Tag Archives: choice

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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focus word: practice

 

focus word: practice

This image reminds me of Mother Teresa’s idea to continuous creating little drops of oil into a lamp, and that the love does not have to be extraordinary, but little, but in this image, it is like a stairway to heaven, each practice makes a step that carries you higher:

 

Continue reading focus word: practice




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I Do to a Force that Knows No Gravitation

One Sunday, I was attending a church service, and the musician/songwriter Laura Berman sang this song below, “I Do”, which I found on her website.  I was so moved by her performance and song.

I DO , by Laura Berman Benelli

“Take away my doubts they only weigh me down
Hide all my don’t s and won’t so they can’t be found
Bottle up my fear and throw it into the sea
and if by chance one day it floats back to me,
I’ll just laugh out loud, and say here and now:
“I do to a love that knows no reservation
I do to a will that knows no hesitation
I do to a choice with no expectation
I used to say don’t but now “I do” ”

Take away this life I thought was safe and sound,
Loosen up these ties that only kept me bound
Shred all my limitations and my beliefs,
let the confetti fall into the street,
this is my parade, my time to proclaim:
“I do to a love that knows no reservation
I do to a will that knows no hesitation
I do to a choice with no expectation
I do to a dream that knows no limitation
I do to a force that knows no gravitation
I do to a high with no intoxication

I used to say don’t but now “I do, I do, I do”…”

 

“We should understand that life gives us what we need and not
necessarily what we want. It follows its own wisdom, which is often incomprehensible to our gross minds.We should learn to accept situations in life. This attitude of acceptance is the secret to happiness.”

—Amma, New Year’s Speech, 2008

 




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Grace-Full Optimism

 

When I saw this camellia, I was touched by its upwards sweeps of joy and optimism despite its challenges of scorching heat or lack of water.

“Look at the optimism of nature. Nothing can stop it. Every aspect of nature tirelessly contributes its share to life. The participation of a little bird, an animal, a tree, a flower, always is complete. No matter what the hardships, they continue to try, wholeheartedly. Optimism is the light of God. It is a form of grace that allows you to be far more perceptive and to look at life with greater clarity.”

–Amma




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Forgiving Yourself

 

When I saw this white feather, it seemed like another one of those Divine hooks and messages that I should pay attention to, a letter from God. Its whiteness, luminosity, and gentle fluttering made me see it as a  peace flag. Later I thought of a quote by Amma in Awaken Children! Vol IX, pp 106-107, © MA Center:

Continue reading Forgiving Yourself




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