I had a vision, the trees were on fire....

By Michael Howard

I had this inspiration today to write this, I may keep going with it, we'll see.

I had a vision, the trees were on fire, the majestic cedars roared with the heat and intensity of a thousand suns. Chaos ensued in what was once the tranquil forest of my youth. I fled and left my innocence to burn, ash and smoke rose into the clear midday sky. I cried hot tears of agony, my heart raced and I ran as fast as I could away from the hellish inferno.

When I reached the village I saw my mother and ran to her, I grabbed her with all my might and buried my face in her breast and wept. I felt tears run down her face as she along with my brothers and sisters watched the trees buckle under the gnawing blaze. And then I saw my father and the other men of the village run toward the forest with buckets of water. My Father shouted commands to the other men as a general to his soldiers. They threw their meager offerings of water toward the fire god and shouted for us to flee, our village would soon be destroyed, turned to ash and dust with the rest of the woods.

In an instance the wind changed direction, all of the men including my father vanished in the flame as it raced toward our homes, our land, our dreams. We ran as fast as we could toward the hills to higher ground, all that we possessed in this life was lost.

We walked through the night, we were many miles from the closest village. All of us who escaped huddled together under the harvest moon and wept. We had lost our fathers, some of us had lost our older brothers, our mothers had lost their lovers and closet companions. Desolation settled in on us like the howling wolves wailing from far off in the night. "Oh Lebanon, why have you left us desolate, we bury our faces in your damp earth and moan under the weight of our many sorrows, oh Lebanon, we are consumed."

We awoke to the morning sun cascading over the soft mountain meadow, still huddled together, our faces streaked with dirt stained rivers, our eyes sunken. Somehow the dew of the brown grass nourished us and we rose to our feet, huddled together and poured out our hearts to God, Ar-Rahim, Ar-Rahim....have mercy.

Love is all around you!

By Michael Howard

Love is all around you, in every blade of grass, in every early morning drop of dew, in the golden rays of sunlight that warm your skin, in the moon and the stars. All of creation is infused with love, and to this day even in it's battered & bloodied form, the Earth still brings forth love manifest in the springtime Lilacs & the early morning song of the Blackbird.

What Do You Allow To Define "You"?

By Michael Howard

I have a question for you: when you think of yourself and all of the collective components that you believe define your life up to this point, what are they? Take a few minutes and compile a list of all the things that you feel define your life and be honest. If you are a cancer survivor or live with a certain disease, list it. If you have survived some type of trauma or abuse list it. If you are a smoker, put it on the list. Anything that is a regular part of your collective experience up to this point should be written down.

When you feel that your list is a fairly accurate description of who you are, meditate on each item listed. Can you trace the orgin of each of these items on your list? What events led you down the various paths where these things integrated themselves into your being. How do you feel when you think of these things?

Now, again meditating on the list, do these things empower your being or do they suck power from you? From experience, being in a place where I let pain define a major part of my existence, I was unaware of how much energy I put into this Pain Body and how energy much I took from others to keep me going. Eckart Tolle define this as our "Pain Bodies". Are you free in your body and mind or are you allowing your pain body to dominate you and others around you?

There is a relatively new Field of cellular science headed up by folks like Bruce Lipton and Rupert Sheldake that suggest that are cells are not pre-determined genetically as previously thought, but our cells react to outside influence coming from our environment. In a nutshell, your world view and the things you believe about yourself are literally activating your cells toward certain types of behavior. They act as a type of tuning fork moving us around to match our thoughts and beliefs.

For instance, this may explain why a woman who has suffered abuse all of her life on a subconscious level keeps finding herself in the same situations over and over even though she swears not to make the same mistakes. On a subconscious level she does not believe she can change or be free.

Perhaps disease and illness are not determined by our genes as previously thought, but may be are influenced to believe certain things are our parents put in our brains at an early age. For example, "well, your aunt Edna died of this or that, so did her parents, I have a high risk of it and so do you." I believe for a child, this fear puts them into an adrenal mode of being and may eventually move them in the direction of a certain disease or mental illness. I do not know this one hundred percent and I do not believe it's true in every instance, but I do believe that our thoughts increase the likelihood of inheriting certain diseases and illnesses.

In the next blog post I want to revisit the things on our list and begin to change the way in which we interrupt ourselves and our existence. I believe that if we can change our perception and reprogram toxic ideas about who we are whole Pandora's Box of goodness and blessing will be opened up for us.

Related Articles: From Andrea Hess "Imaginary Obstacles"

A Thought....

By Michael Howard
Suppose for a second that you are weightless, floating without physicality in a spiritual domain without any type of dimension or local. Time does not exist as there is nothing to contrast your experience upon. You have no sense of self or "I" and no needs or concerns. You are without hunger, and you know not tiredness or fatigue. You exist as one with your surroundings..ask yourself now, what is reality, weight or weightlessness?

Where Have I Been?

By Michael Howard
I have neglected my blog for the past three weeks or so, I have been writing music again and busting tail to get some flutes out. I REALLY need to write though BAD...not sure where to start?

A Beautiful Franciscan Story Of Mercy & Forgiveness

By Michael Howard
Here is a beautiful story concerning the Franciscans and forgiveness, please read this and take it to heart. Peace friends and enjoy the beauty of the day!

Across from the friary at Montecasale is a hill, which had been used in the years before Francis’s time as the site of a fortress. Frederick I, called Barbarossa, had torn the fortress down about the time Francis was born, and the hill site was abandoned. It was the perfect place to watch the road, however, and after the friars had settled in the hermitage of Montecasale, a trio of thieves had decided to live on that hill and rob those passing by on that road. They were violent and much feared, but even thievery is subject to ups and downs, and even for thieves things can get desperate, so that one time they found themselves hungry, and decided to go over to the hermitage and ask the friars for alms. Good Brother Angelo received them graciously until he learned who they were; then he sent them off angrily. The thought, that thieves should steal even the alms of God’s poor!
Francis, however, did not approve. He sent Angelo, who I am sure was not all that keen, to seek out the thieves at their home and give them something to eat. And also to ask them to think about their lives. This they did, and eventually came over to the friary and became friars. The hill where they lived is still marked with three crosses.
Before they came over to the friary, however, they spent a hard night on that hill. The three had decided to give up their life of crime, but a question nagged at them: would God forgive them for all the evil that had done? Could they dare to hope for God’s mercy? Since they could not answer this question, they decided to go to the friary and ask Francis. The great miracle, I think, is that Francis was able to help them trust in God’s power and desire to forgive them.


By Michael Howard

I want to talk a little about what it means to listen, to really with your whole heart, mind and soul listen. Listening with your whole being without feeling the need to interject, correct, advise, requires and inner peace, a quiet gentle confidence in one's self that is humble and is free of ego. I am working on this and still have much to learn.

I have felt the need to listen more to what others are saying and in doing so I find my spirit grows stronger and brighter. I am filled more when I talk less and let others share their joys, hurts, pains and losses. I can really tune in and silently offer healing and hope in an intuitive sense.

Listening is love and respect. Often times people do not want you to try and fix their troubles, they just want to be heard, and by being heard a person can find a glimmer of hope in a world bombarded by media, movies, books magazines pulling us in one direction or another. Being heard affirms ones worth, ones potential, that they matter enough to another human being to simply be heard.

Being heard is empowering, listening is love and respect, listening is a gift, try it, I think you will agree with me. Peace!