When I was a kid, I used to lay in bed at night and think myself to sleep. I enjoyed it. Letting my thoughts drift here and there, working out problems and anxieties I was facing until a solution that made me feel good arose from the turbulence. I would continue this process in various veins of pursuit, until that moment came, which I could never remember no matter how hard I tried, where my thoughts became nonsensical and morphed into a dream state slumber.
During this nightly ritual, I became philosophical at times, wondering about God and existence. One of my favorite questions to ask myself was, “Why does anything exist at all?” I would dive into this question, first letting it simmer on the surface, then sinking to the next layer, and then deeper and deeper I would go, further and further until the vast mystery of what I was asking would weigh me down and surround me like a black hole sending a shiver down my spine. It frightened me, but at the same time I reveled in it. In finding that place that was so mysterious and so vast, that my process of the mind could no longer handle it.
Why does anything exist at all? Why isn’t there just nothing? But not even nothing, because nothing is actually something. Just emptiness, but not even that, because emptiness represents a lack of something. No, just… Why does anything exist at all?
When I ask myself these questions as an adult, I often find the same familiar place, where the darkness overwhelms me and a chill runs through my veins, but as the strange and mysterious darkness disappears, I am left with an enlightened thought. The fact that anything exists at all is truly a miracle. To look around and observe existence, to breathe in and out and realize that I exist, is astounding. I will never truly know with my mind what it all means, where it all comes from and why, but I can look at it, experience it, and be utterly amazed at it all.
One of my favorite spiritual exercises is to cruise around and practice mindful awareness. To do this I simply observe my surroundings without any judgments. When I look at a tree, I do not say, “That is a tree, look at those green leaves, look at the trunk. I wonder why the branches look like that?” I cease all internal thinking about the subject matter. I silence the mind and just look.
When I accomplish this successfully, it is quite a powerful experience. The world around me becomes fresh and new. There is a contrast to everything, and clarity of sight. I go in and out of this state of course. When the silence is interrupted with thoughts and judgments, I try and just notice it and go back to the silence. Sometimes the thoughts become too loud and I must observe them without judgment as well.
Here in my most recent video I attempt to capture some of my silent observations…
“Hannah wasn’t sure which had awakened her – the brittle crackling sounds or the bright yellow flames.
She sat straight up in bed and stared in wide-eyed horror at the fire that surrounded her.
Flames rippled across her dresser. The burning wallpaper curled and then melted. The door of her closet had burned away, and she could see the fire leaping from shelf to shelf.
Even the mirror was on fire. Hannah could see her reflection, dark behind the wall of flickering flames.
The fire moved quickly to fill the room.
Hannah began to choke on the thick, sour smoke.
It was too late to scream.
But she screamed anyway.”
Whenever Halloween comes around, I get in the mood to watch scary movies. Problem is, I don’t like scary movies, you know, because they’re scary. Nevertheless, I still want to watch them.
This year I was wondering why it is that I have this urge. Could just be because it is Halloween and I feel like getting in the spirit, but I also remembered that when I was a kid, I used to love reading books by R.L. Stine. Maybe that’s why the need for spooky vibes is imprinted in my mental emotional make up?
I went to my closet and with a little help, found several RL Stine books from my childhood. I started reading the one book I had from his Goosebumps collection, “The Ghost Next Door.” These books are targeted for 9 to 12-year-olds I believe. It was a satisfyingly nostalgic read I must say, and even though I solved the mystery early on, I flew through the pages as each chapter left me with a cliffhanger that I couldn’t walk away from.
It’s about a girl who realizes that a new family with a boy her age has moved in next-door. Problem is she never saw them move-in. Impossible for her not to notice since she is currently undergoing the most boring summer ever. And how is it that her and the boy have been going to the same school, but she doesn’t know him? Not only that, but she doesn’t know any of his friends either. Very strange indeed, and after some very bizarre occurrences she decides that she must solve this mystery and put her questions and fears to rest.
It was a simple story, innocent but spooky, mysterious and fun, just perfect to satisfy my Halloween mood. I’m looking forward to reading some more Stine books. I will let you all know how it goes. 😮 🙂
There was a chipmunk who lived behind a garden wall. It was a nice garden, with plenty of goodies to munch on. There were some humans who would make an appearance occasionally, but the chipmunk found they weren’t dangerous as long as she kept her distance. The favorite morsel of this chipmunk was fresh sunflower leaves just coming up from the soil. They had a sweet taste, and the texture of the leaves was just perfect. It was a balancing act to time the perfect moment to snag this delightful treat. Too early and the taste wasn’t quite right. Too late, and the taste turned sour, and the leaves tough and chewy. The chipmunk also had to compete with the neighborhood bunnies who also loved sunflower leaves the same way the chipmunk did.
This particular summer sunflower plants were popping up all over the garden. The chipmunk danced with the delight behind her garden wall, thinking of her future meal. When the time was right, she scampered across the garden, grabbed three leaves, and took a glorious bite. She could barely contain herself. It was just as lovely as she imagined. She ate and ate until she was completely stuffed. After a day of lounging and relaxing, she was back that evening ready for more. The bunnies had taken a few, but there were enough left for her, and she was grateful.
The next morning the chipmunk was making her rounds through the garden, digging and scavenging for her breakfast when she spotted a human. She dove into some thick leafy plants and watched. The human was looking at the sunflower stems sticking out of the soil. The human said some words which she could not understand, but being an animal as she was, she had a sort of intuition about things, and she could feel the disappointment in the mind of the human. He then pulled a small envelope out of his pocket, pulled some seeds out of the envelope, and carefully began to push them into the soil. “More sunflowers!” the chipmunk thought. “How wonderful!”
The human unraveled a hose and began to spray water across the soil. It was then that the chipmunk felt the human’s emotions turn from disappointment, to hope and eager anticipation. He was excited in a way that was similar to how she felt about sunflowers, only different. “How interesting,” thought the chipmunk. Soon the human went back inside his house and the chipmunk continued her breakfast hunt. She knew she could eat the sunflower seeds now if she wanted, but that wouldn’t taste nearly as wonderful.
In about two weeks, the time had arrived. Sunflower breakfast time! The chipmunk ran down the wall at full speed heading straight for the young sunflower plants. Diving on the first one she came to, she pulled off all the leaves, put them in her mouth and chewed slowly as the juicy flavors overwhelmed her senses. She swallowed and jumped on the next one, but this time she stopped. She remembered the human, and the emotions that she felt from him as he looked at the sunflower plants she had eaten. She then remembered the nice feeling emotions of the human as he watered the new seeds he had planted. “Perhaps I can leave this one,” she thought. “And maybe a few others as well.”
The following week or so was very difficult for the chipmunk. She did not want to eat the sunflower leaves, but once or twice she grabbed a leaf or two. There were many sunflowers remaining however, and they grew and grew. Throughout the rest of the summer she hid inside her many hiding spots and felt the happiness of the human as he looked at the sunflowers growing. Soon the sunflowers had large flower heads and the chipmunk could feel immense joy and appreciation coming from the human as he stared at the bright yellow blooms. It was a nice feeling for the chipmunk to share with this human. In many ways a much nicer feeling than enjoying her favorite meal. She wasn’t going to give up her favorite delicacy, no point in depriving herself of life’s pleasures, but perhaps there was more to a chipmunk life then keeping everything for herself she thought. Perhaps giving something to others, humans and chipmunks alike, something they too could enjoy, was also something worth doing.
Thank you, more please. A simple statement that feels so good. I’ve been saying thank you as much as I can. I wake up… thank you bed, thank you sun, thank you house, thank you life, thank you body, thank you, thank you, thank you. I forget sometimes as the day goes on, but then something happens that sparks a feeling of appreciation. Maybe it’s a hummingbird floating nearby, a chipmunk racing across the back wall, or the feeling of warm sun on my skin. Maybe it’s a pleasurable feeling in my body, a feeling of energy flowing down into my toes. In these moments I am reminded to say thank you, and then “more please”.
The phrase comes from a movie, called “Happythankyoumoreplease”. The philosophy is described in a small clip that I will share. I saw the movie many years ago but the simplistic power of these four words was not fully revealed to me until recently. Perhaps it’s because I am more into the law of attraction these days, but I realized the ability of this phrase to both create a vibration of appreciation as well as encourage the momentum of further appreciation and things to be appreciated.
There is so much to be appreciated, so many moments in life that are far more enjoyable to pay attention to than the negative things that our minds love to imagine. It’s easy to gloss over the good things, or to notice something good and then immediately wonder how it’s all going to go wrong. It’s okay. We’re human. The mind is trying to protect us from something or other. Silly mind. Luckily, we can transcend, we can train the mind to think differently, to pay attention to the thoughts, emotions, and awareness that makes us feel good and enjoy the life we are blessed to live.
I don’t always feel like saying more please. Sometimes thank you alone feels the best, because whatever I’m thankful for at that moment is not necessarily something I want to create more of. But the “more please” part of the phrase isn’t always about creating more of some situation or thing, it’s about creating more good feelings, more happiness, more ease, more stillness, more awareness, more love. And as we offer up those good feelings and high vibrations, life returns them to us.
So thank you for reading this out there, and if it made you feel good, more please.
One summer evening I went out the back door of the house to spend some meditation time. After I rolled across the threshold, I realized with a start that I was not alone. A small bunny sat 5 feet away from me in the grass. He was in frozen mode. Not daring to twitch a muscle, he stared at me from the side of his head with one, small, beady black eye. I felt sorry for the little guy, I’m pretty sure it was a boy bunny, and I said to the bunny, “Why didn’t you just run away when I came outside?” He didn’t answer. He just kept staring.
I decided to put the bunny out of his misery. No I did not kill the bunny. I’m a vegetarian. I drove my chair forward expecting him to run off, but he didn’t move. He held his ground. It was then that I decided that I was going to comfort the bunny with some positive vibrations. I began to chant the gayatri mantra. From what I hear this is one of, if not the most powerful mantra in existence. As I began to chant, the bunny immediately relaxed. His ears began to twitch and he started hopping around, munching on the grass. These bunnies are all over my neighborhood, and I had never experienced one not being terrified in such a close proximity.
I wanted to take a video of this experience so I knocked on the back door, hoping my father could quietly hand me my cell phone. Instead he came out with great sound, jumping into a story he wanted to share. The bunny freaked out and ran off. Bummer. But it’s okay. I was grateful and appreciative. I had no idea I was a bunny whisperer. 🙂