Saturday, August 27, 2011

Saturday prayer blogging

This is a re-posting from some time in 2007:

May we be united in heart.
May we be united in speech.
May we be united in mind.
May we perform our duties
As did the wise of old.

May we be united in our prayer.
May we be united in our goal.
May we be united in our resolve.
May we be united in our understanding.
May we be united in our offering.
May we be united in our feelings.
May we be united in our hearts.
May we be united in our thoughts.
May there be perfect unity amongst us.

From the Rig Veda

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A big fear about meditation

Many people resist meditation because they're afraid of what might "come up". Well, stuff is supposed to come up:

Spiritual progress is like detoxification. Things have to come up in order to be released. Once we have asked to be healed, then our unhealed places are forced to the surface.

--Marianne Williamson

Why would you prefer to have toxic stuff inside you that you don't even know about? Only if we know what's there can we do anything about it. Otherwise, it will rule our lives and we won't even understand why.
~~~

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Interconnectivity

This is from a very brief article on meditation:
In the movie “Powder,” there is a beautiful scene at the county fair, where Powder and Maxine are having a conversation. Powder says: “We are part of everyone and everything.” Maxine: “Are you telling me that I am part of this tree, a part of the vast ocean, a part of a man in jail thousands of miles away?” Powder: “Yes, you don't believe me?” Maxine: “It's hard to believe.”

Can we believe that we're all connected, that we are one with each other? Would that change the world? What if we no longer judged a person whether that person was a heterosexual or homosexual, not judge a person because of his/her religious background, or the color of their skin? Would that change the world and would that change us?
You can find the whole piece right here.
~~~

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Wednesday life form blogging

The fabric of the universe

I've experienced much benefit from the writings of Elizabeth O'Connor for many years now. Here's something she said that is particularly focused in expressing what reality is all about:
An inner truth always has a corresponding outer reality. Our interdependence is woven through the fabric of the universe. The painful, fearful, wonderful message of the modern world is that we are members one of the other, and that we cannot live if we are not in communion with each other. The world, even for the hard of learning, is turning out to be one great household - every woman, my sister, every man, my brother.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Friday cat blogging!

Visualize blowing bubbles

There's some good stuff here:
Some people imagine a calm scene to help them wind down at the end of the day. There are no rules about what you should imagine, so long as it's calming. Although clouds, the ocean, and mountains are common choices, you can focus on something as general or as specific as you want.

"I had a patient who liked to picture his office—brushing everything off his desk and going to sleep," Walsleben says. "Other people enjoy visualizing that they're blowing bubbles. They put the stick in the jar and watch every bubble go over a field until the jar is empty."
I found it right here.
~~~

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Wednesday life form blogging

Something that's just lovely

Right here:

The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.

-- Robert Louis Stevenson

~~~

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Adversity

In this evening's ongoing meditation class, we talked about a skillful approach to dealing with hardship. Later, I found the following. I really do like it!

Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.

-- Garrison Keillor

Mind you, this doesn't speak to every kind of adversity but it does speak to some. And it really helps with perspective.
~~~

Monday, August 08, 2011

Yes, this is possible:

Some time ago I signed up for a thirty day subscription to Kristin Noelle's trust tending sketches. The above is one of them that I particularly liked. Now I'm not thinking this means that we are supposed to cultivate some sort of split within ourselves at all. Rather, I think it is reminding us that, even when we're freaking out, there is a place of calm within us that we can access and thus alleviate our suffering.
~~~

If I stay "in the moment", can I still make plans?

Here is some more wisdom from friend-of-the-Center, Larry H. It's originally intended to be self-coaching encouragement for people who are in recovery but it's completely consistent with meditative principles and can definitely help us all:

Plan, but don't plan the outcome.

It is all right to make plans, but it is not okay to insist on a particular outcome. Sometimes I may do things expecting particular results, but in focusing on the goal instead of the things I should do to reach that goal I may create a set up for disappointment. I can take action, but I cannot rigidly determine the results. When my mind is not set upon the end state, I can be sanguine about failures by saying I did my best (returning the focus to my behavior). With emphasis on what I'm doing instead of emphasis on where I'm going, I will be able to handle the times when things didn't work out.
~~~

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Illusions

Oh, my. This is so, so good:

Illusions commend themselves to us because they save us pain and allow us to enjoy pleasure instead. We must therefore accept it without complaint when they sometimes collide with a bit of reality against which they are dashed to pieces.

~ Sigmund Freud

Saturday, August 06, 2011

Smooth versus rough

Well, the Nazarene Church down on the corner has come up with another good one for their marquee:

If the mountain were smooth, you couldn't climb it.

How about that? It's true, isn't it?
~~~

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Careful about those"goals"!

Today I found myself picking up a book again that I've valued very highly over the years. It's called Breath by Breath by Larry Rosenberg.

Here's a brief passage that reminds us not to get attached with the results from meditative practice that we imagine ought to happen:
Most of the time that people get discouraged with practice, they do it to themselves. They've heard time and time again that the practice is being nobody and going nowhere, then they sit down and try to be somebody getting somewhere. Thoughts arise around that wish and they suffer.
Isn't that an intriguing paradox?

I think this is why the Zen folks say we need to have perpetual "beginner's mind".
~~~