Joy

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Meditation, Gratitude, Giving Thanks and Joy

Published 12/01/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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“If we cannot be happy in spite of our difficulties, what good is our spiritual practice?”

~Maha Ghosananda

Buddhist monks begin each day with a chant of gratitude for the blessings of their life. Native American elders begin each ceremony with grateful prayers to mother earth and father sky, to the four directions, to the animal, plant, and mineral brothers and sisters who share our earth and support our life. In Tibet, the monks and nuns even offer prayers of gratitude for the suffering they have been given: “Grant that I might have enough suffering to awaken in the deepest possible compassion and wisdom.”

The aim of spiritual life is to awaken a joyful freedom, a benevolent and compassionate heart in spite of everything.

Gratitude is a gracious acknowledgment of all that sustains us, a bow to our blessings, great and small, an appreciation of the moments of good fortune that sustain our life every day. We have so much to be grateful for.

Gratitude is confidence in life itself. It is not sentimental, not jealous, nor judgmental. Gratitude does not envy or compare. Gratitude receives in wonder the myriad offerings of the rain and the earth, the care that supports every single life.

As gratitude grows it gives rise to joy. We experience the courage to rejoice in our own good fortune and in the good fortune of others.

Joy is natural to an open heart. In it, we are not afraid of pleasure. We do not mistakenly believe it is disloyal to the suffering of the world to honor the happiness we have been given.

Like gratitude, joy gladdens the heart. We can be joyful for people we love, for moments of goodness, for sunlight and trees, and for the breath within our breast. And as our joy grows we finally discover a happiness without cause. Like an innocent child who does not have to do anything to be happy, we can rejoice in life itself, in being alive.

Let yourself sit quietly and at ease. Allow your body to be relaxed and open, your breath natural, your heart easy. Begin the practice of gratitude by feeling how year after year you have cared for your own life. Now let yourself begin to acknowledge all that has supported you in this care:

With gratitude I remember the people, animals, plants, insects, creatures of the sky and sea, air and water, fire and earth, all whose joyful exertion blesses my life every day.

With gratitude I remember the care and labor of a thousand generations of elders and ancestors who came before me.

I offer my gratitude for the safety and well-being I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the blessing of this earth I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the measure of health I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the family and friends I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the community I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the teachings and lessons I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the life I have been given.

Just as we are grateful for our blessings, so we can be grateful for the blessings of others.

Continue to breathe gently. Bring to mind someone you care about, someone it is easy to rejoice for. Picture them and feel the natural joy you have for their well-being, for their happiness and success. With each breath, offer them your grateful, heartfelt wishes:

May you be joyful.

May your happiness increase.

May you not be separated from great happiness.

May your good fortune and the causes for your joy and happiness increase.

Sense the sympathetic joy and caring in each phrase. When you feel some degree of natural gratitude for the happiness of this loved one, extend this practice to another person you care about. Recite the same simple phrases that express your heart’s intention.

Then gradually open the meditation to include neutral people, difficult people, and even enemies- until you extend sympathetic joy to all beings everywhere, young and old, near and far.

This excerpt is taken from the book, “The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace“ by Jack Kornfield

My Dear friends, we certainly have so much to be thankful for, need I mention even a few? However, we do forget to give thanks and speak out our gratitude on a daily basis. It has been shown that being grateful raises our levels of happiness and joy and these raised levels of happiness attract others that are also happy; thus enabling our lives to be filled with more joy each and every day. So today, ‘Go on, give it a go’, meditate, bring people and things into your minds eye and into your heart, give thanks for everything in your life, good and bad and feel the peace and the love that this meditation brings to your heart and soul.

I did this; this morning….’A big smile on my face right now’ when I think of this process of gratitude 🙂 A simple meditation and mindful eating of my toast and honey. I gave thanks for the honey, the sweetness on my tongue, gave thanks to the Bee for collecting the honey, to the flower that attracted the bee, for the sun the rain and the soil that raised the flower in order to attract the bee, for the seedling that brought life to the flower, for the person or animal that brought that seed to that piece of soil, for the soil that gave its nutrients to the seed, for the sun that shone its warmth and helped the seeding grow, for the rain that gave the flower life, for the cloud that made the rain, for the rivers and oceans that brought about the cloud, for God for his creation of the earth and then I came on to the toast and the butter on my toast, and my mouth, my tongue for experiencing the sweet sensation of the honey, for the goodness and nutrition the honey, the toast and the butter were giving to my body, and this process of thankfulness went on, and on…Interestingly, this process of giving thanks brought about a real enlightenment to me, honestly I have never experienced mindful eating so much as I did this morning, I have experienced it many, many times before but this morning it was different, set at a really different level, I awakened to something very new, something great, something that brought peace to my heart and my soul, a total experience of joy…

Toast and Honey will never be the same again 🙂

Namaste with Love my dear friends
Always
Mark

What Is Your Calling In Life?

Published 08/01/2015 by inspiringyourspirit

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Having a Complete Life

How can we live a complete life, an ideal life that is full of happiness joy and fulfillment? The key to this success lies in making the best use of the limited time we have. We only have decades to live, and if we then subtract all the time we spend sleeping and eating, what’s then left isn’t much.

The sacred and spiritual task is the reason we came into this world. These specific tasks are different for each person, but most of them involve being of service to something greater than oneself. People who manage to actively work on their own sacred tasks are filled with happiness and joy, because they understand the mission, and they know what to do.
Their reward is a profound sense of satisfaction.

When they look back at their experiences, the people they have helped, the friendships they have made, they cannot help but smile. They have done a hundred out of a hundred things they wanted to accomplish. Theirs is the complete life, a life of meaning.

The sacred task is your primary purpose in life. I wonder if you have already identified it? If not, look for something that leverages your talents and abilities to serve a greater purpose. It will be a calling, something you are called upon to do. Discovering what it is will be your first step to start living the complete life of your own.

Have you found yours?

Food for thought my friends, food for thought!

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

Merry Christmas My Dear Blogging Friends

Published 25/12/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

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Merry Christmas My Dear Friends

May you be blessed with Love, Happiness, Good Health and Abundance

Give your Love to Those in Need This Christmas

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

Stop Relying On The Power Of Others

Published 12/12/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

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If you rely on the power of others

You weaken your own.

If you seek to own the world

You limit your abundance.

 

The expert guide helps to lead people forward

By sitting them down

Helping them to drop the contents of their mind

Down to their bellies.

Removing their goals

Strengthens their intentions.

 

With a clear mind

The see and then understand the confusion that desire creates.

 

Be still my friends and let it happen.

 

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

Love Is

Published 05/12/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

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Before the birth of the physical
There was the birth of potential.
Before potential, something primal.
A Beingness. One Life, silent,
unmoving, unchanging,
The unspoken beauty of Truth,
Mother only to itself.

It has been called God, Tao,
Divine Mother,
Universal Mind.
Today it feels good to call it Love.
Or perhaps Spirit of Love,
Since Spirit implies an all-pervading
greatness
As common as one’s breath.

Love is not an emotion, or a feeling.
It is the formless and substance
permeating
The seen and the unseen;
It is the seed and womb of the
universe.
Call it what you will, it resides
Just beyond the limits of our
abilities to describe.

It has been said “God is Love.”
Thus, the heavens seek Love
Earth seeks Love
People seek Love.
This is what makes us great.

People abide on the Earth
Earth abides in the Heavens
The Heavens abide in Love.
Love abides in all.
This is what makes us One.

Make Love a part of your life, Love IS all around, Love is in every person and in everything.

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

Adorable 3 Year Old Chinese Boy Dances For Judges :)

Published 04/12/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

My Dear Friends,

I came across this video from Chinese TV showing a young 3 year old boy dancing for the three judges in the Chinese talent competition, one of the judges you may recognize, it’s Jet Li from Kung Fu film fame.

I thought you may like to brighten up your day as he certainly brought smiles to my day.

The innocence and joy of a child can melt your heart. If you do go to Youtube to watch this video, please don’t read the racist and idiotic comments that some half brained people have written, these are the people who hold our world back from evolving into something better!

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

The Difficult Challenge Is Met With Joy.

Published 03/12/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

smiles in sad hearts

In action find stillness.

Seek the simple kernel

At the heart of every matter.

See the greatness in a small kindly gesture.

Make forgiveness your intention

And your enemies your allies.

Love is perceived in all you meet.

Civilized man, afraid of natures simplicity

Creates complex problems;

The healer creates wholeness

By loving whomever God has put in his way.

When there is trust, promises are not required

And the difficult challenge is met with joy.

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

Another Blog Award, Thank You :)

Published 03/12/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

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Once again I am humbled by the kindness and nomination for the ‘Liebster Award’, this time I was nominated by Upsi from the Life’s Lovely Little Lemons, please stop by and follow her blog over at http://lifeslovelylittlelemons.wordpress.com/ . Thank you my friend for your kind nomination 🙂 As you know I happily accept your nominations in the spirit that they were sent, however I decline to go through with the process of acceptance due to the amount of time it takes to comply.

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

One Lovely Blog Award

Published 15/11/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

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Once again I am humbled by the kindness and nomination for the ‘one Lovely Blog Award’, this time I was nominated by Khalkinised from the Buddhasutra, please stop by and follow his blog over at http://buddhasutra.com . Thank you my friend for your kind nomination 🙂 As you know I happily accept your nominations in the spirit that they were sent, however I decline to go through with the process of acceptance due to the amount of time it takes to comply.

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

There Is No Right Way To Grow and Live Your Life

Published 13/11/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

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We are all on our own special journey of life. For some of us its smooth sailing, our sails following the winds of time, floating comfortably on calm seas but for others its a more tempestuous journey, fraught with setbacks and traumas brought on by the every changing winds of change within our lives.

We start our journey as soon as we are born, some say at the time of conception, I guess I follow the latter because we started our learning process at conception, we could feel our mothers and sense their emotions, hear sounds and feel movement so our journeys of life, I believe began at the point of conception.

Our learning experiences differ; we encounter different ways of life, different cultural experiences, different languages, different religions and become accustomed to different foods, tastes and of course ways of dress.

We follow the guidance of our parents, siblings, family, friends, teachers and cultures and continue our early years of learning in awe of everything taught to us. We seldom challenge these ways, the content of the information presented to us in the belief that these teachings are the only way forward. Some of us start to question these teachings as we get older, some of us manage to break through the barriers confining us so we can see and experience different ways of life, teachings and beliefs but for others the barriers are too strong and the beliefs to proud to challenge or to change.

So for me, I like to keep an open mind, I believe there is not ‘Right Way’ to life, no ‘Right and only Religion’ and no set way of doing anything. I like to believe we are all from the one same source, we are ‘All’ part of ‘Life’s Rich Tapestry’, we are ‘One Humanity’ living on ‘One World’ and it is our collective responsibility to love all mankind and protect our world for our future generations in the hope that one day everyone will understand that we are……..
‘One Humanity’!

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

Life, Filled with Experiences, Emotions, Words of Happiness & Sadness

Published 11/11/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

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Yesterday I posted a Question, ‘Describe Your Life In One Word’,

Here are some of the replies I received so far.

Pain
Surf, as in the waves, ripples and Tsunamis of the Ocean
Happy
Blessed
Growth
Truth
Understanding
Joyous
Be
Love
Anticipation
Creative
Thankful
Wonderful
Sad
Complicated
And one friends saying ‘He’s looking for the word’ 🙂

Our lives are filled with daily encounters which provide us with different emotional and physological experiences and feelings they can include, trials, tribulation, times of great joy, sadness, pain. We experience happiness, times filled with great feelings of love, tearful times both happy and sad, times in which we experience great physical and mental pain, each experience is given to us for a reason so that we can learn from the good and the bad things that come into our lives, it is our challenge to take these experiences and feelings on board and learn from them becasue each day will bring us something new and hopefully rewarding.

Remember the following:-

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Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

One Lovely Blog Award

Published 09/11/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

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My Dear Friends,

Once again I am humbled by your kindness and this time I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by CW over at http://http://sunflowerrosecw.wordpress.com .

As always I accept the nomination in the spirit of kindness and appreciation that it was sent, however as always I decline to take part in the award process due to the time it takes to complete, I am however always so thankful and grateful for your nominations and your continued support of endlesslightandlove.com

Please take time to visit CW’s blog, you will love her work.

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

The Fragrance Of Life

Published 06/11/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

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The Fragrance Of Life

Walk outside on a summer’s day
Sit yourself down and relax
Feel the warmth of the sun on your face
The gentle breeze in the air
Close your eyes and breathe deep breaths
In through your nose, out through your nose

Concentrate you attention and awareness of your breath
In, Out…In, Out
Notice the fragrances of life in your breath
The sweetness of nectar in the air
Freshly mown grass, bringing new life
The sap on the trees from the lungs of our world
The musky, fruity scent of roses in bloom
Mint, Rosemary, Thyme and Lavender too

Evoke your senses and develop your skills
Concentrate your awareness
Breathe deeply, In, Out….In, Out
The scent evokes and awakens your taste
Maybe the taste of tea from a tea rose
The sweetness of pear, apples or fig
The citrus of oranges or lemon

Life and your senses are a wonderful thing and in your control
Invoke your senses
Enjoy nature, enjoy life

Namaste with Love
Always
Mark

Wood Greens

“Connection with gardens, even small ones, even potted plants, can become windows to the inner life. The simple act of stopping and looking at the beauty around us can be prayer.”
– Patricia R. Barrett, The Sacred Garden

“The first act of awe, when man was struck with the beauty or wonder of Nature, was the first spiritual experience.”
– Henryk Skolimowski

“Even before I could speak, I remember crawling through blueberry patches in the wild meadows on our hillsides. I quickly discovered Nature was filled with Spirit; I never saw any separation between Spirit and Nature. Much later I discovered our culture taught there was supposed to be some kind of separation – that God, Spirit and Nature were supposed to be divided and different. However, at my early age it seemed absolutely obvious that the church of the Earth was the greatest church of all; that the temple of the forest was the supreme temple. When I went to the sanctuary of the mountain, I found Earth’s natural altar – Great Spirit’s real shrine. Years later I discovered that this path of going into Nature, bonding deeply with it, and seeing Spirit within Nature – God, Goddess, and Great Spirit – was humanity’s most ancient, most primordial path of spiritual cultivation and realization.”
– John P. Milton, Sky Above, Earth Below

“In all things of nature there is something marvellous.”
– Aristotle

Awakening

“In the assemblies of the enlightened ones there have been many cases of mastering the Way bringing forth the heart of plants and trees; this is what awakening the mind for enlightenment is like. The fifth patriarch of Zen was once a pine-planting wayfarer; Rinzai worked on planting cedars and pines on Mount Obaku. … Working with plants, trees, fences and walls, if they practice sincerely they will attain enlightenment.”
– Dogen Zenji, Japanese Zen Buddhist Grand Master , Awakening the Unsurpassed Mind, #31

Scent is the most potent and bewitching substance in the
gardener’s repertory and yet it is the most neglected and
least understood. The faintest waft is sometimes enough
to induce feelings of hunger or anticipation, or to transport
you back through time and space to a long-forgotten moment
in your childhood. It can overwhelm you in an instant or simply
tease you, creeping into your consciousness slowly and
evaporating almost the moment it is detected. Each fragrance,
whether sweet or spicy, light or heavy, comes upon you
in its own way and evokes its own emotional response.
– Stephen Lacey, Scent in Your Garden, 1991

To be overcome by the fragrance of flowers
is a delectable form of defeat.
– Beverly Nichols

I go to nature to be soothed and healed,
and to have my senses put in order.
– John Burroughs

My lilac trees are old and tall;
I cannot reach their bloom at all.
They send their perfume over trees
And roof and streets, to find the bees.
– Lousie Driscoll, 1875 – 1957, My Garden Is a Pleasant Place

Perfumes are the feelings of flowers.
– Heinrich Heine

When Did You Stop?

Published 01/11/2014 by inspiringyourspirit

When

Many of us stop after childhood. Our dreams, dancing, singing and joy of stories is knocked out of us by adults who know best!

Go back to your childhood, connect with your inner child, live a joyous happy life filled with music, stories, singing and dancing, your heart will thank you and so will the people around you 🙂

Namaste with Love

Always

Mark

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