spirit, mind, matter

"It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end." – Ursula K. Le Guin


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Addictive Doing

My favorite story was told by Tara Brach on her latest podcast

Hindu teacher Swami Satchidananda was asked by a student if he needed to become a Hindu to go deeply into the practice of yoga. Satchidananda’s response was, “I am not a Hindu, I am an undo.”

 

Meditation is a great way to de-condition the “doing-mind.”

If you’re anything like me, you notice the weather system of “doing” and how it permeates your day. I know, for me, the “doing” self often masks uncomfortable feelings and anxiety. I also notice that my ego can be hitched to getting things done. Thankfully, Tara Brach talks about this in her latest podcast. Take an hour or so and listen to her podcast. 

From her website: 

One of the core domains of egoic trance is addictive doing – chronic activity driven by fear and wanting that keeps us from realizing a wholeness of Being. This talk looks at how addictive doing keeps us in the map of time, identified as a separate self, always on our way somewhere else. We then explore ways we undo this conditioning by pausing and opening to the liberating dimension of Being.  

 

You can listen on iTunes, clicking here, or visiting her website

Today’s Opportunity for Mindfulness: Take a pause, arrive in the moment, and set the intention to un-do the conditioning of busy-ness. 

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Planting Seeds

I’ve read quite a few books where teachers talk about planting seeds.  The Bible is probably where I’ve read the most. A quick search and I found these gems (certainly, not a comprehensive list):

2 Corinthians 9:6 – But this [I say], He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

Ecclesiastes 11:6 – In the morning sow thy seed, and in the evening withhold not thine hand: for thou knowest not whether shall prosper, either this or that, or whether they both [shall be] alike good.

Galatians 6:8 – For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

In Thich Nhat Hanh’s book “Living Buddha, Living Christ,” he talked about our thoughts being seeds that take root and grow in our lives.  He reminds us that we can chose which seeds to water, which seeds to nurture,  and which weeds to pull.

I find this to be such a profound, yet simple, idea.  When I stop to think about what seeds I’m proverbially sewing in my life, which seeds I’m nurturing, and which weeds are choking my spirit, it reminds me that I have a choice. While I can’t control all of my thoughts (I mean, thoughts are shameless, they will pop in and out of anywhere), I can control which thoughts I believe, which thoughts I nurture, and which thoughts bring be closer to a beautiful and full life.

Today’s Opportunity for Mindfulness: When you catch yourself thinking, ask, “is this a seed I want to nurture?” If so, allow it to grow and blossom, and if not, then dismiss it and allow it to leave.

Namaste

 

 


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Look Around

 

“Every day, I stop halfway through my run for five minutes, look around, and enjoy the surroundings. I’m reminded of why I do this and why I love it so much.” -Anita Ortiz

It's the little moments that make life big. Beautiful.

(source)

As we move through today and this weekend, let us all remember to take the time to stop, look around, enjoy our surroundings, and be reminded of all of our blessings.

Namaste! ❤

AsAnita Ortiz


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The Myth of Perfect Conditions

I was toying with writing an apology post to my readers. A post that  would explain why I haven’t been posting daily; sort of an excuse post.  Each time I started to write it, it made me think about life  and how many of us wait for conditions to be perfect before we do something.

Allow me to explain.  My husband and I moved overseas for his job back in October. Beginning in June, we have had a steady stream of visitors, World Cup antics, and traveling. It has been amazing! We love seeing our friends and family whom we haven’t seen for a year (in most cases), and we love throwing ourselves into travel and local cultural experiences.  With that comes a change in routine and, since we have such limited time with family, a change in priorities.

That said, a daily yoga and meditation practice is important to me. However, I couldn’t maintain it the same way as I can when circumstances are different. I had to be flexible and accept that sometimes things look differently than I think they should. It was a wonderful lesson.

I learned that sometimes a few sun salutations are sufficient. I learned that meditation can be done anywhere, at anytime! It couldn’t be sitting for 20 minutes each day on my cushion. It needed to be in the shower, driving, eating new foods (oh, Spain, I love your food), or simply listening to people talk. All of that counts!  While I won’t stop my long yoga sessions or long meditation sessions, working what I could do into my day made me see how this fits in all areas of our lives.

We don’t need conditions to be “perfect” in order to maintain a yoga or meditation practice. Conditions are never “perfect” and sometimes, a change in conditions can teach us to work with our practice in a different way.

Today’s Opportunity for Mindfulness: Examine if you have any beliefs about your meditation or yoga practice that keep you from practicing.  Look for conditions you place on yourself or your practice and challenge them. Work around them and see if there are other lessons to be learned or ways you can grow from the new experience.

What you do today is what you do with your life!

 

 


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Daily Meditation: Leaving From Huffington Post

This is a great new feature from Huffington Post called “Daily Meditation.” Here is the one posted recently: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/06/30/daily-meditation_n_5543307.html

Here is the poem they shared (for the complete article, click the link above)

No More Leaving by Hafez

At
Some point
Your relationship
With God
Will
Become like this:

Next time you meet Him in the forest
Or on a crowded city street

There won’t be anymore

“Leaving.”

That is,

God will climb into
Your pocket.

You will simply just take

Yourself

Along!


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A Quiet Mind

We all know that meditation teaches us how to quiet the mind. It’s a practice that, when practiced consistently, can help us see our thoughts more clearly and help us to become more aware of our patterns and conditioning.  We learn to separate ourselves from our thoughts about ourselves.  I have  noticed that over the past few years of increased dedication to my meditation practice, that I have been better able to tune in to my intuition.  I saw this quote and I couldn’t agree more.

Intuition is almost like hope. And everybody who knows about the hunger games knows that hope is the only thing that stronger than fear. Listen to the positive rather than the negative for the negative hurts more, and can do more damage than intended.

Today’s Opportunity for Mindfulness:  When faced with a gut feeling, take a few minutes to breathe and notice it. See if, by quieting the mind, you can tune in to the thoughts your having to see if it’s your intuition speaking or some other emotion.


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There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk

“I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost… I am helpless.
It isn’t my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don’t see it.
I fall in again.
I can’t believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn’t my fault.
It still takes me a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in. It’s a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault. I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.”

― Portia Nelson, There’s a Hole in My Sidewalk: The Romance of Self-Discovery


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Home

After yoga this morning, I turned to a page in one of my favorite books, 365 Yoga, by Julie Rappaport.

Number 255:

Home

Experience has shown me that everything seems to flow well after yoga and meditation practice.

Connecting to my breath, moving through skin, I traverse muscle and bone and wash up on the shores of my own being. I find home.

~JR

This rings so true in my life. It is what keeps me coming back to my practice, and back to my mat day in and day out.  Practice builds faith and faith builds practice. It’s a wonderful cycle.

May we always remember where we can find home.