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Karma

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

To take pleasure seeing others hurt and struggling, no matter their past, demonstrates a lack of compassion. The compassionate seek to understand, not alienate or judge. We make matters worse by labelling what we witness as “karma”. To do so demonstrates arrogance … that somehow the universe conspired this particular event just for our viewing pleasure. No. These are not the thoughts of those who understand. They are the thoughts of the insecure.

Boredom

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

We are bored. We fill our time with anything and everything that enters our consciousness; hoping for a remedy. Yet, in our preoccupation, we continue to expect that the next moment will bring more relief than this one. But what we pursue is a ghost, for the true remedy to boredom is presence, not expectation of the next moment ... or fear of missing out.

Why

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

When we sit with ourselves in silence, it affords us an opportunity to see within. But in order to fully utilize that opportunity, we must stop resisting our actions. Our mind wants to tell us that what we do and say is a direct response to our stimuli. We assign blame.

"I did this because of that.”

But if we are only composed of reactions, then what in our life is actually our choice? Nothing. To accept responsibility for what we do and say is also to accept our life as our own. Even when we are “triggered”, we still have a choice. The sense of being triggered is simply a sense of identifying so strongly with a feeling that we believe we are helpless to choose our reaction.

Knowing Place

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

Every day we are confronted with a multitude of choices that we must make to bring us, in every minute, to a new time and place. When we look back, mindfully, on our journey we must understand that where we are now is a place on our path. It is both an end and a beginning. And new choices will present themselves here and now to help us reach the next moment of our lives.

Here and Now

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

Each breath, sight, and sound is an invitation to come back to our true home: the present. This is where life takes place. The chaos of our thoughts and emotions is a distraction from reality created by our mind. By detaching ourselves from these stories, we learn to find true peace by living fully in each moment.

See Death

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

Many of us fear our mortality. And this fear causes us to hurry through life, attempting to accomplish as much as we can in our limited time here. Sometimes we even handle other experiences in the same manner. Vacations, because of brevity, are treated with panic, attempting to see and accomplish as much as possible. Our short lifespan, however, is actually a reason to slow down and savor what we experience.

Evil

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

To we stare down our fears, we begin to realize that the things we truly fear are in our thoughts. When we sit in a dark room, in fear, our mind conjures up images of monsters and demons. But they are not there. They are within our mind. Our minds are storytellers and, if we let them, they weave tall tales … unimaginable … and unrealistic. This is why we come back to breath. Ground yourself in what is real to escape what is not.

Paddle

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

We need not fear entering fog of the unknown. Every future moment in life brings surprise but it is the present, when it arrives, that reveals what is there. Be here … listening to the water; feeling the early morning chill; listening to the forest on the far shore shrouded in mist. Although we move through strange new places, there is still life and interest in every moment.

Choosing Healing

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

If we want, our lives can be full of suffering: every opportunity is insufficient; every person does not meet our expectations; all of our goals are not being met. But the choice to end our suffering is also within our grasp. See experiences for what they are instead of what we want them to be. Understand people for who they are instead of the stories we write about them. Witness your life for its journey instead of its end.

Pressure

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

To bring anger into our homes is to poison a place of peace and respite. For, if we can not be content and peaceful in the place we call home, where can we? We must learn to drop the angers and frustrations of our day at the door and enter our home expecting peace, not more anger. The other people in our home may not follow suit, but that does not mean we shouldnot be joyful; one person’s anger is less than two people’s anger. Frustration and anger create pressure, not just within us but around us, and the only thing we should expect from pressure is more fire.

Touch

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

What is your impact today? What are you doing right now to bring more joy not just into your life but others’ lives? Do you understand your impact on the Earth? Perhaps we believe that our impact is so small as to be negligible. But when everyone believes that, these negligible amounts become destructive. What we choose to do IS important. The way we choose to treat others and Earth IS important. And the important choice to make is to act with compassion. Listen compassionately. Eat compassionately. Speak compassionately. Treat the Earth with compassion. Treat others with compassion. Leave one person’s day 0.01% better than it was before you came along. Leave the Earth 0.01% better than it was before you came along. If we do this in unison, then the world will change. Do not be discouraged by others who have not understood the power of compassion; act of your own … lead … show others the strength and power of a mindful life.

Silent Forest

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

When the weight of our constructed life is too much to bear, we must turn to our source. Walking silently through the forest and hearing the ground covered in life from seasons past; listening to the wind navigate the treacherous maze of trees; and watching the life that exists without our intervention. This is our home. No amount of money or goods will change that truth: we come from life and we return to life. No clothing can shield us from the reality that we are a part of nature. The earth and we are the same. By reconnecting with it, we can forget our pretense and arrive in a place where the problems of our man-made day do not exist.

More Than We Need

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

What happens when you take from a jar and don’t replenish? The jar eventually becomes empty. It is a lesson of which we are all aware. And yet, by definition, we exhibit insanity. Because we expect the jar always to be full. Because we take each and every day without giving back the same. We demand more from the Earth than we give to it. We demand more from others than we give to them. There is only one endpoint on this path … an empty jar.

Choice of Silence

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

When our lives become too chaotic, we will often blame circumstance because this allows us to remove ourselves from choice. Quite often, however, the chaos of our lives is the result of a series of choices. When there is too much noise in our life, it is important to make a choice to remove ourselves from that noise and refocus. In silence there is reflection and understanding that can not be had when our bodies are bombarded by thoughts and sensations, distracting us from the truth. We do have a choice, to change where we stand; to allow less noise into our lives.

Not Present

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

What is causing us to suffer in this moment, right now? The thought of something yet to happen? The thought of something that has already happened? And yet, what is actually present here with us in this moment that is making us suffer? Usually very little. Thankfully, each moment offers a new chance for joy and happiness because what has happened can not be changed and what will happen can not be known with certainty.

Distance

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

It is important to understand our interactions with others. Some people may have beliefs or lifestyles that are corrosive. Allowing them to get too close can damage our ability to be compassionate. Being a friend does not mean not speaking up about such things. Quite the opposite. A friend should be able to speak honestly and openly with you, without offense. If we feel that we can not speak with someone, who we consider a friend, then perhaps our relationship is not what we believe it is; perhaps they or we are not as open as was thought. By misunderstanding the true nature of our relationships, we can set ourselves up for future disappointment.

Cracks

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

To shy away from our flaws is to avoid an inevitable challenge. We should not feel embarrassed by our failures. To do so is to deny our journey. We also should not denounce an opportunity to become better people by overcoming our shortfalls. To do so is to be satisfied with dissatisfaction. These cracks in our life make us human; they bring character; they define who we are. Let us show them proudly as part of our story … the journey of our life.

Without

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

We want to be understood; we want love; we want to share our lives. And yet these things can not in truth be possible if we do not understand ourself, love ourself, and share with ourselves. This is the essence of silence. To sit with your eyes directed at your own soul, your heart, your animus. To see who you are and what thoughts and feelings pull at you. And to accept, without judgement. So that we can go out into the world without judgment. Because how we treat others is a mirror of how we treat ourselves and vice versa.

Undo

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

Regretting our experience can be painful. Sometimes we look back on our actions and instead of accepting what we have done, we close our minds and project the anger at our past out into the world today. This is not productive. We must see the past for what it is … experience … and accept and move forward with our lives in understanding. To live every day fully, we must be present for the experience of life, not mired in our past failures.

Stars

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

It is difficult to believe, when we look up at the vast heavens, that we have arrived here on their account. We are a part of them as they are a part of us. Made of dust and light. The mysteries whose answers we seek out there in the great beyond can also be solved by pointing our gaze inward. The infinitude of space stretches within us as well and there are wonders and miracles within each of us that have yet to be realized.