Tag Archives: universe

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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Reflect Essence of Beauty

 

“Let our souls turn into a mirror longing to reflect the essence of beauty”- Rumi

 

“Having a selfless attitude will uplift us. By helping others we are, in fact, helping ourselves. On the other hand, every time we do a selfish action, we are harming ourselves. Learn to bless everyone. Don’t ever curse anyone, because a human being is not just a bundle of flesh and blood. There is consciousness at work within everyone. That consciousness is not a separate, isolated entity; it is part of the whole, a Supreme Unity. Whatever we do is reflected in the Whole, in the one Universal Mind – and it returns to you with the same intensity. Whenever you do a good or bad action, it is reflected in the Universal Consciousness. Therefore, learn to be selfless and learn how to send blessings to everyone. Pray for everyone, because we need the support and blessings of all of Creation for our upliftment. When we pray for others the entire universe prays for us; and when we bless others the whole universe blesses us, because man is one with the cosmic energy.”—Amma, Awaken Children, Vol. VIII




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Music in a Plant

“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which it is impossible to be silent”—Victor Hugo

“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness.”—Maya Angelou

“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.”—Lao Tzu
Lao Tzu
“Music is the divine way to tell beautiful, poetic things to the heart.”—Pablo Casals

“If you look deep enough you will see music; the heart of nature being everywhere music.”—Thomas Carlyle

“Music is well said to be the speech of angels.”—Thomas Carlyle




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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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We Are All Linked

 

“When we try to pick out anything by itself we find that it is bound fast by a thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken, to everything in the universe. ”
—John Muir

Continue reading We Are All Linked




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Vibrantly Alive

 

“Breathing in, I know that I am alive. Breathing out, I smile to that aliveness.”

—Thich Nhat Hanh

Continue reading Vibrantly Alive




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Heart Song

 

I have a very musical family. They can pull harmonious melodies out of the air with the same ease as breathing.

“If you hear a voice
inside your heart,
listen . . .
and through that music
you will learn to sing.

When you become
a sheet of music without notes,
your song will sing you.”

-John Squadra, This Ecstasy, Heron Dance Press

 

“Pure music is as big as space. It is God. It is the secret of allowing the sound of the universe to flow through you.”

Amma

 

 




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Autumn Song, Birdsong, A Call to Unity

collage, bird, autumn leaves

This is a digital collage of a pelican, some autumn leaves and colored glass.

“Birdsong brings relief to my longing.  I am just as ecstatic as they are, but with nothing to say!  Please, universal soul, practice some song, or something through me!”

– Rumi, “Birdsong”, translated by Coleman Barks
 

Continue reading Autumn Song, Birdsong, A Call to Unity




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