Archive for May 8th, 2012

One of the hardest things we will ever do to love ourselves and our world! Thank you for sharing Tara’s words!

The way out of our cage begins with accepting absolutely everything we are feeling about ourselves and our lives, by embracing with wakefulness and care our moment-to-moment experience. By accepting absolutely everything, what I mean is that we are aware of what is happening within our body and mind in any given moment, without trying to control or judge or pull away. I do not mean that we are putting up with harmful behavior—our own or another’s. Nor do I mean that we are confirming the truth of a negative belief, such as “I am a loser.”

Rather, this is an inner process of accepting our actual, present-moment experience. It means feeling sorrow and pain without resisting. It means feeling desire or dislike for someone or something without judging ourselves for the feeling or being driven to act on it. — Tara Brach (read the rest here)

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Nominated again for the Versatile Blogger award… there is a lot of love in this community of bloggers and I really appreciate how incredible everyone is at sharing resources, linking to each other, leaving feedback. What a wonderful community. Peace and great joy to all!

Riding effortlessly on a large green turtle

Thank you Resting in Awareness for this kind nomination.

Through this Versatile Blogger Award I have discovered many new blogs and folk that have moved me.   The world of blogs is so fertile and rich with the power of our collective creativity and experience.  I am continually amazed by our desire to share.  You all inspire me with your words and images, the way you open your hearts and souls to the world teaches me much about what it is to be part of such a global village.  It is humbling to be part of this number and to be appreciated for these  ‘turtle’ pages.

You will find a link to Resting in Awareness in my Blogroll on the right hand side of the screen.  Paul has a lovely way of writing about spirituality, meditation and all things full of light.

The ‘turtle…..’ will float on for a while…

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Take a look at Pema Chodron‘s video clip…


Any nun who can tell you that she joined the spiritual community because she wanted to kill her husband has to be a teacher for today’s world.

I became Buddhist after I watched a video tape, in a philosophy class at a Catholic college, of Thich Nhat Hanh.  I don’t even remember which one as it was so many decades ago.  But I remember thinking, I never met a priest in my parish that had a smile that big and had the outlook of a wise childlike being.

And to this day, I am grateful to Thay’s teachings and to his sangha.  His community in the mid-West was a welcome refuge for me when I moved here.

And Thay has always seemed like an embodiment of the Buddha. . . the loving, sacred heart of the Buddha, much in the same way that HH the Dalai Lama is the embodiment of the analytic mind and compassion presence of the Buddha.  I revere both, but always feel like how they live, their lessons, etc will always be out of reach for me.

And then I read my first book by Pema Chodron.  And I listened to my first audio book and I thought, “Oh, I get this!  Hey, I think she just swore… and oh look, she’s from my part of the country” and Buddhism became real and personal and attainable some how.

Ani Pema was the first female Dharma teacher whose work I was introduced to.  But there have been many others since then and hopefully more and more women will be embracing the Dharma and sharing it within their fields.

I am so thankful to the female Buddhist teachers today.  Tara Brach, Ani Pema Chodron, Roshi Joan Halifax, Cheri Maples, Sharon Salzberg,  and Sylvia Boorstein have made the Dharma accessible for women in the West.  And there are more and more therapists, like Irini Nadel Rockwell, Tara Brach, and Tara Bennett-Goleman are adding to the body of literature in bringing Buddhist thought to Western Psychology.

These great teachers have taught me more about being present to a client and being a compassionate presence to the dying and bereaved than anyone in my academic endeavors.  I honor them and their passion for their respective work.

May the merit of all these women inspire a new generation and help to foster compassion for all sentient beings.

Namaste, Jennifer

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Excerpt from Doug Smith, MDiv, Caregiving:  Hospice-Proven Techniques for Healing Body and Soul

“The following exercises can help caregivers relieve some of their own stress with a few laughs and reinvigorate themselves so that they can facilitate some humor for those in their care.

If caregivers are under stress, we cannot meet the urgent needs of the people in our care.  And we are hardly in the mood to bring humor to them.  This activity can divert us from our own stressful state:

Pull out the following list of activities whenever stress seems overpowering.  Complete each activity in the order listed as fast as you can.  If you reach the end of the list and still feel stressed, repeat the list in reverse order.

Raise your eyebrows twenty times.

Shout five words that begin with the letter “Z”.

Rub your tummy ten times counterclockwise and ten times clockwise.

Roar like a lion.  Bark like a dog.  Purr like a kitten.

Clap your hands ten times.

Throw something up in the air and catch it — twelve times.

Stick your tongue out five times.

Make five different silly faces.

Shout five words that begin with the letter “Q”.

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