January 26, 2013
“Remember. Be Here Now”
Ram DassJust BE where you are now with no judgement or labeling. No resentment or anxiety. Let all that stuff go. Just take a breath and be. Let everything stop for a moment. Close your eyes. Count your breaths. If you’re walking, let your feet kiss the earth. Whatever you are doing, just do IT. Just be with it. Just look at your feet. Be where they are. Be here now.
May 25, 2012
The Welcoming Prayer
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
I welcome everything that comes to me today
because I know it’s for my healing.
I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons,
situations, and conditions.
I let go of my desire for power and control.
I let go of my desire for affection, esteem,
approval and pleasure.
I let go of my desire for survival and security.
I let go of my desire to change any situation,
condition, person or myself.
I open to the love and presence of God and
God’s action within. Amen.
(by Father Thomas Keating)
What would our days be like, if when we opened our eyes every morning, we took a deep cleansing breath and said:
“Welcome, welcome, welcome. I welcome everything
that comes to me today
because I know it is for my healing.”
Those are life altering words: to see every thing that comes to us every day as a means of our own “healing”. Okay, sure: the good things, the joyful happy things….but, what about the pain, the sorrow, the disappointment, loss, failure…..healing?
“I let go of my desire to change any situation, condition, person or myself.”
If we can let go of our desire for power and control, let go of our desire for affection, esteem, approval and pleasure. Let go of our desire for survival and security…..what are we left with?
We are left with the moment. The here and now. The experience. As Bodhidarma (coming soon in a new blog post) taught: keep a steady mind, one that is not swayed by circumstances. A mind open to God, or Spirit or Buddha-Mind, whatever name you give it, whatever belief you have.
By greeting each and every new day with “welcome, welcome, welcome…”, we are telling our own Potential to open every door today and welcome everything that comes to us through those doors because those things are for our healing, our strengthening. Without opening the doors we miss possibilities. And possibilities strengthen our potential. Open the morning door wide and shout, “WELCOME , WELCOME, WELCOME!”
A little background information on Father Thomas Keating:
Father Keating is aTrappist monk (Order of Cistercians of the Strict Observance) and priest, known as one of architects of the Centering Prayer, a contemporary method of contemplative prayer, that emerged from St. Joseph’s Abbey, Spencer, Massachusetts, in 1975. He was born in New York City, and attended Deerfield Academy, Yale University, and Fordham University, graduating in December 1943. He is a founder of the Centering Prayer movement and of Contemplative Outreach, Ltd. (Wikipedia)
April 11, 2012
Jon Kabat-Zinn’s definition of mindfulness:
“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way;
in the present moment, and
There are some words in the above quote that many of us have a hard time wrapping our heads around: mindfulness, paying attention, present moment, nonjudgmentally. I know I do. Put them in a sentence together and some days it sounds like a foreign language.
Thich Nhat Hanh helps us to understand the importance of practicing mindfulness. So many of us are caught up in worries about the future, regrets about the past, that the present slips past with us hardly acknowledging it let alone living it. “Mindfulness increases concentration and allows to see things more deeply and stop being victims of wrong perception.”
What about those of us who live to wallow in the past and re-live regrets over and over? What about those of us who are drawn into fantasy (wealth, house beautiful, body type, beauty, image, ego, etc)? What if we just don’t care about mindfulness?
TNH goes further saying if our body is not united with our mind, we are not really “alive”. Our body and our mind have to be truly present, together, in order to reap the experience of Life. Mindfulness helps us become alive. Concentration develops and we learn how to see things more clearly, creating less suffering for ourselves and others.
TNH says that in practicing mindfulness “We will create less suffering for ourselves and for other people. We will begin to taste the joy of living and help others to enjoy their daily lives. We cannot force people to practice mindfulness, but if we practice and become happy, we can inspire others to practice.”
Do we have a responsibility to live up to our own potential happiness and to practice mindfulness, not only for ourselves, but for others?
Want to start? “Following Your Breath”, by Thich Nhat Hanh:
Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment,
I know this is a wonderful moment!
Breathing in, I know I’m breathing in.
Breathing out, I know as the in-breath grows deep,
the out-breath grows slow.
Breathing in makes my calm.
Breathing out brings me ease.
With the in-breath, I smile.
With the out-breath, I release.
Breathing in, there is only the present moment.
Breathing out, it is a wonderful moment.