Tag Archives: life

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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Three Generations

Inspired by this family of flowers, the youthfulness, freshness of a bud behind the aging flower who is modeling “being complete”, putting everything in order, tying up loose ends, preparing to die at any moment. And then the glory of the flower at its peak, living each moment well therefore preparing for its death and future generations.

 

“Put everything in order
as day begins to fade.
All things are passing,
moment by moment,
breath by breath.
All things are passing,
moment by moment,
birth to death.
Take off that cloak of fear,
the divine strength you see is here,
and you know you are dying to live.
So put everything in order
as day begins to fade.”

by Sr. Macrina Wiederkehr,“sevensacredpauses, Living Mindfully Through the Hours of the Day”, published by Sorin Books, p. 124-125




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Touch Stones, Gravity Points

 

Touch Stones

Seeing all these special hand-painted stones reminded me of a wonderful book I read called “Simple Ways” by Gunilla Norris. I imagine whoever painted these held the stones for awhile, appreciating the shapes, listening to them, spending time with them, walking with them, feeling them, and adding their own special energy to the stones on this big rock I saw at Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre, California. They seemed like jewels, as do the delicate blue flowers on the field of green. The stones became more real, more alive, because of who spent time with them and appreciated them, kind of like the Velveteen Rabbit becoming real through the love of a child.

Continue reading Touch Stones, Gravity Points




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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)




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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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