Tag Archives: meditation

Don’t Struggle, Bloom

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You are here to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, and with a finer spirit of hope and achievement.  You are here to enrich the world.

—Woodrow Wilson

 

If you’re accustomed to struggling,
let’s try something new.
Work with me here.
Imagine the one thing
you really, really want to do
with this one precious human life of yours,
this huge goal, this amazing project
that would leave you feeling blessed
at its completion.
Then, ask yourself,
Does it have to be hard?
Do I have to struggle to get there?
Imagine opening yourself
to the flow of Universal Intelligence
and allowing yourself to blossom
and expand into your heart’s vision.
Every day
do the work of getting quiet and still,
going inwards, and immersing yourself
in the flow of the energy that created
all that is.
When you become accustomed
to the feeling of universal connectedness
and you develop the capacity
to stay connected
as you move through daily life,
the way is opened up before you.
It doesn’t have to be hard.
This expansion into greater states of being
is the most natural thing in the world
for you to do,
just as a flower turns its face to the sun
delighted to see clear skies
after having weathered the darkest storm,
and in that state of all encompassing light
easily, naturally, beautifully—
it blooms.

World Peace Mandala

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mandalaThe whole world is honored
by the monks’ sand mandala:
every season, every people,
every religion, all forms of weather,
every landscape:
mountains, deserts, rivers, forests…
As I watch them shaking tiny bits of sand
forming impossibly intricate patterns,
I am shaken, startled
by the exquisite beauty staring back at me.
There emerges the most profound experience
of the utter interconnectedness of this world
and everything in it.
I am moved to tears.

monks and mandala

NaPoWriMo 2017 Day 30: Every Day

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Every day, for over five and a half years
I have shown up for my meditation practice.
I have become predictable.
I will rise from my comfy bed
sit upright on a cushion filled with buckwheat hulls,
set a timer, close my eyes and breathe.
Every time I have felt grateful for my practice,
for the stillness and the peace
and the perspective it brings.
For the gift of discipline
and the sense of stability
in  a chaotic world…
For the proof of my existence
beyond my body and the outer world
and the realization
that I always have exactly what I need…
I needed to cultivate discipline
to maintain my practice,
and now that it is there,
I realize that this discipline can help
in other domains of my life.
I began writing daily
because of my daily meditation.
I saw that I can all at once
trust the unfolding
of this miraculous life AND
simultaneously reach out
for that which is dear to my heart.
Who every knew that something so simple
could be so valuable,
so empowering.

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When the NaPoWriMo prompt suggested writing a poem about something that happens over and over again, my mind immediately went to my meditation, because that happens every day.

NaPoWriMo 2017 Day 25: Sacred Space

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It was a space
A sacred space
My sacred space.
It was small,
the size of a closet
with a low ceiling
and a window.
A friend painted the walls
plum tinged with gold
And being in there
never grew old.
My cushion,
an essential oil diffuser
a bell
my mala
some Tibetan prayer flags
my little Dharma Desk
and I was set for hours.
You can’t take space with you,
so I left my room behind
when we moved to our new house.
I don’t have my own space now,
all of it is shared.
Sometimes I miss that sacred space,
my sacred space.
But not having my own space
has taught me something too;
it isn’t the space itself that is sacred,
it’s the intention I bring to it.
So if I am in a sacred space within myself,
all spaces outside of myself are sacred.
In the end, it is all sacred space.

NaPoWriMo 2017: Sanctuary Meditation

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Sanctuary
welcoming protecting
wherever you are
outside, inside, without, within,
peace

Meditation
awakening potential
consciously placing attention
wandering mind repeatedly returns
presence

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After experiencing multiple interruptions in my sleep last night I woke up feeling tired and directionless.  I decided to write my poem instead of complaining about my exhaustion and I’m glad I did; I remembered what is important to me, what is available to me, and what I’m capable of. Here is the NaPoWriMo prompt for today.

NaPoWriMo 2017 Day 19: Meditation Creation

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One day a desperate
rageaholic neolithic mother
sent her husband and children
from the family cave
saying
“Ugh. Need some alone time.”
The husband and kids
were familiar with that tone
so they decided they’d leave
mommy alone.
The mother said to herself
This place is a dump
and I’m exhausted.
I don’t feel like doing anything
at all right now.
I need some quiet.
I guess I’ll just sit for a moment.
So the mother sat.
She closed her eyes and breathed.
She noticed her thoughts,
her bodily sensations,
the sounds of her environment.
She felt at peace.
It felt so good she decided
to sit a little every day.
Her husband and kids noticed
that she didn’t lose her temper
quite so often.
As she attended to
cave cleaning
and meal preparation
she seemed more cheerful.
She was a lot more fun
to be around.
The mother’s best friend,
who lived in the next cave over,
noticed the change
and asked her friend what her secret was.
Come sit. You’ll see.
So they sat, and this mother
felt more peaceful as well.
One by one
other mothers began to join
the little group of women
who simply sat in the quiet and breathed.
The one day a woman announced
Hey ladies, this stuff is really good.
We should probably let the menfolk in
on our secret.
And so the women sat down
and showed the men how to be still
and breathe.
After the women taught their husbands
how to sit
they decided that
they might as well teach
the rest of their children how to sit
quietly and breathe.
The clans who established
a sitting practiced
were able to survive
long enough
to transmit their genetic
inheritance to subsequent
generations.
If you’re here,
it’s because your ancestors meditated.
Don’t ask if you can,
because you can.
It’s written in your DNA.

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Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt encouraged us to write a creation story.

NaPoWriMo 2017 Day 4: The Need for Lovingkindness

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Last August
I taught my students lovingkindness meditation,
explaining the stages of metta:
offering to self,
then to a loved one,
then to a neutral person,
and then to someone toward whom
you feel aversion.
While we were meditating
I mused that I couldn’t
really find anyone toward whom
I felt aversion.
And then I remembered
a person so ridiculous,
so crass, so pompous,
I thought,
Ah yes! This person will work.
I’ll send metta to them.
I smiled as I sent lovingkindness their way,
feeling safe and secure
in my belief
that there was no way this person
could ever affect me or my life.
And then November came,
and a huge upset,
in the morning I found myself
checking and rechecking
to see if I was hallucinating
or if this was reality,
a reality
that left me reeling, crying,
in misbelief, in mourning.
I still can’t believe it’s real,
that this crass, pompous,
ridiculous person
could actually be where they are,
doing what they are doing.
And now when I meditate,
the aversion is more real,
and therefore so is the need for metta.

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Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt caused me to stretch a bit. I suppose that for many of you, there were be no question about to whom I’m referring–my words will not be so enigmatic because so many feel just as I do. So perhaps this poem is really a shout out to all of my fellow wayfarers to let you know–you are not alone!