Saints from the Past

The extraordinary ordinariness of being.

We spend our lives trying to be special when all we need to do is to be ourselves.

When do I feel the best, the most relaxed? When I’m doing the ordinary things that come easily to me—weeding, cleaning the shower, washing the windows, cutting the grass.

We’ve all heard the expression—before enlightenment chopping wood, fetching water; after enlightenment chopping wood, fetching water.

Perhaps the modern version should be—before enlightenment washing windows, cutting grass; after enlightenment washing windows, cutting grass.

Simple, isn’t it. Confucius once said, “Life is simple. Man makes it complicated.”

Blessings to all you saints.

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

A Potential Modern Saint

Enlightenment is About How You Do It


“The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”

Elizabeth Kubler Ross


To be Awake is to be sensitive. To be sensitive is to be vulnerable and to be vulnerable can be challenging in a world of insensitivity.

Lucia and I were approached the other day by a young man who’s had his competency questioned in his workplace. He’s a gifted, talented and sensitive man and he feels hurt by the accusations he has received.

The world we come from, our true home, the world we’ve, in fact, never left knows only love. Fear, accusations and questions of competency, these elements and others like them only exist in the minds of men.

In order to know our true spiritual world, to know who we are, requires sensitivity. With sensitivity comes vulnerability. Herein lies one of the key challenges of human existence. How to be sensitive, vulnerable and safe in an unfeeling world?

To be sensitive and vulnerable in this world connects us with our spiritual heritage and is the source of inspired creativity. It can also lead to confusion and hurt if we let it. There are those in this world who’ve forgotten their deeper heritage. These people, often unintentionally, can prey on vulnerability.

Negotiating skilfully through this world of fear, hate and manipulation requires knowing who we are. Herein lies the dilemma, the crux and purpose of human existence. In awakening to your sensitive, creative nature you will be misunderstood by some, by those still mired in forgetfulness. Remember, you are not the first to experience this. Was Jesus understood by those who nailed him to the cross? Was the Buddha understood by those who poisoned him? You are in good company and you are never alone, so please don’t be daunted by the task at hand.

The solution? Dive deeper and find that place within you that loves and forgives all people, whether they are kind to you or not. Learn to see the light in everyone. In doing so you will touch the hearts of even the most insensitive, armoured individuals and you will assist in their awakening.

Be the Light. Your light and your beingness is your protection. Accept that others may not understand you. Remember, they too, one day, will awaken. Your job is not to question the timeliness of each individual’s awakening.

Tread lightly. Be gentle. Forgive. And, most of all, be patient with yourself and others.

Remember, deep down, in your true home, in your heart of hearts, you are perfect just as you are. So is everyone else.

Be creative. Find ways to serve and work without expectations of receiving acknowledgement or payment.

Awakening while in this world is not always easy. You will be tested and questioned. But remember you are never alone. Nothing anyone else says or does can hurt who you are. You can only be hurt by your own wrong actions, reactions or inaction. Be strong. Be sensitive. Be vulnerable and be loving. Only then can you skilfully navigate the sometimes stormy oceans of this world.

Consider the following affirmation:

Nothing in this world can hurt who I Am.

I am sensitive, creative, loving and strong.

I Am Immortal, Eternal, Unlimited, Absolute.

And consider the following quote by Pearl S. Buck. Can you now see beyond the pain of the overt sensitivity and creativity of which Pearl writes?

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.
To him,
a touch is a blow,
a sound is a noise,
a misfortune is a tragedy,
a joy is an ecstasy,
a friend is a lover,
a lover is a god,
and failure is death.
Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create – so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.”

~Pearl S. Buck

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Radio host, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives, a startlingly poignant and inspiring real-life endorsement of the power of thought, belief and synchronicity in one’s life.

Forest for Being Present 030909

What is it you do to let go?

It is said that the key to life isn’t in getting answers but in asking the right questions. This is a great question.

Whether we like it or not, life is one continuous journey of letting go. We have a tendency to try to hold on to everything that we have – the perfect relationship, our youth, our possessions – the list goes on. But life has a remarkable habit of taking away that which we may treasure at the time. Ask anyone in their 70s or 80s what it’s like to watch their family and life-long friends dying around them. This is a challenge.

So what do I do to let go? I breathe deeply. I inhale the delicious fragrance of the present moment. I remind myself with my thoughts that there is no better place to be than the one I’m in right now. I spend as much time as I can outside in nature. There is something timeless and nourishing about the kiss of the sun on my skin and the song of the birds in my heart. In short, I stay present, knowing that, no matter what happens, all is well.

Subscribe to In Search of Simplicity by Email

Radio host, librarian, inspirational speaker and health educator John Haines is the author of In Search of Simplicity: A True Story that Changes Lives andBeyond the Search, books to lift the spirit and touch the heart. See  In Search of Simplicity 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:

“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