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i seem to show up less and less on the blog these days. not even the recipes are making it here! i regret that and miss the sense of satisfaction and wellbeing that arises in me as part of my blogging process.
i am busy. in a good way. aside from the regular bits and pieces of life, i am putting together health and wellness programs and/or proposals for a number of schools and business settings and this keeps me at my keyboard, my brain juicy with ideas.
many blog entry ideas, part sentences and sketchy thoughts are being posted into my draft entries. they wait patiently. so must i.
under a photo of a sunset in the sahara desert, i contemplate patience. i think of pema chodron’s words in The Answer To Anger and Aggression Is Patience. patience is the answer to so much more.
[W]henever there is pain of any kind–the pain of aggression, grieving, loss, irritation, resentment, jealousy, indigestion, physical pain–if you really look into that, you can find out for yourself that behind the pain there is always something we are attached to. There is always something we’re holding on to…
…After a while it seems like almost every moment of your life you’re there, at a point where you realize you actually have a choice. You have a choice whether to open or close, whether to hold on or let go, whether to harden or soften…
It requires enormous patience even to be curious enough to look, to investigate. And then when you realize you have a choice, and that there’s actually something there that you’re attached to, it requires great patience to keep going into it. Because you will want to go into denial, to shut down. You’re going to say to yourself, “I don’t want to see this.” You’ll be afraid, because even if you’re starting to get close to it, the thought of letting go is usually very frightening. You may feel that you’re going to die, or that something is going to die. And you will be right. If you let go, something will die. But it’s something that needs to die and you will benefit greatly from its death.
On the other hand, sometimes it’s easy to let go. If you make this journey of looking to see if there’s something you’re holding on to, often it’s going to be just a little thing. Once when I was stuck with something huge, Trungpa Rinpoche gave me some advice. He said, “It’s too big; you can’t let go of it yet, so practice with the little ones. Just start noticing all the little ways you hold when it’s actually pretty easy and just get the hang of letting go.”
That was extremely good advice. You don’t have to do the big one, because usually you can’t. It’s too threatening. It may even be too harsh to let go right then and there, on the spot. But even with small things, you may—perhaps just intellectually—begin to see that letting go can bring a sense of enormous relief, relaxation and connection with the softness and tenderness of the genuine heart. True joy comes from that.
It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. ~Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
The Occupy[Wall Street] movement, it occurs to me, is a refreshing testament to basic wisdom and goodness.
It is a movement of people who, having experienced sufficient injustice and inequality in their lives, sufficient frustration of their basic needs, sufficient deprivation of honesty and integrity in government, stepped into courage.
They have found and are expressing a shared compassion; an understanding of each other’s pain.
When circumstances exist that seem to threaten us, we just might harden our hearts. We construct barriers to protect; armour placed around our hearts, blinding us and numbing us. But within all this fortification there remains a soft spot, a spot which can love and be compassionate.
It is this spot which we must occupy.
Occupy your heart.
When everyone finds the courage to occupy their heart, the world will be a safe, peaceful, just place.
The thousands upon thousands of people expressing themselves through the Occupy movement are true everyday warriors. I am grateful to them, for the rawness of their bravery, for the vulnerability they have willingly exposed, for their collective challenge to protected hearts.
There are many paths to opening a protected heart. Social justice work, pivotal life experiences, spiritual exploration, meditation and yoga are but a few.
Daily meditation to open your heart will not only go a long way toward creating a more just and peaceful world, it can decrease risk factors for coronary disease. Profound in its simplicity, meditation is a gift and a fully accessible means of personal and social change.
If you need help with a daily practice, try the following:
- Stand or sit in a place where you feel comfortable. Close your eyes.
- Place your finger tips onto your low back if standing or onto the floor behind you if sitting.
- Begin opening and lifting the chest, drawing the sternum upwards, pulling your shoulder blades together in back.
- Breathe into your chest, lengthening and deepening your breath as you settle in to the expansiveness across your heart centre.
- Keep your focus on your breath while you feel your heart beat steady, strong and calm.
- Maintain this sense of opening for up to five minutes.
- Gently open your eyes, smile, and return to a natural breath.
You can get a visual of this practice in the following video. The first three minutes is sufficient to derive great benefit from a daily practice. Should you wish to move further into the pose, enjoy the colours.
And, if you wish to go further in opening your heart and balancing heart energies, Anmol Mehta has shared this wonderful Kundalini Yoga Kriya.
A further sign of health is that we don’t become undone by fear and trembling, but we take it as a message that it’s time to stop struggling and look directly at what’s threatening us. ~ Pema Chodron
Through your love for each other, through learning the art of making one person happy, you learn to express your love for the whole of humanity and all beings.
Please help us develop the curriculum for the Institute for the Happiness of One Person. Don’t wait until we open the school. You can begin practicing right away.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Success is living the questions and sitting in the tensions, being in the inquiry, naming my contradictions and making the effort. To be honest with myself, to face myself in the actions and choices of my daily life. To make it a practice, one to which I show up every day. And to be joyful in the discoveries, mindful of the process, clear about my intent. ~ Vanessa Reid