Alonza Thomas -Fear of Heights

Over the past year I’ve written about Alonza.  I’ve had the pleasure of skyping with him many times – a deep and thoughtful man trying to figure out how to begin his life again in a world that caused him pain. We have read frequently the past year what effects are of solitary confinement. Because of what happened to Kalief Browder and his suicide caused by abuse and solitary confinement the law was changed and kids could no longer be held like that. Alonza had just turned 16 and California had just changed the law to try 16 year old kids as adults and he was the first one. He became their poster child/adult as the. “stick-up kid”.

He made it through 13 years but came out in a million tiny pieces he has been struggling to put back together. I’d like to say that today everything is great. I know he wishes it were. But the reality is the same as someone who has come back from war. On the outside everything seems to be okay, but the glue holding the pieces together never really dries and it is fragile and easily broken. He is safer inside his lonely room than facing the world outside.

Google him and watch the TV shows on him and understand his story.

 

Below the video is a link to other poetry.

Do You Know Why Your Thoughts Are So Important?

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Author: Margaret Blaine
We’re taught that our thoughts don‘t really matter unless we act on them. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

We are one with the creative life force in the core of our lives, so our minds have the same creative capacity as the life force itself. This means our minds are unlimited and can create the circumstances we desire.

In the Buddhist dictionary, we are told that the mind possesses the potential of 3000 realms in a moment of life and encompasses the simultaneity of cause and effect.


This means that every thought, we have, sets a seed in our lives that will manifest in the future when the time is right. Our outer life today is the “visible” manifestation of the “invisible” workings of our mind of yesterday. So, the thoughts, we dwell upon the most, create our life in the future. Until we learn about this we just let any old thoughts, and beliefs run through our minds, unaware we are in fact creating our future life circumstances. The beauty? We possess the ability to consciously change what we are doing to get better results.

As President Ikeda writes in My Dear Friends in America, ‘belief and thought alter reality’. This capacity of our minds is truly miraculous. Most of the time we are either unaware of what we have, take it for granted or doubt we really have it. We not only project our thoughts out to the universe while chanting, but we unconsciously do it all day long. Since the universe reflects our thoughts back to us, it is important that we become aware of what we are projecting.

I have heard people say that chanting doesn’t work. But chanting always works. The response reflects what you are thinking about the most. If you are chanting while thinking this is a waste of time, then the universe will reflect that back to you. But if you chant with the faith that you will get what you want, that result will be reflected back to you too. Awareness, of what you are thinking, will allow you to create the future life you want on purpose, through deliberate intent, rather than by accident. Awareness will allow you to achieve your goals more quickly, because you are no longer getting in your own way.

Become Aware: What Are You  Thinking About?

You give yourself a major advantage once you become aware of what you are thinking. It can be a challenge to notice the almost subliminal thoughts that flit by so quickly. But once you develop the habit of noticing, you will catch yourself when you are thinking about negative results, or worrying about problems. Then you can deliberately change those negative thoughts to reflect what you want to have happen and radiate that to the universe. The results will be quite different.   

This is what is meant when Nichiren said, “Learn to master your mind. Don’t let your mind master you.”

Pay attention and notice how you are thinking while addressing a concern. Are you addressing it with doubts or disbelief that you can change the situation? Are you focusing on your fears? Are you giving your attention to the problems and obstacles rather than the solution you want?

How to Resolve Disbelief and Doubts

• Notice how you are thinking.
• Resolve doubts through study or asking questions.
• If you discover you don’t believe you can achieve the goal you have set, then reduce it to the first step, something you can believe.
• If you find yourself focusing on your fears, redirect your attention to what you want.

You Can do It.

Changing habits of thinking and beliefs may feel slow. But it can be done. Just be patient and persistent. Shortly, you will find that you are developing a positive frame of mind. And, as you chant, focusing on the what you want ( your end goal) rather than the problem, you will see your life shift into a positive direction. You can do it..

A Room Full of People And Nobody is There

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I am not like most other people I meet and I know that. It’s hard to pretend to be like them because they can’t even see what the difference is. They feel it, it scares them and they make no attempt to understand it. They push me away. It has been so evident on this “vacation”. It has made me understand why it has been so hard with members of my family. I’ve known it, thought I could change it -help them understand, and couldn’t, but this has made it definite. You can pick your friends, but you’re stuck with your family.

 

I think a lot about the meaning of life. I think about what a friend is. I think it means more to me than it does to many other people. Let me rephrase that. I want friends who have something to say. People who don’t waste their life, or disrespect their life; those who live their lives honestly. People who have a desire to continually learn and dig beneath the surface away from only being able to talk about the weather. Maybe that’s why they are so hard to find. The world has a bunch of acquaintances that only go skin deep. I want more from a friend than I think most people  have the ability to give, or perhaps they have no clue what it means. Sometimes, in a rare moment of time I meet someone I immediately know understands and can talk for hours exchanging ideas and philosophies. But it is always disappointing when you are with someone who can only talk about their prejudices and negatives and doesn’t care who you are, what you say or what you are doing and you realize they aren’t interested at all. They don’t even know the questions to ask. They aren’t even on the same planet. You realize then there is nothing there that matters. How do you have a conversation when you have nothing in common?

What is a Friend?

It’s like the question; what is a sister? Is it being able to talk about all your aches and pains because you both have them? Is it being able to talk about disappointments in your grown children wondering why they became who they are? Is the weather the only safe subject? Wow, it’s really hot today. That’s deep. Do you talk about life? No. That is too touchy. They have no idea why they believe what they do because they never really thought about it. It’s just an abstract thing they don’t even try to understand. Conversation is shallow and meaningless as they wait to die and don’t care if they do. They leave nothing behind for anyone to remember they were ever here. That describes almost everyone I meet. The sad thing is that there is no interest to understand what that means. Who am I to think I could have something to teach them that could affect their life in a positive way?

“I am a Christian,” I am often told. I commend myself most of the time for refraining from asking, “Why?” What would the answer have been? “Because . . .” without really knowing why or realizing that your faith should impact how you live your life. “Because . . . that is what I was told and I never questioned it. It’s about going to this place called heaven after you die, but it doesn’t alter how they live their life or how they treat the people around them. But how can you be a Christian and be so judgemental and hateful toward others? Doesn’t being a Christian mean anything to you? Why would anyone want to be a Christian if they were looking at you as a guide for behavior? But I didn’t talk about any of this. I realized I would be speaking a language that wouldn’t be understood and I’d be beating my head against the wall. I have  a friend who is a Christian who lives her faith as though it is important to her. She really believes and understands the Bible because she makes a concerted effort to study and apply it. We have interesting conversations because we respect each other. We exchange ideas without trying convert each other.

The meaning of life

 

Most people have no clue why they believe what they do. Recently my 36 year old daughter found fault with me as a parent because I didn’t teach her about Christianity when she was a child. Why would I do that? I was a devout agnostic long before she was born and began studying Buddhism from the time she was eight. Why would I teach her a religion with a God when I believed there was no such thing. I also didn’t teach her about the Muslim faith or Judaism, Scientology or Wiccan.  Don’t blame me for your unhappiness. I won’t accept the responsibility. When the woman I was just traveling with declared, “I am a Christian.” I bit my tongue and didn’t say, “Lot of good that’s doing you because you sure are miserable.” I kept that to myself. They don’t get it. If your faith doesn’t enable you to be happy while you live, what’s the point? You think happiness comes after you die? Life is for the living, not the dead.

Idea exchange

 

I met a man at a campsite laundry room while traveling in a motor home in Arizona. (Why anyone would want to live in 111 degree weather -in the  shade – is beyond me) He was Albanian and had traveled the world. Astute in the politics of countries. I learned from him. He came to the US 30 years ago and has lived by himself in the desert for 21 years and enjoys the solitude. Very much a hermit lifestyle, but still he craves human conversation. In me he met someone who loves to talk. We covered many subjects. He comes to the campsite laundry room to wash his clothes. I don’t even know his name. I think he was in his 60’s. We hit it off right away and talked for probably 2 hours about many aspects of life from religion to politics to people. He explained how and why people in other countries feel about us as they do. We have done horrible things to people in other countries yet we think we are the good guys. We aren’t. We didn’t get this powerful by being nice.  They are retaliating. Can you blame them. Our people are soft. We wouldn’t last a week in the countries we decimate. Our country is fat and stupid. Kids graduate high school and can’t even count back change at a register if it didn’t tell them how much to give. Every week there is another mass shooting, but don’t dare try to take away my gun! I might need to protect myself from my neighbor when I see him in Walmart. I wouldn’t set foot in a Walmart. If you have to ask why it’s too late to teach you. I don’t support corporations that help destroy the country for greed.

Many people think we are the good guys, but are we? I don’t think so. There are still people who think our military is protecting democracy. It’s not. We go to war because it makes corporations rich. People suck it up watching Fox news and think it’s the truth. But still, my new friend said, as fucked up as this country is -it’s worse out there and he wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. Wouldn’t it be great if we stopped raping this country out of greed? Wouldn’t it be great if the people who lived here mattered and the 1% didn’t run us over time and again? Wouldn’t it be great if our elections weren’t a farce?

I have often heard the phrase, “Never talk religion or politics” but talking with this man was such a pleasure. It was the only honest conversation I had the entire month I was gone. How wonderful to have a conversation with someone who understands what you are talking about.  It’s rare. He knew what I meant when I said it was hard to find people who didn’t take offense because I am outspoken about what I believe to be true. He said those people are out there. Keep searching. Okay, I will.

Noam Chomsky on American Imperialism

Most Americans don’t want to think they are easily led like sheep to believe the propaganda thrown at them on a daily basis through the media. We want to believe our country is good – helping others who need us. We think we also have to defend our freedom and way of life, often from countries we try to control.

It’s so easy to see how easy it is to lead some people around by the nose. Inside our country watching the frantic bandwagon jumping affecting people who previously had no real interest in the Confederate flag, who now, because of the media, have joined in on this MOST important issue of all time! Led like sheep. Sensationalism sells.

I have a young grandson who says he is enlisting in the marines when he finished his last year of highschool and has also started pre-training every day. Although he has a love of football and was hopeful of receiving a scholarship he realized it was doubtful. He won’t play his last year in fear of getting hurt and being rejected by the marines. Be young and having no real understanding of our reasons for war, and like many young people having no way to pay for an education and no job opportunities in his small town, he feels this is his best chance. If he was fighting to defend our freedom it would be one thing, but he won’t be. He will be fighting for America’s domination and because war makes some people very rich. I’m scared the grandson who comes back won’t be the wide eyed, optimistic grandson who leaves.

Up Late by Alonza Thomas

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UP LATE

I remember being young, young and care free.
A simple little boy, that loved simple things.
Loyal to a flaw with no one to love me.
I’m kinda nervous…. but please, let me explain me.

I never felt so alone in all of my existence.
No joke, my emotions came second like scottie pippen
My life a whirlwind, I’m along for the ride.
Bury My Face In Pillows So They Wouldn’t See Me cry.
If I had it my way they would have to watch me die.
The pain is deep inside, Lord knows I wanna survive.
My mental state of mind is numb I feel defeated.
Wasn’t hard, I was a puzzle that would never be completed.
13 wasn’t hard for manipulation to mislead me.
I wake up from a sleep. So nervous that he near me.
anxious like student in class taking finals.
and my eyes never focus on much. They run wild.
Right now I feel naked. Exposing all of my wounds.
And I swear I feel like a fool.

One piece to the puzzle…

by Alonza Thomas

Letter From Gandhi to Hitler

Gandhi letter to hitler

I guess this letter didn’t have much impact on Hitler.  One sad thing, Hitler really thought himself to be a very devout Christian.  He was cleansing the world of people so we would have a world of pure white Christians.  If you ever had a chance to hear or read his speeches he talked about Christianity a lot.

At this link  http://www.nobeliefs.com/Hitler1.htm  you will find ten other links that are all about Hitler’s Christian views and how he thought he was following exactly what the Bible said to do. Before you say this has to be wrong, go read some of it. It’s pretty eyeopening.

Einstein Quote . . .

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How often we judge people by our own expectation. If someone doesn’t think like us, look like us, believe like us we first draw on the way we were raised and have instant assumptions of intelligence and worthiness.  Hopefully as we age and gain wisdom we learn to see the beauty in all people.  But I see so much anger and hate. I almost regretfully look at the news happening today because of the negative things people do to each other – in the name of religion, in the name of God, and in the name of their political party.  It saddens me to see so much unnecessary unhappiness.  People come together on social media sites and bash each other because they only see the differences and failing to see the things that should bring them together.  We should all come together and fight against the machine that seems determined to drain away any goodness we have left.  If we don’t, everyone will look around at each other and ask?  Who is at fault?  It wasn’t my fault.  It wasn’t my responsibility.  it was someone else fault.  But we will all have to live with it. Why didn’t we stop this before it was too late. When we make these negative causes we will also have to learn how to live with the negative effects, the consequences of allowing it to happen.

You can start today.