Go on, you know you want one…Reach out, close your eyes and feel the warmth of my hug, my arms around you, comforting you. It comes to you with my love and best wishes for a wonderful day filled with happiness, joy and peace wherever you are in this world 🙂
Touching base with your heart and your soul, easy?…… No!….Achievable?…Yes! 🙂
Our lives are so full of madness…time, the clock, rushing here, rushing there, eating while watching tv, reading the news, checking and responding to emails….working, parenting, relationships,’…their up’s and down’s…children and our fear for their future, challenges at work, career prospects, learning, financial difficulties….Is it all doom and gloom?….Only if you let it be!
I too have been a victim of all these things, my life has been filled with education, doing better, achieving more, working hard, working harder, working more hours, doing more of everything, wanting more of everything, buying for the sake of buying, mounting debt problems, children, the worries of being a parent, relationship challenges, divorce, grieving for the loss of loved ones, changing careers, re-educating myself, starting again, fighting to survive, living on the breadline, finding new love, emerging from the flames, being born again, awakening to the realities of life, becoming aware of what is important in life, caring from the heart, wanting to see change in our world, fighting for change, being frustrated that I cannot do enough, or make change happen overnight…an on; and on the cycle goes….So now what?…Where am I and what does the future hold?
Should I give up, should I buckle down and follow the pack, work every hour god sends, chase the dreams of others, or follow my heart, live in the ‘now’, do as ‘I’; my soul, my higher self wants?….
A dilemma felt by many….., choices…which way to go?…
The choice is yours, either be controlled or be in control….
I choose life, I choose to live in the now, to work in ‘Mindfulness’ of the other sometimes more important things in my life, for my family, for our future, for humanity, for our environment, for Mother Earth, for others less fortunate than I, I choose to serve for the betterment of my self, for my soul. My heart is now free, free to choose which way to go, I listen to my heart, I trust my intuition, I listen with Empathy to others with the intent to understand, and I place my feet firmly down on my own spiritual pathway, the journey which leads me through life with a smile; not a burden of weight placed upon my shoulders by others who want to control my destiny.
Be ‘Mindful’ my dear friends, live your life according to your own destiny, allow yourself the luxury right to enjoy your life to the full, take time out for yourself, connect with your heart and soul through meditation, free your mind from the distractions of modern life, see life as it really is and start enjoying each and every day to the full, see the blueness of the sky or if your sky is grey; see the blueness of the sky up above the clouds, watch the sun rise and set, see the smiles of the children around you , reconnect with your inner child, smile, always smile and breathe….just breathe 🙂
Getting to understand yourself, is an art form that many never achieve in their lifetime, many people believe they know who they are but actually they don’t have the slightest clue!
How often do you shut your self away from the world, and by shutting away I don’t mean going to the top of the Himalaya’s and sitting in a cave by yourself for ten years 🙂 What i mean is; do you switch off from the world each day, do you set yourself time each day to have no interruptions, in a room with just you, no tv, no radio, no newspapers, books, magazines, no phone, no computer,no electronics, no people, no children, nothing to disturb your time with yourself?
It’s not easy at first, setting aside time in what you probably believe is already a fully scheduled day, getting up, shower, breakfast, dressing for school, work or getting yourself and or your children ready for your day, attending back to back meetings, dropping the kids to school, picking them up, taking them to after school activities, checking homework, making dinner, eating dinner, bathing and dressing the children, putting them to bed, watching tv, reading a book, getting yourself ready for bed…etc, etc, the list is endless, or so we all believe!
We just don’t have any time in our lives for ourself!
It’s your life, you can make choices re your life, you are the master of your schedule and you, only you can make the time! After all, it’s certainly in your own best interest to make time for yourself, your body needs this time, your mind needs this time and your heart certainly needs this time! So why is it we are so bad at setting time for ourselves?….Well, we feel guilty, that’s why! We feel that we are being self indulgent by setting ‘valuable’ time aside just for ourselves,…..Bullsh*t (sorry for the bad language my dear friends)……., take it from me…STOP IT, NOW!, Set up time each and every day to give yourself quality time on your own, start small, it can be 10 minutes per day at first, try this for a few days then increase your time slowly to 15, 20,30 minutes, or even better 45 minutes or an hour, but make sure you set your schedule, set your time, your phone whatever to remind you to go and enjoy time with yourself, don’t give up on yourself, keep the commitment to this time each and every day and I guarantee you will start to know yourself so much better than you do right now, you will have no external influences, just you, your time is your own for you, only you and your meditation, reflections on who you are, where your life is right now and where you want to be, this quality time will enhance your levels of understanding for others, you will be more empathetic towards yourself and to others, your life will benefit from the quality time you give yourself…TRUST ME… give it a try, if you need help, I’m here to help you, if you need help with meditations, just let me know and i will send you some to help you along the way, but please, please my friends…get in touch with yourself and start to enjoy the rest of this life 🙂
There is an essence that embodies the universe and yet it exists beyond all space and time. It is infinitely ancient because it is eternal. In comparison to this, the universe’s age of fourteen billion years is nothing.
Human beings have made many inadequate attempts to describe it. Some may call it God, others may prefer a term like Tao, which means ‘The Way’ for the simple reason that this essence is the way of existence, the way or reality.
We do not know much about it, but we do know that the essence is within us. Our highest hopes and dreams, ideals and aspirations all come from its power to express itself. We manage to catch a glimpse of it when we exchange smiles with one another, we can feel it when one hand reaches out to touch another. It is what we are at the most essential level.
Try to meditate upon the essence of your truest nature, and call it by its original name: Love. The essence is no more or less than the energy of love in its purest form. Human beings are simply the solidified manifestation of this energy. That is why it is so important to us, and why we can never be without it. Embrace the essence, for it is the reason for existence itself, and the reason why we exist at all.
Fear of failure, fear of loosing face, the fear of rejection, fear of the unknown, the fear of success….Whatever fears you face in your life it’s now time for you to face them.
There are literally millions of labels we can place on words and call them fears, as in the image above, the list is endless and different fears attack each and every one of us, and we react to these fears in different ways.
Every time we turn our backs on a fear and try to fight it, it becomes a pointless exercise and waste of our time, because fighting our fears places us in a ‘battle’ with that fear forever, whilst facing these fears will give us ‘freedom’ forever.
Our minds play tricks on us all the time, ‘the devil in our head’, ‘our sub conscious mind’, our Ego’s’ constantly chatter to us laying doubts on our ability to achieve, playing reference to things that have gone wrong in the past, and nagging us to stop right there and give up!…”Don’t be stupid, you know you will fail”, “It’s no point you doing that because no one will listen to you”, “Ah, they are just begging because they are too lazy to work so don’t give them your money”, “It’s not your problem, don’t get involved or it will end in tears, “Leave your job, are you stupid”, “Your not smart enough or worthy enough to do or go somewhere”……..How many of you have had these thoughts go through your head?
Strategies for Overcoming Fear
Acknowledge the fear. Whether it’s imagined or real, the first step in overcoming fear is to admit that it exists. We all have fears; it’s human nature. Denying or ignoring them doesn’t make them go away.
Analyze it. Where does it come from? Is it real or imagined? Can it be put in a different context? For instance if you think it through to its logical conclusion, what’s the worst that can happen to you? Once you’ve determined what that might be, ask yourself if you can deal with, or overcome it. More often than not, once you go through the process of analyzing it, the fear isn’t as scary as you originally imagined.
Face it. Allow yourself to feel it, and then do it anyway. Act in spite of your fear and treat is as a challenge for personal growth and an opportunity to become stronger.
Be persistent. Do the thing you fear over and over again. By doing it repeatedly it loses its power over you and you become less vulnerable to it.
Develop courage. Sometimes the answer may not be to conquer a particular fear; it may be to develop courage. If you focus too much on any one fear instead of trying to build courage, you may in fact, intensify it. By developing courage you build self-confidence and resilience. You also build a healthy approach towards facing all fear.
Our fears of failure can limit us and keep us from living the life we want to. When we inevitably experience rejection or disappointment, we have to be hardy in our way of coping with these struggles. Overcoming our critical inner voice can be a vital step in becoming more emotionally resilient. We can learn skills to become hardier, and we can face challenges with fewer internal setbacks. Yet, the first step in taking on this new confidence is shedding the baggage of our past, the critical inner voices that falsely feed our fears of failure.
If you have chance look at a child, an elderly person or someone who is really poor, observe their behaviours and take note of how they live their lives.
It is so easy for us to talk about Inner Peace and what living in the ‘Now’ does for your life, how it brings an end to our suffering and allows us to live in contentment and look at our lives and the world around us with a different set of eyes!
But how easy is it for us to reach this state of ‘Inner Peace’? Well I guess there is no short answer to that question because some of us find ‘Inner Peace’ very quickly whilst others look for it throughout their lives and never actually find it. And for some they gain ‘Inner Peace’ then slip right back into their old ways of living like they are on that never ending diet, loosing weight, gaining fitness only to return to old habits, gain weight and on goes that perpetual circle of life!
I know I have struggled throughout my life, battling with Ego, past life issues, memories of terrible relationships, pain and bad experiences in life but when i actually ‘walk the talk’ and live in the now, when I stop focussing on ‘how stressed I am’ and remember ‘how blessed I am’, my life changes immediately for the better, my health improves rapidly, my smiles bring about other smiles, my laughter heals my pain and I see the world how it should and could be and I gain strength each day to get out there and do some good for mankind and mother earth.
Inner Peace is controlled by you and you alone, once you realize this and start to manage your mind, your life can, and will change for the better…
Go on, give it a try, for once the old saying is true…’The Grass Is Greener On The Other Side’
Ancient healers were one with infinite love.
But they ignored social convention
So people thought they were crazy.
They would pay attention to what others overlooked;
While others debated, they would
While others would worry, they’d
Alert, they discover the world anew
with each footfall
Humble, they greet you with
the innocence of a child
Patient, they wait for nothing,
knowing everything is here
Present, they respond to change
like an eagle in flight
Open, they listen without judgement
Gentle, they cradle your soul in the
memory of light.
Intent on deepest healing
Some carry the deepest wounds.
Placid, they are the still, clear pool
Reflecting mountain and sky.
My meditations and prayers are with you
My sage, my inspiration, my friend.
Re: Thay’s present health condition and how to support Thay’s recovery
Plum Village, November 12, 2014
To all Plum Village Practice Centers,
To all Practice Centers and Sanghas World Wide,
To our Dear Beloved Friends,
With a deep mindful breath we announce to the world the news that yesterday, the 11th of November 2014 Thay, Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, experienced a severe brain hemorrhage. Thay is receiving 24 hour intensive care from specialist doctors, nurses and from his monastic disciples.
At present, Thay is still very responsive and shows every indication of being aware of the presence of those around him. He is able to move his feet, hands and eyes. There are signs that a full recovery may be possible.
For the last two months, Thay’s health had already been fragile due to his advanced age. He was hospitalized in Bordeaux on the 1st of November. He was gaining strength day by day until this sudden and unexpected change in his condition.
All the monasteries in the tradition of Plum Village are organizing practice sessions to generate the energy of mindfulness and to send Thay this healing and loving energy. We would like to ask the whole worldwide community of meditation practitioners to participate and support us in this critical moment. We know and trust that Thay will receive all your energy and that this will be a big support in his healing and recovery.
Our practice of stability and peace in this very moment is the best support we can offer to Thay. Let us all around the world take refuge in our practice, going together as a river to offer Thay our powerful collective energy. We are all cells of the great Sangha Body that Thay has manifested in his lifetime.
May the Love Compassion and Healing Energies of the whole of humanity be brought through the devine matrix to Thich Nhat Hanh ‘Thay’ at his moment of need and bring him the healing he needs to gain a full recovery.
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……..
Yesterday I posted a Question, ‘Describe Your Life In One Word’,
Here are some of the replies I received so far.
Surf, as in the waves, ripples and Tsunamis of the Ocean
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.
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
“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.”
“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
Oneness, When you look into another’s eyes and all you see is yourself!
The realisation that we are all one in the same, we are all created from source, we are all part of the 5 master elements Pancha Mahabhuta (Sanskrit)meaning Pancha (5) Maha (Master) and Bhuta (Element) = Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth, these 5 principle elements of intelligence underlie all of creation, they make up everything within our bodies and everything outside our bodies.
Once we understand these 5 elements we can start to feel the presence of others and notice the connections between all beings, the feeling of ‘Oneness’ is a wonderful thing, it opens our eyes to the world and allows our hearts to connect with others.
Some people say that living in the Now is impossible.
How can you possibly trust those who might harm you?
How can you survive without planning and toil?
How can you heal without first being schooled?
Fear of death,
Fear of want,
The fear of separation from your God.
To choose to trust allows the fullest expression of life.
To choose to serve creates the greatest abundance.
To choose compassion brings oneness and health.
Values found only in the Now
Banishing all fear.
The only rational response to life.
Being in the Now, forgiving all and being thankful for all
Bringing you closer to your God, your Spirit and your Life.