Tag Archives: Amma

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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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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Reflect Essence of Beauty

 

“Let our souls turn into a mirror longing to reflect the essence of beauty”- Rumi

 

“Having a selfless attitude will uplift us. By helping others we are, in fact, helping ourselves. On the other hand, every time we do a selfish action, we are harming ourselves. Learn to bless everyone. Don’t ever curse anyone, because a human being is not just a bundle of flesh and blood. There is consciousness at work within everyone. That consciousness is not a separate, isolated entity; it is part of the whole, a Supreme Unity. Whatever we do is reflected in the Whole, in the one Universal Mind – and it returns to you with the same intensity. Whenever you do a good or bad action, it is reflected in the Universal Consciousness. Therefore, learn to be selfless and learn how to send blessings to everyone. Pray for everyone, because we need the support and blessings of all of Creation for our upliftment. When we pray for others the entire universe prays for us; and when we bless others the whole universe blesses us, because man is one with the cosmic energy.”—Amma, Awaken Children, Vol. VIII




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Blooming for only 1 day

 

Blooming for only 1 day

“The nature of This Flower is to bloom.”—Alice Walker

These irises bloom only for a day. It seems that while it is happily in bloom, it thinks not of tomorrow. It experiences freedom in the present moment.

“A flower has a short life span, yet it offers itself wholeheartedly to others. It offers its own nectar to the bees — and this brings happiness.” -Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi)

 




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Waves

 

“The one factor which connects a human being to Nature is the innate innocence within man. When we see a rainbow, or the waves of the ocean, do we still feel the innocent joy of a child? An adult who experiences a rainbow as being nothing but light waves will not know the joy and wonder of a child who sees a rainbow, or a child who is watching the waves of the ocean.”

—Amma, “Man and Nature”, p10

 

“The whole world is pulsing with the power of God…wave after wave of bliss. Your heart is like the shore, and the Ocean of Infinite Love is breaking on the shores of your heart.”

—Paramahansa Yogananda

 

“You must live in the present, launch yourself on every wave, find your eternity in each moment.”

—Henry David Thoreau

 




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Lay Down Your Worries

 

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”—1 Peter 5:7

“When you go on a trip, you carry your bags to the station; once on the train, you set them down and relax. If you have faith in the Supreme, place all your baggage at God’s feet and let God take care of it.”—Amma, “Messages from Amma in the Language of the Heart” edited by Janine Canan




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Candle Light

 

“The teacher is like the candle which lights others in consuming itself.”—Giovanni Ruffini

 

“You should pray with love and devotion. Your hearts should melt as you pray. Tears are sometimes considered to be a weakness. But shedding tears for the vision of God is not a weakness at all. The brilliance of the candle increases as it melts down. Tears are an easy way to make the mind more expansive. Our tears wash away the impurities of the mind, and we gain strength from this.”—Amma, “Lead Us to Purity”, p. 12




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Watching

 

Can’t say I’m very good at the art of witnessing, but one time when my mind was especially turbulent, and my thoughts seemed to whirl by at 100 miles per minute, I suddenly found myself as if inside a golden bubble, and able to watch my thoughts go by without being attached to them, as if I were someone else. It was incredibly peaceful to watch these thoughts, as if my thoughts were a movie, not part of me. Seeing my thoughts, but not being yanked by them, not judging them. Wish I could make this happen when I want it to, but, unfortunately it was a one-time event, pure grace. But it got me thinking about practicing watching my thoughts…

 

“The mind and its thoughts come and go. They are unreal and impermanent. They are like the ephemeral clouds of the sky and the waves of the ocean. They cannot touch your consciousness. Beyond the surface, your consciousness remains pure and untouched. That Pure Consciousness, which is eternally aware of all that happens, is the Witness, the Sakshi, of everything.”

—Amma, “Awaken Children, Vol. 7”, p. 56

 

“Don’t chase after your thoughts as a shadow follows its object. Find joy and peace in this very moment.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

 




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