Walking across Central Park this morning, I was filled to overflowing with gratitude for all the years I had the privilege of soaking in the beauty, the life-giving vitality, and the spirit of this wonderful place each and every morning on my way to my office. This brought me again to the importance of noticing and experiencing gratitude. As I walked on familiar pathways, the presence of gratitude filled and inspired me.
Read More “909th Week: More Gratitude Practice“
This experience returns me to an awareness of the importance of gratitude as a frequency we can constantly bring into our lives, and of the health-affirming quality it conveys. I have an active and ongoing relationship with gratitude and I find it supports me during challenging experiences. An example is when I had some rather extensive dental surgery a week ago. After about an hour of what turned out to be a two-hour process, I found myself orienting to what I call the spirit of gratitude. You might think of it as the essence of gratitude, or the frequency of gratitude. I oriented to experiencing the presence and quality of gratitude to help myself continue to be settled and at ease in the chair. I found that choosing to resonate with this essence made all the difference in my ability to remain calm and gratefully open to the help I was receiving.
For this week’s practice, I invite you to find, in the course of the coming week, many moments to be aware of gratitude. You may already have a gratitude practice and, if you do, use this practice to increase the number of times you express your gratitude. You may discover gratitude in some unexpected places when you look for it, even as you may find yourself reinforcing an awareness of gratitude that is already alive and present in your experience.
There is a Japanese philosophy called “wabi sabi”, which is about accepting and embracing that which is imperfect or flawed. Most of you have probably seen kintsugi pottery, where gold is used to fill cracks that appear in a piece of pottery—a bowl, cup, vase. One person who wrote about this said that kintsugi is how one can acknowledge the fact that the pottery object earned those cracks through the process of living and that filling the cracks with gold honors the fact of that experience.
This month, we continue with our theme of presence and the many reciprocal relationships we have with the world around us. We breathe in oxygen, a gift from trees who then breathe in our carbon dioxide. Bringing into awareness all the organisms and beings whose presence and activities contribute to what makes the world work for us, i.e., fungi, micro-organisms and more we don’t see and may not even recognize. Also insects, amphibians, reptiles, beings that fly, crawl, and swim and many other participants in the collective, interrelated system that creates your local environment and ecology. We have an opportunity to offer gratitude and blessings to everything in the environment with which we have a reciprocal relationship.
Please remember never to listen to these audio meditations when driving or operating dangerous machinery…
As I write this practice, those of us in the US are in the midst of an election process that generally moves along smoothly. Many of us have voted early, many by mail, and because of Covid many by absentee ballots. Because of the mail and absentee ballots, including those that always come from our neighbors in the military, the vote count is taking its natural time to allow for tabulation of each and every vote. People on every side of every issue feel the stress of wondering what the final outcome of a number of races will be.
One of the practices that I have cultivated over the last four years has been to strengthen both my access to, and experience of, the inherent steadiness that lives in the core of my body-mind being. It’s a steadiness that lives in the core of everyone, although often not easily recognized by Western culture, which hasn’t historically emphasized an embodied way of being.
For this week, I invite you to follow the practice below to both access a deeper awareness of the steadiness in you but also to invite yourself to radiate this steadiness into our collective consciousness and into your immediate environment. It’s important to keep in mind that the steadiness to which I refer in this practice is an aspect of your being that cannot be disturbed. It is not affected by the ups and downs of everyday life nor is it rattled or upset by what unfolds in the world around you. It is an aspect of the fundamental core of your being and, if you follow any spiritual practices, represents that aspect of you that arises from your Source, whatever you imagine that to be.Read More “815th Week: Radiating Steadiness”
Sitting in Central Park one weekend morning, a morning that was cloudy and quiet in the park, I felt a deep sense of peace radiating from all the trees around me. The quality of the trees and the environment they evoked reminded me of the Japanese practice of “forest bathing”, where people go amongst trees to soak in the healing that naturally emerges.
Attuning to the peaceful quality of the trees is, for me, similar to tuning in to a particular radio station, television channel, or on-line program. It reminded me, yet again, of the importance and power of mindful awareness, of being able to choose where I focus my attention… Read More “692nd Week: Resonating with the Essence of Peace”
Recently, I saw a clip from Fox News that got me to thinking about how many of us now engage conversations not to understand one another but to convince or to show that we are “right”. Read More “Week 665: Rediscovering Curiosity”