Category Archives: practice

Thinking About Faith

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Faith is a muscle, I was told recently,
You have to use it to strengthen it.
Ok, so how? I began thinking…
It’s easy to have faith
when you’re hitting every green light,
when you manage to slip into
the shortest line at the grocery store,
and everything seems to be going your way.
But how about when you’re stuck in traffic,
you have no choice but to wait in a long line,
and it seems like nothing is going your way?
Can you have faith then?
Can you believe that all of this
was meant to be…for YOUR benefit?
Because it isn’t faith when it’s easy,
it’s faith when it’s difficult,
when you can’t see the path ahead
but you leap anyway,
when you can’t see the reasons
for everything being as it is
but you trust anyway.
We have a lot of work to do
in order to cultivate such faith,
but imagine the rewards of such work:
being able to relax in this moment,
certain that you have what you need
to grow into the highest version of yourself.
Let me have faith
that my faith is just as it should be.
Let me trust, let me breathe,
let me relax into this moment,
deeply grateful for what is to come.

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Momentum

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Once you get the ball rolling
it’s easier to keep it rolling
than it is to locate the ball
that once rolled into a dusty
corner and was eventually
forgotten.
Keep the momentum.
Anything counts.
Walking.
Brushing your teeth.
Sitting.
Breathing.
Chanting.
Laughing.
Dancing.
Singing.
Praying.
Playing.
Anything can count as a practice
if attended to every day
with a clear intention to awaken
as a result of your diligence.
Your momentum
builds strength and persistence.
Thank you for your willingness
to do the good work that
will help us all remember
who we really are.

The Eyes of Your Soul

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For those who are feeling discouraged about their mindfulness practice…

You think this practice is all for naught?
You think you can’t see any results yet?
I tell you, every second matters,
nothing ever goes to waste,
it all counts.
Have faith, trust, believe.
Your binary mind cannot comprehend
the vastness of this Universe,
so why would you look at your practice
through the eyes of this mind?
Close your eyes
go within
be still.
There are no words for what you find
when the eyes of your soul open and see.

This Universe

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I awoke at 5:30,
sat in quiet.
As I rose from my seat
I noticed the sun was rising too.
I got to wondering…
Does the sun meditate
on light and dark?
Being itself the source of light
can it know what it is?
It must see these illumined planets
circling around–
does the sun know
these heavenly bodies shine
because of its own light?
How can it know its utter vastness
without some mirror
to reveal it to itself?
Looking out into the infinite depths of space
does it wonder what it is
and where it’s from?
And to think
there are countless galaxies,
countless solar systems
stretching out into the endless
expanses of space,
space that dwarfs our sun
and renders it inconsequential
in this enormous universe.
And here I am,
a tiny speck
on one little spinning ball of dirt,
wondering, wondering
about this universe
where so little is known.

Watch What Happens

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Each breath makes a difference.
Our minds are constantly churning with thought;
why not put them to good use?
Instead of polluting the atmosphere with negativity,
why not breathe positive thoughts into space?
Sit.
Picture a loved one in front of you.
Picture their face; maybe you say their name.
As you inhale,
imagine taking in their suffering,
whatever it is,
breathe it in to lift it from them.
Take their suffering
into the vast space of your open heart,
larger than the clear blue sky,
where it dissipates
the way clouds dissipate in the sun.
As you exhale,
visualize sending them peace,
health, joy, freedom, confidence.
Send them whatever will help them,
whatever will comfort them.
Keep giving and receiving
on the medium of the breath
and notice how this practice
calms you.
After you’ve worked with
the suffering of others,
look what happens
when you turn toward your own suffering.
You realize that you are not alone.
You realize that suffering is normal
in this real, human life of ups and downs.
You can work with your own suffering,
breathing it into the open space of your heart,
breathing out the antidote to suffering.
Notice how it connects you
with the rest of humanity.
Notice how it’s not the end of the world.
Practice in this way every day.
Watch what happens.

Live for Others

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I keep hearing that the swiftest path to misery
is staying utterly fixated on my own story,
closing myself off from the rest of the world.
And I keep hearing that the swiftest path to joy
is caring for others, enriching their lives,
helping, nurturing, staying connected with the world.
How would this translate into my daily life?
All of the things I thought I was doing for myself
can now become an offering for others.
When I brush my teeth, it’s not just for my own good,
it’s also for the good of those around me.
When I eat, it’s not just for my own pleasure,
it’s also so that I’ll have the energy to help where I’m needed.
When I meditate, I don’t do it solely for myself
but so that I’ll have the clarity, the calm, the stability
to truly be of service to those around me.
When I sleep,
when I rise,
when I dress,
when I drive,
when I mother
when I teach
when I walk
when I breathe
when I learn
when I read
when I sit
when I clean…
Let it always be for the benefit of others.
Chasing after my vision of personal satisfaction
only brings more emptiness, more heartache.
Let me try something else.
Let me live for others for a change.