Tag Archives: happiness

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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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




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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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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”




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Flower Rockets Celebrating Spring

 

I have been watching the wisteria over a period of 3 weeks or so. They have been in celebration ever since I saw a few spiraling clusters of what I thought would be leaves, but they turned out to be flowers.

What an explosion of blooms now. When I saw the first fuzzy baby leaves, I was so touched and reassured of the continuation of life, the circle of life.

I can feel happiness expanding when I stand near the fragrant wisteria plant. Oh how I love the color!

“When there’s new growth bursting out all over, everything fresh, green, and flourishing, the plants are little rockets of success going off every time you look at them.”

—Jacqueline Heriteau




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See in God’s Light

 

See in God's Light

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls; for my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”—Matthew 11:28-30….In the book “The Creative Life” by Eric Butterworth, Eric says:

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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

 

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Frog Encounter, from Fear to Wholeness

 

“God calls all of you to take the path of the inner truth- and that means taking responsibility for everything that’s in you: for what pleases you and for what you’re ashamed of, for the rich person inside you and for the poor one.  Francis of Assisi called this, “loving the leper within us.”  If you learn to love the poor one within you, you’ll discover that you have room to have compassion “outside” too, that there’s room in you for others, for those who are different from you, for the least among your brothers and sisters.” – Richard Rohr, “Simplicity”

 

Continue reading Frog Encounter, from Fear to Wholeness




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