All posts by Fe Langdon

Cultivating Gratitude

 

"Gratitude is an inner connection with us, God and the entire universe."-Amma, Mata Amritanandamayi

This summer, I attended some retreats with my spiritual teacher, Amma, or Mata Amritanandamayi. One of the topics she talked about was about cultivating gratitude. She said that “Gratitude is a decision just like happiness. . . Gratitude is an inner connection between God, the entire creation and us.”  She reminded us that everything we are receiving is due to the work of countless people living now and in the past, Mother Nature, and unseen forces. We are indebted to the world. Nature is our mother.

Other notes I wrote down:

Life is a blessing. Gratitude is a prayer that opens and enlarges our hearts to receive more. Appreciate life with each breath we take. Accept all situations with discernment. It is man’s nature to notice what we don’t have, instead of seeing all the good around us. Replace “mine” with “O God, everything is yours.” Help others without expecting anything in return. Remember that the next breath may not be ours. Remember God constantly. Our real success in life lies in unity.

Some time ago, I used the header image to make a greeting card. The positioning of the clouds, opening up in freedom, reminded me of Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings about embracing our feelings. So I wrote these words:

inner skies widen
as each breath is observed
as each feeling is embraced
with arms of compassion

 




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A New Dawn

“I rarely let the word No escape
From my mouth
Because it is so plain to my soul
That God has shouted, Yes! Yes! Yes!
To every luminous movement in Existence.”

—Hafiz quoted in “Power of Intention”, Dr. Wayne Dyer

 

“The radiance in some places is so great as to be fairly dazzling . . . every crystal, every flower a window opening into heaven, a mirror reflecting the Creator.”—John Muir

 

This reminds me of the section in the Christmas carol, “O Holy Night”:
“A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.”

 

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
“Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep. ”

–Rumi




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Relax for more strength and vitality

 

“Drop all your regrets of the past and relax. Relaxation will help you acquire more strength and vitality. Relaxation is a technique through which you can catch a glimpse of your real nature, the infinite power source of your existence. Learn to be relaxed during times of stress and strain. Learn to stand aside and just watch the negative thoughts, the hurt feelings and the mental agony you are going through. As this happens, withdraw your cooperation and your involvement with the stress and the agony. Once you learn this technique, you will realize that the tension, burdens and negativity you are carrying belong to the mind; they don’t belong to the inner Self, your true being.” —Amma, “Awaken Children” Volume 8, p. 73-74

“Drop all your regrets of the past and relax. Relaxation
will help you acquire more strength and vitality. Relaxation
is a technique through which you can catch a glimpse of your
real nature, the infinite power source of your existence. Learn
to be relaxed during times of stress and strain. Learn to stand
aside and just watch the negative thoughts, the hurt feelings
and the mental agony you are going through. As this happens,
withdraw your cooperation and your involvement with
the stress and the agony. Once you learn this technique, you
will realize that the tension, burdens and negativity you are
carrying belong to the mind; they don’t belong to the inner
Self, your true being.”
—Amma, “Awaken Children” Volume 8, p. 73-74




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Three Generations

Inspired by this family of flowers, the youthfulness, freshness of a bud behind the aging flower who is modeling “being complete”, putting everything in order, tying up loose ends, preparing to die at any moment. And then the glory of the flower at its peak, living each moment well therefore preparing for its death and future generations.

 

“Put everything in order
as day begins to fade.
All things are passing,
moment by moment,
breath by breath.
All things are passing,
moment by moment,
birth to death.
Take off that cloak of fear,
the divine strength you see is here,
and you know you are dying to live.
So put everything in order
as day begins to fade.”

by Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr,“sevensacredpauses, Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day”, published by Sorin Books, p. 124-125




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Welcoming Smiling Flowers

“A smile is the universal welcome.”—Max Eastman

“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy.  It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.”—Henri Nouwen




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