Pema Chödrön

keynote templete.001Pema Chödrön was my first hero to help pull me out of almost 30 years of dogmatic, one way thinking. She made me feel safe, and she taught me to love and to respect myself.

Then she taught me to be present, and to lean into the pain, the disappointments, the failures, “the sharp points” in life. It’s hard to learn, hard to grow, to expand, to overcome if we habitually avoid pain, if we sweep what’s uncomfortable under the rug.

The situations we find ourselves in can be reliable teachers. We don’t create every circumstance in our lives, but much of what unfolds before us results from our own thinking, our own believing, our own creation.

The flip side of that is that if somebody else is doing our thinking for us, if we’re believing what somebody else convinces us to believe, then we’re putting our destiny into their hands, and there is little freedom, little authenticity in that.

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Pema Chödrön’s teachings opened up a whole new wonderful world of freedom and well being for me.

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excommunication was a very fortunate thing/update 9/11

 According to House…

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There’s some truth to that. When I was blindly, crazily religious, no one could reason with me, no one. My way (ACMTC’s way) was the only way. People on the outside didn’t understand that General Deborah Green had powers from up on high, that she was God’s General AND His end-day Prophet. We on the inside were special because of her. We were God’s elite army. 

Maybe I’d still be in there had they not kicked me out. (I’m so glad they did!) Probably though I would’ve died a forsaken woman, just as my ex’s (Steve’s) wife after me did. Martha fell under god’s “judgment” also, and died of “squirrel fever.” That’s how her death certificate reads. 

Excommunication was a very fortunate thing for me. It didn’t feel like it at the time, though—it felt like being dangled over hell. I was declared forsaken by God. Overnight I became the bad guy, the enemy in the ever unfolding plot of God.

I didn’t feel evil. I understood nothing. At times I questioned, but ironically, I was a good soldier—I knew how to guard against and stop my own thoughts! Every doubt I rebuked, “get behind me Satan.”

I thought maybe it was a test, like God wanted to see just how low I’d sink to prove my love for him. How much would I suffer? How bad would I feel? How rid of myself would I be? Self-denigration was a constant theme running through ACMTC.

I’d suffer anything for God, but at this point not out of a passionate love for Him, but more like a passionate FEAR. Why’d He pick me to play this role? I hadn’t a clue as to why He’d cast me out in shame like that. But He gave me this role to play, and who was I to question God?

I felt locked in.

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the price of apathy

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dismiss what insults your soul

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makes sense to me

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I’m not a Buddhist, however I do embrace the essence of its teachings—we could all use help waking up, becoming aware, mindful, empathetic, compassionate, kind and so-on and so-on.

“The essence of Buddhism is spiritual in nature, not religious. Its goal is self-knowledge, not salvation; freedom, not heaven.”  Dzogchen Ponlop

Reasoning, analysis, contemplation, meditation—just some tools to help us wake up, to see life outside of Plato’s dream cave world, ourside our tiny caves, or boxes, outside of our usual sphere of influence, our culture, our color, our people, our family, our friends, relationships, our gender, our jobs, our roles, our age, our geographical location, our neighborhood, our education, our beliefs—all those things that inherently settle down inside of us and can create a mountain of biases.

religion is… .

10157335_678969045473320_4734431561601099002_nI’ve grown to abhore religion. It’s the cause of many prejudices, biases and wars. Once I busted out of the one-way-is-the-only-way mental cage of thinking, a whole new world of vitality and hope opened up to me. I hate to say it, but it was like being born again.

At the North Fork/Tahoe National Forest

Creating happy memories with son Nate, his lovely lady, my grandson (Nate’s nephew), and Sheba —family dog.

cast for upcoming docudrama

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Adrian Cowan plays Deborah Green. British producer and story writer. Canadian actors. Looks like it will air 2015. I’ll update when I find out.

listening to “clear” friends

A good word from a friend (also a writer) who like me exited “inerrant,” dogmatic Christianity for something more real, and who like me, embraced the work of awareness, compassion, and authenticity. Thank you, Karl (and Ginger) for embodying whole-heartedness. Published with permission.

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Karl Styrsky, Foment Compassion

 

authenticity/ Brené Brown

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I love listening to Brené Brown, researcher on vulnerability and shame. She’s shared her research at Ted Talks, she’s written books, and produced audibles. She’s a great speaker—funny, humble, down to earth, insightful and clear. I’ve listened to her audible The Power of Vulnerability at least three times. From her work I find clarity and healing.

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