Tag Archives: awareness

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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Remember me

 

Remember me

Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”—Luke 23:42

“and gave thanks to God for it [the bread]. Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.””—Corinthians 11:24

I am thinking that every object in the universe is pervaded by Christ consciousness. Perhaps, Jesus meant, when you look at bread (or any food), remember that I am in it, the whole cosmos is in it: the air, the rain, the sunshine, the earth. I am with you. Looking ahead, Jesus knew he was going to die soon, and maybe this thought of remembering him in the bread was a way to comfort the disciples that he is still with them in Spirit whenever they ate. It was to bring awareness.

“When I hold a piece of bread, I look at it, and sometimes I smile at it. The piece of bread is an ambassador of the cosmos offering nourishment and support. Looking deeply into the piece of bread, I see the sunshine, the clouds, the great earth. Without the sunshine, no wheat can grow. Without the clouds, there is no rain for the wheat to grow. Without the great earth, nothing can grow. That is why the piece of bread that I hold in my hand is a wonder of life. It is there for all of us. We have to be therefore it.”—Thich Nhat Hanh

“A cloud never dies.”—Thich Nhat Hanh




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The Breath

One refuge, anchor, can be our breath. It is with us no matter where we are, no matter what our emotional state is. The Spirit of God is in our breath. It is a gift. Our breath is a sign that God is with us. Thich Nhat Hanh suggests watching the breath from a point 2 fingerwidths below the navel, and even putting our hands at that point to make it easier to focus. Just watch the breath without trying to control it. Feel your hands moving outwards as you breathe in and back in again with each out breath. After some time, you will feel calmer as your breath naturally slows down. You will be more calm than when you were overcome with upsetting feelings and emotions.

Thich Nhat Hanh also suggests you can invite the Jesus in you to breathe for you. Then you can watch Jesus breathing in you, you can bring awareness to God’s presence in you. After witnessing the breath for some time, it will automatically slow down, and the mind will be calmer.




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Clarity

 

“When there is inward awareness of every activity of your mind and your body, when you are aware of your thoughts, of your feelings, both secret and open, conscious and unconscious, then out of this awareness there comes a clarity that is not induced, not put together by the mind.  And without that clarity, you may do what you will, you may search the heavens, and the earth, and the deeps, but you will never find out what is true.”

– J. Krishnamurti




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Green Candle of Truth

 

green candle of truth

iris bud reminds me of a candle
a light
a ~truth~
that the body will perish at some point
but few like to think about this
the awareness burns more brightly as one ages
as the iris of the eye opens
birth and death come as a pair
dying to certain things means birthing something new
fully living allows one to die well
the iris has to die to the bud
in order to bloom
the bloom has to die
to create seeds
so new life is possible
so it may continue in some way again
but the iris doesn’t seem to have any worries or fears
about each stage
it just seems to live happily
in whatever stage it happens to be
letting each stage unfold naturally

 

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focus word: stop

 

These fluorescent-orange flower like a stop symbol for me
ability to stop what I am doing is an important practice
so when I notice I am off-target, I can stop, make adjustments
stop when the day is done, and not over-do, be in balance

 

“The path of loving trust means to stop doubting and being discouraged, casting all our worries and cares on the Lord, and to walk in total freedom.”

Mother Teresa

 

“…take the opportunity to stop and listen to the sounds of Sacred Unity all around you.  In each, there is a drop of the One, and in that drop is the ocean of all divine qualities.”

Sufi Book of Life, Neil Douglas-Klotz




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Poor in Spirit

 

winter longing for the Light
so concentrated
it became so poor, empty of self
that the winter roots sprouted wings

 

“When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

—Matthew 5:1-3

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Place

 

focus word: place

Now is a dwelling place, a space. Wherever you go, it can be your home, a place of awareness, a place where Divine can be felt. Present moment. Eternal moment.

The heart is a space from which one can call upon Divine 24/7.

Reminds me of Jesus’ words about place: “The last will be first, and the first will be last.”

Align Divine, and all will  be fine, will fall into place.

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Frog Encounter, from Fear to Wholeness

 

“God calls all of you to take the path of the inner truth- and that means taking responsibility for everything that’s in you: for what pleases you and for what you’re ashamed of, for the rich person inside you and for the poor one.  Francis of Assisi called this, “loving the leper within us.”  If you learn to love the poor one within you, you’ll discover that you have room to have compassion “outside” too, that there’s room in you for others, for those who are different from you, for the least among your brothers and sisters.” – Richard Rohr, “Simplicity”

 

Continue reading Frog Encounter, from Fear to Wholeness




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