May 18, 2012
Creating a more mindful and peaceful existence, is not only something that we can do for our own health, but also for our spouses, our children, our friends, and for our world.
Once we recognize that we are a tiny corner of the Universe, we understand that we can change the world, one tiny corner of the Universe at a time. This is a powerful teaching.
At a time when distractions in our society has reached grand new heights, it is imperative for creating balance with stillness and silence. We must discover the Yin/Yang dance through life or we will be constantly be tilted, off-centered, and frustrated. Not only are we reaching new peaks with technology and information systems, but we are also experiencing a shift in seasons. We are entering the season of heat, activity, fire, and pressures that come along with this.
Join us as we embark on a six-week exploration of practicing 10 conscious breaths of stillness each day.
Maybe you create time for this upon awakening, or before surrendering to sleep. Anytime in the day will work. Maybe you sit. Maybe you lie down, on the floor, the earth, the bed…wherever you can allow yourself the gift of 10 full, conscious breaths. This time should be free of distractions, and you should attempt to have full awareness of each breath.
Maybe you say to yourself “Breathing in, I know that I am breathing in. Breathing out, I know that I am breathing out.” Maybe you count your breaths, breathing slowly through the nose, “Inhaling one…. Exhaling one…. Inhaling two…. Exhaling two…”, continuing to the count of 10.
If formal meditation is already in your practice, then I invite you to add an additional “10-breath period” throughout your day. Every day, for six weeks.
Journal how you feel from this practice, maybe daily, weekly, or at least twice during this period. There is no rule that you must cease this practice after the six-week period. Remember, by changing yourself you are changing the world, one tiny corner of the Universe at a time.
May 5, 2012
Excerpted from “Bringing Home the Dharma“, by Jack Kornfield
“In a complex political world how do we find a way toward peace? Our first task is to make our own heart a zone of peace. Instead of becoming entangled in the bitterness and cynicism that exist externally, we need to begin to heal those qualities within ourselves. We have to face our own suffering, our own fear, and transform them into compassion. Only then can we become ready to offer genuine help to the outside world.
Meditate, turn off the news, turn on Mozart, walk through the forests or the mountains, and begin to make yourselves peaceful. Make yourselves an example of peace, and allow the sensitivity and compassion that grows from our interconnection to extend to all beings. If we’re not peaceful, how can we create harmony in the world? If our own minds are not peaceful, how can we expect peace to come through the actions that we take?
Through practice, we can learn to make our own hearts a place of peace and integrity. With a quiet mind and an open heart we can sense the reality of interdependence. Inner and outer are not separate.”