Contentment: Learning to be Content OK

Good enough is the lazy man’s way to enlightenment . . . There’s nothing more to do . . .  Your job is good enough . . . Your spouse is good enough . . .Your life  is good enough . . . Your meditation practice is good enough. . . You don’t need anything more, and what you now have is good enough. — This is all according to a young monk, – Ajahn Khemavaro, who spoke on Impermanence, in a 2008 presentation, “Everything Will Be alright.Continue reading

New bucket list headed by state of Alaska

North to Alaska!

That’s where I’m headed next week and I’ll start checking off the newest box of my “bucket list,” the list of things I want to do before I “kick the bucket.” Continue reading

Ups & downs of life provide me lessons

When you’re down and feel like nothing, God is usually up to something just for you.

That’s a saying on a church sign outside of Philadelphia hat I edited and slightly changed and can safely say is now mine. Continue reading

Growing up with Catholic Sisters (Nuns)!

While growing up in a Catholic School, I met all kinds of nuns. Some I liked more than others. I was kind of like the class clown, or a class-clown wannabe, and got called out by many of the good teachers wearing the black coverings with the bullet-proof white vests covering their chests. I went to Saint Ludwig’s, a church school in what was then a predominantly German neighborhood of North Philadelphia called “Brewerytown.”

I never did like Sister Saint Clare, but I did like Sister St. Leonard, even though she had made my brother repeat first grade and was forever marked in God’s permanent record as one of those “left-behind.”

Sister Saint Clare bullied me when she learned I had played hooky. She tried to get me to “squeal” on who I had stayed out of school with. But I never snitched on him, even after she forced me to the brink of the top of the second floor school stairway and over the steps for a tumble I will never forget. See: Sister Saint Clare knocks me for a loop.

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Sister Josephine Frances was my all-time favorite, even though she smacked me once when I thought it wasn’t right. She had left the classroom and told us not to talk. It was something that hardly anyone followed. At least I didn’t even though I noticed that most kids read their books.

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Love of Truth instilled by Sister Josephine Frances

When she returned she asked which one of us had talked. I was unafraid. Like I said, I really liked her. She made me proud of my Greek heritage when she taught us in her fourth grade class about the ancient Greeks, and how much our western world owed to those great men and women from thousands of years ago. I saw myself as one of those who, incidentally, would never tell a lie.

I was one of only a handful — all boys, I seem to recall — who raised our hands in answer to the good sister’s questions. Well, without further ado, she marched up to each and everyone one of us sitting in one of those wooden chairs with those little wooden desks with an empty hole across the desk-top that once held an ink bottle, and smacked us.

I mean “smacked” us. It was loud. And,  It hurt! But not as much as what happened next.

Pure unadulterated shame and embarrassment came over me. For the first time in my life, I felt my face turning red. You see, I had sinned and the Angel of the Lord descended upon me and struck me with the wrath of God.

It was devastating. Yet, some 50-odd years later, I still hold that holy nun in the highest regard, and I’ve never been afraid of admitting my mistakes. I could have gone the other way. I could have become someone who would lie by simply saying nothing, which I believe many others might have done. And some still do . . .

Truth is the truth no matter what age you’re confronted with it, I learned back then. I feel Sister Josephine Frances helped me to see that and pass a test of a lifetime.

Ithaca Insights serve up peace & calm

How may I serve you?
 That’s the key to a happy life, you know. Learning to serve others selflessly with no expectation of a reward other than the knowledge you are doing unto others something you’d want them to do . . . unto everyone else.

Continue reading

Meditate first and foremost each day!

What a surprise!

I expected to try to get through the day today without my morning cup of meditation-offering from Deepak & Oprah. I figured the 21-day journey had ended yesterday, August 31st. Yet today, the American holiday called “Labor Day,” they gave us a gift — an extra day. And boy, did I need it. Continue reading

Francis of Assisi; awakening him by a novel

I am about to be an author!

Well, a “published” author, that is . . .

I just learned that my book about Francis of Assisi, a historic novel, will be available at Amazon sometime in the next two months, September and October (2014). Writing it was a true labor of love. I mixed in Catholicism with Sufism and lots of Buddhism. I also introduced Francis, aka Giovanni di Bernadone, his real name by the way, to the Wisdom of Kabbalah and a belief in what I call “angel therapy.” Continue reading