The Japanese poet Ryokan was a hermit and a contemplative who lived from 1758-1831. You can read about him in the article entitled "Zen Poetics of Ryokan".
When all thoughts
I slip into the woods
A pile of shepherd's purse.
Like the little stream
Making its way
Through the mossy crevices
I, too, quietly
Turn clear and transparent.
-- Ryokan, translated by John Stevens
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
These instructions are from The Meditation Society of Australia website:
Imagine the candle as an entrance way to the vast spiritual dimensions permeating everything, imagine it as the doorway to the inner universe. You might see this candle flame standing at the threshold between the physical and spiritual universes.Try this at first using a literal candle. Then try simply visualizing the candle. Both are valuable practices.
As you fix your gaze upon it, feel that you are looking at the candle with your heart and that you are travelling through it with infinite peace.
Follow the flow of energy with your breath.
Breathe in the infinite peace of the spiritual universe. Feel your heart opening and expanding as that peace flows into your being like a golden light.
On your outward breath feel that your worries and anxieties which give birth to all your mental, emotional and physical tensions, are being gathered up and released.
You might imagine this is as a flow of light. You are breathing in a golden white light that is illumining your being with peace, and the darkness that is your tension in all its flavours, you are letting go.
Friday, November 28, 2008
We meditate to find and listen to our heart.This strikes me as an excellent description of the value of meditation for grown-ups too.
Our heart is the real home of us. When we can listen to our heart, we automatically feel love and joy, but also we will know what we can be.
Do you ever get sad? Do you sometimes worry too much over silly things? Do you get angry and lose your temper? What would you say, if I was to tell you that meditation will help you become the happiest person in the world? Would you be willing to try it for the next 10 days for at least 5 minutes?
It isn't a trick. In 10 days you will see the change in yourself.
You will see that the happiest people in the world are people that know and understand their hearts, and the most confused and sad people are those that don't.
If you are not sure, take the time to look around and see for yourself. People that know their heart will be more loving and happy. Sad, angry people are lost, because they have lost their heart.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Love the earth and sun and animals,
Despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks,
Stand up for the stupid and crazy,
Devote your income and labor to others...
And your very flesh shall be a great poem.
-- Walt Whitman
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
When I was 5 years old, my mom always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down “happy.” They told me I didn’t understand the assignment and I told them they didn’t understand life.I found it here.
Monday, November 24, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
It's so easy to get preoccupied and not bother to greet people in a gracious and positive way - just due to distraction. Have you ever thought of mindfulness and smiling being intimately connected? Here's a lovely expression of that connection:
What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but, scattered along life's pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
And so very true.
I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.
-- Gilda Radner
Friday, November 21, 2008
I found it on the blog, Spiritually Directed.
To forgive is not to condone wrongs but to refuse to let the past dictate the future.
-- Huston Smith
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I've been meaning to post about this for a long time and I keep forgetting. My good friend, Doug Brown, is the host of a wonderful new radio show called Wind and Rhythm. It is broadcast every Sunday evening at 7:00 (Central time) on Tulsa classical radio KWTU at 88.7 on your dial. Or you can listen on their webite right here. Please tune in. I promise you won't be sorry!
Saturday, November 15, 2008
I seldom think of my limitations, and they never make me sad. Perhaps there is just a touch of yearning at times; but it is vague, like a breeze among flowers.
-- Helen Keller
Friday, November 14, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Hmmm. Had you ever heard of "World Kindness Day"? I hadn't until I happened to notice something about it on the MSN homepage this morning. It's November 13. (I don't know why!)
Here's something about kindness for us to remember:
This would actually be a very interesting project to take on. Let me know if you're going to try it. I am!
Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
Let the good in me connect with the good in others, until all the world is transformed through the compelling power of love.
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Reality cannot be found except in One single source, because of the interconnection of all things with one another.
Friday, November 07, 2008
He who binds to himself a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in Eternity's sunrise.
Thursday, November 06, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
And, I offer you the following for your reflection:
But the greatest menace to our civilization today is the conflict between giant organized systems of self-righteousness -- each system only too delighted to find that the other is wicked -- each only too glad that the sins give it the pretext for still deeper hatred and animosity.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
I got to the polls before the doors opened. Then I came back to the Center and meditated. I specifically did "lovingkindness" practice. I prayed for my own happiness and wellbeing and then for that of everyone in the nation. Then I deliberately recited the prayer for ALL the candidates --- even (heck, especially) for the ones I don't support.
Today is an important day to apply the meditative principles - either to helps us calm down if we're on pins and needles until the returns come in or to cultivate compassion and lovingkindness toward those with whom we disagree.
No matter what the outcome, meditation will support your happiness, your well being and your equilibrium. Be sure to do it!