Monday, April 25, 2011

Learning Your Language

A man once told a story of his time in the Taoist temple.  He said that he had an issue he was really struggling with and, after much inner turmoil, decided to ask his teachers.  There were three monks that he was working and living with.  He went for a walk with the first monk and described his difficulty in great detail and finally asked: “What should I do?”  The monk looked at him and calmly gave him the answer of what he should do.  He was stunned and asked, “But how did you know that?” and the monk looked at him and said, “Well it is clear.  As you asked me, the wind blew from the east and I saw a white bird fly in the north”.  The man shook his head and carried on.  Later the same day, he met with the second monk and, again, described his tormented situation and finally asked: “What should I do?”  The monk looked at him and gave him the same answer as the first monk.  The man was shocked and asked, “But how did you know that?” and the monk looked at him and said, “As you were speaking, ants marched across our path from left to right and I heard a familiar bird song.” The man was baffled and carried on.  Still later the same day, he met with the third monk and, again, told his story, with all his concerns and worries and finally asked: “What should I do?” and the third monk gave him the same answer as the other two monks had given.  The man was even more confused and asked, “But how did you know?” and the monk said that as he listened, he had been aware of two birds building their nest in a nearby tree.
                  That evening, as the man prepared dinner for his three teachers, his frustration was evident. He was slamming pots and pans and not even attempting to hide his emotions.  Finally, he stopped and almost screamed at them, “You guys make me crazy! With your ants and birds and wind. I don’t even know what you’re talking about, but you’re so calm and confident and your advice is so sound.  What is it??? What am I missing?”
                  The three monks smiled at the man and laughed their low belly laughter, which was full of kindness and understanding, and one finally said, “You just haven’t learned your language yet.  Your language of God.  Each person has one and it’s yours to discover. Once you do, life becomes joy.  Learn your language. Take the time to discover it.”

           The most important thing for each of us is to take the time to learn our language – the specific way that God/Source/Divine Energy “speaks” to each one of us. The ‘language’ can be as unique as each one of us is unique. Our lives are rich in meaning. But we must be open and paying attention. Part of learning our language is becoming aware of how Truth resonates in our mind, body and soul.  We must be extremely honest and discerning. It is so easy to believe our own victim stories.

When we are living in alignment with Truth, life becomes joy. We become willing to see things with new eyes, as if never seen before. Life becomes an adventure. Yes, we forget. We are sometimes kidnapped by our own stories and old beliefs. We can always return to Truth. We choose and, with a curious and open mind and heart, our ‘language’ begins to reveal itself.

Monday, April 11, 2011


            I’ve decided to stay on holiday  - on vacation - for the rest of my life. I was out of town last week on vacation and decided that it is clearly a far better way to live.
            When I’m on vacation, I notice more. I become far more aware of my surroundings and of the weather. I notice beauty.  I notice how each day is different – some stormy, windy days and some calm, clear, sunny days. I notice the birds squawking and the trees and flowers. I become very aware of everything around me.
            When I’m on vacation, I allow myself to disconnect and relax. I kept forgetting where I had put my phone, which meant that I wasn’t checking email frequently and, amazingly, the world kept on spinning without my moment-to-moment attention.
            I was blessed on my vacation to be surrounded by people that I love. When I’m on vacation, I take the time to appreciate the time I’m spending with loved ones. I am far more appreciative of time itself and of all the details – the delicious coffee in the morning, the food at each meal – all the things that make life pleasant.
            Clearly, the wisest choice I could make is to stay on holiday forever!
            Although we usually use the word “vacation”, the word’s root is “to vacate”, implying freedom from something or leaving a place or activity or “formal suspension of activity” (  I want to live fully engaged in all of my activities. I definitely don’t ever want to retire. The word sounds, well, tired. In the word’s history it meant “to leave company and go to bed” ( Again, I want to live all of my days fully engaged.
            I’ve decided to stay on holiday: “holy day”. I want to be aware that each day is holy. Even if I’m not “on vacation”, I can notice more, take time to disconnect and relax and I can appreciate life itself, wherever I am and whatever I am doing – even if part of that time is in my office working.