Ponder This 5/8/17

Michael J. Fox – Will Rogers – Emma Curtis Hopkins – Luis Sierra – St. Augustine – Jon Kabat-Zinn – Shakespeare

First post of a new feature in the dkhometree blog: occasional posts of quotations I stumbled across and liked.  Up to a dozen quotes in each post.  Not more than two posts per month.  None promised.  There is a menu item where you can get a list of all “Ponder This” posts.  You can get a list of all the posts for a particular person by clicking on their names in the tags on each post.  Got one you want to share?


“My happiness goes in direct proportion to my acceptance [of matters], and in inverse proportion to my expectations.” – Michael J. Fox, AARP Magazine, April-May 2017

“Never miss a good chance to shut up.” – Will Rogers

“Complaints increase conditions.” – Emma Curtis Hopkins, Scientific Christian Mental Practice

“Unexpected things happen now and then; mostly now.” – Luis Sierra, ADK Yoga, Plattsburgh, NY, from a teacher of his.

“If the past and the future exist, where are they?” – St. Augustine

“We can’t stop the waves, but we can learn to surf.” – Attributed to Jon Kabat-Zinn.

And this our life,
Exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees,
Books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones,
And good in everything.
– William Shakespeare, As You Like It
– A motto/mantra of TheBalsamean


I find that things improve when I lower my expectations, including people.  I can improve them beyond my expectations!

I like the angle Sylvia Plath gave it.  “If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.”

See the source of this image: Inspirational Sylvia Plath Quotes (LogicalQuotes.com) for many more Sylvia Plath quotes.  I recommend LogicalQuotes.com, one of only two quotations blogs I follow, and I’ve seen scads.  Great stuff from all the greats.  Nicely curated.  (Unbiased review.)

Not Kissing Movies Goodbye

I watch old movies again the way I see the same things in a museum again, or read a book again.  Movies are the definitive art of the era.  Before long, only collectors and museums will have them.  Holograms, virtual reality, and robotic interaction will flood the entertainment market.

small_dvd_stack-253x200These transitions away from two-dimensional media will be commonplace within a couple of human generations – maybe just one.  When our retiring Baby Boomers were born, the personal computer was unthinkable, and FM radio not yet on the market.  I could easily live another thirty years.  The first IBM PC hit the market thirty-five years ago.  In 1999 someone told me it looked like a ’57 Chevy, in its outmoded style, size and structure.  What will we have in our pockets in a couple of decades?

If they let me, I’ll continue enjoying the mostly passive entertainment in movies.  Whatever machine I play them on, I don’t want to kiss movies goodbye.

Rio-Grande-posterOld movies never die.  When I see an oldie, I might study a character closely, and its actor’s skill.  This is how I landed on the angel and the bartender as my favorites in It’s a Wonderful Life.  I pay attention to the music credits.  If a flick has a great composer behind it, it’s a great flick.  Some of my favorite CDs are movie scores and themes.  There’s also the scenery, the cinematography, the costumes.  I notice the buildings and vehicles, the picture on the wall in the stairway, the realism or lack thereof.  Usually best of all is the dialog.  It’s a wonderful life in the movies.

I love the dialog lines that make me laugh out loud when they are not meant for humor.  There’s kitschy philosophical baloney, perfectly put ponderous punditry, poignant or pretty prose in narrators’ silky voices, and sometimes profound wisdom memorably said.   There are classic romantic lines — or ones I think should be classics — that I wish I had thought of, because I think they’d actually work, whether tongue in cheek or out, such as this John Wayne & Maureen O’Hara catchy verbal foreplay:

I never want to kiss you goodbye

Continue reading “Not Kissing Movies Goodbye”

Organized Lovelessness

Huxley: too much on his mind

In his 1945 book, The Perennial Philosophy, Aldous Huxley wrote, “Our present economic, social and international arrangements are based, in large measure, upon organized lovelessness.”

Some things just never change.  And some get worse.

The good news?  Some kinds of organized lovelessness have dwindled since 1945, albeit too slowly, such as institutional racism and sexism.  (Sectarianism overall yet thrives.)

In the end, money is, always has been, and hopefully won’t always be the most organized way to conduct lovelessness.  I even use it to be loveless toward myself.  It is such an efficient means.

Just contemplating things from a little light reading in some old notes taken several years ago during the study of an old book.

Related reading (I think so):


Engage Your Natural Meditative Function

In his book, A Course in Meditation, expert meditation teacher Theodore K. Phelps defines meditative function as:

A suite of natural processes of the human mind and body, distinct from those of waking and sleeping, that arise naturally during periods of intentional non-striving, generally while sitting in non-striving forms of meditation.  – A Course in Meditation, p. 188 (read 1st 34 pages online – PDF)

He adds:

The meditative function is physiologically and psychologically real.  It isn’t a philosophy or aspiration.  It is solid enough to be measured in physiology labs.  – p. 188

It has been measured and analyzed in many ways by many scientists, dating back to Dr. Herbert Benson’s 1970’s pioneering study of the relaxation response (Benson-Henry Institute definition).  Instead of relaxation response, Phelps uses the term meditative function because he sees “the need for a name that reflects more accurately all that goes on during meditation.”

Continue reading “Engage Your Natural Meditative Function”