I want to share with you some places that may not be of your choice or current experience. They are based solely on my interests and abilities and availability. To me they are profound.

These are places of extreme quiet, where silence and nothing are one and you cannot tell them apart. Places where only nature speaks and her sound is deafening when no other audible intrusion is near.

One place is on a silent river. Where portions neither ripple nor descend through noisy cataracts, but carry liquid volumes in the stillness of deep flows and where it is far enough away from man’s concoctions that the only thing you think you hear are your own thoughts, but they aren’t.

If you’ve never been to such a place and find yourself in it, there will come wonderment, a revelation, a spiritual attunement, a surprise appreciation of the empathetic knowledge that only stillness engenders in a singular moment of time.

The first time I found such silence was on the Green River in Utah as I rafted in a quiet eddy pool and found myself in involuntary prayer with nature whose sacristy I entered and then sustained by the choice of benevolent thought.

The second time was at night alone at the edge of a lake in the Allagash wilderness of Maine. The stars have a noticeable brilliance when civilization is far away. They also have a sound that man rarely hears for we occupy a space of things and doing in the Cosmos of life.

The third I experience numerous times for I live nearby. It is on the Wallkill River in New York. When my Kayak drifts on the silent surface I embrace the Oneness and silence of All That Is.

I know that science has learned much from the music of the spheres in the vast cacophony of the heavens. I know that religions promote silence to reach the unreachable. I know that the frigid stillness of winter creates a cocoon where sound will not enter because of density.

What I didn’t know until I experienced it was the joy that silence gives the listener and that robust laughter needs no sound and God needs no dogma. The thoughts you think are yours, but aren’t, are God’s. He talks to all of us in stillness.

Mother Kills Children

Sometimes a story grabs your attention and pulls you into a sadness and anger that you cannot shake or dismiss.

The death of three children in Colorado Springs, Colorado is one of them.

Maybe you’ve heard the story by now. A 40-year old Mother was found guilty of first-degree murder killing her three children by burning down her home for the insurance money.

The children were eleven, five and three.

Deborah Nicholls will be sentenced tomorrow and faces life in prison without parole.

The law will decide her fate, but what of the children?

I want to believe that there is a place of cuddling comfort and dancing peaceful wonder. A place where toys and crayons never break, and scratches, cuts and bumps do not exist.

A place where teddy bears talk in happy colors, and puppies always wait to play. A place where candy is for breakfast and presents fill the room. Where no one knows what fear is and no shadows hide in halls.

I want to believe that in this special place, every mother who ever lived and loved her children, is waiting with open arms to hug, to love and comfort these children forever.

I want to believe it, for when I do, anger and judgment fade and sadness takes its’ rightful place and I can cry without the hope of vengeance.

Who Am I

Every once in awhile we should ask ourselves, Why am I me?

I often ask myself this question and with every asking there comes a different answer based upon my experience and growth at that moment of asking.

Why am I me? An answer for me is to participate in this time and space, in this place with infinite choices and live in the moment with the nearly six billion souls who have come to experience life together and generally be an example of creative change, courage and noble character.

In each generation, perhaps in each lifetime, special souls are born to help us find, accomplish, complete, and create new paths to the Source that give understandable meaning, knowledge and elegant grace to life.

Sometimes those souls will manifest in science and philosophy – Einstein and Epictetus; sometimes in literature – Dostoevsky and Miller; sometimes in leadership – Churchill and Lincoln; sometimes in music –Beethoven and Berlin; or art and architecture – Michelangelo and Wright and sometimes in belief systems: Moses, Christ, Buddha, Confucius, Mohammad, Krishna, Gandhi, and thousands of others like them who taught by example that the way to The Source was through positive deeds of choice and unconditional love.

If we look at history we find greatness and charismatic leadership in all fields of creative endeavor. We can go to any country in ancient or modern times and find individual greatness that influenced nationalistic culture and global history and we can find individual dictatorial greed and cruelty. In some spiritual disciplines they call the latter, “misdirected good.”

The Balinese of Indonesia have a perfect saying: “Bhuta ia, dewa ia”, Man is a demon, man is a god. Both true.”

Sometimes it’s difficult to understand “Why am I me” if we don’t consider our innate connection to everyone else, who they are and what they need. It is a difficult thing to do with the billions of people on earth, but if you fit the entire population of the world into a village consisting of only 100 people, maintaining the proportions of all the people living on Earth, six people would possess 59% of the wealth and they would all come from the USA.

80 would live in poverty
70 would be illiterate
50 would suffer from hunger and malnutrition
1 would be dying
1 would be being born
1 would own a computer and one would have a university degree.

If you’ve never experienced the plague of war, the degradation of prison, the pain of torture, were never close to death from hunger, then you are better off than 500 million people.
If you can worship without the fear that someone will assault or kill you, then you are more fortunate than 3 billion people.

If you have plenty of food, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep, you are wealthier than 75% of the other 99 people.

If you currently have money in the bank, in your wallet and a few coins in your pocket, you are one of 8 of the privileged few amongst the 100 people in your condensed world.

“Why am I me?” begs different questions. “Why am I so fortunate and what do I need to learn from the experience?” It makes you think doesn’t it?

India Terror

Some thoughts on the terrorists action in India.

Again weapons and terror have led to death and destruction. Again through the power of vengeful choice terrorists have attacked the innocent and have chosen violence to aggrandize their fears and feed their hatreds.

India accuses Pakistan as an aiding participant. Old wounds and sealed hates are opened. Nuclear fears worry global leaders. Each side asks their supporters around the globe to share in the accusatory finger pointing.

Again there are more dead; the count continues. Indian nationals, Americans, British, Israelis, children, fathers and mothers, all victims of hate and sometimes participants in it. How many truly believe that if we could ask the dead, was the hatred or conflict worth it, we would hear a positive affirmation.

The instigators, wherever and whoever they may be, wish to drag all who will listen into their cocoon of fear, into their illusion of righteousness and all too often into the grave.

Where are the shouters of “enough?” Where are the sensible? Where are they on both sides?