Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
I found it here (bottom of page).
Art is prayer made visible
Music is prayer made audible
Dance is prayer embodied
But the greatest art we practice
Is the art of compassion
Which is prayer in action and service.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
Much of our unhappiness comes from the desire to be happy at the expense of others. It’s really very ironic that in grasping after happiness in this way we end up causing ourselves pain. It’s like sticking your hand into what you think is a cool stream in order to find relief on a hot day, only to discover that the water is boiling.It is from an introduction to loving-kindness practice that I found on the Wildmind site.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
There's nothing like starting off the day with meditation. Whether it's five hours or simply five minutes. The important thing is to start. After 21 days it will be a habit. There are many positive benefits to amaze one. The entire day becomes different. And there are many ways to meditate. Find the way that suits you best. Working on oneself is always an "inside job." One simply needs to kick it off.I found it right here.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
If you want to do just one thing to improve your primary relationship, make the words "always" and "never" off limits. That usage is both inflammatory and quite an exaggeration. Start by substituting the words "often" or sometimes" or even "most of the time" and right away you'll bring more mindfulness into your experience of the other person.
When you practice mindfulness meditation, you practice being in the present moment, and noticing all of your experiences. You practice being aware of things happening outside of yourself (e.g., things you see, smell, hear), and things happening internally (e.g., your thoughts, feelings and sensations). Importantly, mindfulness meditation involves being aware without judgment. So, you are paying attention to all of these experiences, without labeling them as good or bad.It's from a little article by Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault, PhD that you can find right here.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Alfred North Whitehead is one of the most important names in the approach to reality known as process philosophy (or process theology). If you haven't explored it you might like to find out more.
We think in generalities, but we live in details.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Anger is a deluded mind that focuses on an animate or inanimate object, feels it to be unattractive, exaggerates its bad qualities, and wishes to harm it. For example, when we are angry with our partner, at that moment he or she appears to us as unattractive or unpleasant. We then exaggerate his bad qualities by focusing only on those aspects that irritate us and ignoring all his good qualities and kindness, until we have built up a mental image of an intrinsically faulty person. We then wish to harm him in some way, probably by criticizing or disparaging him.It is that last observation that is truly revolutionary when you think about it. What if we were able to realize - on a consistent basis - that the "person" with whom we're angry does not actually exist? WOW!
Because it is based on an exaggeration, anger is an unrealistic mind; the intrinsically faulty person or thing that it focuses on does not in fact exist.
I found the piece right here. It's by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Jon Kabat-Zinn, a pioneering author and doctor who's work is responsible for bringing mindfulness into medicine and popular culture, has described mindfulness as "a process of bringing a certain quality of attention to moment-by-moment experience." Our attention, or awareness, is the one simple mental thing that is always readily available to us all at any moment. By cultivating our mindfulness, we can help ourselves respond more skillfully to daily stresses, emotional suffering, and ingrained behaviors that may no longer help us live happily.Now go see what she says about meditation. The very last sentence is just delightful!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
This can provoke a lot of thought for those who will let it:
-- Marcel ProustActually, I don't think this means that wisdom cannot be taught or shared. It does mean, however, that each person has to integrate it and apply it according to his or her own context. We can't just scoop up someone else's wisdom wholesale and run with it.
We do not receive wisdom,
we must discover it for ourselves,
after a journey through the wilderness
which no one else can make for us,
which no one can spare us,
for our wisdom is the point of view
from which we come at last to regard the world.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Every decision you make - every decision - is not a decision about what to do. It's a decision about Who You Are. When you see this, when you understand it, everything changes. You begin to see life in a new way. All events, occurrences, and situations turn into opportunities to do what you came here to do. -Neale Donald WalschIt occurs to me that if we really see our choices and decisions as being about who we are, we will be more able to let go of attachments to outcome. And that letting go will hugely reduce our stress and increase our well being.
To live is to choose. But to choose, you must know who you are and what you stand for, where you want to go, and why you want to get there…. - Kofi Annan
Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions. - Dalai Lama
Monday, August 17, 2009
In our culture we believe that doing, taking action, and making the effort are the most important ways to get out of a crisis. What if the opposite is true? What if you give yourself permission to simply be and rest in order to find peace and solutions to your current confusion? Learning to listen requires two things: a practice that facilitates quieting your mind, such as meditation, prayer, or communing with nature; and an understanding or discovery of how you receive answers.The author also quotes someone who suggested that having a "not-to-do" list is as important has having a "to-do" list. I'd never thought of it quite that way before.
Go on over and read the whole piece. It's very short.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
1. peace of mind and tranquilityThe writer, Sonia Gallagher (who calls herself a "recovering attorney"!), offers a short descriptive paragraph on each of these benefits. Go on over there and take a look.
2. a sense of compassion
Friday, August 14, 2009
Here's part of it:
[A]s we continue to practice, we find that we are very attached to who it is that we think we are.Yes, we are just as attached (sometimes more so) to pain as we are to pleasure. And so learning to let go of attachment will end up benefitting us hugely.
I think that many people, only think that we’re attached to all the good things that we think we are, but as we continue to practice, we begin to find that we’re also deeply committed, deeply immersed, deeply fixated with our own grief, our own anger, our own likes and dislikes and preferences. We’re even attached to our own failure.
If it’s familiar to us, we are it. So when we come to this place where we are confronting ourselves honestly, when we have entered into this moment with all things as it’s content ... good and bad, light and dark, pleasant and unpleasant ... we’re faced with this choice. Do I actually want to change? Because if we do we have to break through the wall... we have to do things which may be profoundly uncomfortable. We have to let go of aspects of ourselves which we have held up, glorified and fixated to as being 'me'. “I’m this kind of person”, “I’m that kind of person”, “I like this and I don’t like that.” “Ooh, this kind of person is really not my style.” When we start to honestly see where these kinds of choices... where these kinds of fixations have brought us, we’re always faced with this choice... to let it drop... let it hit the floor... and arise as somebody new... to allow this old self to drop away, or to use traditional terms, to allow the old self to die, and to arise anew.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Every now and then go away, have a little relaxation, for when you come back to your work your judgment will be surer. Go some distance away because then the work appears smaller and more of it can be taken in at a glance and a lack of harmony and proportion is more readily seen.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Live your life so that the fear of death can never enter your heart. When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light. Give thanks for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. And if perchance you see no reason for giving thanks, rest assured the fault is in yourself.
Monday, August 10, 2009
If there is a future wave of wellness on this planet, of harmony, of peace, of an end to war, of mutual understanding, of equality, of fairness, I don't expect it will come from a government, a military force or a corporation. I no longer even expect it to come from the religions of the world, which together seem to have brought us as much war as they have peace. If there is a future of peace for humankind, if there is to be an understanding of how these invisible, internal things should fit together, I expect it will come from the artists, because that's what we do.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
All right. It's radical. And it's sometimes hard to take on board. But it's very true. Now this part is important: Simply recognizing that the true troublemaker is inside does not automatically make the other person innocent. Everyone on the planet may well agree with us that the difficult person is objectively a monster. What we learn here, however, is that our suffering and unhappiness come from within. This realization can revolutionize our lives. Honestly.
As human beings we have good qualities as well as bad ones. Now, anger, attachment, jealousy, hatred, are the bad side; these are the real enemy…The true troublemaker is inside.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Maybe we don't have to stand out on the street calling out compliments to complete strangers but what might happen if we made it a point to extend ourselves in terms of affirming the people we connect with every day? Find something - anything - nice to say to each person we enounter. We just need to make sure it is sincere.
These guys just recently went on a ten day tour in order to spread their approach to other parts of the U.S.
Now, I want you to ponder how wonderfully this both draws from and supports our meditative principles. First, I think we can all see how a basic level of mindfulness is necessary in order to do this at all. Second, it is definitely an act that calls for compassion, lovingkindness and sympathetic joy!
I found the original information here.
UPDATE: Here's one definition of compliment: noun. an expression of praise, commendation, or admiration: A sincere compliment boosts one's morale.
Also, many people have never learned how to feel comfortable accepting a compliment. You might like to check out the wikiHow article on this subject. Also here is a webpage that gives some hints on writing a letter of compliment. A number of the suggested phrases are also useful for learning how to express appreciation in person.
Friday, August 07, 2009
In my tai chi classes we always start our practice with a one-minute gratitude meditation. This is a time where we focus on all the things for which we are grateful. Heart Math Institute studies have determined that "appreciative feelings activate the body’s biochemical systems that help diminish stress and stabilize the psyche."
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
First of all, it is important to remember that "letting go" does not mean "getting rid of". The act of letting go doesn't suddenly give us unlimited control over what we don't like! But another reason letting go is so hard has to do with our beliefs about our identity. Here's a brief description of how these beliefs come about:
You have been conditioned since you were very young to relate everything to yourself. As soon as you learn to recognise people and things, you're taught how to relate these to the "I" and "mine"-- my mom, my dad, my toy, etc. As you grow up you're taught how to relate ideas and concepts to yourself. You have to learn that so that you can function properly in society. But at the same time, this process slowly and unconsciously creates a concept of selfhood, and you build up your ego. This build up is strengthened by the values of society. You learn to compete, to achieve, to accumulate knowledge, wealth and power. In other words, you are trained to possess and to cling.
By the time you are grown up, the concept of ego-self has become so real that it is difficult to tell what is illusion and what is reality. It is difficult to realise that "I" and "mine" are temporary, relative and changeable. The same is true of all that is related to "I" and "mine." Not understanding that "I" and "mine" are temporary, you struggle to keep them permanent; you cling to them. This desire to try to keep everything permanent is what makes it so difficult to learn to let go.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
I always prefer to believe the best of everybody - it saves so much trouble.