Travis Blogs and Podcast Updates

Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween @ Carfax

Carfax had our halloween day last friday, but I thought I would share my co worker's costumes.
My favorite is the DEVILED EGG- Amy Parker.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Meditation Journal 10/29/08

Today I truly enjoyed my morning practice. When I began, I suffered from a sinus headache. In my readings, I read a insightful segment on pain and suffering. The book suggested that in your practice, when you are in pain take the proper medication or treatment, and if it remains, don't resist the pain, but focus and study the pain. According to this book, resistance only intensifies the pain and causes unnecessary suffering. If you make the pain one of your focal point in your meditation practice, you will discover a better means to cope. I did exactly what they suggested. The pain did not disappear, but I was able to relax and focus a little better in spite of the pain.

Once I was relaxed I found a comfortable posture and hand placement. I started with the breathing. Once my breath was relaxed, smooth and somewhat normal, I started at the top of my head and mentioned the major body parts to relax. After I was relaxed, I was able focus on my breath without counting the inhalations or exhalations. My mind did wonder a little, but I was able to bring my focus back. All and All the morning practice was excellent.

I was so happy with my morning practice that I was a little too excited to begin my afternoon practice. It was wonderful as well, but It took a little more time to focus. All and all it was a wonderful day.

Introspect:

I never realized that as humans, we sometimes spend so much time resisting, that we do not understand what and why we are in opposition. For example, the pain I experienced this morning is natural. Pain is an inevitable part of our existence. Pain is an alert system of the body. It tells us if there is something to be concerned about. It also may tell us to slow down, exercise more, or seek treatment. Next time I feel a pain, I will focus, so I can make the right decisions for relief, healing, or treatment. It will not be ignored.

Happiness is in my Mandela's Eyes

Happiness can be found in the eyes of my youngest son when I come home. He gets joy from just being. He does not need the status of “Bull-S.” that many of us think are so important. He does not need new cars, houses, or any other material things to foster his happiness. His happiness comes from his soul; his inner being. The pure joy of being alive and sharing himself with our world seems to be his fuel.
He has not been polluted by materialism or false hope or expectation from objects that cannot provide any comfort, security, or true rewards. He is not obtaining meaningless objects and grasping people, events, and memories to fulfill his life. Grasping means to attempt to hold on to a person, event or object outside its natural cycle in life. An example of grasping is attempting to recreate an event because the memory of the experience was satisfying. Grasping (at this past experience) is unhealthy because it is generally impossible to recreate; thus, you are left with feelings of disappointment and/or grief.
Happiness is not an elusive feeling. We create the wall between us and happiness. Our barrier of selfish desires and motives hinders our ability to obtain and remain happy. Selfish desires and motives create a very short–lived feeling of happiness. If we get rid of the selfish motives by sharing, we can reconnect with happiness. We can feel like my son.
Note:
You can obtain fine things in life, but do not allow material possession to define you. If your life is defined by your belongings, happiness cannot flourish is minimized or squeezed out.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Meditation Journal 10/25/08

Yesterday was an interesting day. I missed my morning session. I did not place any blame or punished myself, but I did find myself in a funk of laziness for much of the day. I attempted to continue functioning throughout the day but I could tell there was a difference in my attitude and approach to daily situations. I also missed my yoga session. I think all a part of my start. It is important to provide balance, stability and mindfulness to daily routines. When an important elements are removed from the routine. The whole day seems to fall apart.

My 3pm meditation was cut short, because of mental distractions. I sat for meditation and I was not as comfortable as I wanted to be. I began the practice and I became distracted several times and my mind seems to wonder more than usual. I also began to make excuses about why I was unable to concentrate and how I need to find more focus before I begin a session. It is so funny, because I did not realize that this was my own mind play tricks on me. The mind is that powerful. I got pimped by my own mind. LOL! After 10 minutes I got up.

Introspect:

Just as every deliberate action takes a conscious decision, I must make the decision to remain faithful to my practice. Even if there are events that change my time schedule, I must adjust and continue moving forward in my day. Like a train: If a train is off of its tracks, movement forward is possible, but it will be slow, barely controllable, and consume a tremendous amount of energy. Once the train is placed back on track, it will continue its journey as it should.

All of my issues during meditation are normal, but my mind and ego fight against the journey and new direction. Our mentality sinks into our habits and builds defenses. Anything attempting to modify or change these behaviors is met with resistance. The old adage reminds me that "anything worth having is worth fighting for." Salvation, enlightenment, and happiness are worth it.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Meditation Journal 10/20/2008

I decided to do this journal because I wanted to mark my progress and possibly be an inspiration to others. I realized that there are so many people who are skeptical about the need or usefulness of Meditation. This Journal will provide some insight into my growth as a result of my mindfulness and meditation. There are many difficulties that I face, but I believe that my overall quality of life is improving because of meditation. So here is my Journey

The style of meditation that I decided to explore is called the Vipassana Meditation Practice. The Vipassana Practice allows the mediator to go inwardly for complete exploration, understanding and discovery. The Meditation is design to peel away the layers of ignorance, misconceptions, and spiritual poisons. Once the layers are removed the mediator can obtain true self awareness and mindfulness.

So far the experience has been exciting. I have been meditating for almost 6 months off and on, but for about 2 months I am more consistent in my practice.

All and All this is a challenge that is worth the effort. God is allowing so much in my Life.

I am-

  • Blessed with more insight and wisdom.
  • Patient with my children
  • More supportive to my wife
  • More understand and tolerant of others


     

I am

  • accepting myself
  • Examining my arrogance
  • Acknowledging my self-righteousness.


     

Today my morning Meditation was quite challenging. In the book Mindfulness in Plain English, it explains in detail the wildness of the mind, and its inability to calm down. They call it The Monkey Mind Phenomenon. During this time the mind jumps from place to place memory, to bills, to songs, and back. I have to remind myself that this is a part of the process. My mind has never been focused in this manner, so I have to make sure I bring my mind back to my breathing.

The 3 pm practice was short. I was tried to begin my meditation differently. I was not as successful as I thought it would be. I tried to focus on my inhalation and exhalation points without the breath counting. The breath counting helps me to normalize my breath and move to my focus on Inhalations and exhalations. Next session I will not deviate from what is comfortable for me.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Getting ready for the kids

I am a part of the Sales Team for Carfax. Each year we set up a trick or treat Holloween Party for the employees and their family. This year will be extra cool and the kids will enjoy this as always. Sarah, our admin, did a great job! Check out some pics.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Plan for Change: Obama!






I was thinking about the election and I am an Obama supporter. I thought I would do a quick blog about Obama and why I am honestly voting for him:

1. He’s Black! - I am not ashamed to admit that race plays a large factor in my decision to support Obama. Many people make it a point to say the opposite. (Why are we afraid of race dialogue?) They act as if race is not a factor. As a Black Man, it is my duty to give Obama a serious opportunity to win my vote based on race. It similar to a Veteran receiving extra points (Veteran Preference) on a Government Job Application because he is a veteran. If Obama’s policies were too radical and would not benefit the US as a whole, then he would not get my support or my vote. But being a Black Man provides him an opportunity to stand out and receive special consideration.
2. He has a wonderful personality. Campaign promises are limited by politics. If the promises are not approved by the House and/or the Senate, campaign promises will die. A person’s character provides more insight into the nature of man, than promises and rhetoric. Obama’s character supports his intention.

Someone said to me (I do not remember who), “As Blacks in America, we(Black Folk) have to be more or overly qualified, determined and limitless tenacity to move into the ranks of the powerful in the US.” Obama has done just that! Obama you have my vote


From Windows Live Writer

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Beyond the connotation of “Christian.”

Several days ago, I spoke with a good friend about my spiritual journey. I told her that I did not consider DSC00741myself Christian anymore, (Read Journey to Enlightenment Blog to review my proclamation) and she thought I had gone to the dark side. She asked me if I was Atheist and I responded no.    I attempted to share my research and discoveries to date, but she would not openly listen to me. It seems that the mere thought of me letting go of the title "Christian" dooms me to hell.   

Note: As I began to write this blog, my ego tried over and over to dictate this blog. My Ego had me. I was thinking elitist thoughts and harboring a judgmental attitude.

. As I thought more about denouncing Christianity, I realized that I was completely wrong about denouncing my Christianity. I am learning about eastern philosophies and being feed by Yoga and Buddhism does not mean that I am not a follower of Christ. I believe that calling Me a Christian does not provide the keys to Heaven. Adhering to the word of God (Jesus) and his divine messengers throughout time will provide truth and insight, enlightenment and heaven.

As I continued my introspective examination, I began to realize that I was taking a pompous approach to my personal philosophical and spiritual discoveries. I was allowing myself to manifest an elitists attitude towards professed Christians. I felt that my journey provided me with an insight that no other person has discovered. How EGO driven is that!

I am a follower of Christ, and I am learning from the teachings of Pantanjali and the Buddha. I quite sure once I began to read the Quran I will absorb knowledge from Mohammad and Baha’u’llah. I believe more now than ever. The Lord provides his truth for all to discover and follow.

I am a Christian, but in this spiritual quest, I am learning so much now that I am moving beyond what I defined as the typical connotation of “Christian.” I am a student of God. I am absorbing teaching from Christianity, Hatha-Yoga, Baha'I, and Buddhism.

No one should follow religion blindly, and I hope my friend understands her own spirituality. Ultimately we must make sure we are living a fulfilling life and if our life is not happy, we may need to examine our spiritual path.

That's what I love about this journey for truth.  As your garden grows spiritually, you can continue nurturing and weeding out things that are not good you. Truth is the only absolute thing on this journey.

Note

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