Archive for November, 2011

Open and Listening

November 29, 2011

[ From DailyOM ]

When in nature we often forget we are moving into another realm, one that asks us to drop our baggage and surrender.

For better or worse, much of the world we experience is dominated and controlled by human beings. We spend our days in houses, cars, and buildings, and inside these structures, we are in control. We assert our wills and manipulate our environment. Within the context of the human world, this is natural. However, we often carry this attitude with us into the world of nature. We forget as we enter the forest, or sit on the edge of a pond, that we are moving into another realm, one that asks us to drop our baggage and surrender to a different sense of order and meaning.

When we move from our everyday world into the world of nature, we may not even notice at first. We might continue talking loudly into our cell phone or to a friend that is with us. We might walk quickly as if we are on a busy city street, our eyes downcast, our thoughts hectic and hurried. In the best case, if we are sensitive to our environment, we will soon notice that it has changed. We may hear ducks calling, or wind moving through the leaves on a tree. If we notice the shift, we will naturally shift as well. If we don’t, we may get all the way through a beautiful park without having lowered our voices. Next time you find yourself in the presence of wildlife even if it’s just a duck pond in the midst of urban hustle try to move into a receptive state of openness and listening, no matter how much or how little time you have. Allow yourself to be captivated and calmed by the energy of the wildlife that covers this earth. Teaching our children to be respectful of nature and to stop and observe is a gift they can always cherish

We preserve pockets of nature in our urban centers and large expanses of nature in our national parks because of the magic we feel in its presence. It reminds us of our smallness and calls us back to a deeper, quieter part of ourselves. When we honor nature by being respectful in its presence, we honor the mystery and wild beauty of our origin.

Lightening the Soul

November 25, 2011

[ From DailyOM ]

It is only when we actively seek to work through our issues that we can lighten the load and our souls can evolve.

From the moment we are born, our souls may feel heavy because they are carrying the weight of all we have lived, loved, and learned in our past incarnations. It is only when we actively seek to work through our issues that we can lighten the load and our souls can evolve. Divesting ourselves of what no longer serves us, such as unwarranted fear, the inability to feel empathy, or self-limiting behaviors, are just some of the many challenges we may face in this lifetime. While some issues we face are easier to deal with because they are the final remains of residue from a past life, other issues offer greater challenges because we are meant to work through them throughout this lifetime.

Often, we expect ourselves to recover quickly from difficult or painful circumstances. When we do not or cannot, we may feel emotionally inept or hopeless. The evolution of the soul, however, is an ongoing process that can take many lifetimes. It is a matter of accepting that even when we do our best there are going to be situations, people, and outcomes that we cannot control. It is also important to remember that your experiences now may be setting the groundwork for future healing—whether in this lifetime or the next one. The more you release in each time, the more you grow and the more your soul will evolve.

Although it is not always possible to work through all of our issues in a single lifetime, it is important that we confront what we are called to face in this life and do the work we need to do. It is also important to remember that the most effective way to let your soul grow is to be an active participant in life. Be present in each moment and your soul will do this work for you.

Right in Front of You

November 24, 2011

[ From DailyOM ]

Maybe you are using a desire you can’t fulfill to distract you from truly engaging the blessings you already have.

When it comes to the things we want, there always seems to be an endless list. No matter how many times we get something off that list, we add new things to replace it. In life, this drama of wanting and getting and wanting is all part of the dance. The things we want motivate us to get up and get them.

And yet, at the same time, we can torment ourselves with our wanting, especially when we want something we can’t have or can’t find. It is in cases like these that it might be fruitful to entertain the idea that maybe what you really want is right in front of you. Maybe you are using this desire you can’t fulfill to distract you from truly engaging the blessings you already have. It may seem like that doesn’t make sense, yet we do it all the time. It may be easier to see in other people than to see it in ourselves. We have all heard our friends wishing they were more this or less that, and looking at them we see clearly that they are everything they are wishing they were. We know people who have wonderful partners and yet envy you yours. We wish we could give these people a look at their situations from our perspective so that they could see that what they want really is right in front of them.

It’s not too far-fetched to consider that we might be victims of the same folly. It can be scary to have what we want. We get caught up in the chase and forget to enjoy the beauty right in front of us—like a child who never wants the toy she has in her hand but always the one just out of her reach. Take a moment today to consider the many things you are holding in the palm of your hand and how you might best play with them.

Using Our Outside Voice

November 21, 2011

[ From DailyOM ]

Our best chance of getting what we need is to communicate by converting our inner voice to our outside voice.

Each of us has developed an internal filtering process that helps us choose which parts of our constant inner monologues get voiced outside of our heads. Sometimes the choice is based on what we consider to be polite or appropriate, using subtlety instead of directness to try to get our point across. Other times the choice is made based on our expectations of the other person and what we feel they should know about us, our feelings, and our needs. But our best chance of getting what we need is to communicate specifically by converting our inner voice to our outside voice.

This may seem unnecessary sometimes, especially when we think the other person has the same information we ourselves are working with, but we have to remember they also have their own inner voice, evaluating what they hear in light of their own issues and needs. With so much to consider and sift through, we are truly better off if we communicate precisely. Not only does doing this minimize the chance for misinterpretation, but voicing our thoughts it is an act of creation. We convert thought and imagination to sound, releasing it from the chamber of our minds into the outside world. This carries energy and intention with it, making our thoughts, wishes, and even dreams come true.

When we have the courage to speak our minds and use our voice to send the desires of our hearts from our inner world to the world outside, we take a bold step in making them happen. By removing fear of what others may think and expectation of what others should understand, we free ourselves and our thoughts from the bondage of the mental chamber and let loose our desires onto the canvas of the world. Next time we become aware that we have a choice about how to communicate, we can choose to use our outside voice and watch its creative power at work.

金刚经中的四句偈

November 18, 2011

关于金刚经中四句偈,有以下看法:

  “凡所有相,皆是虚妄。若见诸相非相,则见如来。” 

  “若以色见我,以音声求我,是人行邪道,不能见如来。”

        “ 不应住色生心,不应住声香味触法生心,应无所住而生其心。”

       “一切有为法,如梦幻泡影,如露亦如电,应作如是观。”
  

An Instrument of Change

November 18, 2011

[ From DailyOM ]

As a form of potential energy that empowers us to generate change, money is neither good nor bad.

At its most basic, money is a tool that enables us to meet our individual needs. As a form of potential energy that empowers us to generate change, it is neither good nor bad. Yet many people react emotionally to issues concerning finances, unconsciously condemning currency itself, the manner in which money is spent, and people who live lives of financial abundance. Individuals who are rich in gifts such as high intelligence are acknowledged for their positive traits while those who have acquired material riches or aspire to become wealthy are frequently judged harshly. However, wealth is not a trait upon which judgment can be legitimately passed. It tells us nothing about how a person lives, what they believe in, whom they care for, or the scope of their values. Like any blessing, wealth is merely an instrument of purpose that can be used both constructively and destructively.

From an early age, people learn to court wealth while simultaneously associating money with greed, selfishness, and unethical behavior. Consequently, this idea becomes entrenched in their hearts as envy. To attain a balanced and rational comprehension of money, as well as a fairer perspective of wealth, we need to recognize that outward manifestations of wealth tell us little about the individuals enjoying those blessings. When we feel the finger of jealousy prompting us to draw unflattering conclusions about people whose lives seem more financially secure than our own, we should remind ourselves that there are many elements of their circumstances we cannot see. Their wealth may be the result of long hours of taxing labor, they may donate a large percentage of their resources to charitable causes, or their bounty may be an incidental aspect of a life spent doing what they love. Ultimately, we can heal our hurtful associations with money by turning a blind eye toward both wealth and poverty when interacting with others and instead focusing on the individual before us.

If you take a moment to consider you own feelings regarding money and wealth, you may discover that you equate financial prosperity with happiness, power, security, independence, or self-indulgence. Money itself, however, is none of these things. You can begin developing a healthier view of wealth by simply accepting that while some possess great wealth and others do not, we all have the potential to create lives of beauty, substance, and wisdom using the resources we have been granted.

Forgiveness Qutoes

November 11, 2011

Forgive and forget — Proverb

Forgotten is forgiven. – Scott Fitzgerald  

Love is an act of endless forgiveness. — Jean Vanier

Forgiveness is the oil of relationships. –Josh McDowell

The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong – Mahatma Gandhi

Forgiveness is choosing to love, it is the first skill of self – giving love. – Mahatma Gandhi

There is no revenge as complete as forgiveness. — Josh Billings

Forgiveness is giving up the possibility of a better past. – Unknown

 Forgiveness is a funny thing. It warms the heart and cools the sting. – William A. Ward

 Forgiveness is me giving up my right to hurt you for hurting me. – Anonymous

Forgiveness is the giving, and so the receiving, of life. –George MacDonald

To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover the prisoners were you.  – Unknown

Forgiveness doesn’t make the other person right, it makes you free. — Stormie Omartia

An apology is a good way to have the last word. –Unknown

Without deep humility, true forgiveness is impossible and will never happen. – Martha Kilpatrick

Forgiveness – so easy to believe in its value – so hard to practice. –Gary Amirault

We all agree that forgiveness is a beautiful idea until we have to practice it. –Clive Staples Lewis

Forgiveness is not something we do for other people. We do it for ourselves to get well and move on – Unknown

 

Fuel that Nurtures

November 9, 2011

[ From DailyOM ]

What we eat and drink can have a powerful effect on our ability to focus, mental clarity, mood, and stress levels.

At its simplest, food is fuel. Though our preferences regarding taste and texture can vary widely, we all rely on the foods we eat for energy. Most people are aware that it is vital we consume a diverse assortment of foods if we aspire to maintain a state of physical well-being. However, the intimate connection between diet and our mental well-being is less understood. Just as the nutritional components in food power the body, so too do they power the mind. Some foods can impair cognitive functioning and sap our energy while others heighten our intellectual prowess and make us feel vigorous. What we eat and drink can have a powerful effect on our ability to focus, mental clarity, mood, and stress levels.

Food allergies, which don’t always manifest themselves in forms we recognize, can also play a significant role in the maintenance of mental health. Thus, for most of us, even a simple change in diet can have a profoundly positive impact on our lives. Taking the time to explore whether anxiety, muddled thoughts, or inexplicable tension can be linked to a food allergy or food sensitivity can empower you to treat your symptoms naturally. The benefits of a healthier, more personalized diet are often felt immediately. Sugar, saturated fats, wheat, and dairy products are frequently allergens and can stress the body. For people that are allergic, consuming them can cause imbalances in the physical self that have a negative effect on the body’s ability to nourish the brain. Water, fiber, nuts, unprocessed seeds, raw fruits and vegetables, and vegetable proteins, on the other hand, support physical and mental functioning by providing those nutrients we do need without additional substances we don’t.

A balanced, natural diet can ease mood swings, panic attacks, anxiety, and mild depression. Intellectual clarity and agility is improved when the mind receives proper nourishment. Even those individuals who are blessed with the ability to consume almost any food can benefit from a healthier and simpler diet. Since the mental and physical selves are closely bound to one another, we must feed each the foods upon which they thrive.

The Time You Find

November 8, 2011
 
[ From DailyOM ]
 
Simplifying your schedule and busyness of the day may be crucial to avoid burnout.
 
For many, life is a hodgepodge of never-ending commitments. Yet few of us can be truly healthy or happy without regular periods of downtime. While there is nothing inherently wrong with busyness, those of us who over-commit or over-extend ourselves potentially face exhaustion and burnout. When you feel overwhelmed by your commitments, examining your motivation for taking on so many obligations can help you understand why you feel compelled to do so much. You may discover that you are being driven by fear that no one else will do the job or guilt that you aren’t doing enough. To regain your equilibrium and clear the clutter from your calendar, simplify your life by establishing limits regarding what you will and will not do based on your personal priorities.

Determining where your priorities lie can be as easy as making two lists: one that outlines all those obligations that are vital to your wellbeing, such as work, meditation, and exercise, and another that describes everything you do that is not directly related to your wellbeing. Although there will likely be items in the latter list that excite your passion or bring you joy, you may discover that you devote a large portion of your time to unnecessary activities. To simplify your schedule, consider which of these unnecessary activities add little value to your life and edit them from your agenda. Remember that you may need to ask for help, say no firmly, or delegate responsibility in order to distance yourself from such encumbrances. However, as you divest yourself of non-vital obligations that cause you stress, serve no purpose, or rob you of opportunities to refresh yourself, you will feel more energetic and enthusiastic about life in general.

If simplifying your schedule seems prohibitively difficult and you still feel pressed to take on more, try imagining how each new commitment will impact your life before saying yes. When you consider the hassle associated with superfluous obligations, you may be surprised to see that your schedule is impeding your attempts to grow as an individual. Your willingness to pare down your agenda, no matter how gradual your progress, will empower you to retake active control of the life that defines you.

Learning to Slow Down

November 4, 2011

[ From DailyOM ] 

When we rush through our days and lives, we fail to notice the simple beauty of living.

Throughout our lives, we are taught to value speed and getting things done quickly. We learn that doing is more valuable than merely being, and that making the most of life is a matter of forging ahead at a hurried pace. Yet as we lurch forward in search of some elusive sense of fulfillment, we find ourselves feeling increasingly harried and disconnected. More importantly, we fail to notice the simple beauty of living. When we learn to slow down, we rediscover the significance of seemingly inconsequential aspects of life. Mealtimes become meditative celebrations of nourishment. A job well-done becomes a source of profound pleasure, no matter what the nature of our labors. In essence, we give ourselves the gift of time – time to indulge our curiosity, to enjoy the moment, to appreciate worldly wonders, to sit and think, to connect with others, and to explore our inner landscapes more fully.

A life savored slowly need not be passive, inefficient, or slothful. Conducting ourselves at a slower pace enables us to be selective in how we spend our time and to fully appreciate each passing moment. Slowness can even be a boon in situations that seem to demand haste. When we pace ourselves for even a few moments as we address urgent matters, we can center ourselves before moving ahead with our plans. Embracing simplicity allows us to gradually purge from our lives those commitments and activities that do not benefit us in some way. The extra time we consequently gain can seem like vast, empty stretches of wasted potential. But as we learn to slow down, we soon realize that eliminating unnecessary rapidity from our experiences allows us to fill that time in a constructive, fulfilling, and agreeable way. We can relish our morning rituals, linger over quality time with loved ones, immerse ourselves wholeheartedly in our work, and take advantage of opportunities to nurture  ourselves every single day.

You may find it challenging to avoid giving in to the temptation to rush, particularly if you have acclimated to a world of split-second communication, cell phones, email and overflowing agendas. Yet the sense of continuous accomplishment you lose when you slow down will quickly be replaced by feelings of magnificent contentment. Your relaxed tempo will open your mind and heart to deeper levels of awareness that help you discover the true gloriousness of being alive.