries expand to include the other.

We are united with them more than any vow, wish, hope, or idea could unite us.

 This pure awareness arises only when our mind is still and our vision is clear.

It cannot arise if we attend to others while trying to control them, sell them, hold on to them, fear them, or seduce them.

These things make it impossible to get beyond elements of possessiveness, control and judgment.

The Zen masters used the term “every moment Zen.”

This term contains the dual concept of “pure awareness in just being” and also the concept of “intending to act in ways that contribute to the welfare of the cosmos or in the very least not add to the pain, misery and sorrow one sees in the world.”

A common example of can be discovered while driving a car. One usually drives while the mind is elsewhere, including censuring other drivers, anxiety about being late, the impression we are making with our snazzy new car, and so on.

Is it possible to drive with pure awareness and with the intent to contribute to the peace and serenity of our little corner of the cosmos?

Try it and see what happens.

Drive along with pure awareness and the intent to not cause any anxiety, anger or physical harm to other drivers and to ourselves.

See the road, its texture, its condition and become one with its essence.

See the other drivers and give them a smile when eye contact is made, be fully aware of all traffic signals; make full stops without any rushing, stay in the moment and drive every moment with pure awareness, every moment Zen.

Awareness Exercise

While in a comfortable position prepare yourself for pondering on discernment.

Recall to mind someone who creates in you strong feelings of fear, anger, loathing, revulsion, hostility and the like.

Allow the body to relax but not collapse.

Relax the muscles of the face. Do not focus your eyes; allow them to stare off in to space.

If a strong emotion arises, do not try to suppress or censure the feeling, just

Observe it and allow it to pass through.

Observe the details of the person—the color and highlights of their hair, details in their eyes, ears, nose and mouth, and so forth.

Allow your jaw to go slack and relaxed. Continue watching the person, the details of the person, not your conclusions of what kind of person this is.

If any thoughts or emotions arise watch them as they glide through your image of the person.

See if you can see where the thoughts or emotions come from and where they go.

Eventually (if not this time but some other time) your mind will be perfectly still, no thoughts or emotions are passing through, and what you are left with is the reality of the person, warts and all.

COMMENTS: Send your comments to me, Neil Bezaire, at I would enjoy hearing from you. Attention will be paid.