Do read

July 24, 2006

Brief moments of lucidity.

This is when I think God likes us most. When there’s less bull, and more real.

Lately

July 24, 2006

“Lately I’ve been feeling low, and a remedy’s what I’m looking for, cooking for.”

-Dave Matthews Band

That verse from DMB simply came to my mind right before I’d start to tell about what I’ve been up to lately.

I’m feeling good. Thank God my health has been OK, and that hasn’t been a problem since I left the hospital. I’ve been going to the gym for a couple of days now. I intend to keep on going, Lord willing.

I’m reading Thomas Keating. I’m practicing Centering Prayer. I’m doing a version I’ve got cooked that’s basically Centering Prayer and some practical lessons by Sakyong Rinpoche.

Amazing!It’s been a crazy 2 months. I’ve read a bunch of crazy philosophy and esoteric works. Fantastic works.

I read “Meetings with remarkable men” by Gurdjieff, half of “In search of the miraculous” by P.D. Ouspensky, listened to tons of Alan Watts from his audio archives. I’ve learned in 2 months a lot about Hinduism, Buddhism and Zen Buddhism. And I’ve learned about the ancient Jewish religion of the Old Testament and about Christianity too.

God is very good. And I’ve enjoyed this time very much. My life is very blessed. It’s always been. Thank God.

I hope you guys are OK. Please let me know how you’re doing.

 

The sleeping brother

June 8, 2006

Some old men went to Abba Poemen and asked,"If we see brothers sleeping during the common prayer, should we wake them?"
Abba Poemen answered,
"If I see my brother sleeping, I put his head on my knees
and let him rest."
Then one old man spoke up,
"And how do you explain yourself before God?"
Abba Poemen replied,
"I say to God: You have said, 'First take the beam out of your own eye and then you will be able to remove the splinter from the eye of your brother.' "
Taken from "Stories from the Desert Fathers".

Malcolm Gladwell, author of “Blink” and “The Tipping Point” has written an article for The New Yorker called “The Cellular Church.” In it, he writes about Rick Warren, the guy from The Purpose Driven Life, and how he built his ministry.

I recommend this article for various reasons:

  • Gladwell is a good writer and as I’ve said before, reading good stuff is good for you.
  • It gives a very interesting and inspiring view of Rick Warren.
  • It talks about today’s evangelical church in the U.S. and worldwide.

Honestly, it’s changed my mind about how I thought about Rick Warren. I confess that I used to be an idiot in thinking that simply because someone has made millions of dollars from a book, then that he was some sort of superficial, “light” christian guy (as opposed to poor and deep) (man am I stupid). Warren’s got what I’d call [sorry for the language] balls. He’s got a strong faith and will.

Let me know what you think.

Good writing

January 31, 2006

Man do I love good writers. Paul Graham, a painter and computer hacker (maybe Kevin’s heard of him) writes on subjects that range from painting, to programming, to being in elemetary school, to doing business. Here are two examples I’d like to recommend. Some might be a little long, so if you have a printer you might want to print them. Believe me, give this guy a chance, he’s awsome.

What you wish you’d known.

How to do what you love.

Now on a completely different subject, yesterday I came upon an article that I thought was great. It’s written by a Buddhist Nun. It’s on a practice called Tonglen. Great stuff. Really.
The practice of Tonglen.

Oh and by the way, if after reading Graham’s essays you think the guy’s one of the coolest dudes. Here’s the link to all his essays: Paul Graham.

Perfect

January 20, 2006

Yes, this post will be about a song by Alanis Morissette. I mention it first, so that we can get past any prejudice you have against the girl’s music.

OK, now that we’re done with that. Here it is. It’s all about this song called “Perfect” (here’s the link to download the song).

This is such an amazing song. It’s about how certain parents are towards their kids. But that’s not what I’ve been liking about it. I’ve been thinking that the song’s lyrics show a lot of what I’ve felt the Gospel has been to me. Here are the lyrics. If you already downloaded the song, you can even sing it out loud.

Perfect

Sometimes is never quite enough
If you’re flawless, then you’ll win my love
Don’t forget to win first place
Don’t forget to keep that smile on your face

Be a good boy
Try a little harder
You’ve got to measure up
And make me prouder

How long before you screw it up
How many times do I have to tell you to hurry up
With everything I do for you
The least you can do is keep quiet

Be a good girl
You’ve gotta try a little harder
That simply wasn’t good enough
To make us proud

I’ll live through you
I’ll make you what I never was
If you’re the best, then maybe so am I
Compared to him compared to her
I’m doing this for your own damn good
You’ll make up for what I blew
What’s the problem…why are you crying

Be a good boy
Push a little farther now
That wasn’t fast enough
To make us happy
We’ll love you just the way you are
If you’re perfect

“We’ll love you just the way you are… if you’re perfect.”

God loves you. But beware, you don’t wanna “fall off.” I remember a great thread on TheOoze that I enjoyed a lot with Seraphim. We were chatting about how crazy the Gospel is presented sometimes: a crazy image of God where he says “I’ve adopted you…. oh, now you sinned, you’re not my son any more… Oh, great you repented, I love you… what? You sinned? Not anymore… yes… no… yes… no…” Crazy.
I’ve been guilty of letting this type of behaviour permeate my life for too long. Hopefully I’ll move past “behaviour focus” and someday I’ll learn to love God with good intentions and happy heart. I have to get past behaviour-centric christianity if I ever want to reach a good state in life.

So now. I play that song and think how bad it sounds. Love that only focuses on behaviour and achievements. Sounds weird huh? Well, we gotta learn to get past that. God (the way I think He is), is not like the parents in this song.

Since I’m guessing most of you guys only use CofeeMaker machines to brew your coffee, I thought I’d post some photos of how coffee is brewed in thousands of homes in Costa Rica. And believe me, we know what we’re doing when it comes to coffee.

Old school coffee

You just need: A coffee brewing bag. Boiling water. Good Costa Rican cofee.

Boil some water. Add like 5 large spoons of coffee inside the bag (for 2 people) so that it’ll come out really strong and tasty. Pour the boiling water. Drink it while it’s hot.

The bag