Tag Archives: breathe

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

 




Share:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest


Walking for Our Ancestors and Future Generations

 

Walking For Our Ancestors and Future Generations

“All our ancestors and all future generations are present in us all the time. Happiness is not an individual matter. As long as the ancestors in us are still suffering, we can’t be happy and we will transmit that suffering to our children and their children. When we walk, we can walk for our ancestors and future generations. Maybe they had to walk with sorrow; perhaps they were forced to march or migrate. When we walk freely, we are walking for them. If we can take one step freely and happily, touching the Earth mindfully, then we can take one hundred steps like that. We do it for ourselves and for all previous and future generations. We all arrive at the same time and find peace and happiness together.”—Thich Nhat Hanh




Share:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest


Reverie

 

High up in the mountains
The sound of the river calming me
A place for me to relax and breathe

I can almost hear the river right now
And feel the cool gentle breeze
And the soft melody of the wind playing upon the grasses

One thing I like about photography and going out into Nature
Is my mind stops chattering so much
It gives my mind a vacation

Continue reading Reverie




Share:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest


We are the earth

 

“We often forget that the planet we are living on has given us all the elements that make up our bodies. The water in our flesh, our bones, and all the microscopic cells inside our bodies all come from the Earth and are part of the Earth. The Earth is not just the environment we live in. We are the Earth and we are always carrying her within us.

Realizing this, we can see that the Earth is truly alive. We are a living, breathing manifestation of this beautiful and generous planet. Knowing this, we can begin to transform our relationship to the Earth. We can begin to walk differently and to care for her differently. We will fall completely in love with the Earth. When we are in love with someone or something, there is no separation between ourselves and the person or thing we love. We do whatever we can for them and this brings us great joy and nourishment. That is the relationship each of us can have with the Earth. That is the relationship each of us must have with the Earth if the Earth is to survive, and if we are to survive as well.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh (Love Letter to the Earth)




Share:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest


Snails

One weekend, when I was attending a drumming circle at a park near the bay, I discovered many snails. Usually, I just find them in my yard, after a rain, or when I had a vegetable garden, eating the leaves and flowers of what I was trying to grow.

I found not just one, but many, all climbing up the stalk of a certain weed. Since I saw saw many (not my usual sightings), I wondered if that was a message for me. Before I looked up what might be the symbolism of the snail, these were my thoughts:

  1. It carries its home with it every moment, just like a turtle. With a single breath, one can come back to the present moment, and one’s center.
  2. The snail’s pace is to move slowly. Don’t hurry, be patient.
  3. Its spiral shape suggests a time for re-grouping, re-assessing, evaluating what to let go of.

I found a few other insights from www.whats-your-sign.com

In that website, Avia mentioned that snails have both male and female reproductive organs. So, to me, that means developing positive stereotypical male qualities, like confidence, concentration, etc. Well, it is good for everyone to have a balance of both male/female positivities.

Avia’s friend, Mederi, said that snails have 2 kinds of slime for moving about, one for moving, and the other is for protection. She goes on to say:

“Symbolically, this begs the question, “What facilitates our mobility?” Most of us might not want to be covered in a literal slime to get us moving in the right direction. But, metaphorically, we can focus on things that motivate us to move. We might call it “motivational” or “inspirational” slime…What lubricates your ability to get up and do something? Do as the snail does…get slickered up and move forward in a positive direction.

The second kind of snail slime is protective. They excrete a specialized goo that keeps their tender bodies insulated from harm. This slime helps snails avoid injury while they’re on the move. The slime also has healing qualities too, so if they do get a boo-boo, their slime gets them on the mend in double time. Symbolically, this links snail meaning with healing. Perhaps you’re going through a challenging time with your health. I’d like to encourage you to envision yourself covered in a protective, nurturing, healing slime.”

Or do the things you know will be healing for you…




Share:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest


Four Elements

 

Breathing in, I see the sky in this flower
Breathing out, I feel spaciousness within me. I am thankful for this breath.
Breathing in, I see the sun’s rays reflected in this flower
Breathing out, I know the sun is in my heart, pumping blood, guiding my way.
Breathing in, I see a cloud in this flower
Breathing out, I know water is coursing through my veins.
Breathing in, I know that the flower’s roots transport minerals to the iris, helping it to stand up tall
Breathing out, I feel my feet connected to Mother Earth who nourishes me.




Share:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest


Power of Prayer

 

power of prayer

Many years ago, when we first found out my husband was diagnosed with cancer, I was suffering from much worry and anxiety while sitting in his doctor’s office. Suddenly, I felt a deep peace descend upon me, calming my anxiety, enabling me to breathe. I took a look at my watch. Later, I found out a friend was saying some prayers for us the same moments I felt the peace in the doctor’s office. Proof to me, the palpable power of prayer, that peace beyond understanding… If we are enjoying peace, happiness, we can offer the fruits of our prayers to others. If someone is having difficulty breathing, we can think of them as we breathe peacefully. As we are all linked, this will help on some level.

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 4:7

“Life is filled with suffering, but it is also filled with many wonders, like the blue sky, the sunshine, the eyes of a baby. To suffer is not enough. We must also be in touch with the wonders of life. They are within us and all around us, everywhere, any time. If we are not happy, if we are not peaceful, we cannot share peace and happiness with others, even those we love, those who live under the same roof. If we are peaceful, if we are happy, we can smile and blossom like a flower, and everyone in our family, our entire society, will benefit from our peace. Do we need to make a special effort to enjoy the beauty of the blue sky? Do we have to practice to be able to enjoy it? No, we just enjoy it. Each second, each minute of our lives can be like this. Wherever we are, any time, we have the capacity to enjoy the sunshine, the presence of each other, even the sensation of breathing . . . I would like to offer one short poem you can recite from time to time, while breathing and smiling.

Breathing in, I calm my body.
Breathing out, I smile.
Dwelling in the present moment
I know this is a wonderful moment.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh, “Being Peace”




Share:
Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterest