Monday, June 28, 2010


by Daniel Nahmod

Nothing to say, nowhere to go, nothing to do
I have no promises to make, no one to know, nothing to prove
It's a strange sort of existence, somehow it seems so true

The only thing i really know is that I don't know a thing
The only sound that i hear now is the silence when i sing
The only sight my eyes can see is the darkness of my dreams
This is how I'm born to be

I know nothing is wrong, nothing is right, all is in all right now
Everything's gone, ambition and fight, no expectations at all
It's a new kind of intention, somehow it seems so right

The only thing i really know is that I don't know a thing
The only sound that i hear now is the silence when i sing
The only sight my eyes can see is the darkness of my dreams
This is how I'm born to be

I'd be perfectly fine if I stayed this way forever
Nothing on my mind, and I've never felt better

The only thing I really know is that I don't know a thing
The only sound that i hear now, is the silence when i sing
the only sight my eyes can see is the darkness of my dreams
This is how I'm born to be
This is how I'm born to be


Sunday, June 20, 2010

You and Yours

Your eyes were the most mischievous I have ever looked into, full of adventure. We had a passion I never even dreamed of having.

And yours I had the pleasure of looking into for hours that night, without saying a word, just holding you. It was one of the most intimate things I have ever experienced.

Your lips were some of the softest that I have ever kissed; there was a synchronicity there that just seemed to come naturally.

And we, we kissed at midnight on New Years Eve after your aged dog ate my box of chocolates. It was my first kiss, and I was terrible. We lasted something like two weeks.

And you, you were the one who took me by the lips and taught me. You were unrelenting.

Your kiss came to my cheek when I was a schoolboy, and immediately afterward I danced around the schoolyard in sheer giddy delight.

And you, you had a heart that matched mine. You knew who you were and you lived it out on a daily basis. i was privileged to be in the picture. You had a beautiful simplicity about you that drew me to you.

You and yours.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Only Visiting This Planet

Lately I've been dousing myself in old Christian rock that I used to listen to growing up. Petra, DeGarmo and Key, Michael W. Smith, and more. Most recently DeGarmo and Key have been on my Blackberry, as I remember lead singer Dana Key who recently passed away. Just today one of D & K's songs "Aliens and Strangers" came on, which contains lyrics like "My closest friends are aliens and strangers, travelers here, living with danger." Later on, Key states that we're just "passing through." This is a common theme in Christian rock. The Grandfather of Christian Rock, the late Larry Norman entitled one of his albums Only Visiting This Planet, and also had a song called U.F.O. which said "He's (Jesus) an Unidentified Flying Object, we will meet him in the sky." All of this suggests that our real home is not this earth but that we should consider Heaven our home. I believe even T-shirts with the phrase "This World Is Not My Home" used to be popular among Christians.

I think that it is unfortunate to place so much emphasis on the afterlife, which no one can definitively prove anyway. Placing our sights on the future, which is undetermined, robs us of being fully present in the here and in the now, which is all that we have. There is also an air of disdain for this world in some of these songs, as if the world is a dirty, sullied place that needs to be conquered. Degarmo and Key has a song called At War With The World. Petra has songs such as Armed and Dangerous and even This Means War.

What I am trying to say is that this world is all we have right now, so instead of trying to conquer or overcome it, we should instead embrace it and the things in it. It should also be noted that along with a condemnation for this world, there is usually a partnering disdain for our bodies, which are things that need to be conquered or overcome. What I am saying is that we can trust this world, and Trust that It Is Good. We live in a wonderful world and all we have for sure is this lifetime, so we should enjoy it and also enjoy ourselves. Just as we can trust the world, we can trust our bodies and the things that they tell us. We should wake up each day and bask in the new moments that Life brings us. Also, we should embrace the feelings that our bodies feel, whether they are telling us to relax, slow down, or dance like there's no tomorrow. (I should note that I do think that there's more after this life, but what the afterlife is like, I have no idea, but I trust that it is Good, just as this life is.)

In conclusion, we are not Aliens and Strangers, or Only Visiting This Planet.

We Can Trust This Life. We Can Trust This World. We Can Trust Our Bodies. We Can Just Trust.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

You Can Trust Yourself

Do you know that you can trust yourself? Maybe you do, maybe you don't. I never used to think that I could trust myself when I was growing up as a fundamentalist Christian. I believed that humankind in their natural state were sinners and that their ways were naturally distorted and bent. It was only through salvation by Jesus that one could be cleansed from this, but still you couldn't trust yourself. You could trust God and Jesus, and perhaps your pastor, but not yourself. We were naturally corrupt, and thankfully had the word of God, the Bible to refer to in all matters.

But today I trust myself.

I trust myself now that I view God as the divine Spirit within whom I live and whom I am an expression of. I trust my feelings, whether they be of love or sadness, anger or pain. I do not try to pray them away or run away from negative emotions. Rather, I sit with them and try to understand why they're there. I am learning to listen to my body. If I am feeling sad, I let myself feel sad. If I feel the need to be held, I get together with a friend who can hold me. If I feel like I want to kiss someone, if I am in a relationship I kiss unabashedly.

We are not bad, we are not untrustworthy.

We Are Good, and We Can Trust Ourselves.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Coming Back To This Moment

What is it that you need to get back into the present moment? If you're like me, you may spend a lot of your time thinking about the past, whether they be good or bad memories, celebrations or regrets. We are not Here. Or perhaps you are thinking of the future, whether it be in eager anticipation of an upcoming event, or with dis-ease at what may come. What can bring us back Here, where peace is present?

I think it can be different things for different people. Spending a few minutes in prayer or meditation in the morning could do it. If you believe in a personal God, you could bring your concerns and things that you're grateful for before Him. If you view God as more of a spiritual being who lives within you, you could practise focusing on "breathing in God, breathing out God." Or you may just focus on your breath and nothing else, if you can concentrate on it. If not, you could try a certain phrase or Scripture verse that means a lot to you. Examples of this are: "I am a loved and wonderful expression of God in the world," "I am fearfully and wonderfully made," or simply "I am Love."

However you do it, I encourage you to spend as much time as possible in the here, in the now. All worries and anxieties are less in the here and the now and when we focus on God, whomever that may be for us.

Blessings to you today!

Mark Andrew

Friday, June 4, 2010

A Reminder

Do you know that if you could never do anything ever again, that if you could never be who you think you are ever again, You Would Still Be Wonderful.

There's nothing that you need to say, there's no catching up to do and no one to impress.

You are a Unique and Wonderful Gift To The World. You may not feel like it today, there can be so many things that pull us away from this truth, but you can come back to it again and again. Although it is nice to hear from others, no one needs to tell this to you for it to be true. You're magnificent.

Be Easy On Yourself. Show Loving-Kindness To Yourself, because there is only one You.

You, Me, & Plurality

"Religion cannot stand Spirituality. It cannot abide it. For Spirituality may bring you to a different conclusion than a particular religion - and this no known religion can tolerate.

Religion encourages you to explore the thoughts of others and accept them as your own. Spirituality invites you to toss away the thoughts of others and come up with your own."

Neale Donald Walsch

My last few blog entries have begun with quotes from Walsch that I agree with, but this time I thought I'd post one that I don't necessarily agree with totally.

Firstly, there is his statement that "Spirituality may bring you to a different conclusion than a particular religion - and this no known religion can tolerate."
Frankly, and thankfully, this is no longer true. I have been fortunate in the past 3 years or so to have been introduced to both Unitarian Universalism, and Unity.

For those unfamiliar with Unitarian Universalism, it is a liberal, non-creedal religion. However, it does have a list of 7 Principles and 6 Sources from which they draw upon, one of which is direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life; In other words, they recognize and affirm that an individual's personal and direct experience is valid; it matters!

As far as Unity is concerned, while it still utilizes more Christian language and Scripture than you'd find in a Unitarian Universalist church, it acknowledges the individual's journey. While I am now a member of the Unitarian Universalist church in my region, I attended a Unity center for several months. Every Sunday the minister would make a point of welcoming those in attendance with something like this: "We welcome you to Unity. We realize that each person is on their own individual journey and that we are not the only way, but welcome."

How refreshing both of these approaches are! A very public acknowledgement that we are all on our own individual journeys and they may look very different from the person sitting next to us, but still we can come together and be in a loving, accepting community!

Secondly I'd like to refer to Walsch's statement that "Spirituality invites you to toss away the thoughts of others and come up with your own." I think we can all agree that we can listen to the thoughts of others and then judge whether we agree with them and want to incorporate them into our own belief system, or whether we indeed want to "toss them away." But I mostly want to refer to the part of the sentence where he suggests that we can "come up with our own (thoughts and beliefs)." This is very different from what I grew up with. I grew up as a fundamentalist Christian where I thought I had to measure my beliefs and thoughts against the words of the inerrant Bible and against the words of a minister. What's more, I believed in the doctrine of original sin, that because Adam and Eve ate of the fruit in the Garden of Eden, so the rest of humanity also had a sinful nature at its core. How wonderful it is now to believe that we are not originally sinful but that we are original blessings, and that our thoughts, rather than probably being contrary to what God wants, can often be the expression of God into the world and blessings to the people in our lives and to those around the world.

In conclusion, I disagree with Walsch's assumption that all religion cannot accept diversity, but I heartily agree that we can come up with our own thoughts and beliefs.

Blessings to you today,

Mark Andrew

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

In God We Live And Move And Have Our Being

"People can relate to you - even as they judge you. And if they see that you are truly sincere, they can even forgive you your 'sordid past.'

Yet I tell you this: So long as you are still worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them.

Only when you require no approval from outside yourself can you own yourself."

Neale Donald Walsch

I think that Walsch touches on something very important here. I think there are times in everyone's life where we get caught in the trap of worrying about what other people think about us. This can especially happen in elementary or high school as we grow up and try to forge our identity. We get caught up in what people around us think of what we look like, how we act, what we believe.

But hopefully as we continue on in life we shed that need of approval from others and find our identity squarely as people within God, as confident yet humble human beings. This is easier for some than others. Many people need therapy to accomplish this, particularly if their childhood wasn't one that fostered healthy boundaries.

Now this doesn't mean that we should come to a point where we have no needs or that we are islands, separate from everyone and everything around us. As humans we do have needs - to be loved, to be touched, to share what we are passionate about with others. The key though, is to solidly have our core within God, in whom we live and move and have our being.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Every Heart Beats With The Same Life Force

"It is significant that past and current spiritual masters tell us that to know thy self is also to know God. However, this has been difficult for us to comprehend. How can it be that we are one and the same? And if we are, what does this really mean? This is what we are here to clarify: Who and What is the I Am?

Listen. I Am in the silence between these words and lines, and underneath the very air you breathe. What I Am and who you are, are the same. We share our essential Beingness. Every heart beats with the same life force. That is the miracle and mystery of life. Let us explore our essence so that we may come to the felt realization that who I truly am and who you truly are, are the same."

-P. Raymond Stewart, Living As God: Healing The Separation

It seems to me that there are 3 cries that we find ourselves expressing during our lives. To know God, to know others, to know ourselves. But all of these can come together if we believe that we are interconnected with everyone around us, and that we are inseparable from God. Living a spiritual life doesn't have to be about making efforts to bridge a chasm between us and God, because there isn't one. It's about realization; we are already one with God. And we are one with each man and woman, boy and girl that we come across during our travels. What does this mean? How could this change life? For one, it could stop the pleading that often takes place in our relationship with God. Rather than wondering where the Hell God is, He is right here, living and breathing through our body. This requires a self-acceptance, a loving oneself rather than degrading ourself, because truly we are temples of God. Seeing ourselves as interconnected with everyone around us, because they are God too, would mean that we could stop categorizing people or treating them harshly. When we love others, we love God. When we love ourselves, we love God.