Wednesday, June 30, 2010
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
Contemplation Meditation Technique: These meditations utilize introspection, self-study, reflection, self-dialogue and contemplation to cut through the layers of false conditioning and false understanding that deludes the mind. These meditations have their roots in many Western Religions and are also a part of Eastern philosophies.Today's article is Part One. Apparently, a Part Two is on the way and will be published on the same basic site.
Monday, June 28, 2010
3. Evaluate your “to do” list. Make a list of ten things you have to do this week. Next perform what I call a body scan. Notice how your body responds when you imagine doing each of these things on your list. Does your body feel tense? Do you feel a pit in your stomach? Focus on the task that brings up the most pain, and ask yourself why you are planning to do this thing that causes you to feel anxious or stressed. If the answer is “I have to,” then you set yourself up to be in a completely helpless position. There are no alternatives when you operate from that principle. If the answer is “I choose to do it because if I don’t it would be morally repulsive,” you come from a more powerful place and one of choice.Tapping into choice is so very powerful. Try practicing total abstinence for a while from saying "I have to..." and just notice how that changes your experience of anticipating what you are obligated or committed to doing. There's always some choice in the picture. Waking up to the existence of that choice is a way of empowering and showing compassion to ourselves as well as others.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Saturday, June 26, 2010
Friday, June 25, 2010
Vegetarians Are Happier Than Meat-Eaters
And here's a little excerpt:
A new study in Nutrition Journal finds vegetarians have lower incidence of depression, anxiety, and other mood problems than their meat-eating neighbors.You can access more about the study design from the actual Journal right here.
This is, by the way, a peer-reviewed journal.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
[I]mpermanence is the nature of the human condition. This is a truth we know in our minds but tend to resist in our hearts. Change happens all around us, all the time, yet we long for the predictable, the consistent. We want the reassurance that comes from things remaining the same. We find ourselves shocked when people die, even though death is the most predictable part of life.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open me, to make me less afraid, more accessible, to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch, a promise. I choose to risk my significance; to live so that which comes to me as seed goes to the next as blossom and that which comes to me as blossom, goes on as fruit.
Monday, June 21, 2010
"Our fear of death is like our fear that summer will be short, but when we have had our swing of pleasure, our fill of fruit, and our swelter of heat, we say we have had our day."
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson
"We need society, and we need solitude also, as we need summer and winter, day and night, exercise and rest."
-- Philip Gilbert Hamerton
"Do what we can, summer will have its flies."
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
"Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer's day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time."
-- John Lubbock
"There shall be eternal summer in the grateful heart."
-- Celia Thaxter
"In summer, the song sings itself."
-- William Carlos Williams
May you all enjoy today's amazing, extented light. Celebrate the earth. And pray for her - however you do so.
Sunday, June 20, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
Identification with your mind creates an opaque screen of concepts, labels, images, words, judgments, and definitions that blocks all true relationship. It comes between you and yourself, between you and your fellow man and woman, between you and nature, between you and God. It is this screen of thought that creates the illusion of separateness, the illusion that there is you and a totally separate other. You then forget the essential fact that, underneath the level of physical appearances and separate forms, you are one with all that is.
Friday, June 18, 2010
You must have a room, or a certain hour or so a day, where you don't know what was in the newspaper that morning, you don't know who your friends are, you don't know what you owe anybody, you don't know what anybody owes you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring forth what you are and what you might be.
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Enlightenment is just another word for feeling comfortable with being a completely ordinary person.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
It is a mistake for anyone to think he has lived too long in his old, unsatisfactory ways to make the great change. If you switch on the light in a dark room, it makes no difference how long it was dark because the light will still shine. Be teachable. That is the whole secret.
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
See as much as you can of what’s right in front of you.Checking in with what we're experiencing with and through our senses is an excellent way of bringing the mind back to the present moment. Try it sometime!
People often live life caught in two mental strongholds: regret for the past, and worry for the future. In looking back on the years I’ve lived so far, I know I’ve spent more time engaging in those activities than truly being present.
Whenever I catch myself, I check in with my five senses and experience what’s in front of me as fully as I possibly can.
I notice the details. Hear the sounds. And seep into the moment. I know I won’t do this all the time, but it adds up to create more time truly living in the now.
Monday, June 14, 2010
you wish to take
can only begin
from where you are
this very minute.
-- Ron Atchison
Sunday, June 13, 2010
You can see of list of the little articles she's offered so far right here.
Here's what inspired her:
“At age 33 Cami Walker, the author of 29 Gifts, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and the life she knew changed forever. When she was going through some of her most difficult symptoms, she received an uncommon prescription from a friend, an African medicine woman named Mbali Creazzo: Give away 29 gifts in 29 days. Cami was amazed by what unfolded during her month-long journey.”So Michelle decided to do this too and to invite her readers to participate. Here's something she says about that:
So, here’s the plan: I want to start a Kindness Revolution. I’m tired of all the lying, backstabbing, gossiping, and other parasitic characteristics I’ve seen in many people lately. But, instead of getting even with all those who hurt us, why not join the Kindness Revolution? Why not raise the bar? Reach for the highest common denominator instead of dropping to the lowest? I think kindness is the answer to the world’s ills. And, I’m hoping you’ll agree.I've never forgotten what I read about the Dalai Lama many years ago. Here's what he said:
You don’t even have to spend a penny. You can give prayers, smiles, hugs, kind words, a shoulder to cry on, or donate some of your things to people who might need them. There are so many ways we can give of ourselves to transform the world.
"My religion is kindness."May that be true for each of us as well.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
If we just worry about the big picture, we are powerless. So my secret is to start right away doing whatever little work I can do. I try to give joy to one person in the morning, and remove the suffering of one person in the afternoon. If you and your friends do not despise the small work, a million people will remove a lot of suffering.
-- Sister Chan Khong (Vietnamese Nun and Peace Activist)
Friday, June 11, 2010
This sweet boy named Tom went to his reward on Tuesday and we send sincere condolences to long-time Center participant Tommi Cox-Phipps, one of Tom's humans. Tommi was with Tom when he died. Tom was well known for his "silent meow" when he was particularly happy.
Here's another picture:
Do say special prayers or send good thoughts to the Cox-Phipps family in their grief and to the fine Tom kitty himself as he waits at the Rainbow Bridge for his loved ones.
PS: Oh, I almost forgot. The pictures above are by our own Cynthia Burgess! You can see more of Cynthia's outstanding work at Imageplay Photography.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
We can let the circumstances of our lives harden us so that we become increasingly resentful and afraid, or we can let them soften us, and make us kinder. We always have the choice.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Looking for and enjoying beauty is another way to nourish the soul. The universe is in the habit of making beauty. There are flowers and songs, snowflakes and smiles, acts of great courage, laughter between friends, a job well done, the smell of fresh-baked bread. Beauty is everywhere, ready to nourish the soul. It must only be seen to begin helping us.
Tuesday, June 08, 2010
Monday, June 07, 2010
Sunday, June 06, 2010
Friday, June 04, 2010
This is an astonishingly effective practice. You stop and you know that you've stopped. Then you take the three conscious - that is, deliberate - breaths. You can do this at any time, and in any place. Try it especially when you're experiencing some sort of distress. Then notice what happens within you.
What is the best use of each day of our lives? In one very short day, each of us could become more sane, more compassionate, more tender, more in touch with the dream-like quality of reality. Or we could bury all these qualities more deeply and get more in touch with solid mind, retreating more into our own cocoon.
One of the most effective means for working with that moment when we see the gathering storm of our habitual tendencies is the practice of pausing, or creating a gap. We can stop and take three conscious breaths, and the world has a chance to open up to us in that gap. We can allow space into our state of mind.
-- Pema Chödrön
Thursday, June 03, 2010
This is really very interesting indeed. Here's an excerpt from a little article I found on color meditation:
Pay attention to your breathing. Take a deep breath and release it slowly. Take another deep breath, release. Again, deep breath...release.There's more. Recommended!
Now begin to focus on the color red. Let red fill your mind. Picture bright ripe red tomatoes...a male cardinal...a red rose.
Breathe in the color red. Let it fill your body. Feel the strength the red energies are bringing to your body. Exhale. Breathe in red again, filling you with courage. Let your breath out.
Take another deep breath. Let it out. Now, breathe in the color orange. Think of a large, juicy orange...flames dancing in a fire...the sunset.
Fill your mind with orange. As you continue to breathe in the orange energies, feel your confidence build with the power of orange.
I would imagine that doing this sort of meditation regularly would help us be more mindful and appreciative of colors we notice all around us in the material world.
Wednesday, June 02, 2010
I found a little article written by a woman who tells of a particularly bad night of intense physical pain. She then observes the following:
Then, suddenly, my experience completely changed when I heard a quiet inner voice saying: “You don’t have to get through till morning; you only have to get through the present moment”. It was like a house of cards collapsing, revealing the space that had been present all along, if only I could have recognised it. My experience immediately changed from an agonised, contracted state to one that was soft and rich – despite the physical pain. At that moment of relaxing into the present moment, just as it was, I intuitively knew I had tasted something true.Learning to stay in the moment reduces suffering more than anything one can imagine. Trust me on this one! It's true and it works.