Tag Archives: surrender

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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Lay Down Your Worries

 

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.”—1 Peter 5:7

“When you go on a trip, you carry your bags to the station; once on the train, you set them down and relax. If you have faith in the Supreme, place all your baggage at God’s feet and let God take care of it.”—Amma, “Messages from Amma in the Language of the Heart” edited by Janine Canan




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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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Turning and Returning

 

“Eternal One who circles the seasons with ease, teach me about Earth’s natural cycle of turning from one season to another.  Remind me often of how she opens herself to the dying and rising rotations, the coming and the going of each of the four seasons.  Open me today to the teachings of the season of autumn.

When I accept only the beautiful and reject the tattered, torn parts of who I am, when I treat things that are falling apart as my enemies, walk me among the dying leaves, let them tell me about their power to energize Earth’s soil by their decomposition and their formation of enriching humus.

When I fear the loss of my youthfulness and refuse to accept the reality of aging, turn my face to the brilliant colors of autumn trees, open my spirit to the mellow resonance of autumn sunsets and the beauty of the changing land.

When I refuse to wait with the mystery of the unknown, when I struggle to keep control rather than to let life evolve,
wrap me in the darkening days of autumn and encourage me to wait patiently for clarity and vision as I live with uncertainty and insecurity.

When I grow tired of using my own harvest of gifts to benefit others, take me to the autumn fields where Earth shares the bounty of summer and allows her lands to surrender their abundance.”

—from “Circle of Life” by Joyce Rupp and Macrina Wiederkehr




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Autumn Dance

 

gingko leaves and wood spirit

“all of nature says “yes””
spring-summer-early fall, the leaves open to the light
collecting light for the tree
nourishing the trunk, the branches, me
collecting light for the roots
so when autumn and winter rains and cold comes
there is stored light in the roots
for the short days and long nights

Continue reading Autumn Dance




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Circle of Life

 

“Each morning we awaken to the light and the invitation to a new day in the world of time; each night we surrender to the dark to be taken to play in the world of dreams where time is no more. At birth we were awakened and emerged to become visible in the world. At death we will surrender again to the dark to become invisible. Awakening and surrender: they frame each day and each life; between them the journey where anything can happen, the beauty and the frailty.”

—John O’Donohue, “Beauty, the Invisible Embrace”

Continue reading Circle of Life




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I Do to a Force that Knows No Gravitation

One Sunday, I was attending a church service, and the musician/songwriter Laura Berman sang this song below, “I Do”, which I found on her website.  I was so moved by her performance and song.

I DO , by Laura Berman Benelli

“Take away my doubts they only weigh me down
Hide all my don’t s and won’t so they can’t be found
Bottle up my fear and throw it into the sea
and if by chance one day it floats back to me,
I’ll just laugh out loud, and say here and now:
“I do to a love that knows no reservation
I do to a will that knows no hesitation
I do to a choice with no expectation
I used to say don’t but now “I do” ”

Take away this life I thought was safe and sound,
Loosen up these ties that only kept me bound
Shred all my limitations and my beliefs,
let the confetti fall into the street,
this is my parade, my time to proclaim:
“I do to a love that knows no reservation
I do to a will that knows no hesitation
I do to a choice with no expectation
I do to a dream that knows no limitation
I do to a force that knows no gravitation
I do to a high with no intoxication

I used to say don’t but now “I do, I do, I do”…”

 

“We should understand that life gives us what we need and not
necessarily what we want. It follows its own wisdom, which is often incomprehensible to our gross minds.We should learn to accept situations in life. This attitude of acceptance is the secret to happiness.”

—Amma, New Year’s Speech, 2008

 




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