Archive for December 23rd, 2011

Thich Nhat Hanh in Vught, the Netherlands, 2006

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Click here for the details. . .

And in the meantime, here is one of my favorites . . Plum Village’s chants to listen to while you wait for the streaming in the morning.

Allow the sound of the bell to float over you like waves.  Breathe in and know that you are not alone.  Breathe out and feel the warmth of the sangha.

May you be peace.

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Ruissalo winter forest

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In my last post, I reminded you to breathe and stay rooted.  If the holidays get frantic, take just 3 minutes for yourself (hide in pantry or take a walk) and listen to something that soothes your soul. . .

My favorite winter music is the Windham Hill collections.  Here is a slide show set to their Winter Solstice 2009.

Do you have a favorite song or album for meditation and quiet time?  Please share with us!

In addition to movies that are great to watch on end-of-life and grieving, at some point, I will be adding a music and book section too.

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English: At the Omega Institute, May 2007.

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Here is a good reminder of how not to get hooked at the holiday and to be mindful of your practice.

Want to learn more about shenpa and getting hooked, check out Pema Chodron. . . and yes, there will be something about shenpa and end-of-life care soon…. so many topics to write on and so little time to write it all up.

My best advice for the holidays…. keep both feet firmly on the floor and know you are rooted into the solidness of the earth.  stand up straight with your shoulders back so that your heart can be open…. remember to breathe because nothing else matters if you aren’t breathing.

Peace to all!

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English: President Barack Obama meets with His...

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Book review: ‘Beyond Religion’ by the Dalai Lama.

For decades, when HH the 14th Dalai Lama has been asked about his religion, he has smiled and stated, “I am a simple monk and my religion is compassion.”

I love that His Holiness is shedding the ideas of things like “-isms” and getting to the root of what matters — nothing but compassion.   And you know what I mean, Catholicism, Buddhism, nationalism, absolutism, capitalism, patriotism, materialism, etc.

I wish this idea would spread like wildfire through all of the leaders of countries throughout the world and through the world’s religions. . . and maybe it could start with our own leader here in the U.S.,  whose lack of attention to the Dalai Lama and the plight of the Tibetans is truly worth grieving over.

How often do we hate, fear, and start war because of “-isms”?  How often do we create policy and law based on “-isms”?  How often do we make others suffer because of the things we believe?

The author of this review shares this:

“Some may disagree with the Dalai Lama’s perspective, but he does a credible job of arguing why we should “move beyond our limited sense of closeness to this or that group or identity, and instead cultivate a sense of closeness to the entire human family.”

I would hope if anyone can sell the idea of the nature of the human being and the need for what is essentially important it would be Tenzin Gyasto, the Dalai Lama.

Note:  Want to know more?  Read, The Mind’s Own Physician by Jon-Kabat-Zinn and Richard Davidson soon to be out on Kindle.  This book is about neuroscience and explores the question — how does meditation affect human’s pain and suffering.


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If you have never picked up a book by Stephen and Ondrea Levine, you are truly missing out.  They now have a website as well.

The Levine’s have worked with dying and grieving people for decades, incorporating a genuine spiritual practice to the gift of caring for the dying.  The work, like the work of Ram Dass, Roshi Joan Halifax, and Frank Ostaseski’s, is about cultivating a compassionate presence to those who are living with their dying, living with their grieving.

Check out their books on amazon.com.

Here is a clip of an interview with this amazing couple and their own journeys with illness and aging.

Keep an eye out for a series of posts based on the Levine’s work that is forthcoming!

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