Tag Archives: prayer

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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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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humility

 

“Who has seen the wind? Neither you nor I but when the trees bow down their heads, the wind is passing by.”—Christina Rossetti

“By bringing nature into our lives, we invite humility.”–Richard  Louv

 

“Thank you” is the best prayer that anyone could say. I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding. -Alice Walker

“Humility, that low, sweet root, from which all heavenly virtues shoot.”—Thomas Moore




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Evening Prayer

 

Evening Prayer

Some friends came over tonight to sing/chant.

One of the first chants we did was something I heard at the Mercy Center in Burlingame, California:

“O Word of God, come into this space.
O Word of God, come send us your grace.
Open our minds, show us your truth.
Transform our lives anew.”

May all who are suffering be comforted.
May all be healed.
May all be happy and at peace.
Deep peace.




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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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Until I am Utterly Transparent

 

...until i am utterly transparent...

“Let me know that you are always present,
in every atom of my life.
Let me keep surrendering my self
until I am utterly transparent.
Let my words be rooted in honesty
and my thoughts be lost in your light,
Unnamable God, my essence,
my origin, my life-blood, my home.”

—Psalm  19, from A Book of Psalms, Selected & Adapted from the Hebrew by    Stephen Mitchell




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