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Archive for May 22nd, 2012

the clouds are lifting

Wow, I feel like I haven’t been fully present for a while.

Since my wonderful trip to NM, I’ve had a respiratory infection and a 10-day migraine so that’s what I’ve been up to for the past month.

I found things to keep the blog going but didn’t feel like I was fully present to it, save a few precious times.

There’s a balance there, right?

Being there, being present, fulfilling obligations.

So a few things have happened. . .

I have started to add quotes and writing on new categories — Relationship Dharma and New to Meditation?

And I’m looking at adding some others — like work on Nonviolent Communication.

When you blog about grieving and dying, you are writing about being with and embrace the life that you have, cultivating kindness and compassion.

Well, at least, that’s how I’m doing it.

And there is so much more to look at.

From one of the polls I took, people said they were looking for more info on meditation.  There are a lot of blogs out there about this topic but I thought I would add some stuff here.  People looking for help with their grieving or living with illness might not know where to look for help with starting a meditation practice so they won’t have far to look now.

And a big part of our “work” in living with illness and living with grieving is dealing with our relationships.  So in grieving, we look at the relationships we had — the good and the bad, the blessed and the problem some.

But what about the relationships we have right now?

What about the relationships we want to foster?

We can’t neglect them or continue to flounder with relationships we aren’t present to.  Well, we can, but in the face of living and dying, do we really want to continue living as zombies, sleep walking through it all?

I will be drawing on resources such as Thich Nhat Hanh‘s book Fidelity or Ellen & Charles Birx’s book Waking Up Together.

But how can you stop there, right?

I will also be looking at material on living and being in community and true communication.

If I had to put it one way, I guess I would say that I am expanding beyond Right Mindfulness to look at the other parts of the Eight-Fold Path of Buddhism and how it applies to our dying, grieving, and living here and now.

I hope you enjoy the expanded view that you will start to see here.  I think I may have dabbled in looking at a broader view but I’d like to formalize it a bit so that it is easier to go back through the archives and to help me see my own bigger vision.

It is so good to be back, to be thinking clearly and not in pain.  I feel rested and really restored in a way, as if a layer needed to be peeled away while I was sick.

And it’s a great time to be back and fully present to this blog — I’ve just gone over 200 followers in the past week and just in the past 24-hours, I’ve finally hit 15,000 hits.  Very exciting to see that there are that many people interested in the cross sections that are my life — my interest in spiritual practice as a means of cultivating the lives we want and the awareness that benefits us in the present moment.

I have such heart-felt gratitude to all the people who leave me comments and blessings, who let me know that these words make you think or matter or come just at the right time.

This blog was originally started as a way of having a life line as I finish the last year of my dissertation — to help me get in touch with my work in end-of-life care and my Buddhist practices as I have been without community for both of those aspects of my life in the past three years.

I am honored that you spend time with me and I thank you for letting me into your lives.

May sorrow show me the way to compassion

May I realize grace in the midst of suffering

May I be peaceful and let go of expectations

May I receive the love and compassion of others

~~  Metta, Jennifer

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thailand buddha wat phra keo

thailand buddha wat phra keo (Photo credit: FriskoDude)

“In letting go of the absurdity and even the arrogance of believing that we know what the next moment will bring, we relinquish our grip on reality and surrender into the mystery of not knowing, moment to moment, what will appear next in awareness.”

~~Gavin Harrison, In the Lap of the Buddha

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