Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for May, 2012

image from colorbox

http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-4817/The-Secret-to-Finding-Your-True-Love.html

I would love to share this article with every middle school girl out there… but that might be too late.

We live our whole lives looking for the elusive one, sometimes not able to stand the “one” that we are. . . because we aren’t smart enough, not thin enough, or whatever else we’ve come to believe about ourselves.

If we don’t learn to foster compassion for ourselves we get into a relationship that might be good for us and then we start to think. . . I don’t think I’m smart enough, thin enough, etc. . . of course the object of my love, who I hold in such high esteem, must think that to.

And then comes, who do they think they are?

Or OMG, if they got close enough, they would learn that thin and smart are just the surface… there is so much more than is wrong with me.

And that perfect mate, perfect relationship, is sabotaged, wrecked, and over before it begins.

I tell my friends time and time again that I am not sure if we need to teach kids how to read, write, and do math when we can’t teach them how to be compassionate and can’t show them compassion.

Does algebra really matter if we haven’t been able to connect with others, develop some sort of healthy self-worth?

I hope that the current trend to teach kids mindfulness continues to flourish.  We have kids who are detached, self-absorbed, unable to parent when they get older, and believe, like many of our CEOs and politicians, that the “other” is just someone to take advantage of, no matter who that “other” may be.

Attachment parenting has been in the headlines since the cover of Time a few weeks ago and I know little about it.  I don’t know if we need to breastfeed for much longer than we need to or sleep with our kids to foster safety.

I do know that I see parents, good people, treat their children like objects.  Referring to them like, “I picked up the kid from soccer practice. . .”

I see teachers and parents not give attention to or appreciate the voice that children and elderly have.

We are so busy that it seems like it benefits us to see “the other” as an object because then they can be manipulated — tailgating until we push them around, used to climb the corporate ladder, livelihoods taken, etc.

There has to be some middle ground between seeing corporations having personal rights and depersonalizing the people in our lives but I think it goes back to basic things . . .

Fostering presence and acknowledging the person we are with

Deep listening

Compassionate, thoughtful speak that seeks to find compromise, clarity, and communion

Cultivating a broader perspective and being able to step back to see our basic interconnectedness or as it is called in Thich Nhat Hanh‘s tradition, Interbeing.

Slowing down and taking time — put down all of the distractions and things that won’t matter some day when we are at the end of our lives.

Taking care of ourselves so we can be stewards of our selves, our resources, and our relationships.

All of these things come with contemplative practices.  And I don’t mean to say that everyone needs to become Buddhist. . . MBSR has shown us that a practice does not need to be religious or even spiritual.

I think that any contemplative practice in any tradition of any kind will help us to work on the things that will make us healthier, create stronger relationships, and bring about true peace.

What are we waiting for?

We all have breath to follow.

We all have access to fire to light a candle to focus on.

We have a treasure trove of literature and spiritual/therapeutic texts out there to teach us about the present moment and how to foster awareness.

I ask myself these questions of our greater world and I ask them of myself every day.

Is it time to embrace our enlightened-nature and foster deep connections with the essential self of others?

Read Full Post »

Atisha with Twenty-eight of the Eighty-four Ma...

Atisha with Twenty-eight of the Eighty-four Mahasiddhas. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Your life span, like that of all living beings, is not fixed

Your life span, like that of all living beings, is not fixed

I had a client that had major complications after a surgery that was supposed to be “routine”.  Multiple systems shutting down and getting restored which shut down other systems, etc.  It was like a negative feedback loop for a while.

We were sure that she was going to die.  I was totally convinced.  I was the hospice expert, I knew these things.

Well, not really.

I just am more okay with dying taken place when it may be the ultimate healing experience for that person.

But with today’s medical technology, we can sometimes sustain someone well beyond what nature may have had in mind and give them a chance they would have never had before now.

That, however, is not my experience, but it does happen.

My “for sure” was no match for crazy (or what I thought was crazy) medical and scientific intervention.  And she lived on.

Your life span, like that of all living beings, is not fixed

Yet, I remember someone I knew telling me that his mother had gone into the hospital for something acute and the family was told that she was riddled with cancer.

There was an emergency that sent her to the hospital.

She was diagnosed.

The family was trying to make sense out of what was happening that night; trying to wrap their minds around it.

She died the next morning… not from the cancer and not from the acute crisis.

As one of the other Contemplations states, we do not have control over when and how our death will ultimately come.

How many times have you heard, “She was the picture of health”?  That was the case with my mentor who died.  Running 5 miles every morning, yoga, healthy eating, great relationships, ideal jobs for her, etc.

Or how many times have you heard, “He smoked cigars since the age of 12 and his mom fed him lard” and he died when he was 97?

We have no fixed time or fixed amount of breaths that we will take.

We do not know if it will be right now, tonight, tomorrow, or in ten years.

And yet, we live like it we have been granted this fragile life forever.

Everyone we have ever known to die, whether a beloved grandfather or a teen idol, has not lived forever and has had that unexpected time come.

Why do we think that we are exempt and will be the one person to make it out of life alive?

And how many of us take so much for granted because deep down inside, we really believe that we’ll be that one?

How long will you suffer with what is before you create the life you want before it’s too late?

How many times will you walk away angry and not say I love you before you are left with the guilt of having not done that very thing?

I ask these questions, not just of you, but of myself?

Will I learn this time?

Will I be more present, more proactive, more loving, more compassionate, etc?

Your life span, (and my life span) like that of all living beings, is not fixed.

With that knowledge, can we learn to embrace it, in a lived, total way, and create the life that we want because we became active agents during the moments we do have here on earth?

Read Full Post »

 

By Doug Smith, MDiv.

“When we label some deaths right,

and other deaths become wrong.

When we label some deaths good,

and other deaths become bad.

Living and dying create each other.

The easy way and the difficult way are

interdependent.

The long life and the short life are relative.

The first days and the last days accompany each other.

Therefore, the true caregiver of the dying does all

that needs to be done without asserting herself,

and saying all that needs to be said without

saying anything.

Things happen, and she allows them to happen.

Things fail to happen, and she allows them to fail

to happen.

She is always there, but it is as though she is not there.

She realizes that she does nothing,

yet all that needs to be done is done.

In letting go,

there is gain.

In giving up,

there is advancement.

Don’t practice controlling.

Practice allowing.

Such is the mystery of happiness.

Such is the mystery of wealth.

Such is the mystery of power.

Such is the mystery of living and dying.

Excerpt from:  Caregiving:  Hospice-proven Techniques for Healing Body and Soul.

Read Full Post »

MORE OF A PHILOSOPHY THAN A RELIGION. BUDDHISM...

“For as long as space endures

And sentient beings suffer

May I also remain

To dispel the world’s sorrows.

~~Shantideva

Read Full Post »

Bernard Glassman

Bernard Glassman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“If you were to ask me ‘What is the essence of Buddhism?’

I would answer that it’s to awaken.  And the function

of that awakening is learning how to serve.”

~~Bernie Glassman

Read Full Post »

English: Patrul Rinpoche tibetian yogi

English: Patrul Rinpoche tibetian yogi (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“In a previous life, the Buddha was born in a hell where the inhabitants were forced to pull wagons.  He was harnessed to a wagon with another person called Kamarupa, but the two of them were too weak to get their vehicle to move.  The guards goaded them on and beat them with red-hot weapons, causing them incredible suffering.

The future Buddha thought, “Even with two of us together we can’t the wagon to move, and each of us is suffering as much as the other.  I’ll pull it and suffer alone, so that Kamarupa can be relieved.”

He said to the guards, “Put his harness over my shoulders, I’m going to pull the cart on my own.”

But the guards just got angry.  “Who can do anything to prevent others from experiencing the effects of their own actions?” they said and beat him about the head with their clubs.

Because of this good thought, however, the Buddha immediately left that life in hell and was reborn in a celestial realm.  It is said that this was how he first began to benefit others.”

~~ Patrul Rinpoche from The Words of My Perfect Teacher

Read Full Post »

Light and shade

Light and shade (Photo credit: Ennor)

Death is the omega of our existence, the vanishing point toward which all our moments rush.  Death is the price exacted by life — which always, without exception, is a fatal condition. . .

Yet who really understands that they will die?  Even those who have encountered the reality of death rarely do, other than in flashes.”

~~ Tracy Cochran & Jeff Zaleski, In Awakening to the Sacred in Ourselves

Do not wait until it is too late. . . allow yourself to be open to more than flashes of our nature.

Cultivate spaciousness in inhabiting the pause between breaths.

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »