August 19, 2017

A Continuous Mistake

"A zen masters life is one continuous mistake." - Dogen

Some of us may feel the same way and we’re not even zen masters…of course I’m not talking about continuously blundering about like a fool, but just looking back at things… at different points in our lives and thinking, “I wish I had done that differently.”…or you know the old saying; “if I knew now what I knew then”…one mistake can lead to circumstances that are like a deep hole that keeps growing deeper…or making a river that has become too difficult or impossible to cross and get back on the other side…other times it may just be a path that was untaken and won’t present itself to us again…all because of one or two decisions that were unfortunate…or it could just be that we look back at several or many things and wonder how we could have misjudged things…badly in some cases…woulda, coulda, shoulda, become regrets for lost opportunities…I coulda done this if I would have only done that instead…I shoulda done that instead of that…I woulda done this if I only knew…etc…especially if we compare ourselves to the lives of others…of course one shouldn’t hold a wake for past mistakes…what’s done is done…history can’t be erased…we shouldn’t be so hard on ourselves…it’s probably not healthy for us to think about those things, yet one does think about those things from time to time…when we look at our mistakes, we should do our best to learn from them so we don’t make the same kind of mistake again…but we probably will…we can’t help it, we’re only human…and humans make mistakes…we can’t hope to not make mistakes in the future, for none of us are perfect…and if we think we are, we are perfectly wrong…and on the flip side, not all mistakes turn out badly…or we can turn them into ‘happy accidents’ as the painter Bob Ross used to say…so mistakes aren’t an ‘if’ situation, their a ‘when’, but we have what we have in front of us now and the wise thing to do is to make the best of it and do our best to choose wisely in the future.

August 18, 2017

Can Animals Foretell Natural Disasters?

Can animals foretell natural disasters?...can they sense when nature is about to act like in the form of an earthquake, tornado, tsunami…etc…many say yes, that it is possible, others say no but the doubters are always going to doubt… but there are proven examples when animals have shown that they were aware of what's going on with the earth before humans were… we know that they can be aware of things we aren't …they can hear things we can't hear, smell things we can't smell, and sense things that we are not able to...scientists haven't yet determined as to why they're able to sense natural disasters before we can, but there is plenty of evidence that clearly proves that something is telling them that they need to flee despite what the skeptics say…some researchers believe that animals are able to feel certain types of waves that a shift in tectonic plates makes, before any shaking that is noticeable to humans even begins…these types of waves are not noticeable to humans…some believe that animals are more in tune with the environment and can sense when something isn’t right…others say sound ‘pulses’ that we are unable to hear trigger a reaction among animals…there are other theories out there as well, but the real reason is still a mystery…we see it in mostly dogs, but birds have been known to fly to a ‘safer’ place when they feel threatened by nature in one particular area…other animals have also demonstrated this ability…so the next time you notice your pet or any kind of wildlife behaving strangely, you may want to be on guard for something coming YOUR way.

August 16, 2017



A starets is defined as an elder of a Russian Orthodox monastery whose role is to act as an adviser and teacher to others...elders or spiritual fathers are charismatic spiritual individuals whose holy wisdom comes from God as obtained from an ascetic is believed that through this difficult ascetic struggle, which includes prayer and often includes seclusion or withdrawal, the Holy Spirit as it is known bestows special gifts onto the elder…these gifts include the ability to heal, the ability to perform prophesy, and most importantly, to give spiritual guidance and direction to those who seek it...elders should be an inspiration to believers and an example of saintly virtue, a steadfast faith, and an example of spiritual peace…Grigori Rasputin claimed to be a starets…one who was a mere pilgrim from Siberia…he claimed to have visions and his powerful personality and charisma often overcame any doubt that a person might have had prior to speaking to him…in fact, the tsar Nicholas II wrote down the event in his personal diary, stating that he and his wife Alexandra had "made the acquaintance of a man of God, Grigory, from Tobolsk province”…later with the help of reports compiled by the police, Nicholas began to see through Rasputin’s fa├žade but his wife was steadfast in her belief in him to a fault…and all say that it contributed to the Tsar’s downfall…it is said by some that he did have the power to heal…others doubt this ability…Rasputin gave spiritual guidance but it was often done with Rasputin’s own benefit in mind…it has been documented that he was no man of saintly virtue or an example of someone with spiritual peace…his life, particularly in later years was one of turmoil.