Tag Archives: freedom

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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Art and Science

 

“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree. All these aspirations are directed toward ennobling man’s life, lifting it from the sphere of mere physical existence and leading the individual towards freedom.”—Albert Einstein

 

“Mathematics, rightly viewed, possesses not only truth, but supreme beauty—a beauty cold and austere, like that of sculpture, without appeal to any part of our weaker nature, without the gorgeous trappings of painting or music, yet sublimely pure, and capable of a stern perfection such as only the greatest art can show.” –Bertrand Russell, “A History of Western Philosophy”
“Sculpture is the art of intelligence.”—Pablo Picasso

 

“[T]here shall be love between the poet and the man of demonstrable science. In the beauty of poems are the tuft and final applause of science.”—Walt Whitman




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Blooming for only 1 day

 

Blooming for only 1 day

“The nature of This Flower is to bloom.”—Alice Walker

These irises bloom only for a day. It seems that while it is happily in bloom, it thinks not of tomorrow. It experiences freedom in the present moment.

“A flower has a short life span, yet it offers itself wholeheartedly to others. It offers its own nectar to the bees — and this brings happiness.” -Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi)

 




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Spring Sprouts

 

I found these new shoots very inspiring, and re-assuring that after the winter, after the bare tree has looked lifeless, new life is springing forth. It is a kind of an assurance that life goes on in the circle of life. It’s a continuation.

Breathing in, I breathe in fresh new life.
Breathing out, I feel renewed.

Breathing in, I see life continues.
Breathing out, I give thanks.

Breathing in, I know I have been given wings to fly.
Breathing out, my spirit soars.

I have two greeting cards made with a similar image, one without words, and one with words.




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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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Focus Word: Wise

 

“Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her. She hastens to make herself know to those who desire her. One who rises early to seek her will have no difficulty, for she will be found sitting at the gate. To fix one’s thought on her is perfect understanding, and one who is vigilant on her account will soon be free from care, because she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought.”

–Wisdom 6:17-20




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Light of Impermanence

 

[…There’s a way of training ourselves in order not to become the victim of fear and grief — that is to look deeply into ourselves and to see that we are made of non-self elements. And when we look around ourselves, we can recognize ourselves in the non-self elements, like a father looking at his children can see himself in his children, can see his continuation in his children. So he is not attached to the idea that his body is the only thing that is him. He’s more than his body. He is inside of his body but he is also at the same [time] outside of his body in many elements. And if we have the habit of looking like that, we will not be the victim of our attachment to one form of manifestation, and we will be free. And that freedom makes happiness and peace possible.”

-Thich Nhat Hanh

 




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