#YEG Secular Sunday Walks Begin

Please note, the schedule for the walks is that we now start at 11am, walk for  an hour and then anyone who wants to continue talking afterwards is welcome to stay afterwards to do so.

1330 Relax and Succeed - YEG Secular Sunday Walks Begin

Many people with no definable religion can still appreciate the value of communion with like-minded people. Sharing through silence or through words allows us to be together in a spiritual space that leaves us all feeling stronger and clearer for having experienced it. We can come alone, or we can plan to have friends join us too.

Even if you’re not here in Edmonton where I am, people can still find like-minded people to do this with. I recall a woman in Australia who met regularly with two friends. They would meet in a park where they would begin by reading a blog of mine, and then they would walk and discuss how they saw the principles in that blog come alive in their own lives. They all found it very helpful.

If you are in Edmonton, some of you may be former students, some may be people thinking of working with me that have questions, and still others might simply be people who want to spend more time with other people who are actively engaged in the act of increasing their awareness and controlling their over-thinking. And some might just like the idea of a pleasant walk outdoors (we’ll figure out a backup plan for rain).

It is a busy time of year, so maybe I’ll be alone. Maybe there will be lots of you. But the walk will be rewarding regardless. It will be a joy to be in nature, and nice to talk to or share silence with those present.

For those who would like to join others in a shared intention for the walk, I will give a brief talk before the walk starts. That way we can establish a shared focus for those who haven’t chosen one of their own. Other than that the walk will be about relaxing and opening up and sharing, so if you would like a regular dose of healthy peace and enlightening conversation, consider joining us.

Walks will commence on July 14th at 10am and will happen each successive Sunday until further notice. Note: this schedule has been changed since this post. The new information is below:


#YEG Secular Sunday Walks


6750 – 88th Street
Argyll Community Hall

(Meet just south of the Japanese Garden)

Nearest Bus Stops: #2224 or #2531

I look forward to it.

peace. s

The Friday Dose #56

625 Relax and Succeed - The shoe that fits one person

Hey everybody, I hope today’s already awesome but if it isn’t let’s see if we can’t get your mind off some bad thoughts and shift your thinking onto some fascinating and captivating parts of the world. Today’s Dose is going to go way up high, it’s going to go way down deep, but we’re going to start at sea level with Royal de Luxe’s incredible Giant Marrionnettes. They perform plays in entire cities over the course of days. If ever they are near you, check them out:

The Atlantic Covers The Giant Marrionnettes of Royal de Luxe

Messy Nessy Chic Covers The Giant Marrionnettes of Royal de Luxe


Next we’ll go so high up that you can see the curvature of the Earth! A lot of people complain about their jobs, but when I watched these guys I thought it was interesting that a) like pilots they need weather reports, b) they are regularly required to disengage safety gear just to be able to get to where they’re going, but I think the biggest thing I noticed was that c) whoever built the thing never even gave them a reasonable way to make it past the joints, nor any protection in case! He has to literally look around for something to grab!! Wow. And if the weather changes, well there’s just no easy way out….

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCYZZPwJr_c]


And let’s finish with something exciting and yet meditative. I’ve always been a fan of free diving. I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen the film The Big Blue, by Luc Besson, but it features a character named Jacques Mayol, and he’s based on a former world record-holder by the same name. Mandy-Rae Cruickshank, a former female world record holder, was raised right here in Edmonton where I am based. Even I’ve been fortunate enough to do some gorgeous breath-hold dives in the Coral Sea, but only to about sixty feet (18 meters), which seemed pretty deep to my lungs. But then, I’m not holding my breath for over 20 minutes like these people. The current record-holder is German Herbert Nitsch who has descended to 702 feet (214 meters!) but here we’re going to spend some time with Guillaume Néry, riding a current. It’s really quite mesmerizing and personally I quite liked the music. It would be wonderful if you enjoyed it too:


[vimeo 113893889 w=750 h=421]

OCEAN GRAVITY from Les films engloutis on Vimeo.


Like I said, we might have started at sea level but we ended up at the highest highs and then travelled to the deepest depths so I hope you found something to interest you somewhere in between. Thanks for checking out today’s Dose folks. You have yourself an awesome day and weekend.


The Friday Dose is a collection of cool, interesting and surprising things that are chosen for their potential to distract you away from any painful thought loops that may currently be disrupting your sense of perspective. Save these for when you’re feeling low and you want to change your perspective. They’ll help Enjoy. And please let me know if you bump into any broken links. Thanks!

The Trip

Let us metaphorize your life as a trip. Everyone who is born gets a trip. Where you start your life is the city you were born in, where you are now is where you currently live, and where you’re going is to the end of your life, which is whatever town you ultimately arrive at. Some of these lives are long—the towns are very far apart. With some lives, you barely leave town and you’re at the end of the road. Children’s hospitals are filled with these short-trippers, and seniors homes are filled with the long-trippers. But everyone gets a trip.

592 Relax and Succeed - Remember happiness isNow of course like the cities and towns of this world, there are all kinds of people on this Earth. And you intersect with all of them just like the routes to these various cities intersect. There’s even some people travelling from very near you to the same place that you’re ultimately going. These people are your friends because their perspective is similar to yours. There’s also people coming from where you’re going and toward where you started. But wait a second. Let’s think about that. Say those towns are where I live: in Edmonton and Calgary, the latter of which is 300km south of me. At 1084 meters above sea level, my cousin in Calgary would start with height. That altititude is like being born into a fortunate, healthy family. Not that Edmonton would be hugely disadvantaged, but at 671 meters my journey in life would mean I would have to climb 413 meters uphill and my cousin in Calgary will walk 413 meters downhill. Of course our journey is not a straight one, and we may go up and down thousands of times as we head toward our final destination, but in the end our lives will total out differently and his will have had more downhill sections. It will have been easier.

The unevenness of the terrain represents the unfairness of life. The world is not flat. Some of us are born in rich countries with good education systems and maybe we get great parents too. We can also get one powerful negative influence and we’ll blow our advantages. Some of us get terrible parents and suffer under poverty and strife, but having to survive through all of that is what gives people the strength to turn into a superstar. And the opposites are obviously both true too. But bottom line, people do not have equal shots at pleasure and leisure and relaxation and happiness. But since that’s a given, you’re far better to learn to appreciate what you do have rather than agonize over what someone else got. Because how much you have isn’t the issue. It’s how much you appreciate.

592 Relax and Succeed - Your journey has moldedIt’s hard to tell when you’re young what altitude you actually started at. Because you’ll compare yourself to those international lives like movie stars or musicians. But remember, to be world famous means that part of their celebrity journey will be by plane. But what goes up must come down, so those are round trips back to altitudes that are ultimately pretty close together. Being lauded on stage feels fantastic when you do it, but not doing it makes being alone a lot worse than it otherwise would be. So they might be at great heights while they are on stage, but then they crash back down to real life to the point where a flight from New York to Sydney isn’t a rise of 36,000 feet, it’s a trip from 25 meters to 200 meters, so in the end it’s more uphill than downhill.

So what’s the point? The point is that the people going uphill will use more energy than the people going downhill. While energy and happiness are connected they are not the same. Because someone can use half as much energy walking downhill as someone going uphill, but if they’re using their thinking to think heavy thoughts, then they are burning even more energy that way than they would by walking uphill with a better attitude.

Do you see? Every life goes up and down. But you don’t stand on your road and vainly complain to your society or some non-existent chess-playing God, begging for a better route—you learn to enjoy the act of walking. Those are the moment to moment steps of your life. You want to slow your trip down to those individual steps. Rather than worry about the end of the road or even where you’re going in general, just focus on the step you’re taking. That’s what it is to live in the moment. And remember: don’t call it a good step if it’s downhill and a bad one if it’s uphill. Your journey is your journey and this is how you get there so there’s no reason in judging it when you have to live it either way.

592 Relax and Succeed - Don't stumble over somethingSure, acknowledge that you occasionally get winded on the hills. But also remember that whether you’re descending a hill or climbing out of a valley you are not prevented from seeing wildlife, or smelling flowers, or feeling the breeze, or seeing some mountains or cloud formations in the distance. Your route does not dictate the mood of your journey. Never lose sight of that fact. Even uphill, it’s still possible to focus on gratitude. But if I’m not mindful my thinking will turn to complaining, which is like having one foot in the ditch, which just makes my trip more difficult and painful. It’s like bringing up painful thoughts of the past. Why add that effort to today’s walk?

You’ll go the distance either way. Why make it worse with bitchy, negative, judgmental, gossipy, vengeful or hateful thinking? That’s like putting vinegar in your water bottle. Blech. There’s no reason to do that when your bottle will hold fresh water just as well. And it is always you that decides what it’s filled it with.

Don’t ruin your own journey by comparing it to others. Yeah, some people will have it easier. But you know what? If you’re reading this blog then you probably live in a 1st World country, and if that’s the case then we can pretty much guarantee that your home town is at a much higher elevation than probably 98% of the towns on this Earth. And if you can’t be grateful for that kind of good fortune then you’re really working hard to be miserable.

Here’s hoping you choose yourself a much more pleasant journey. It’ll be better for you and anyone walking alongside you. Now go have a great day, uphill or downhill. 😉

peace. s