Is it True? Our Mind Creates Our Reality

A while back a friend sent me the following quote, from the Indian Buddhist teacher Aryadeva. He wrote this almost 1900 years ago:

To question that things might not be as they seem can shake the very foundation of habitual clinging. This questioning spirit is the starting point for self-reflection. Could it be that this tightly-knit sense of self is not what it seems? Do we really need to hold everything together, and can we? Is there life beyond self-importance? These kinds of questions open the door to investigating the cause of our suffering.

“The actual practice of self-reflection requires us to step back, examine our experience, and not succumb to the momentum of habitual mind. This allows us to look without judgment at whatever arises, and this goes directly against the grain of our self-importance.

“Self-reflection is the common thread that runs through all traditions and lineages of Buddhist practice. It also takes us beyond the boundaries of formal practice. We can bring the questioning spirit of self-reflection to any situation, at any time. Self-reflection is an attitude, an approach, and a practice. In nutshell, it is a way to make practice come alive for us personally.”

Interesting. The old is new, and the new old.

Back to the present. The phone rings.

I say yes or no.

There are not many ways to directly answer people’s questions.

And as these answers flow out of what’s true for me in this moment, out of this pure power within me, the world is shaped on the other side of the phone, mind is influenced, interpretations form, life moves this way or that as effect, it seems. How else could the world be created?

They say, “It’s your fault,” and I think, “Isn’t it odd that after the fact they would hear a yes or a no in such a way?”

Or they say, “Thank you, thank you thank you,” and I think, “Isn’t it odd that such power is given to such simple answers, yes or no?”

The world is created as I sit here, it springs into being and is mirrored back to me as life. It’s wonderful not to be the doer.

Everything is a story. The mind spins stories out and you believe what the mind tells you. Every time you are stressed out or fearful, you are believing what the mind is telling you. The Work is about discovering what is true and what is not true for you, the difference between reality and imagination.

Cards that Care


Compassionate Communications was founded by Greg Voisen after his oldest son Sean was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of twenty-one. After this life-changing experience, Greg sought new ways that he could help give back and support the growing community of families and individuals facing the challenges of cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

Learn more >>

Email: Another Basal Cell Carcinoma Story

I visited my dermatologist last Friday for a skin check-up. After checking my back he noticed a little blue lump on my chest. It has been there for quite some time but it had never bothered me so I’ve never had it checked out. He suggested it might be a basal cell carcinoma, which I know are not dangerous and do not metastasize but he suggested we biopsy it. I agreed. He told me not to worry. This meant- “don’t worry.” Nevertheless, I went home feeling a very slight anxiety which continued into Sunday when it blossomed into a really uncomfortable feeling of depression.

I began three separate “One belief at a time” worksheets with different titles. One that I was particularly fond of I titled- I am not a lover of what is. In each one I included a pretty fulsome of what I everything I was experiencing. It was all embarrassingly like all the things I’d previously written about others when I judge my neighbors. Curiously, when I got to the turnaround portion, I didn’t couldn’t come up with anything I believed.

My daughter was becoming annoyed with me and my wife was becoming slightly alarmed. I rather dramatically informed her that I thought something was amiss with my brain chemistry and perhaps I needed medication. She wisely rejected this suggestion as well, idiotic. She asked me if this had anything to do with my doctor’s appointment and I denied that it did.

Full of unnamed dread, I called for my biopsy results but, luckily, they weren’t ready. After a couple of anxious hours the unexamined and unacknowledged belief popped into my head- “a biopsy means something really bad is going on.” Then, the turnaround was obvious. I was imagining a carefree life pre-cancerous diagnosis as opposed to the dread filled after my diagnosis. I had been play acting a little pre-dread dread. It was actually pretty dreadful. Nonetheless, I look forward to another experience of fearing for my health. It was instructive.


A Letter from Denmark

Dear Katie

This is what happened to me after the certification workshop.

In the process of taken care of myself, I went to a mammography just for prevention purpose. On this particular day there was a very senior doctor instead of the usual staff. He immediately discovered very, tiny small changed and send me to the major hospital in Denmark for continual treatment. In these days there were strikes of the nurses in Denmark, so the hospital was on very low drive and my scheduled time was cancelled. A senior doctor took event and called me and said I had to come anyway. I was called in and had taken a biopsy by a very, very skilled doctor. I got the results a week later and it was cancer and they wanted to operate me as soon as possible – strike or not.

13 days later I came to the hospital and L, my friend from the work was waiting for me at the entrance, and All the busses were stopping and people would get out an in. She were her usual cap so it was just like meeting her in front of the crown plaza hotel in Los Angeles before school starts – amazing.
The operation next day was absolutely amazing – so full of love that I was overwhelmed. They had to put some needles in before the operation to be sure to pick out the right spot (to remove) and I almost fainted of pain and it was pure love. So many people offered there help and care and support- so I had this picture of an anthill. When you put a stick in there all the ants work together to repair the damage. How deeply we are connected (this is from someone who did not as far as she knows have that experience as a child).

Everything looked normal at the operation also the lymph nodes. And I am waiting for the final results from microscopy next week.

Amazing how this cancer- or what ever it is – I don’t know – has already given me the experience of love – that there is nothing else than that and how deeply we are connected in this –what ever it is.

In deeply gratitude Katie for what I have received from you.

Yours always,