* Inspiration – Like a Giant Tree

giant tree

Photo from teratrees.com

“Praise and blame, gain and loss, pleasure and sorrow

come and go like the wind.

To be happy, rest like a giant tree in the midst of them all.”

~ The Buddha

Let the winds of change move through your branches.

After all, that is what this season is about.

Namaste

* Pondering – accepting what is

I woke up this morning pondering how it is so hard to accept what is. Our brains say – yes I get it. We may even bring it into mindful awareness every day through meditation or yoga.

We think we have it handled, and then … out of the blue we find ourselves getting impatient, frustrated or triggered.

For example, think of the last time you were driving and were cut off by someone else. Or you were running late and got stopped behind a school bus or a red light? What thoughts, sensations and feelings came up?

road rage

So how can we handle these turbulent emotions and accept what is….

In the moment we become aware of our reactions we have a choice: to allow the fight or flight  reaction to take over with its rush of adrenaline and cortisol; or to center ourselves with full deep breaths and consciously let go of the stories, judgments, and resistance to what is happening.

With mindfulness practice, our reactivity gets less and less.  Our acceptance of the highs and lows of life grows and we become more centered and less volatile.

Like a pendulum we find our way to the center.

From a scientific perspective, the more we meditate and calm our mind, the more neural pathways we create and reinforce our ability to come more quickly to a calm state.

It is a practice…. that may take a long time if not a life time.

The Dalai Lama says that while we cannot stop an emotion from arising, we have the power to let it go, and the highly trained mind can let it go the moment it arises.

writing  on water

The Buddha shared a metaphor for this state of mind. He called it “like writing on water”. Whenever an unwholesome thought or emotion arises in an enlightened mind, it is like writing on water. The moment it is written it disappears.

Through meditation and mindfulness practice we learn to master our reactions and center ourselves.

We re-balance ourselves and in doing so, learn to accept what is.

The next time you are in traffic be ready to breathe deeply and let the emotion flow through you…

And don’t get upset with yourself for getting upset! Let it go.  Just keep practicing coming into the present moment.

Namaste

 

* Inspiration – Know the sweet joy of living in the way

tranquility

Live in joy, in love, even among those who hate.
Live in joy, in health, even among the afflicted.
Live in joy, in peace, even among the troubled.
Look within. Be still, free from the fear and attachment.
Know the sweet joy of living in the way.

There is no fire like greed, no crime like hatred,
No sorrow like hunger of heart, and no joy like the joy of freedom.
Health, contentment and trust are your greatest possessions,
And freedom your greatest joy.
Look within. Be still, free from fear and attachment.
Know the sweet joy of living in the way.

The Buddha

When reading these words, take a moment to picture yourself in these situations.

This isn’t happening in a strange land far away, its happening at work, at home, all around you.

Here and now.

Find time to pause and look within.

Be still.

I’ll be joining you.

Namaste

* Today’s Quote from Theresa

Beautiful words and image from Theresa at Soul Gatherings. Let it settle in.💛

Soul Gatherings

purple trees

In the end, only three things matter:
how much you loved,
how gently you lived,
and how gracefully you let go of things
not meant for you.

~ The Buddha ~
______________

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* Believe Nothing

“Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Buddha

awakening of self

A sage’s words and wisdom mean little in themselves.

Let us all look to our own inner teacher and guide.

Trust in ourselves and our knowing.

Have faith in our own experience of the world.

This knowing is there for every one of us.

It is the place of personal growth and evolution.

Namaste

 

* Choose to Be Positive or Negative … (you can’t be both!)

This is a Philosophers Note from Brian Johnson that resonated for me, especially as we head towards the Holidays. When we become aware of our emotions, we can change our thinking into a positive frame of mind. When we change our thinking we allow our heart to open.

“The basic observation that positive emotions are somehow incompatible with negative emotions is not a new idea ….. One simply cannot be relaxed and stressed at the same time. Try it. You can’t. Relaxation drives out anxiety and vice versa. The Buddha said that “Hatred cannot coexist with loving-kindness, and dissipates if supplanted with thoughts based on loving-kindness.” You cannot be grateful and resentful at the same time, or forgiving and vengeful. When we are savoring the moment we cannot be regretting the past.” ~ Robert Emmons from Thanks!

Quite simply, we cannot experience both positive emotions and negative emotions at the same time. Try to hold both at the same time right now. As Emmons tells us, you can’t!

Anxiety and relaxation can’t coexist. Neither can resentment and gratitude.Let gratitude in

When we are in the present moment we can’t be in the past or the future.

So, the next time you’re feeling anxious, see if you can deliberately relax by breathing deeply, releasing the tension in your body and smiling.

And, when you’re feeling resentment toward life or someone in it, see if you can let that emotion go by focusing on something you are truly grateful for!

Come into the present moment, notice without judgment your thoughts and feelings, then choose from your heart.