Tag Archives: open

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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A New Dawn

“I rarely let the word No escape
From my mouth
Because it is so plain to my soul
That God has shouted, Yes! Yes! Yes!
To every luminous movement in Existence.”

—Hafiz quoted in “Power of Intention”, Dr. Wayne Dyer

 

“The radiance in some places is so great as to be fairly dazzling . . . every crystal, every flower a window opening into heaven, a mirror reflecting the Creator.”—John Muir

 

This reminds me of the section in the Christmas carol, “O Holy Night”:
“A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices
for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.”

 

The breeze at dawn has secrets to tell you.
“Don’t go back to sleep.
You must ask for what you really want.
Don’t go back to sleep.
People are going back and forth across the doorsill where the two worlds touch.
The door is round and open.
Don’t go back to sleep. ”

–Rumi




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Welcoming Smiling Flowers

“A smile is the universal welcome.”—Max Eastman

“Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy.  It will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.”—Henri Nouwen




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Circle Dance

Tickling the green

A beautiful spring day and sacred circle dancing led by Maureen and Andrea at my neighborhood park…

“Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul.”
—John Muir

“I know nothing, except what everyone knows if there when Graces dances, I should dance.”—W. H. Auden

“The nature of God is a circle of which the center is everywhere and the circumference is nowhere.”—Empedocles

“When our eyes see our hands doing the work of our hearts, the circle of Creation is completed inside us, the doors of our souls fly open, and love steps forth to heal everything in sight.”—Michael Bridge




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Alive

“i thank You God for this most amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday; this is the birth
day of life and of love and wings: and of gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any — lift from the no
of all nothing — human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)”

—ee cummings




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Gate of Mindfulness

 

narrow gate?
kingdom of present moment
eternal now
ribbons like mindfulness bells
reminders to celebrate each moment
to choose happiness
to align with love

reminders to be like a child (to enter the kingdom of heaven)
they live in the present moment

what opens the gate?
love, gratitude, being present, innocence

 

 




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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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