Tag Archive | mindfulness

Courageous Grace

“Imagine you are walking in the woods and you see a small dog sitting by a tree.  As you approach, it suddenly lunges at you, teeth bared.  You are frightened and angry.  But then you notice that one of its legs is caught in a trap.  Immediately your mood shifts from anger to concern:  You see that the dog’s aggression is coming from a place of vulnerability and pain.”

-Tara Brach

True Refuge:  Finding Peace and Freedom in Your Own Awakened Heart

Opening ourselves to a wider understanding of another person’s perspective is the first step towards cultivating a compassionate heart.  We can learn to do this by becoming quiet in the easy moments.  Themes of our thinking may or may not show their constancy, but we soon learn individual thoughts come and go like soft waves lapping and retreating along a coastline.

By familiarizing ourselves with our thinking’s lack of structure, we realize that others may be experiencing an onslaught of confusion in their minds as well.  If they happen to attach to a negative or fearful thought sequence, this may spill over into their world experience.  They may lash out or in some instances, shut down completely.

If we are left to look at the surface of what they are presenting, we remain stuck in fear right alongside them.  If we open ourselves to the possibility of a deeper understanding, compassion naturally replaces our hurtful interpretations with grace.

From grace, we no longer need to concern ourselves with another’s behavior.  All we need is to recognize the mutual beauty that exists between us far beneath the surface of what appears in the world.

The only question is, how deep are you willing to go?

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Small Moments

As you come to embody your personal experience more fully, you will begin to notice life in a new way.  Living in Presence affords you the beauty of seeing Love’s abundance surrounding you.

Small moments become deeply moving as your heart awakens.

With all this noticing of Beauty, you come to know other truths about yourself.  You may find searing judgments and criticism below the surface of your life.  In fact, you may be shocked at how harshly you speak to yourself.

Therefore, as mindfulness breathes awareness through your experience, you have to fill your emotional stores replete with forgiveness.

Yet, as you grow your heart in its most Loving direction, you will become more adept at handling the hurtful stories you tell yourself.

Space begins to form around difficulty.  From this opening, healing may enter and wisdom may rise to your consciousness.

The greatest salve of humanity is forgiveness.  Forgiveness of the world, forgiveness of ourselves and forgiveness of each other.

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Truth Lives

I was under the impression that to awaken, the body was something to overcome.  I spent my time fighting with its tendency towards fear, anxiety and the physical manifestations of these states.  This battle raged for many months and years until one day it stopped.  The fear, anxiety and physical manifestations did not, but the resistance to them lessened.   As my grip fell away from manipulating the body’s experience, this is when peace would visit.

The mind will be frantic at first without a problem to solve.  It will buck against the framework of simply being.

It will want to move, to alter, to make better or more.  It will hate to be still.

Invite this resistance to come sit at your table.  Offer it a chair.  Let it be wild with its anger.  Let it try to scare you into action.  Let it do whatever it wants.

Beyond this chaos lives the Truth.

No need to reach.  No need to strain.

Truth lives.

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Healing Reimagined

In my years of searching for Truth, my motivation rested in changing the self that I am.  The amount of effort I poured into finding inner peace rivaled that of an athlete training for the Olympics.  I read countless books, meditated daily, had a spiritual mentor and began a yoga practice in earnest.

Each of these may or may not have been valuable on this path.  I have no regrets only compassion.  The self that searched with all her might endured a suffering few can imagine.  When a self experiences the world as a dream but then is dropped back into the personal experience of it, all hell breaks loose.

This self did all she could to survive and mitigate the internal, constant noise of ‘living in two worlds’.

Over the past few months, this self’s course has down-shifted.  There is less urgency to reach a goal of peace.  Rather, the emphasis has changed to accepting where this self is on the journey.

Peace may come to stay, but it is okay if it does not.  A healed mind may manifest, but it is okay if it does not.

There is something to be found in loving the present moment exactly as it is.  There is great value in accepting ourselves right here, right now.

“…, you are already perfect just as you are, in the sense of already being perfectly who you are, including all the imperfections.”

-Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness

Jon Kabat-Zinn

It is helpful to redefine healing in a way that will make it available to you wherever you are on your path to wholeness.  The shift comes by focusing on accepting what is and letting go of the constant striving for change.

Jon Kabat-Zinn redefines healing beautifully in Full Catastrophe Living:

” … my working definition of healing is coming to terms with things as they are.”

Healing will find us if we breathe open-heartedly into this present moment.

Let it be.

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The Deep Center of Night

In the deep center of night, joy resides.  It may not feel that way as you toss and turn feeling suffocated by the weight of the world, but it is there.

Waiting.

If sleep evades you, maybe peace is knocking on your door.

If you are able, step back from the stories of your mind and watch.

Watch how your mind imagines painful situations from the past while projecting fear onto your future.  Notice that neither are true.

In this moment, you are tucked in bed breathing in and breathing out.

Nothing more and nothing less.

Let the mind do what it wants.

It can only hurt you if you believe what it is telling you.

Question everything.

Keep the thoughts that Love you.

For Love is what you Are.

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The Summit

My fate was determined before I even began.  I thought the path was winding, but it was not.

I have climbed the mountain.  I have arrived.

Everything is exactly as it was before.  The only difference is my perception.

The shift is complete and it is permanent.

There is no going back now.

I have yet to find peace here at the summit of The Mountain.  I am not ready for peace.

First, I must say goodbye to all the old ways of thinking.

I must let go of thinking.

All in due time.

It is not up to me to determine when the transformation is complete.

If I am here and I am writing these words, it means more transformation is coming.

It is inevitable.

Now, later or somewhere in between, that is where you will find me.

In search of a peace that is available to all but is ever elusive.

The more I reach, the more it recedes from the periphery.

So, I rest in a quiet uncertainty grateful that I am even walking this journey at all.

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Points of Light

There will be points of light on your path.

Try your best to stop counting them and wishing for more.

Be grateful for the ones you have, for they are more than enough to light your way Home.

Each small self has a history, present and future.  While these look different from the outside, they are exactly the same on the inside.

Your path may have taken you to heartbreak.  You may have lost your way and then found it again.

You may be surrounded by friends and family cheering you forward.

You may have to walk alone.

When we stop asking why the self’s story looks the way it does, we shift towards a new understanding.

All is perfection.

There is nothing more to want.  There is nothing more to need.

There is only the sweet, pure path to Love and Truth.

It has no history.

It has no future.

It is now.

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