Wednesday, March 31, 2010
Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Compassion is sometimes the fatal capacity for feeling what it is like to live inside somebody else's skin. It is the knowledge that there can never really be any peace and joy for me until there is peace and joy finally for you too.
Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 28, 2010
Saturday, March 27, 2010
I'm thinking now of having this printed out on a little card that I give to all my meditation therapy clients. Many would truly rather keep their pain than question some of their destructive beliefs about themselves and about life.
The therapist does not treat patients by simply giving them another set of beliefs. He or she tries to help them see which kinds of ideas and beliefs have led to their suffering. Many patients want to get rid of their painful feelings, but they do not want to get rid of their beliefs, the viewpoints that are the very roots of their feelings.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
Both are dificult: accepting what is and knowing oneself. Let us, then, normalize the perception that we're in for a long journey - and ought to be!
Enlightenment is the "quiet acceptance of what is". I believe the truly enlightened beings are those who refuse to allow themselves to be distressed over things that simply are the way they are.
-- Wayne Dyer
Knowing others is wisdom, knowing yourself is enlightenment.
-- Lao Tzu
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
-- Henry Miller
Monday, March 22, 2010
If you haven't felt a sense of awe or wonder today, give yourself that opportunity before you go to bed tonight. If you can't find that opportunity in your home or backyard, I promise you it can be found on the internet! Go to Wikimedia Commons and browse through the art work there or visit the NASA website and look at some of the Hubble telescope photographs. Train yourself. Coach yourself. The awareness of wonder will come to you in time, truly.
The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all true art and all science. They to whom this emotion is a stranger, who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe, are as good as dead: their eyes are closed.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Saturday, March 20, 2010
When obsessing on a future event which makes us fearful, we can ask, "what can I do about it now?" We can also follow my friend Tommy's 10-minute rule. Namely, if I'm thinking about something of concern I can limit the time I'll spend on it to ten minutes. If I'm engaged in doing something in the present that requires my attention, like driving or listening to someone sharing information with me, at the same time I'm dwelling on the past or fearing the future I need to shift my focus to the here and now immediately. To keep my focus on the present, it may be helpful to redirect my attention to my five senses. That is, ask myself what am I seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching right here "just for today," "just for this moment?"Redirecting one's attention to the five senses is very helpful indeed when our thoughts are taking us hostage.
Friday, March 19, 2010
Whenever someone awakens fully,
it affects human consciousness
at a collective level.
It is like dropping a stone
into a dark murky pond.
Ripples of light!
Not one word need be spoken.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
The snacks, incidentally, are:
bananasThere's a brief page on each one of the snacks explaining how it works. Very valuable information, I should say.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Today Cynthia called my attention to an article on eating an apple as a meditative support. It's called "Are You Really Savoring Your Apple? An Apple Meditation" by Thich Nhat Hanh and Lilian Cheung. Here's a little excerpt:
The first thing is to give your undivided attention to eating the apple. When you eat the apple, just concentrate on eating the apple. Don't think of anything else. And most important, be still. Don't eat the apple while you are driving. Don't eat it while you are walking. Don't eat it while you are reading. Just be still. Being focused and slowing down will allow you to truly savor all the qualities the apple offers: its sweetness, aroma, freshness, juiciness, and crispness.There's quite a bit more to the article so I do suggest that you click through and learn more about this wonderful exercise.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Fame or integrity: which is more important?
Money or happiness: which is more valuable?
Success or failure: which is more destructive?
If you look to others for fulfillment,
you will never truly be fulfilled.
If your happiness depends on money,
you will never be happy with yourself.
Be content with what you have;
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize that nothing is lacking,
the whole world belongs to you!
-- Lao Tzu
Saturday, March 13, 2010
That, of course, is why meditative practice is so very important. In meditation we learn the real how of not grabbing a fish.
The ego, as a collection of our past experiences, is continually offering miserable lines of thought. It’s as if there were a stream with little fish swimming by, and when we hook one of them there is a judgment. The ego is constantly judging everybody and everything. It has its constant little chit chat about things that can happen in the future, things about the past, too, and these are the little fish that swim by. And what we learn to do — this is why it takes work — is to not reach out and grab a fish.
Friday, March 12, 2010
Any kind of experience is possible during meditation. But meditation is not oriented toward having particular kinds of experiences. Rather, meditation is concerned with how we relate to all our experiences, not about inducing specific sorts of experiences. In essence, meditating teaches awareness of whatever happens and allowing our experiences to come and go without judgment. In this sense, meditation is profoundly ordinary. There is nothing extraordinary or exotic about it.I do encourage you to click through and read all of it.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
I would add the following: never answer an email or return a phone call when experiencing distress. Wait. Give yourself time to breathe, to let your mind settle, to still your soul.
Never cut a tree down in the wintertime. Never make a negative decision in the low time. Never make your most important decisions when you are in your worst moods. Wait. Be patient. The storm will pass. The spring will come.
-- Author Unknown
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Whether it's praise, love, criticism, money, time, power, punishment, space, sorrow, laughter, need, pain, or pleasure... the more of it that you give, the more of it you will receive.
-- Mike Dooley
Monday, March 08, 2010
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Mindfulness meditation trains us to be less reactive to whatever it is in life that causes us suffering. It gives us an ability to experience our own pain without identifying fully with it, and therefore to be more free from it. Because of that experience during meditation, we begin to fear life's pain less, to contract around it less. We become more easygoing with ourselves. We still suffer, but with much less of the dramatic flair that only adds to our suffering and makes it overwhelming.
Saturday, March 06, 2010
I found the above quotations in an article entitled "What the Old Romans Can Teach You About Living a Kick-Ass Life" that you can read right here.
For many people, the acquisition of wealth does not end their troubles, it only changes them.
It is not the person who has too little, but the person who craves more, who is poor.
What difference does it make how much you have? What you do not have amounts to much more.
Friday, March 05, 2010
Kindness. Yes, kindness is a habit. And it can be cultivated. Focus on it every day for a month and you’ll see profound changes in your life. You’ll feel better about yourself as a person. You’ll see people react to you differently and treat you better, over the long run.The article is on a website called Zen Habits that is fun to explore!
Daily routine. It’s so simple, but creating a daily routine for yourself can make a big difference in your life. The best routines, I’ve found, come at the start and end of the day — both your workday and your day in general. That means, develop a routine for when you awake, for when you first start working, for when you finish your workday, and for the end of your evening.
How will that change your life? It will help you get a great start to your day, and finish your day by preparing for the next day. It’ll help you firmly root the productive habits you want to firm in your everyday life. It’ll help you focus on what’s important, not just what comes up.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
I particularly like that first sentence. I've talked to people who really believe that they have to keep on resenting as if this would somehow get it out of their system. It doesn't work, folks. Please trust me on this one!
No resentment will go away by resenting more. We have all experienced hurts, some physical hurts, some based on actions of others who disappointed us profoundly, trust in a relationship was broken, or we failed to succeed as we'd hoped in a work situation. Perhaps someone hurt our children or someone we loved; maybe we were lied to, stolen from or betrayed. Whatever the hurt, we hurt ourselves if we hang onto or maintain the memory of the negative event. Resentments can lead us to both continued suffering and to engaging destructive behavior ouselves. Therefore, justifiable anger is a luxury we simply cannot afford. The path out is to achieve forgiveness. When we can say, not that the person who harmed us was right to do so, but that we are prepared to forgive, our anger will subside. We will benefit by moving out of our negative emotional state. We will benefit by removing a reason for ongoing pain and suffering in our own lives.
-- Larry Hochhaus
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
How did we get the idea that meditation is about being calm and free of thinking? When we allow ourselves to return to our meditation regularly, no matter how difficult the experience, we cannot deny that we see positive changes in our lives, even if during our meditations we feel frustrated or confused. What this seems to suggest is that gaining positive results from meditation does not depend on the meditation experience being pleasant. Perhaps the very gesture of observing exactly how we feel, or even what we think, is the root of the benefits we gain from meditation.It's by a yoga teacher named Shy Sayar and you can read the entire piece right here.
Monday, March 01, 2010
Try this: breath through your mouth, and notice how your chest expands; then breath through your nose and you'll notice how your abdomen goes out more. You see, breathing through the nose causes the diaphram to pull the air to the bottom of your lungs. This delivers a good dose of oxygen into your bloodstream, and into your brain. It also tends to relax you.This is by Steve Gillman and you can find the original article right here.
This is why meditators breath through their noses. It's healthier, and it is the basis of this forty-five-second meditation. ...[T]ake three slow, deep breaths through your nose, paying attention to your breathing.
Make it a ritual. For example, each time you get into your car, quietly do your three deep breaths. Having a regular "trigger" like this to remind you will keep you from procrastinating so often that you eventually forget to meditate altogether (isn't this typical when we don't make a habit out of the things we want to do?).
Don't worry if some say this isn't "real" meditation. We walk before we run, and not everything has to be difficult to be of value.