Archive for August, 2011

Honoring Jim MacLaren

August 31, 2011

Jim MacLaren

One year ago today, my good friend Jim MacLaren passed away in his sleep. His sister Jennifer sent out this e-mail today and I’m honored to help spread the word.

Hello everyone,

As most of you know today is the 1st anniversary of my brother Jim’s passing. He is missed more than I can possibly say.

In his honor we are raising money for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. CAF was started for Jim after his second accident; a couple of his friends decided to raise money for an accessible van so Jim could drive. The foundation took off and now CAF helps hundreds of people get a new lease on life every year.

CAF continues to honor Jim’s memory with a special award given every October at their event. Our brother John is competing in the triathlon event in October and we are hoping to raise thousands of dollars in Jim’s name.

Please send out this link to everyone you know who might (more…)

Panorama in Paradise

August 30, 2011

Hi, everybody! I wanted to share with you my second most favorite view in all of Encinitas. When I walk to the gym, I like to stop in this spot at the top (more…)

Emmanuel Kelly Moves “The X Factor” Judges to Tears

August 29, 2011

I was lying in bed one night a few months ago daydreaming about shows like American Idol, America’s Got Talent and X Factor. I was thinking that the most moving performance possible would be by a contestant who had lost a limb or two in war who would limp out on stage, share his inspiring story, and then wow the audience with a heartfelt rendition of an emotionally powerful song. I drifted off to sleep with that scene in my mind, never dreaming that it would actually happen someday.

Well, it has. Meet Emmanuel Kelly. As children in Iraq, Emmanuel and his brother Ahmed were (more…)

2-4-6-8! Now It’s Time to Meditate!

August 28, 2011

Why is speedskating like meditating?

At this morning’s service at the Self-Realization Fellowship temple, Brother Bhumananda offered a couple of wonderful tips for ensuring a productive meditation session. He recalled that in his high school days, the entire school gathered for a pep rally before every football game, which fired up the players to perform at their best. He also told an anecdote about watching participants warming up for the speedskating finals in the Olympics. He said there was no doubt that Bonnie Blair would be victorious—which she was—because her intense desire to win was evident in her face.

He then suggested that before each meditation session, we take a minute or two (more…)

Ice Flowers on the Window Panes

August 27, 2011

Adversity compels you to dig deep within until you tap into the bottomless well of courage and fortitude that is your Divine birthright.

You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.
Mary Tyler Moore

In the worst of times, you may (more…)

Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth

August 26, 2011

Joseph Campbell

It is my pleasure to present Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth, a six-part documentary originally broadcast on PBS in 1988. It consists of six one-hour conversations between mythologist Joseph Campbell (1904–1987) and journalist Bill Moyers.

The first five hour-long interviews were filmed at George Lucas’s Skywalker Ranch in California, with the sixth interview conducted at the American Museum of Natural History in New York.

In these conversations, Campbell presents his ideas about comparative mythology and the ongoing role of myth in human society. The talks include excerpts from Campbell’s signature work, The Hero (more…)

What’s the Chants of That?

August 25, 2011

The little "Cosmic Chant" booklets are based on this book of Yogananda's chants

Two nights ago, a service at the Self-Realization Fellowship temple included one of Paramahansa Yogananda’s chants. I was unfamiliar with that particular one so I picked up the little book of Cosmic Chants that rested in a pocket on the back of the chair in front of me. I opened it at random, and the first chant I looked at was the very chant being performed. I was impressed, considering that there are more than fifty chants in the book. What are the odds of that, I thought.

Apparently pretty (more…)

Meditating Oceanside

August 24, 2011

Walking up into the SRF Meditation Gardens

This morning, I walked out of the townhouse I moved into two days ago and walked one block to the SRF Meditation Gardens. There, seated on a stone bench in front of the ocean on a beautiful sunny day, I did my morning meditation.

Click here to watch a four- (more…)

Let It Rain

August 23, 2011

The most capable and courageous among us have likely lived through punishing experiences, the simple telling of which would make the rest of us faint dead away.

That which does not kill me makes me stronger.
Friedrich Nietzsche

If you cannot change what you are faced with, then you must (more…)

An Eye-Opening Ritual in Encinitas

August 22, 2011

Yesterday, for the first time in over three months, I was once again able to tour Paramahansa Yogananda‘s Hermitage on the Self-Realization Fellowship ashram grounds in Encinitas.

This is me in my favorite spot in Encinitas, standing on the Hermitage lawn with nothing but the ocean in front of me

The Hermitage, where Yogananda lived for more than a decade in the late 1930s and 1940s, is where he wrote much of his spiritual classic, Autobiography of a Yogi. The Hermitage (more…)

La Paloma Must be Spanish for “Laid Back”

August 21, 2011

The La Paloma Theater in Encinitas

Yesterday afternoon I went to a movie at La Paloma, a historic theater on the main street of Encinitas that opened in 1928. It was my first visit there. I arrived more than ten minutes before the scheduled 4:30 start time to find half a dozen other people waiting in the foyer. I had assumed that a 4:30 start time meant that the movie would start at 4:30. Not so much. A sign on the ticket booth window read, “Back at 4:30.” A baffled woman muttered what we were all thinking: “If the show starts at 4:30 but he’s not going to start selling tickets until 4:30 . . . ” Inside the lobby was a balding man in shorts puttering around, preparing things for the show. Clearly, he was the only employee on duty.

At 4:30, he sauntered out to the foyer and announced that tickets would be sold inside the lobby, admonishing us to (more…)

You Can Let Go

August 20, 2011

There aren’t many daddy-and-daughter songs that don’t make me tear up. Yes, I am a big, fat sap . . and proud of it! So showcasing You Can Let Go by Crystal Shawanda was a no-brainer. If you are the dad of a daughter—then again, if you’re anyone who has a heart—you better have a hankie ready!

Javier Colon

Want more dad-and-daughter tunes? Click here to listen to My (more…)

Meet, Greet, Repeat

August 19, 2011

During my five months in Encinitas last winter, I enjoyed getting to know dozens of people from the spiritual community that drew me there as well as from the surrounding area. Now that I’m back in Encinitas after spending the summer in Minnesota, I feel like it’s time to (more…)

It Is Necessary to Suffer Some Defeats

August 18, 2011

Our greatest lessons are often embedded in our greatest pain. We cry to the heavens, unaware that we are growing stronger and wiser even as we plead for mercy.

We rarely gain a high or larger view except as it is forced upon us through struggles which we would have avoided if we could.
Charles Horton Cooley

You would not be the person you are today if you had never been brought to your knees by the vicissitudes of life.

If life teaches us anything, it may be that it’s necessary to suffer some defeats. Look at (more…)

I Left My Heart in Encinitas

August 17, 2011

My friend, Jean, was kind enough to let me stay with her since my arrival in Encinitas on Saturday evening. I’ll be with her until Monday, when I will be able to move into the townhome I’ll be sharing with the owner. Jean, who lives two-and-a-half miles from the area I’ll be living in, is also letting me use her Honda Fit. When I lived in Encinitas for five months earlier this year, I did not have a car. So you’d think that I would be happy to have a vehicle to tool around in.

Not so much.

Living a couple miles away from my stomping grounds and driving everywhere is a completely different experience than living where I want to be and walking everywhere. In fact, at times it doesn’t (more…)

455 Rocket

August 16, 2011

Kathy Mattea

I am not a car guy. I wouldn’t know a four-cylinder from an eight-cylinder engine (if there even is such a thing). Yet I love 455 Rocket by Kathy Mattea. It wonderfully conveys (more…)