Proven 10-Step Program to End Suffering- by Buddha Himself

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Buddhism

Buddha resisted all temptations, including the sensuous  Three Daughters of Mara. I can’t even resist a Snickers Bar. He was enlightened, loving to all, ego-free, and spent tons of time under a Bodhi tree. I can’t claim any of those. So, I may not ever be an arahant (enlightened one) and if I were meant to be one, I trust I’d be well on the way. So, I’m cool with Buddha being Buddha and doing, saying, knowing, and acting in his marvelously kind and wise Buddha ways. And, with Gabi being Gabi and doing, saying, knowing and acting in her marvelously irrational, overly-emotional, spiritually-reaching, doing-the-best-her-beautiful-self-can-do Gabi ways. I’m cool with that.

Measuring ourselves against others, mara, is fetter number eight. Fetters are the ‘issues’ that we get stuck on, that make us suffer. Bless-his-dear-soul Buddha decided to make life easy for us, again, and create a simple-to-understand way to stop suffering. You see, Buddha relinquished all suffering from his  life; hence, he could be ridiculously fat and happy. (I’m guessing tons and tons of guilt-free snickers bars!) And, as a gift to us simple earthlings, he gave the Ten Fetters of the Mind- it’s Buddha’s proven 10-step program to end suffering. Allow me….

Deep Calmness in 5 Minutes

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Buddhism, Energy, Light, & Self-Healing

I would like to have calmness securely within me. I’d  love to be calm- truly, deeply, fully calm in the quietest depths of my soul. Maybe you also would love to be able to sit and look at that leaf  swaying against the evening sky, and just be thinking about that leaf swaying against the evening sky, and nothing more. Maybe you also would love to lie in bed, peacefully, and just notice your body gently drift off to sweet slumber; and not have your thoughts, fears, and worries bombard you.

And so, as I draw deeper into Buddhism in my own search, and learn of more and more fascinating alleys in this labyrinth of my own spiritual sojourn; I will continue to bring you what I’m discovering. This week we’ve looked at the Ten Fetters of the Mind, and got magically stuck on Fetter 6: Rupa-Raga. From Rupa-Raga, we have learned how, in five minutes, to create a deep, deep calm. I’d like to teach you how.

My Addiction: Cleaning the Core-Part 8

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Overcoming Ourselves

finding the soul in art too

The dark thought, the same, the shame, the malice, meet them at the door laughing, and invite them in. Be grateful for whoever comes, because each guest has been sent as a guide from beyond. -Rumi

So, look what I found. An old entry from months back that still, still, still deserves to be shared. The Conscious Suffering and those that follow it, are still, all this time later, the cleaning that is still being done. I must say how grateful (and shocked) I am that all this time later, all these months later; I am still working on it. Better? Infinitely. There? Still. The series began here, and the last video from it, is right  below this…..

Everybody Needs A Rock

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Enlightened Learning, Parenting and Family Relations

These days, I’m talking a lot about the light that is within us, the light we were all born with, that frequency of love and light that is innately who we are. Over the years, our parents, peers, teachers, and life have hurt us once or twice, and left a few bruises. Not on purpose, or maybe it was; but it doesn’t matter. The point to focus on is that life has made us build up some layers to protect ourselves, layers that have covered up the light so much, we just can’t find our way back to it sometimes. But that, that is our mission: to find the light and bask in it.

How do we do this? By getting out the painful, hurtful stuck; and letting in the new information, the light, the inspiration. And, as you know me already, I believe we can get that light from a million different sources: people we admire, books, websites, nature, animals, songs. Here is one that my family carried around our first year of world travel. It’s a child’s book that is so full of light and joy; so simple, so profound. This book, Everybody Needs A Rock, by Byrd Baylor with pictures by Peter Parnall, is everything a child’s book should be. And how do you know, because every adult has so much to learn here, to learn how to reconnect to that light we can get when we are quiet and thoughtful in nature.

Bonus: You get to to watch a tiny little wind-dominated video in which we read their work, live, in the desert. Very cool- their books, the video, and the fact that nature took over. I love that part! 

15 Ways to Stop Re-Creating Pain

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Addiction and Obsession, Buddhism, Energy, Light, & Self-Healing, Overcoming Ourselves


We do it. We all do. At least, all the people I know do. We create pain in our lives, we recycle painful memories, we keep re-creating the thoughts and push on the pain buttons of our soul that hurt. And why? To relieve pain? To reach solutions? To work through the problems? No. Maybe we think that that is what we are doing, but we’re not. We’re just making the sores ooze, and take some sick pleasurable comfort in feeling our own pain. Like my dear friend Karen says, “It’s like watching a train wreck, in slow motion, over and over again; and not being able to stop watching that.”

So, using the inspiration of Vietnamese Zen Teacher Thich Nhat Hanh, I bring you 15 Ways To Stop Re-Creating Pain. It has  helped me a great deal.

Ending That Suffering- Four Decisions To Pull You Back Up

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Buddhism, Overcoming Ourselves

This is the continuation of Conscious Suffering- How I Drag Myself Back Down. That was the pain stage and the Buddhist teachings stage; this is the solution stage. In Part One, I realize I’m doing it to myself.  I’m constantly recreating the rhythm that leads me to my own depression. I keep going there, allowing myself again and again to walk down the path that takes me exactly where I don’t want to be.  So, read Part One first so you’ll know what’s up; and now, Part Two: Ending That Suffering- Four Decisions To Pull You Back Up lovingly  awaits you.

Conscious Suffering- How I Drag Myself Back Down

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Addiction and Obsession, Buddhism, Overcoming Ourselves

And I hug myself, again, as I witness me walking right into my own hand-made drama, again. Enlightened? (Sigh) A bit more. At Peace? No. There? Probably never. As Cat used to lovingly say, “There will always be a bathtub more of spiritual work to do.” I am calmer, more full of light than I have ever been in my life; and still, my addiction, that one story, I can’t let go of. Not yet. I guess I have more to learn. And so, I search in Buddhism, Quantum Physics, and deep within the oceans of myself.

I have lived on the lip of insanity,
wanting to know reasons,
knocking on a door. It opens.
I’ve been knocking from the inside. – Rumi

Buddhism says our senses, and the consciousnesses that come from that, create a direct path to our suffering. How do my senses drag me back down? I’m looking for some guidance for me, and maybe for you, too. 

Being an Ethical Person:The Eight-Fold Path-Part 2

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Buddhism

The Eight-Fold Path of Buddhism is our road map towards Nirvana. Once we can make these eight principles a living, breathing part of who we are; according to Buddha, we will be enlightened. Now, though it sounds remarkably enticing, and I would love enlightenmet as much as the next guy; I know how much pain I carry, I know how many layers upon layers of work I have to do. I don’t know if I can get it all done this time around. But, I’ll tell you this: I’m having a great time trying. Just wrestling with this material is slowing seeping into my soul and changing how I  relate to the very painful stories I carry (which amazingly, are becoming less and and less painful); and,  how I pause before I say something belittling to my child, and rephrase it, with more light. If those two things alone, I can do by breathing more of this material into my soul, I’m in. I’m 100% in the game. Join me for round two, as we explore Buddhism’s blueprint for acting in ethical ways.

Seeking Wisdom: The Eight-Fold Path- Part 1

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Buddhism

I completed my Bachelor’s degree in 2000 and was really confused. I had studied preventative and holistic health, I learned how to create meaningful, long-term change programs; but really was fascinated with nutrition. Do I go back and get another Bachelor’s in order to be a registered dietitian or do I spend those years getting a Master’s in Psychology? One night, I was reading through all the potential programs I could join; overwhelmed, confused, unable to decide. I was crying to Kobi, wishing someone would just tell me what to do. He turns to me and says, thoughtfully, “Do you know how many people would die to have the right to choose. It’s an honor,  Gabi. Grab it with both hands, and with pride.” I love Kobi that way.

But still, sometimes, it’s really nice when someone does tell you what to do, or at least points in the direction for you to go in. Someone says, “Hey, this may work for you. I has eight parts, and if you do them all; you may find great relief.” I like that. Of course, we can choose from the endless array of paths before us. Right now, I’m picking this path. It’s three-part. These days, I’m exploring Buddhism, Quantum Physics, and my own inner whirlwinds. I’ll keep bringing in my energy healing, family coaching, behavioral psychology, self-healing Humanology, trauma therapy, NLP….. it’s an integral part of who I am. So, now that we’re on the same page….

Buddhism 101: Seeking Wisdom: The Eight Fold Path- Part 1

The Four Noble Truths

Written by Gabi on . Posted in Buddhism

So, this is month three in a Buddhist country. We’ve lived in the same lovely corner in Cambodia for almost two months now and I still haven’t found a teacher. I want a teacher. I am seeking a teacher. I want to be taught. And so, I’ve taken matters in my own hands (even though I know the Universe is doing it all for me). I’ve decided to be my own teacher. So, from now on, my Clean Your Soul Spirituality Class is based on stuff I know nothing about it. I’m not challenged by teaching what I already know; I’m so ADHD, I get bored faster than a lizard watching his tongue on the blue wall; and so, I’m joyfully spending tens of hours a week researching Buddhism and it’s intricacies to learn new material.

And some of it is really hard to grasp. Some of these concepts,I don’t get the first nor the second time I’m reading it. Many of them, I can lightly grasp, and then a week or so later, after reading another 10 articles, I have that “A-ha!” moment where I really get what I taught the week before. And so, now, I”m slowly teaching those lessons here at gabiklaf.com. I’m excited to bring Buddhism (and whatever else sticks in

Dell’s sand storm) to you, in tiny bite-size pieces. At least that is my original intention. As I write, I often find my soul intertwining inself deep into the material and complicating matters. And so, you get the real stuff- theoretical learning and an actual live, bleeding person practicing on herself, as she wrestles with her own demons, and yours.

In this article, we will look at the Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths. They are remarkably simple yet profound.