Spiritual Development of the World: Focus on the Change

I was inspired to change things. Today. Now. Maybe from now on.

It might be nice to spend my life being of genuine use to people. It might be nice to forget the day-to-day trivialities, the pettiness in the world, the news, and concentrate on helping people effect changes in their spiritual development.

Why have I been posting about computer stuff? I could be posting about real stuff.


So I have 2 stories. An inspirational web site, and my own experience jamming with friends.

1. Heather MacDonald’s Facebook page is inspiring.  I’d love to have a Facebook page just like that…  Totally oriented towards spiritual growth and growth in others; no silly postings about stuff that doesn’t matter.  Maybe I’ll start now.  Maybe.  Turns out we went to the same schools and moved to Ottawa. Here’s her post:

A year from now, everything you are stressing about won’t even matter […]

What matters is making the music, not the state of the nation

2. The other is my jam session on Saturday with some friends.  I’ve not been able to leave the house much lately, and I made the effort, but it was moving.  We did stuff that was important.  We made music with each other.  I went home and thought about how I hear from people their gripes with politics, the state of the world, and I think how little this matters.  What matters is making the music.

I don’t know why,  but it’s the same when you write, make art, sing, dance, draw.  If you can create, you really should create.  Spend less time on the trivial.  Less time on the petty.  Do it now.  Stop reading.  Write a few lines on your blog or your social media. Right now.

What would it be like if my social media from now on consisted of this formula?: If it’s not inspirational, and not helpful to others’ spiritual growth, I won’t post it; and I won’t “like” it.

Practice (music/art): accretion of time over the long run by daily practice is far better than “spurts” approach

It seems to take a huge investment in time to become even moderately good in some things.

Like piano practice, or reading a new book, we may approach it with enthusiasm, commit ourselves to spending 3 hours a day with it, but what happens?  We fizzle out.  I’ll find myself web surfing or doing some silly semi-related task, but not practicing.

Turns out that we might benefit by doing something sustainable, like 10 or 15 minutes a day.  That way, on tough days we are looking only at “I have to do this for 10 minutes, and so it’ll be over with quickly”

“binge” writers write between 2 and 12 hours in one day, but then do not return to writing for a week or more verses more regular writers who write for short periods but write every day) […] One assumption is that writers are most productive if they write when the mood hits … they can spend hours of uninterrupted time at the task, i.e. “binge writing.”. Conclusion: Daily writers are more productive than binge writers and generated more creative ideas for writing than did subjects who wrote spontaneously” Challenge Common Assumptions Against Daily Writing (2012) Dr. Sally

Ten minutes a day is sustainable, and the accretion of time over the long run by daily practice is far better than “spurts” approach.

I meditate each morning for 8 to 10 minutes.  Many days I really, really don’t want to.   But it is such a small investment.

The first two hours of the day are the most productive.  Don’t waste them.

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Our TRUE Nature vs. Our Experiences

We have a higher self that’s always been there and is there right now, but it is easy to lose sight of this and be overwhelmed by current events and feelings, and go through life that seems to be run by our past experiences, and not even have an awareness of this higher self.

I think my current job in life is to become aware of my “nature”; this nature that was there before I acquired any human experience. It will always be there. My job seems to be to learn about this nature (my true/higher self), and to identify with this nature, rather than identifying with my human experiences (experential self ? ). There has been much in the 20th century that said we are the product of our experiences, but I’m challenging this.

Take an experience where you felt care-free or spontaneous as a child, and/or did things that were fun and joyful. And then over time, life happened. But even after life’s crises, you may have had moments, as an adult, where you felt for brief moments that child-like nature. Perhaps that is a manifestation of my timeless nature. My real self. It’s always been there.

It’s very easy for me to have my life controlled by my past experiences, if I let it. And I think I seem very willing to let it. I used to have conversations with total strangers, and within three minutes, they would hear something about the wrongs that were done to me in the past. Obviously, I was re-living these experiences again and again, and they became so deeply rooted in me, they took over my identity, with no hope whatsoever of seeing any future with anything new or changeable.

There’s a perverse pleasure from identifying with our past pain. It’s similar to the perverse pleasure I get from self-pity. Both of these, in addition, free me from the need to take responsibility for my life and take steps to effect changes.

Here’s a quote from my video of the week by Eckhart Tolle.

[There are] two things getting together. Old pain, that wants more pain, and and the mind made self that needs to be right, and therefore needs to make somebody else wrong. “He did something to me”. […] We miss the simplicity of things [such as a typical daily event that just happened,] that is there without the story. [The story is the drama we add to day-to-day events by adding in our past pain, and making the innocuous event more personalized (ie, more about me), and explaining the event in terms of our past painful experiences].

So Tolle’s suggestion was to just witness the pain we are feeling, not even need to label it, certainly don’t analyze it or add stories to it. Just witness it.

Current pains relate to this blog post because we so easily identify with our pain. This means that our real selves are once again obscured by the pain we are in right now. And for the moments of the pain, we are overwhelmed with our past experiences, including fears and hurts, and create much more misery by adding in those elements. It’s easier to just experience the pain, no need for the drama. No need to say thing like “This always happens to me”, or “well I expected as much”.

My last blog post was about living in faith, regardless of what my past experiences are leading me to believe. That is, despite me thinking certain current events are explainable because of my past (painful) experiences, and I have expectations that the future will bring certain outcomes because I’ve learned to expect these outcomes, I can choose to not let these thoughts dominate my life. And I can live without acting in ways that are controlled by my experiences. That is, I can choose to live in faith, and do things, despite what my mind is trying to tell me, and be able to do that because of a faith that things will be OK. It opens up the world for new and wonderful possibilities.

P.S. [from my bathtub reading today, just an interesting tidbit,  Jan 25th]:

The ego wants to be right, but in the dynamics of life and art we are never right, we are always changing and cycling. [Free Play, Improvisation in Life and Art, Stephen Nachmanovitch].

My recent blog posts:

Depression, Procrastination and Putting One Foot in Front of Another

High Expectations of Admired Friends

Depression Paradoxes: Isolation

Afternoon Forest Walk

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Total Faith, Let Go, and Live as If

What a tall order to totally surrender control of your life, let go of your plans and your ideas of what is best for you, let go of your fears based on years of programming in which you see imaginary futures, and just live totally in the present.

How can I be present with someone, and let God’s will take place if my mind is on my fears of the future based on my own perceived inadequacies?  I’ve already determined the outcome (in my mind), because I’ve learned to have certain expectations of what has “always happened” in the past.  It probably hasn’t “always happened”, but I seem unwilling to let this notion go, and therefore I prevent any possibility of anything happening which may be different from what I’ve learned to expect.  So if I expect disappointment, I’ll behave in a way that prevents me from living fully and, therefore is a threat to anything novel, which, chances are, will not be a disappointment.

I can’t love totally if I’m planning outcomes.  Of course, the outcomes I’m speaking of are the negative outcomes that we keep telling ourselves; messages we have been telling ourselves for decades.

Did you ever talk to somebody, and be looking out the corner of your eye at someone else who, in your infinite wisdom, is necessary to talk to right now, or as soon as possible.  I did this a lot.  I don’t anymore.  I have been trying to be fully present.  Ideally, if I wasn’t supposed to be fully immersed in the person in front of me, and ideally, if I had faith, I’d know that my higher power wouldn’t have this person in front of me, and, instead, he would put the other person in front of me.  “You are always exactly where you need to be at this moment in time”.  How little faith we have.  Even if we say we have faith in that statement, our mind is thinking of a million scenarios which if we do this or do that, we can make a certain outcome happen for us.  AS IF WE KNOW BETTER WHAT’S GOOD FOR US!

My mind may be useful for some things (less and less as time goes by), but for planning and scheming my future based on what I think is best, is definitely not one of them.

So I had an amazing experience of living in faith and being totally present with someone, and even though my mind was on my inadequacies and expectations that this will soon blow up in my face because they will not be OK with me exactly as I am and at this point in time.  But I was wrong, very wrong.  And seeing this is totally foreign to me, I mean seeing that I don’t have to be anyone or do anything or plan anything or change anything whatsoever in order to be accepted totally.  I’ve learned to realize that if I’m me and not trying to be something else, not even hinting at it, and if I live in faith that I will be accepted exactly as I am, wherever I am at my journey, it’s the only way to find real love.  But it takes a huge leap of faith.  Huge.  It’s almost impossible to do it, but it is possible.  I think the key is, just behave as if you have total faith in this idea, regardless of all the messages and planned futures (of negativity) that are in your head.


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Second JSF Tutorial with Eclipse, Tomcat

Using JSF with Eclipse, we create a java class used to navigate to a second xhtml page and also create that second xhtml page.

Previous tutorial was here

  1. Modify the index.xhtml to include this the code as listed below.
  2. Create page2.xhtml in the same folder as index.xhtml and use the code below.
  3. Create a class by right-clicking on the project name (JsfTut)/New class.  Name it MyPageClass.java and include the code below
  4. Right click on the project (JsfTut), and run on server.


<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"
<h1>Congrats, this works!</h1>

Let's go to a new page:
<h:commandButton value="Click for page 2"



<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"
<h1>This is page 2 :)</h1>



import javax.faces.bean.ManagedBean;

public class MyPageClass {

 public String nextPage() {
 return "page2";

Found this useful?  Share the luv, and leave a comment 🙂

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First JSF tutorial with Eclipse Neon, Tomcat 9

  1. In eclipse, Window/Show View/Servers
  2. If you have a working Tomcat in Eclipse, go to step 6.
  3. Download and unzip Tomcat 9 anywhere on your computer.
  4. If this is a new Eclipse and no Tomcat is already in the Servers tab window, right click on that window, select New Server.  Select Tomcat vX.x Server which is the version Tomcat you downloaded and unzipped. Click Next
  5. Click Browse to fill in the directory where you downloaded Tomcat.  Click finish.
  6. In Eclipse, create a new Dynamic Web Project; here is one way: File / New / Project / Web / Dynamic Web Project.  Next.
  7. ProjectName: JsfTut.  Configuration:  Click Modify button. (On old versions of Eclipse, we just selected the Jsf2.2 config, no modify, no save).  Select Java Server Faces v2.2.  Click Save As.  Name it MyJsf2.2Config.  You’ll be using this config in future JSF projects.
  8. Hit Next until you get to the JSF Capabilities screen.
  9. Type: User Library.  Below it, right click (or click the download button beside it) and download library for JSF 2.2.  Also before clicking finish, highlight *.faces and click the Remove button to remove any mapping patterns that are there.  Click the Add button and add *.jsf     Now click finish.
  10. In Project Explorer, expand your new project.  Navigate to WebContent/WEB-INF, and right-click on web.xml.  Open With/Text Editor.
  11. Add the lines listed below into web.xml just before the web-app closing tag
  12. Now we’ll create a home page of type xhtml.  Right-click on the project name in Project Explorer: JsfTut.  New/Html File/index.xhtml.  Click finish.  Delete its contents and replace them with the contents in the second piece of code below
  13. It’s ready to run.  Eclipse can show the web page but it will take a minute.  Right click on the project name (JsfTut)/ Run As/Run on Server/ Select the Tomcat Version and proceed.  In Eclipse, the web page should say “Congrats this works”.  If it worked for you, show some luv, and leave a comment below. 🙂

    Congrats, this works!



<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN"
<html xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml"
<h1>Congrats, this works!</h1>

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Depression, Procrastination and Putting One Foot In Front of the Other

Not motivated?  Waiting to feel up to it?  Plagued by doubts? Maybe, I just have to do it anyway.  Sometimes I just have to show up, it seems, and do the task at hand, regardless of how I feel.

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I’ve been plagued by depression lately, and this week has been particularly bad.  I got in my mind a few weeks ago to do the social media thing on a weekly basis; to put a few videos on YouTube and to do a blog post.  It turns out that it’s a good idea, because it adds some structure to the week, gives me something to work towards, but more importantly, I can look at the work after it is done as an accomplishment, rather than feeling I had a week with nothing done.

“Every book seems the struggle of a whole life. […] Best thing is to get the words down every day. And it is time to start now.” – John Steinbeck https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/03/02/john-steinbeck-working-days/

Yesterday morning, I did no piano practice, feeling “not up to it”.  I had this attitude as soon as I was out of bed.  And I didn’t just do it anyway.

Today, I didn’t want to get out of bed, but I did.  I certainly didn’t want to shower, but I did.  I kept hearing myself thinking “I better quit piano, I’m not enjoying it, and practicing especially the assigned pieces is really getting me down, and it’s a waste of time anyway.  Why do I even bother; I’m not talented at this at all, and I think I’m actually getting worse this year, instead of better”.  But, knowing what Steinbeck said (more quotes below), I decided to just plow on ahead and put in my time, and practice, regardless of whether I think it’s crap or not, or whether it’s pointless or not.  And afterward, I’m glad I did.

It turns out that it got better as I trudged along.  The first half hour was a lot of thoughts about it being pointless.  It was more palatable once I committed to just doing it, regardless of what I felt, or what I thought.  As time went on, I became more at peace with it, rather than fighting it and questioning why I even bother.

After my practice time, I figured I’d better make something to eat.  I didn’t feel hungry, and I didn’t want to do it, and I thought it won’t change things, but I did it.  I don’t really enjoy eating lately, and I certainly don’t enjoy taking the time to make something.  But after I ate, things seemed a little calmer.  Almost too calm, because I had planned (as I am doing now) to complete this blog post, and I wasn’t feeling miserable enough to write about the miseries of depression 😉

“In writing, habit seems to be a much stronger force than either willpower or inspiration. Consequently there must be some little quality of fierceness until the habit pattern of a certain number of words is established. There is no possibility, in me at least, of saying, “I’ll do it if I feel like it.” One never feels like awaking day after day. In fact, given the smallest excuse, one will not work at all. The rest is nonsense. Perhaps there are people who can work that way, but I cannot. I must get my words down every day whether they are any good or not” https://www.brainpickings.org/2015/03/02/john-steinbeck-working-days/

So I’ll leave you with some random quotes, pix and postings that I found this week, that in my isolation, I didn’t not want to re-post on Facebook.  Enjoy!

A post shared by Beth Evans (@bethdrawsthings) on

Love of self, in contrast, is an appreciation of our dignity and value as human beings. Love of self is an expression of self-realization, from which springs humility.  May God show me that when I can like myself, I am duly crediting Him, since every living thing is a work of God.”A Day at a Time” October 21 © 1989 by Hazelden Foundation 

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“People suffering from depression are locked in their own thoughts. Everything revolves around them and they don’t connect with the external world,” said Northoff. Ottawa-led breakthrough could hold key to ‘holy grail’ of depression research


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High Expectations of Admired Friends

I’ve been thinking a lot about how I spend a lot of energy on a few people in my life (not you, dear reader), and they seem almost indifferent towards me.  So, I vacillate between my idea of “stop ignoring people”, and my idea of “don’t waste time on people who wouldn’t spend time on you”.  The latter, I hope, will prevail.  As I journalled; “[with the right people…] there will be no pain, no doubts, no rejection, no wondering, no massive highs and deep lows”.  Unfortunately when I’m in “ignore mode”, there is collateral damage because I’m ignoring people who are always decent to me.

I say “not you, dear reader” because you are probably not indifferent to what I have to say, because you are reading this!

I think there is something to be learned about expectations.  I think maybe when I have expectations of how someone is supposed to react (to conform to my “requirements”), I set myself up for disappointment.  Surely, I know by now that expectations are premeditated resentments.  And I learned lately that sometimes we come up against people’s limitations – there are certain things they are just (socially) incapable of doing, or being, or behaving.

One thing about expectations, when I have such high expectations of someone, it may be because I think so highly of them, and I think about what I’d be willing to do for them, or how I’d react to them; such as show them a lot of attention, make them a priority, and think of what would be in their best interest.  It’s a little like putting someone on a pedestal.  I thought about this pedestal thing today; I wouldn’t want someone to put me on a pedestal, they are setting themselves up for a disappointment.  Kind of like a premeditated resentment.

However, pedestals aside, if I think that someone would behave towards me as I’m inclined to do so towards them, that’s a little unrealistic.  It’s terrible living in my head, haha.

I seem to know how to recognize when someone is paying attention to me, their eyes are not wandering on somebody who passes by because they want to be talking to the other person.  That’s a good clue.

The person in front of you is the most important thing in your life at this moment, and there is nothing else.  I like to try to be present.

I shared at a meeting that I have been feeling crappy, and as a consequence I isolate and withdraw from people.  But I don’t want to do that anymore.  The universe responded favorably to my sharing at the meeting.  It’s funny that I’m so reluctant to share my stuff.  I still am.  But then something positive like this happens.

I’ve been working  on a bigger on-line presence, starting with last week’s article on this blog, which I found out this week was my 100th blog post!  I’ve been on WordPress for 11 years, my first post was on June 29, 2005.  So this week I did a few YouTube videos of my music, and am trying to get this article out a week after the previous blog entry, before technically it’s not Monday anymore.  Tune in next Monday.  Cheers.

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