August 2015


green-pathIt has been said that where judgment exists there is no room for love.

While living in Golden Bay on New Zealand’s South Island I met a man whose wife had been murdered some years before. He was understandably devastated and fell into a funk. Eventually he met a new partner and she encouraged him to follow the path of forgiveness in order to overcome his depression. He began to make regular visits to the perpetrator of this crime against his late wife, in a nearby prison. I was awed at the enormity of forgiveness required to complete such a task. And it obviously worked because he was a happy and peaceful man.

Buddha quoteIn 1987 Sandy MacGregor’s three teenage daughters were murdered, shot-gunned after opening the door to an acquaintance, 27 year old Richard Maddrell, a student one of the girls had met at university. Maddrell was declared a paranoid schizophrenic and found not guilty of murder on the grounds of insanity.

Four years before the murders, Mr. MacGregor had started learning how to harness the power of the subconscious mind through meditation after his son Andrew used the technique to control asthma attacks and to help his recovery following a motorbike accident.

But in his devastated state after the murders Sandy was unable to practice the meditation technique for some months. When he did begin meditating he received a “thought.”

Foregiveness“It was like a voice saying to me, “If you persist in being hateful, angry and revengeful you’re going to end up like ‘that,’ …[like] another victim.”

So Mr. MacGregor decided to work with acceptance, cooperation, unconditional love and forgiveness. It took time but after about four years he felt he was really over the deaths. More recently he has taken the final step in forgiveness by visiting Mr. Maddrell in prison. He made it clear to Mr. Maddrell that he wasn’t condoning his actions but that he was unconditionally forgiving him for the murder of his daughters.

“That was pretty emotional. I could hardly gasp out their names but at the end of it I felt euphoric, lighter; I felt the monkeys were off my back.”

Sandy MacGregor is a happy man. He works with homicide and suicide support groups in Australia and has written a book titled Creating Happiness Intentionally.

What do these two men have in common? They have learned to utilise the formidable power of unconditional forgiveness and love. In each instance they needed to learn to unconditionally accept the actions of another person. And in these two cases the forgiven actions have been about as horrific as anyone can imagine. Yet these men, ordinary human beings like you and me, took the extraordinary step to release anger, hate and revenge. And they then experienced the state of happiness and health that is inherent within us when negative emotional states are relinquished.

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com And In Search of Simplicty is now available as an eBook here.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

A walk across the sunI recently completed a novel titled A Walk Across the Sun. The author, Corban Addison, has created a page-turning story based on the in-depth research this attorney-turned author has done into the burgeoning child-trafficking industry. Although slavery was abolished in the 1800s it is still alive and well in 2015, even in western countries. Addison completes the novel with a list of resources outlining how you can help support the worthy organisations which attempt to help victims of this horrendous crime. A Walk Across the Sun is a highly recommended read for those who like thrillers with a difference.

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com And In Search of Simplicty is now available as an eBook here.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/ 

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101

Holding Hands

Adam approached God and asked, “Why did you create Eve?” God replied, “So that you may love her.”

“Why did you make her so beautiful? I can hardly take my eyes off her.” “So that you may love her.”

“Why did you make her so kind and considerate?” “So that you may love her.”

“But Lord, why did you make her so stupid?” “So that she may love you.”

This opening joke is just that. But like all good humour there’s more than a hint of truth in it, don’t you think?

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus why are we attracted to one another? Is it because Earth is the meeting place, lying midway between our planetary neighbours? Just kidding. But it is not a wonder that men and women sometimes have difficulty understanding one another. Fundamentally, we are different.

Einstein once said: “Men marry women with the hope they will never change. Women marry men with the hope they will change. Invariably they are both disappointed.”

Men and women are created equal but entirely different. As Woody Allen put it: “Men learn to love the woman they are attracted to. Women learn to become attracted to the man they fall in love with.” We all may speak the same language but we interpret the words differently.

Will men ever fully understand women? Will women ever fully understand men? Perhaps not, but there are many examples of where we have learned to live together. And as Neal Stephenson wrote in Snow Crash: “She’s a woman, you’re a dude. You’re not supposed to understand her. That’s not what she’s after . . . . She doesn’t want you to understand her. She knows that’s impossible. She just wants you to understand yourself. Everything else is negotiable.”

That may be a big ask. We can each strive to be ourselves. But will we ever truly understand ourselves. The deeper we look the more mysterious we become. But that shouldn’t stop us from looking. Life is relationship. Whether it be the relationship with our partner, our colleagues, our family, our friends, with nature, with ourselves . . . . It is all relationship and it is all a glorious mystery.

As Osho once said: ‘Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved.’ Just live life. Don’t try to fix it. The problems keep coming. No point in looking for them. Just smile through them.

I’ll leave the last words to C. JoyBell C.: ‘The truth is that male or female, gay or straight— we are all people— we have all been broken and put back together in so many different ways . . . it’s really just about learning how to recognize the sound of the other one’s cracks.’

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives and Beyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See http://www.JohnHainesBooks.wordpress.com And In Search of Simplicty is now available as an eBook here.

“In Search of Simplicity is a unique and awe-inspiring way to re-visit and even answer some of the gnawing questions we all intrinsically have about the meaning of life and our true, individual purpose on the planet. I love this book.”

Barbara Cronin, Circles of Light. For the complete review visit: http://www.circlesoflight.com/blog/in-search-of-simplicity/

“In Search of Simplicity is one of those rare literary jewels with the ability to completely and simultaneously ingratiate itself into the mind, heart and soul of the reader.”

Heather Slocumb, Apex Reviews

“The author’s experiments and experiences working with nature simply amaze. . . . Beyond the Search is a treasure trove for those who enjoy planting and reaping as it seems nature intended, with respect for each animal and insect as belonging on the planet and therefore deserving of honour.”

Theresa Sjoquist on Suite 101