Make success easy.
You might not be able to meditate for thirty minutes,
but you could sit for five.
You might not have one whole hour to exercise,
but what about a quarter of an hour? Or a few minutes?
It’s easy to avoid the one thing
that will help you the most.
Go inside yourself and ask to see clearly
the blocks you’ve created to avoid your own happiness.
If you’re serious about being happy,
you will bravely seek out the places
shut off from your truest self-expression,
and you will do whatever you have to
in order to melt away the resistance to your joy.
Sometimes this path is not such much a doing,
but an undoing.
It’s easy to look back
and see what wasn’t so great about today;
it takes discipline to look back
and recall moments of grace.
At first I might feel guilty
being so preoccupied with negativity
but then I remember that I’m human,
my brain is wired for survival,
this is simply the way things are.
And so I keep a journal.
Every night I write a list
of what made me feel grateful
throughout the day.
Sometimes I draw a blank
and need to really search
to find the answers to the question,
Why am I grateful today?
I end up writing something
but I remember
This is my life.
I can be grateful for it all.
Take one step at a time.
at least for a few minutes
This habit of finding stillness
and reconnecting to your center
will spill over
into every aspect of your life.
Don’t try to quit unhealthy habits,*
simply begin healthy ones,
and they will shape your life
in marvelous ways.
Don’t talk yourself out of it,
saying you don’t have enough time–
you can find five minutes
right when you wake up
to tune into your center
and start the day with peace.
As you commit to your daily practice,
prepare to be amazed
at what you’re capable of accomplishing.
As you tap into the deep source
of your power
you start to see
how truly remarkable you are.
*I’ve been listening to The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg and I’m finally starting to understand why my simple resolution to meditate every day has led to strengthening my willpower and developing the discipline to start and maintain other healthy daily habits. Take this blog for example. After sitting for thirty minutes daily for a year I committed to posting once a day for a year. After the year was over I just kept going. I also write in my gratitude journal every day and have been finding the time to delve into creative projects. I’m reasonably certain that I wouldn’t be doing any of this if I hadn’t started meditating regularly, so I’m feeling incredibly blessed by my teachers who have gone before me and paved the way for a happy life.
to breathe for my sisters,
Feeling drowsy, peaceful,
almost nodding off,
why I’m here,
why I’m doing this.
a voice says,
and I shake off my fatigue
for a moment longer.
And I realize
awakening is one thing
but staying awake is another.
And sometimes I must go looking for my soul.
It gets concealed in a fortress
and it might be peeking out
from some tall tower somewhere
waving a white handkerchief,
beckoning me toward heroism,
action, motivation, conviction.
It is up to me to find a way in,
past the brambles and briars
of my ancient history,
beyond the edifice
I have constructed
to give the appearance of strength
past all the distractions
of the sensual world…
Without getting trapped
in games about worthiness
but going straight through
with a clear perception
I find the stairs to the tall tower.
Everything I thought I knew was wrong.
There is only this simple moment
and the question
Where is my soul now?
Waking up early
to have time to sit in quiet
the whole day takes on a
I have a simple breakfast,
write in my journal for a while.
Now I am ready.
My practices prepare me
to open my mind and my heart
just as my eyes open
upon awakening from sleep.
Every time I sit,
it’s as if my soul comes knocking
and now I finally know where the door is
to let it in.
As I sat this evening
it suddenly occurred to me
that I was spending
a lot of time mulling
over the decisions
of our current commander in chief.
I have spent time worrying,
As I sat, I remembered
that sending the thoughts
born of these feelings
into an atmosphere
already charged with fear and negativity
will help no one, including myself.
What to do, I asked myself.
It doesn’t do any good to hate.
Although I completely disagree
with his actions, his rhetoric, his decisions,
he is a human being after all,
and like me, he wants happiness,
Lovingkindness is the antitdote
to hateful feelings.
Ah yes, lovingkindness, or metta
meditation. Here goes.
As I have done many times before,
I pictured the object of my meditation
sitting there in front of me.
There he was, Mr. Trump,
his face in my mind,
and I began repeating the phrases of metta:
May you be safe
May you be happy
May you be healthy,
May you be peaceful and at ease.
I was able to generate genuine
feelings of compassion for him,
and to feel sorry for him,
being the object of so much hatred,
and under so much pressure
to make so many decisions
that will affect so many beings.
May you be safe,
May you be happy,
May you be healthy,
May you be peaceful and at ease.
Given recent events,
I know I have my work cut out for me,
but I commit to this practice
for the benefit of all beings,
this practice that gives me hope,
this practice that brings healing,
this practice that reminds me
of the inherent goodness of all.