[Note: I’ve been trying to update something on my subscriber service, and apparently my last post got resent one or two extra times to some people. If that happened to you, I apologize for the annoyance. Hopefully, everything is fixed now.] Someone complained to me recently that she had gotten away from her spiritual practice […]
I was practicing with some taiji buddies yesterday, and we got to talking about the custom of bowing in martial arts. Students and teachers bow, sparring partners bow, everyone bows when entering or leaving the practice area. Our discussion expanded to other bowing customs. Some people bow in greeting or farewell, children bow to elders,
Mistakes. We all make them. Yes, even me. I wrote that last sentence with a smile because occasionally someone has a (mistaken!) perception of me that I don’t make mistakes. Perhaps they think that because I write this blog and lead a contemplation group and meditate and so on, that somehow I am always wise.
Open my eyes to the beauty that surrounds me that I may walk through this day with the kind of awareness that calls forth grateful living. ~Macrina Wiederkehr I’ve been using this quote recently to start my day. I like the idea of waking up with a blessing, an expression of gratitude for a precious
I’m walking a labyrinth with some friends next week. I love this meditative practice. It models how we move through life in faith. Unlike a maze, there are no wrong turns in a labyrinth. Yes, there are twists and turns, but the path leads unerringly to the center. You cannot get lost. So you can
We meditate, we pray, we read spiritual literature, we set intentions, we attend retreats, we sit at the feet of teachers, we chant mantras, we aspire, and yet …. A few months ago, I engaged in a period of self reflection to explore what was blocking my way. I thought the problem was desire. Then
The martial arts school I used to go to sits on the corner of a busy intersection. I just read that someone smashed one of the huge windows that face the street. With so much of this sort of thing in the news these days, I’m not sure why this particular act of vandalism hit
As a person who often advocates “practice,” I’ve been exploring what it means to practice something. We might have lots of practices. I practice martial arts, for example. Some of us practice mindfulness, meditation, yoga, loving-kindness, and more. When we have an intention to cultivate or develop a skill or a habit, we devote time
The universe has been giving me plenty of writing material in the joke’s-on-me category. This time it’s about developing a website and working on a new book project. For years I have quietly cruised along on my little blog, happy to use Blogger, grateful for all those who have subscribed by email. Then recently Blogger
Lately I’ve been feeling drained, like my life force is seeping out of me. Absent any other symptoms indicating illness, I’ve been puzzled by this general malaise. Last night I gave it some focused thought. What is different in my life? What has changed in recent weeks? Two things came to mind. First, I’ve been
Summer is the season of pure yang energy. Its element is fire. Its organ is the heart. Yang energy is active, hot, rising, powerful. When someone is wildly successful, driving forward, dominating the competition, unstoppable, we might say, “Wow, she’s on fire!” Our western culture highly values yang energy. Idle hands do the devil’s work,
Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. ~C. S. Lewis As the tectonic plates of culture alternately drift further apart and then crash into each other with increasing violence, I am reminded of blog posts of the past, written in times of heart pain
What is the difference between an enlightened person and an unenlightened person? The unenlightened person sees a difference.I read this joke recently in Miracles Magazine. I wanted to find the source for it, so I Googled the question. And what do you know? I found LOTS of answers seriously offering a variety of litmus tests to
People in the United States have traditionally greeted each other with the question “How are you?” It is often intended as a perfunctory politeness, not a genuine question about health and well-being. The typical answer is “Fine thanks. You?” Lately, however, I get the sense when asked, that people are sincerely asking how I’m really doing.
If it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent. ~Pema Chodron You’ve heard me frequently emphasize and encourage practice. I’ve talked about the “razor’s edge” of practice, that place where we are challenged to release, expand, embrace, accept, forgive. The place where we meet fear on the battlefield and bow in respect. The
A meditation teacher was describing two approaches to attaining enlightenment. One, he said, is like showing someone a picture of a cake and telling them “Go make this.” The other is like giving someone a recipe. I understood what he meant. He was suggesting that the instructions in the recipe would be more helpful than
I love maps. I love maps I can hold in my hand and unfold on a table. I love Rand McNally atlases. I love globes. I love the placemat maps I got for my grandson, so that we can move his plate aside and find where we live and explore the country or the world.
The title to this post is more “religious” sounding than my usual writing. Yet this phrase came to me up at the cabin this last weekend and it has persistently stayed with me. So I, in turn, have persistently stayed with it! I meditated and asked this phrase to reveal to me its message. And
This uncharacteristically long chapter comprises several parts that may at one time have been separate. It reminds me of the book of Proverbs in the Bible, which contains many pearls of wisdom that can be considered as stand alone verses. Because of its length, I’m going to break discussion of this chapter into two posts.
Tao is the honored source of all creationThe awakened person treasures itThe unenlightened are protected by it This chapter is an ode to the natural beauty and humble majesty of Tao. Similar to the Bible’s observation that the sun shines and the rain falls equally on the just and the unjust, here we are told