Tag Archives: appreciate

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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Touch Stones, Gravity Points

 

Touch Stones

Seeing all these special hand-painted stones reminded me of a wonderful book I read called “Simple Ways” by Gunilla Norris. I imagine whoever painted these held the stones for awhile, appreciating the shapes, listening to them, spending time with them, walking with them, feeling them, and adding their own special energy to the stones on this big rock I saw at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. They seemed like jewels, as do the delicate blue flowers on the field of green. The stones became more real, more alive, because of who spent time with them and appreciated them, kind of like the Velveteen Rabbit becoming real through the love of a child.

Continue reading Touch Stones, Gravity Points




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Force of Spring

 

“The force of Spring –
mysterious,
fecund,
powerful beyond measure.”

—Michael Garofalo, “Cuttings”

 

“To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter; to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird’s nest or a wildflower in spring — these are some of the rewards of the simple life.”

—John Burroughs

 

“When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.”

—Marcus Aurelius




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