Tag Archives: embrace

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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Becoming Whole

 

The middle stone reminds me about becoming whole. Qualities within myself that I would rather disown, the shards, can be observed, embraced and studied, then transformed. The broken parts are still me. Disowning these parts would be rejecting myself, leaving big holes in me. The broken parts need to be transformed and glued back into myself with love. Well, it is not easy…requires being mindful and looking deeply, having compassion and following the path of transformation.




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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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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

 

Continue reading Green Candle of Truth




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Soft and Forgiving

“Life is remembrance in forgetfulness.  Forgive what ought to be forgiven: forget what ought to be forgotten.  Let us embrace life with renewed vigor.”

—Amma

 

“In order to complete your relationship with the past, you need to express forgiveness and appreciation to those who have given you a boost, even if they also wounded you.  …  When you hold tightly to old anger and withhold your expressions of appreciation, you have no breathing space, no room for positive energy to flow through you.  The moment you forgive and say, “Thank you,” a relief flows through you, bringing fresh energy that propels you forward.  Incompletions have a stronger grip on us than most people realize.  They make us drive through life looking at the road only through the rearview mirror.  A real transformation occurs when you shift your vision to look through the windshield.  Co-committed relationships can exist only between people who see each other for who they are, not distorted through the filters of past incompletions.”

—Guy & Katherine Hendricks, Conscious Loving




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Reflection Word: Knowledge

 

“O people of the Light, awaken to the knowledge that lives within you! Do you know your destiny- to be a light unto the worlds, a bearer of peace and harmony?”

—Psalm 107

 

Continue reading Reflection Word: Knowledge




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FLOWER CHILDREN

 

flowe babies

“All of us, children and adults, are beautiful flowers.  Our eyelids are exactly like rose petals, especially when our eyes are closed.  Our ears are like morning glories listening to the sound of birds.  Our lips form a beautiful flower every time we smile.  And our two hands are a lotus flower with five petals.  The practice is to keep our “flowerness” alive and present, not just for our own benefit but for the happiness of everyone.”

– Thich Nhat Hanh

Continue reading FLOWER CHILDREN




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Divine Providence

 

Divine Mother’s gaze
how kind!

Do we know?
Her arms encircle us fully
stillness gives clarity
feeds us, nourishes us
with a kind of water
from the deepest
clearest well

 

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”

—Matthew 7:7-12, Bible, New International Version

 

It Takes A Universe

The child awakens to a universe.
The mind of the child to a world of wonder
Imagination to a world of beauty
Emotions to a world of intimacy.

It takes a universe to make a child
both in outer form and inner spirit.
It takes a universe to educate a child.
It takes a universe to fulfill a child.”

©Fr. Thomas Berry, quoted in “Sacred Journey”, Autumn 2009, vol. 60, no. 4

 

“Earth brings us into life
And nourishes us.
Earth takes us back again.
Birth and death are present in every moment.”

©Thich Nhat Hanh

 

“Every particle of the world is a mirror. In each atom blazes forth the light of a thousand suns. Open the heart of a raindrop and you will find a hundred oceans. In a grain of sand lies the seed of a thousand beings.”

—Mahmud Shabistari, Medieval Sufi poet

 

“Life is like a garden. Quite naturally, leaves wither and flowers fade. Only if we clear the decay of the past then and there can we really enjoy the beauty of the new leaves and flowers. Likewise, we must clear the murkiness of past bad experiences from our minds. Life is remembrance in forgetfulness. Forgive what ought to be forgiven: forget what ought to be forgotten. Let us embrace life with renewed vigor.”

—Amma

 

This is available as a card at my Etsy shop.

 




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Guest House

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.”

—Rumi

 




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