Posts Tagged ‘PlumVillage’

Here is another gatha for your practice…

“Breathing in, I calm my body.

Breathing out, I smile.

Dwelling in the present moment,

I know this is a wonderful moment.

Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in.

Breathing out, I know

as the in-breath goes deep,

the out-breath grows slow.

Breathing in makes me calm.

Breathing out brings me ease.

With the in-breath, I smile.

With the out-breath, I release.

Breathing in, there is only the present moment.

Breathing out, it is a wonderful moment.

In, Out.

Deep, Slow

Calm, Ease

Smile, Release

Present moment, Wonderful moment.”

From The Plum Village Chanting & Recitation Book, Compiled by the Thich Nhat Hanh and Monks and Nuns of Plum Village

Note:  I will be away on retreat for the next week.  I wish you all well and I hope you enjoy the articles that I have left in my stead.

May sorrow show us 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.

With love and deep gratitude, Jennifer

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Plum Village France

Plum Village France (Photo credit: redwylie)

February and March, like the winter holidays, can be a tough time for those of us who have lost an intimate relationship with a friend or family member.  We closed off our hearts and hid out until all the cupids and red lacy hearts are put away to make room for St. Patrick’s Day.  We feel bereft of the love that we had in our relationship.  We often feel as if there is no one to love us that we are not worth being loved.  But, all of us have a well of love within us that is mirrored back to us when we are in relationship to others.  Even though they are not physically present, we have that deep sense of love to call upon to sustain our lives.

 Often times, when we have experienced the loss of someone close to us, we have a deep sense of loneliness, longing, and needing to belong and be loved.  This can be true even when we have other family and friends around to love us.  We have lost a precious relationship in life and nothing can substitute that or take its place.

As we make our way through the grief journey, from time to time, we need to seek out new ways of healing.  Sometimes that is healing mentally, sometimes spiritually, physically, or emotionally.

The following is a meditation on love.  I hope that this meditation will help you to find some comfort.  May it remind you that change does happen and pain does not endure with the same intensity forever.  May it remind you that you have a wealth of love within you that cannot be damped by your grief.  Allow yourself to come into contact with the deep peace and love within.

 Love Meditation


May I be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.

May I be safe and free from injury.

May I be free from anger, fear, and anxiety.

May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and love.

May I be able to recognize and be aware of  the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.

May I learn to identify and see the sources behind my anger, sorrow, and feelings of self defeat.

May I know how to nourish myself every day, mentally, spiritually, physically.

May I be able to live each day fresh, solid, and free.

May I be free of all of the habits, thoughts, and actions that cause me to suffer.

(Adapted from Thich Nhat Hanh, Plum Village Prayer and Recitation Book, Parallax Press. © 2001)

Note:  some how, it seems that this did not get published at the beginning of March when it was scheduled?  Sorry for the lateness.

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Thich Nhat Hanh

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The final Dharma talk of the Winter Retreat 2011-12 will start at 8:30 AM CET (2:30 AM EST) this morning. The talk will start right at that time, without sitting meditation. View the talk live, with Thay speaking in Vietnamese in the left earphone and English translation in the right earphone, at http://livestream.com/plumvillage

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Meditation (Photo credit: holisticgeek)

Enjoy this 15-minute meditation that I found on Youtube.

I went searching for this because I have been spending a lot of time on the computer lately, doing various things from the blog, to school work, to my “employment” work.

I’ve been finding that I am multitasking all over the place.

One of these days, I expect to find myself driving to Whole Foods (which for me is a very long way away), listening to a cd, munching on something, and checking my ipad because I just got an email. . . . all the while, talking on the phone and listening to my GPS.

No, I promise, I would not do this, but some days it feels like it could happen.  It’s time to get un-hooked.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with technology and all of the sensations that are readily available to us “out there”.  And honestly, they keep us from feelings things “in here”.

Sometimes, I also feel like the more I do the more I find myself to be humming along.  No, I don’t mean humming and whistling show tunes.  I mean humming, like a low-grade anxiety or energy that has taken over and keeps propelling me forward. . . even when I should be standing still and breathing.

We’ve been having unseasonably warm weather this winter and there is a part of me that would like to go to the nearest state park and just sit for a while and listen to nothing-ness.  But, it is really too muddy and too cold.

So, I have choices on what I can do.  I can take 15-minutes and participate along with a video like this.

I can listen to a few minutes of an audiobook by Sharon Salzberg, Pema Chodron, a podcast by Tara Brach or from Upaya Zen Center  (check the Blog Roll for those links).

Or I can just push away the laptop, turn off the Itunes, not pick up a book, and set a timer for 5, 10, 15 minutes and just sit.  Nothing else, just sit and breathe.

Recently, I’ve purchased an Enzo Pearl Timer.  I do have to say, I am enamoured with it.   I can sit intervals like 20 minutes for sitting meditation, 5 minutes for walking meditation, 20 minutes sitting, etc.  And it has 3 chimes and a wood knocking “chime”.  It’s portable and comes with a small padded case.

And I can take it to my office where I can’t have a mindfulness bell on the computer at work so sometimes I just set many intervals for, say 5 minutes, to just be aware of the time.  Sometimes I set it for 35 minutes so I make sure I get up and walk around.

Use any of these ideas to help you unplug.  Or find your own way.  Give your mind, body, and spirit the gift of quiet and full unrestricted calm breathing.

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some of that tea

Drink your tea slowly and reverently,

as if it is the axis on

which the world earth revolves –
slowly, evenly, without rushing
toward the future;
… Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.

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English: A tangerine close-up. Español: Fotogr...

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What an exciting day for mindfulness and Buddhism. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out this NY Times article.

It’s great to see that mindfulness is going mainstream and that more and more people are looking at it as an option, whether as a spiritual practice or for relaxation.

My hope is that as it becomes more mainstream, it does not lose its deepest meaning. I think some who practice DBT and CBT do not always use mindfulness in the spirit in which it was created as a practice.

In Mindful Eating:  A Guide to Rediscovering a Healthy and Joyful Relationship with Food, Dr. Jan Chozen Bays, says, “Mindful eating replaces self-criticism with self-nurturing. It replaces shame with respect for your own inner wisdom”.

So many of us turn to food for comfort and nurturing, reaching for that big bowl of mac and cheese that reminds us of that bowl that mom had waiting for us after school.  That one we poured our hearts out over, telling her all about our school day.

As adults, we chase that good, warm, gooey feeling, like an addict chases their first high.  We have a bad day, put on our favorite sweater, turn on the tv and did into that bowl before realizing, it’s all gone.  And we still feel hollow and frustrated.

But when we start to add mindfulness into our lives, into our daily moment to moment experiences, we become present to what “is” and the fullness that moment contains.

Bays says, “In fact there are two essential aspects of becoming mindful as we eat. They are slowing down and eating without distractions.”

I remember, shortly after learning about meditation in college, we got to read Peace in Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh.  It was time to try something besides counting my exhales.  And tangerine meditation was the next practice.

I have such a fondness for this practice and I have clients that remind me of their first experience with it several years after they leave group.

If you’ve never tried this, Google tangerine meditation, go get yourself an organic orange, tangerine, etc. and see the miracle of mindfulness yourself.

You will never hear the words orange or tangerine without the hairs on the back of your neck standing up as you remember the intimate experience of savoring the whole sensation.

Another way I like to start off my mindful eating meditation is to start off with The Five Contemplations. If you don’t remember them from one of my previous posts, here they are again:

The Five Contemplations

This food is the gift of the whole universe: the earth, the sky, and much hard work.

May we eat in mindfulness so that we are worthy to receive it.

May we transform our unskillful states of mind and learn to eat in moderation.

May we take only food that nourishes us and prevents illness.

We accept this food in order to realize the path of understanding and love.

Wherever you are in your practice, whether you are counting your exhales, using your mala, walking, or kneeling on your bench, try bringing mindfulness into your day.  Most of us have at least three meals a day and what a wonderful way to get time to practice in; a great way to make sure you spend some time mindfully every day.


Want to know even more, check out Savor:  Mindful Eating, Mindful Life by Dr. Lilian Cheung and Thich Nhat Hanh.

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English: Tibetan endless knot. Deutsch: Tibeti...

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Namaste 02/14 by Honoring Your Journey | Blog Talk Radio.

Learn what the word Namaste means and how it relates to your journey with illness, with grieving, with caregiving, with the present moment.

Join us for our first 15-minute broadcast to learn how Namaste Consulting is where you want to tune into to learn how to live consciously, compassionately, and creatively.

  • Namaste (blogbysuchitra.wordpress.com)

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