Haiku – beyond fear

Inner door to love

Image by Dean Moriarty from Pixabay

~

Open doors within

There’s love here beyond the fear

Find your Middle Ground

~

I’d like to add these words by Thich Nhat Hanh:

“In a time of anger or despair, even if we feel overwhelmed, our love is still there. Our capacity to communicate, to forgive, to be compassionate is still there. You have to believe this. We are more than our anger, we are more than our suffering. We must recognize that we do have within us the capacity to love, to understand, to be compassionate, always.”

I read a BBC News article about how Canadians are coming together in FaceBook groups for “caremongering” instead of scaremongering. People are reaching out to help and support those in need and also to connect with old friends, distant relatives and neighbors.

There is a movement of kindness evolving and growing. I lifts my heart. I am so grateful that others can set aside their fear and do something for the good of us all.

While you are home, you can take time to reflect and come inwards, start a project, go for a walk, dance or dress up … and you can also start to think how you can support your local community and the greater good.

You have already started if you are in self isolation. Thank you 🙏

 

Inspiration – Interbeing

“When we look deeply into a sheet of paper, we see that it’s full of everything in the cosmos: the sunshine, the trees, the clouds, the earth, the minerals, everything—except for one thing. It’s empty of one thing only: a separate self. The sheet of paper cannot be by itself alone. That is why the word inter-be can be more helpful than the word be. In fact, to be means to inter-be. The sheet of paper cannot be without the sunshine, cannot be without the forest. The sheet of paper has to inter-be with the sunshine, to inter-be with the forest.”

— Thich Nhat Hanh from Fear

When we look deeply enough, we can see everything.

Take a single leaf of romaine lettuce bought from the store. What do you see?

The seed, the earth, the minerals, the sunshine, the clouds, the rain.

Look deeper and we see the farmers; the merchants who sold it; the people who built the roads for the trucks; the people who built the trucks; the people who built the parts to the truck and the people who gathered the raw materials for those parts. Then there are the people who supported those people….

Then there’s the transport you take to get there. Who built it? Who made the clothes and shoes you wear to the store? Where did you get the money to purchase all that? And on and on and on.

All in a single leaf of romaine lettuce.

As Nhat Hanh describes, the only thing we *don’t* see is a separate self.

Everything truly is connected. Everything.

Here’s to embracing interbeing more and more in our day to day lives.

In Time of Anger or Despair

angry sea

Angry Sea – Source: Dreamstime © Creative Commons Zero (CC0)

“In a time of anger or despair, even if we feel overwhelmed, our love is still there.
Our capacity to communicate, to forgive, to be compassionate is still there.
You have to believe this.
We are more than our anger, we are more than our suffering.
We must recognize that we do have within us the capacity to love, to understand, to be compassionate, always.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Come back to the love that is there, and let go of the anger eating at your heart.

Step away, breathe deeply and find your center, and its deeper knowing.

Distressing emotions are a part of life.

They pass when we stop holding on to them in our thoughts.

Learning how to handle them takes patience, insight and compassion.

Understand that beyond fear and suffering is always love.

Namaste

To be peace

I love this refection for today and every day. Choose how you want to be, and then do the doing, otherwise you will feel overwhelmed.

Mindfulbalance

When you are feeling overwhelmed, you’re trying too hard.

That kind of energy does not help the other person and it does not help you. You should not be too eager to help right away. There are two things, to be and to do. Don’t think too much about to do – to be is first. To be peace. To be joy. And then to do joy, to do happiness – on the basis of being. Being fresh. Being peaceful. Being compassionate. This is the basic practice. It’s like a person sitting at the foot of a tree. The tree does not have to do anything, but the tree is fresh and alive. When you are like that tree, sending out waves of freshness, you help to calm down the suffering in the other person.

Thich Nhat Hanh, Be Beautiful, Be yourself

View original post

Be Peace

“Be peace. Don’t just talk about it.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Take a moment to consider if you are you getting annoyed and frustrated about the lack of peace in the world.
And then come back to these simple and powerful words from Which That Hanh

Peace begins with our selves.

Make peace with yourself by giving yourself permission to rest.
Be compassionate towards your own human imperfections and judgments.
Forgive yourself. This is an act of peace.
Find your Middle Ground and connect to the inner goodness within you.

Help an other person to find peace. Encourage them to rest.
Show kindness towards them. Forgive them.
Nurture peace in your children and loved ones.
Work for peace.

Become gentle.
Be tender.
Be peace.

 

Courage

Beautifully expressed thoughts on Thich Nhat Hahn’s words. Thank you Shobhna.

Hatred and fear blind us,

We no longer see each other,

We only see the faces of monsters and

that gives us the courage

to destroy each other

by Thich Nhat Hahn.

I read this recently and it explains so much of what is happening within relationships around the world. I have been concerned about the amount of hatred that is present in speeches given by leaders and the actions being taken against groups of people globally. Courage rooted in hatred and fear will eventually dissolve, but after having harmed people and the earth. We have seen this happen over and over again in our history. In destroying others we invariably destroy ourselves too.

Removing fear and hatred within our own minds takes courage. Because we are left feeling vulnerable without the protection of the monsters face to scare others with. As that monstrous face peels of, the authentic, genuine…

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Loneliness is the illness of our time

Poignant words from Thich Nhat Hanh on loneliness.

Zen Flash

Excerpt from:

Source: What 5 Great Spiritual Leaders Have to Say About the Deadly Sickness of Loneliness – Waking Times

http://www.wakingtimes.com

July 21, 2017

Thich Nhat Hanh

Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh, also the author of many books including You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment, gives us perhaps the most thorough assessment of the roots of loneliness. He discusses the idea that we must come home to ourselves to find peace and happiness.

Once we are home, we no longer feel lonely. Home is a place where loneliness is happiness. But where is home? It is within the self, it is an island, a place inside ourselves where we must return to in order to be happy. Many of us have forgotten how to take this place with us in our day to day lives, and as such we drift further away…

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* Inspiration – Interbeing

interbeing

Mother Earth by crazyluh on DeviantArt.com

“When we look deeply into a sheet of paper, we see that it’s full of everything in the cosmos: the sunshine, the trees, the clouds, the earth, the minerals, everything—except for one thing. It’s empty of one thing only: a separate self.

The sheet of paper cannot be by itself alone. That is why the word inter-be can be more helpful than the word be.
In fact, to be means to inter-be.
The sheet of paper cannot be without the sunshine, cannot be without the forest. The sheet of paper has to inter-be with the sunshine, to inter-be with the forest.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh from Fear

Interbeing.

If we look deeply enough, we see everything. It is all connected.

We are all part of this amazing world of interbeing. Yet how easy to forget as we become self absorbed with our little self.

Here’s to embracing this truth more and more every day.

Namaste

* Perception, Seekers of Truth and Avidya

“We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.”— Rabbi Shemuel ben Nachmani, as quoted in the Talmudic tractate Berakhot (55b.)
Anaïs Nin also reflected the same idea. Seeing is not believing—believing is seeing. Our perception is shaped by our previous experiences.

What we say, and how we approach something is always through filters of our making.

I started to ponder today about how other’s perceptions of themselves and their relationship to us, informs their message for us.girl sitting on bench

As spiritual seekers, we look to the words of others to show us the truth.

As patients we look to the words of the doctors to show us the truth.

As someone facing challenging times we seek out friends for support and help, and hope that they too will reveal the truth.

In doing so it is easy to become attached to the words of others. We begin to count on them. We grasp at the hope that things will turn out the way we want.

Yet in our heart of hearts we know that the truth doesn’t lie there.
We have become attached to the outcome that we hope for, rather than seeing clearly all of reality.
In yoga this is called avidya – not seeing things as they are. We become attached to how we want things to be.  We mistake the impermanent for the eternal.

flowers in the rain

Today I woke up and saw the messages as a reflection of others’ perceptions and experiences. In seeing this I was able to detach and face a bigger reality.

There must be a letting go of what we are attached to, in order to truly find our middle ground and inner peace.

The ultimate attachment we have is to life as we know it and life itself. Accepting impermanence over life is not an easy thing. We may understand it intellectually, but facing it and living it can be so darn hard.

I find comfort in this version of the Buddha’s Five Remembrances, offered by Thich Nhat Hanh in The Plum Village Chanting Book.

  1. I am of the nature to grow old. There is no way to escape growing old.
  2. I am of the nature to have ill health. There is no way to escape ill health.
  3. I am of the nature to die. There is no way to escape death.
  4. All that is dear to me and everyone I love are of the nature to change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.
  5. My actions are my only true belongings. I cannot escape the consequences of my actions. My actions are the ground upon which I stand.
impermanence

Photo from Karen Huber’s blog http://www.kmhubersblog.com

May you all feel the warm embrace of compassion and understanding for this fear filled path called life.  For those of you facing this ultimate reality, may you find a way to let go and be at peace.

Namaste

 

* Love is still here

rainbow of hope

“In a time of anger or despair, even if we feel overwhelmed, our love is still there.

Our capacity to communicate, to forgive, to be compassionate is still there. You have to believe this.

We are more than our anger, we are more than our suffering.

We must recognize that we do have within us the capacity to love, to understand, to be compassionate, always.”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

There is love and hope beyond the fear.

* Mindful Yoga, Living and Meditation

For this New Year, some of you may be considering setting the intention of meditating every day. In my experience, even with the best of intentions, many people start, and then stop with a daily sitting practice. Some will come back to it, and some will give it up completely.

So I decided to write a post about an alternative approach. I found inspiration in “Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life” by Charlotte Bell. Here, she bridges the gap between meditation, mindful living and yoga.

being mindful

“The practice of yoga in all its aspects allows us to connect with and dwell in awareness, our essential being…

Mindfulness is the thread that connects all aspects of yoga practice. When we give our full attention to what we are doing, we become that which is present in our experience…

When we live our lives  mindfully, we live in fullness; there is no leftover residue of regret for missed opportunities.

… Mindfulness is most commonly practiced in sitting and walking meditation. If you can sit quietly for even a few minutes every day watching the flow of your breath, you will begin to strengthen the power of your mind. But mindfulness practice needn’t be confined to formal meditation.

In his book “The Miracle in Mindfulness”, Thich Nhat Hanh writes about “washing the dishes to wash the dishes”, instead of washing the dishes in order to get the cup of tea you will have afterwards. Viewed with careful attention, the experience of dishwashing yields a surprising richness of sensation – the feeling of warm, sudsy water, the smoothness and weight of the plates in your hands, the movement of scrubbing and rinsing. Any activity can become a wondrous and sacred ritual if we pay attention.

… You might begin the practice of mindful living by choosing one activity that you already do everyday. Commit to be completely present  in this activity.”

mindful dishwashing

What could you commit to bringing new awareness to every day?
It could be washing the dishes, washing your hands, opening the front door, showering, taking a walk, or enjoying a cup of tea. It can be any activity that you take for granted, enjoy or perhaps even resist.
Its your choice. The activity that you choose does not matter as much as the care and respect you bring to it.

I’d like to share some of my daily rituals with you:
First thing in the morning, I wash my hands with beautiful scented lavender soap.
When I open the back door I take a deep breath and really feel the outside morning with all my senses.
I have a mindfulness app called Chakra Chime that goes off at 8am and 1pm. When it does, I stop what I am doing and take a moment to scan my thoughts, emotional state, my breath and my body.
When I stop at a red light, I pause and notice my breath (Still working on that one when I run late!)
When the light stays green as I approach it I say in my mind Thank You Universe. In class, as I come into mountain pose, I look down at my feet and say out loud Thank You Feet!

Committing to being mindful is a serious commitment to finding peace of mind, but it needn’t be serious!

Namaste

* Haiku – beyond fear

door within

~

Open doors within

There’s love here beyond the fear

Find your Middle Ground

~

I’d like to add these words by Thich Nhat Hanh:

“In a time of anger or despair, even if we feel overwhelmed, our love is still there. Our capacity to communicate, to forgive, to be compassionate is still there. You have to believe this. We are more than our anger, we are more than our suffering. We must recognize that we do have within us the capacity to love, to understand, to be compassionate, always.”

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