Tuesday, October 4, 2016

What is Mindfulness?

Beautiful clip describing this practice. It is truly a gift to connect with and practice Mindfulness. Life becomes more than just a moving from one activity to the next and the next. We pause to actually be with what we're experiencing moment to moment. Instead of living in the world of thoughts, we live in a vibrant, alive, aware world; the world of living, loving and dying. We stop avoiding certain experiences and feelings and instead learn to open to life; connecting with wisdom (clear seeing) and compassion.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Life is a Gift

Life is precious. From the first breath we take to the last is truly a gift.  

And so how can maintain this awareness of the preciousness of every moment, every breath, every contact we have with life? Can we do it with reverence, with forgiveness for the times we're caught up in reactivity, fighting and resisting the way life is? 

It's possible to meet the pain with acceptance, understanding and compassion

It sometimes feels impossible to open to pain. It can be a deep wrenching grief that tosses us like a little dingy in a vast ocean. Sometimes the grief, sorrow and sadness can send us rushing to the bottom of the ocean and it feels as if we will stay there forever. At some point, I believe the heart begins to mend and we once again rise to the surface. We rejoin life and it little by little color seeps into our view of the world. 

Wisdom comes when we see things beyond the way they should or shouldn't be and respond with compassion

I guess the most important thing to remember is that wisdom can come from suffering. I don't say this lightly and I'm not minimizing how devastating loss can feel. I believe that how we get through the challenges in life really matters. We can either look at what happens through the lens of victim-hood or through the lens of clarity and wisdom. This is the way life is. And even that feeling of victim-hood is a part of the healing process. It's the resisting and clinging that comes right before we let go. We relax our grip on trying to control things that are beyond our control. Therein, paradoxically is the power to choose how we meet these challenges.

I love this poem by Rumi that speaks to this.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.
A teaching story translated by Coleman Barks