Tag Archives: blessing

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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Be True to You

 

Something about the wildness of this flower really appealed to me. So free. Each hair did not have to be in place. Happy. Beautiful. Radiant. Free to be itself. Having faith.

 

John O’Donohue says it so eloquently in a “Blessing for a New Beginning”:

Continue reading Be True to You




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Washing, Blessing and Anointing

When I was in New Mexico one summer, I saw a shape in the rocks that reminded me of Jesus washing and blessing his disciple’s feet, an anointing of a sort. In his example, we are encouraged to serve others.

In a recent gospel reading (John 12:1-11), Mary anoints Jesus with costly perfume and nard. St. Scholastica Retreat Center (on Facebook) posted this:

“Look around you today to see what needs your anointing. You can anoint with a glance of love, a smile, a word, an embrace, a piece of affirmation, or, of course, with oil. Pour out your love today in some kind of anointing.”

 

“The world will change because of your smile…To sit, to smile, to look at things and really see them—these form the basis of peace work.”—Thich Nhat Hanh




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Blessing of Rain

 

We are blessed by this rain in California giving some relief to the drought.

“For God, the living God, I thirst, like dew upon the fleece come down, like rain upon the desert sand, like light into a darkened room. As parched earth breaks for need of rain so my heart breaks but not in vain. When wilt thou on my vision burst? For thee my living God I thirst.”

– hymn, Sicut Cervus, Sister Frances Clare

 




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Heart Song

 

I have a very musical family. They can pull harmonious melodies out of the air with the same ease as breathing.

“If you hear a voice
inside your heart,
listen . . .
and through that music
you will learn to sing.

When you become
a sheet of music without notes,
your song will sing you.”

-John Squadra, This Ecstasy, Heron Dance Press

 

“Pure music is as big as space. It is God. It is the secret of allowing the sound of the universe to flow through you.”

Amma

 

 




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Rosary Tree

tree with flowers that look like rosaries
 
“True love in every moment praises God. Longing love brings a sorrow sweet to the pure. Seeking love belongs to itself alone. Understanding love gives itself equally to all. Enlightened love is mingled with the sadness of the world. But selfless love bears an effortless fruit, Working so quietly even the body cannot say how it comes and goes.”—Mechtild of Magdeburg, from “Women in Praise of the Sacred”, edited by Jane Hirshfield, p. 95

Continue reading Rosary Tree




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