For those of you who prefer to have images with your meditation, here’s a link to the youtube version for this month.
During the process of putting together my breakfast smoothie for tomorrow morning this evening, I suddenly noticed that I had the face of a cat in my face, paws of more than one cat all over the kitchen counters. I’m pretty strict about cats not being involved directly in my food preparation, but the person who stays with them when I’m out of town clearly has different rules than I do.
What struck me this evening was the depth of humor I inevitably touch into when the cats (I live with three of them) show up when I don’t expect them. The minute I realized that I had a cat’s head and paws in my immediate awareness, I noticed that I was spontaneously laughing and snuggling fur.
This got me to thinking about the benefits of cultivating a sense of humor over life’s inevitable glitches and moments of non-traumatic surprise. So many moments in any given day don’t go how we expect or want them to go. That doesn’t mean, though, that they can’t be moments of delight or fun.Read More “766th Week: Cultivating a Sense of Humor”
Sitting in my living room on a Sunday morning, I’m filled with the gift of silence. No city noises disturb the quiet this morning and that is a great gift. It has gotten me to thinking about the brain research I’ve mentioned before that reflects the benefits of silence in fundamental and literal ways.
One of the benefits of having quiet time, time spent in silence, is that we gain access to our default mode network. This is the aspect of brain activity where we allow our minds to wander, to think deeply, to listen to our internal experience. All it requires is for us to move away from distractions and give ourselves quiet time to simply be present to our awareness.
Another reason to seek out times of silence is that research has shown that two hours of silence daily can lead “…to the development of new cells in the hippocampus, a key brain region associated with learning, memory and emotion.” In addition to this, we know that noise pollution raises blood pressure and creates stress for both body and mind. According to researchers, “Just as too much noise can cause stress and tension, research has found that silence has the opposite effect, releasing tension in the brain and body.” These findings were reported in the Huffington Post by Carolyn Gregoire and shared by Daily Good a while back.Read More “816th Week: Return to Silence”
Given the conflicted state of our human family, a state we’re more aware of than ever with our globally interconnected network on the web, practices that support a sense of relatedness are needed for all of us. I’ve written many times about how we are kin not only with every other human being on the planet but also with every other lifeform. All of us are born of this planet, which makes all of us part of one earth family.
I started to write a practice on lovingkindness, which I’ve written about many times, and then found myself shifting into thinking about a practice more focused on recognizing our kinship with one another from a particular perspective—from what Thich Nhat Hanh has described: we interare. He has coined a word, a verb, which is also a concept: interbeing. Charles Eisenstein uses this concept in his work, as well, and I recommend watching videos of his on YouTube. Interbeingmeans that we are inescapably interconnected and interdependent, that there is no way for us to be separate from one another nor from the ecological framework of our source of physical life—from Nature, from every functioning aspect of our planet and all the lifeforms on it.Read More “777th Week: Revisiting the Reality of Interbeing”
Gratitude practice has become a more common option for people who want to explore the impact of choosing a specific quality, essence, or energy as a focus of attention. Some gratitude practices Read More “Week 657: Choosing Frequencies”