breathe deep and take it easy

9 May
WORD FOR THE DAY
Thursday, May. 8
When the bridge is gone, the narrowest plank becomes precious.
Hungarian Proverb
May 8, 2014
A Magical Potion
Morning Dew

Our very own lives can be magical like the fleeting morning dew on a flower tip.

The world awakens each day from its nightly slumber, transformed by a sparkling layer of morning dew on the grass, on flower petals and leaves, on cars and car windows. These glistening droplets last only a little while, an integral part of what imbues the early morning with its aura of magic. If we sleep too late, we miss the magnificent display of sunlight playing upon an infinite amount of tiny crystal balls. To step onto the dew-covered grass is to anoint our feet with a form of water that comes only once a day for a short time, a rarefied gift of the night air that will soon evaporate in the full light of the sun. If we inhale slowly and consciously enough, it is almost as if we are drinking in this magical elixir formed in the boundary between darkness and light.

In one myth, morning dew is believed to be tears from heaven, an in another, the droplets are poured from the vessel of the goddess of dawn. When we see the earth draped with these shimmering drops, it is easy to imagine fairies bathing in the water, or a sky god weeping from a longing to be closer to his beloved earth goddess. Seeing the sparkling beauty of the earth emerging from darkness, we may understand this longing in terms of our own gratitude; how blessed we are to be here.

Perhaps heaven really does long to be here on earth, and perhaps that is why we are here—as conduits between the divine and the earthbound. As we drink the morning dew in with our eyes, our skin, our breath, it is easy to imagine that it really is a magical potion, a gift from heaven, a reminder of our true purpose, and a daily opportunity to be transformed.

Thought for the Day
 
I’m grateful that I found a program in A.A. that could keep me sober. I’m grateful that A.A. has shown me the way to faith in a Higher Power, because the renewing of that faith has changed my way of life. And I’ve found a happiness and contentment that I had forgotten existed, by simply believing in God and trying to live the kind of a life that I know He wants me to live. As long as I stay grateful, I’ll stay sober. Am I in a grateful frame of mind?
Meditation for the Day
God can work through you better when you are not hurrying. Go very slowly, very quietly, from one duty to the next, taking time to rest and pray between. Do not be too busy. Take everything in order. Venture often into the rest of God and you will find peace. All work that results from resting with God is good work. Claim the power to work miracles in human lives. Know that you can do many things through the Higher Power. Know that you can do good things through God who rests you and gives you strength. Partake regularly of rest and prayer.
Prayer for the Day
I pray that I may not be in too much of a hurry. I pray that I may take time out often to rest with God.
 
From Twenty-Four Hours a Day © 1975 by Hazelden Foundation.

2014-05-07 20.06.11

stay where your hands are

29 Apr
WORD FOR THE DAY
Tuesday, Apr. 29
Whenever feeling downcast, each person should vitally remember, “For my sake, the entire world was created.”
Baal Shem Tov
April 29, 2014
Information and Inspiration
Roadmaps of Life

When we learn to attune ourselves to our inner compass we follow a map that only we can see, our own path.

All the major spiritual traditions serve the purpose of offering us a roadmap to guide us on our individual journeys to enlightenment. These roadmaps are made up of moral codes, parables, and, in some cases, detailed descriptions of mystical states. We often study the fine points of a particular ascended master’s narrative in order to better understand our own and to seek inspiration and guidance on our path. In the same way, when we plan a road trip, we carry maps and guidebooks in an effort to understand where we are going. In both cases, though, the journey has a life of its own and maps, while helpful, can only take us so far. There is just no comparison between looking at a line on a piece of paper and driving your own car down the road that line represents.

Some people seem well-suited to following maps, while others are always looking for new ways to get where they’re going. In the end, the only reliable compass is within, as every great spiritual guide will tell you. The maps and travelogues left behind by others are great blessings, full of useful information and inspiration, but they cannot take the journey for us. When it is time to merge onto the highway or pull up anchor, we are ostensibly on our own. Strange weather patterns, closed roads, and traffic jams arise in the moment, out of nowhere, and our maps cannot tell us what to do. Whether we take refuge in a motel by the side of the road, persevere and continue forward, or turn back altogether is entirely up to us.

Maps are based on observations from the past and we are living in the present, so we are the only true experts on our journey to enlightenment. We may find that the road traveled by our predecessors is now closed. We may feel called to change direction entirely so that the maps we have been carrying really no longer apply. These are the moments when we learn to attune ourselves to our inner compass, following a map that only we can see, as we make our way into the unknown territory of our own enlightenment.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”
 
– Confucius
 
“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
 
– Nelson Mandela
 
“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
 
 
– Thomas Edison
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live, let live and send blessings

26 Apr
WORD FOR THE DAY
Saturday, Apr. 26
If you want to build a ship, don’t herd people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work but rather, teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
April 21, 2014
Intention Set in Stone
Prayer Stone Stacks

Add a stone blessed with a prayer to a mound and your intentions merge with those who have left stones before you.

Stone has played a role in spirituality from the very moment humanity externalized its sacred vision. Humans gave form to their devotion by scratching images of their deities into rock faces, carving holy statuary, and building stone shrines. The earliest of these were nothing more than simple piles of rocks that honored sacred places, revelations, people, and events. Following in the footsteps of this ancient tradition provides us with an simple and beautiful way to externalize our own spirituality. In your travels, you may have encountered on the sides of roads, trails, or pathways stacks of stones that look like random sculpture. Add a stone blessed with a prayer to such a mound, and your intentions merge with those who have left stones before you, empowering you all.

Associating a prayer with a particular stone alters the substance of both, and the formation of a prayer mound can balance and intensify the energy of a site. The mere act of choosing a stone can inspire mindfulness, as we lose ourselves in the moment seeking a pebble that speaks to our souls. And placing a prayer stone on a towering cairn is a meditation in patience—slowness and stillness allow us to find our stone’s center of gravity so the delicate ceremonial structure before us remains intact. Be cautious, however, when you feel guided to place a prayer rock upon stone mounds you see intermittently alongside well-worn but unmarked hiking paths. Hikers often use small cairns as guide markers to ensure that those who follow in their footsteps will not lose the trail. When in doubt, begin a new prayer pile slightly further away from the path itself and consider adding a relic of some kind to help others understand its purpose.

When you mindfully place a prayer by beginning a stone heap or adding to an existing mound, your thoughts and intentions are left in the care of fate itself. The cairn of which your prayer was one part may be unintentionally knocked down or destroyed by Mother Nature’s own hand. Try not to let this weigh heavily upon your spirit. The potent energy of your prayer was released by this destruction, ensuring that the purpose underlying that prayer will spread outward in the direction of the furthest reaches of the universe.

 
IMG_0541Thought for the Day

I don’t believe that A.A. works because I read it in a book or because I hear people say so. I believe it because I see people getting sober and staying sober. An actual demonstration is what convinces me. When I see the change in people, I can’t help believing that A.A. works. We could listen to talk about A.A. all day and still not believe it, but when we see it work, we have to believe it. Seeing is believing. Do I see A.A. work every day?

Meditation for the Day

Try saying: “God bless her (or him)” of anyone who is in disharmony with you. Also say it of those who are in trouble through their own fault. Say it, willing that showers of blessings may fall upon them. Let God do the blessing. Leave to God the necessary correcting or disciplining. You should only desire blessing for them. Leave God’s work to God. Occupy yourself with the task that He gives you to do. God’s blessing will also break down all your own difficulties and build up all your successes.

Prayer for the Day

I pray that I may use God’s goodness so that it will be a blessing to others. I pray that I may accept God’s blessing so that I will have harmony, beauty, joy, and happiness.

Why Not Now?

25 Apr
WORD FOR THE DAY
Friday, Apr. 25
The main thing in one’s own private world is to try to laugh as much as you cry.
Maya Angelou
April 25, 2014
Waiting for Someday
Why Not Now?

All the joy and passion you can envision can be yours right now, rather than in a future point in time.

The time we are blessed with is limited and tends to be used up all too quickly. How we utilize that time is consequently one of the most important decisions we make. Yet it is far too easy to put off until tomorrow what we are dreaming of today. The hectic pace of modern existence affords us an easy out; we shelve our aspirations so we can cope more effectively with the challenges of the present, ostensibly to have more time and leisure to realize our purpose in the future. Or we tell ourselves that we will chase our dreams someday once we have accomplished other lesser goals. In truth, it is our fear that keeps us from seeking fulfillment in the here and now—because we view failure as a possibility, our reasons for delaying our inevitable success seem sound and rational. If we ask ourselves what we are really waiting for, however, we discover that there is no truly compelling reason why we should put off the pursuit of the dreams that sustain us.

When regarded as a question, “Why not now?” drains us of our power to realize our ambitions. We are so concerned with the notion that we are somehow undeserving of happiness that we cannot see that there is much we can do in the present to begin courting it. Yet when we look decisively at our existence and state, “Why not now, indeed!” we are empowered to begin changing our lives this very moment. We procrastinate for many reasons, from a perceived lack of time to a legitimate lack of self-belief, but the truth of the matter is that there is no time like the present and no time but the present. Whatever we aim to accomplish, we will achieve it more quickly and with a greater degree of efficiency when we seize the day and make the most of the resources we have at our disposal presently.

All the joy, passion, and contentment you can envision can be yours right now, rather than in some far-flung point in time. You need only remind yourself that there is nothing standing between you and fulfillment. If you decide that today is the day you will take your destiny into your hands, you will soon discover that you hold the keys of fate.

20140425_070512
 
“When you live in surrender, something comes through you into the world of duality that is not of this world.”
 
“God is not a personality outside of you. What God is, is inextricably part of what you are. God is the dimension of depth within you.”
 
~ Eckart Tolle

Let go, be here NOW

24 Apr
WORD FOR THE DAY
Thursday, Apr. 24
Guidance streams through the whole of creation, and in any moment we can recognize the form it is taking right before our eyes.
Patricia Campbell Carlson
from an email

 

April 24, 2014
The Wisdom of Surrender
Resistance Equals Persistence

by Madisyn Taylor

 

Resistance tends to strengthen the energies it attempts to oppose by giving them power and energy to work against.

We all know the feeling of being repeatedly haunted by the same issue, no matter how we try to ignore it, avoid it, or run away from it. Sometimes it seems that we can get rid of something we don’t want by simply pushing it away. Most of the time, the more we push away, the more we get pushed back. There are laws of physics and metaphysics that explain this phenomenon, which is often summed up in this pithy phrase: That which you resist persists.

Resistance tends to strengthen the energies it attempts to oppose by giving them power and energy to work against. Additionally, resistance keeps us from learning more about what we resist. In order to fully understand something, we must open to it enough to receive its energy; otherwise, we remain ignorant of its lessons. There is a Tibetan story of a monk who retreats to meditate in a cave only to be plagued by demons. He tries everything—chasing, fighting, hiding—to get the demons out of his cave, but the thing that finally works is surrender. He simply lets them have their way with him and only then do they disappear.

Now, this wisdom must be applied practically. We are not meant to get ourselves physically injured. Instead, this story speaks of how, in essence, our demons are inside of us. What plagues and pursues us on an inner level has a way of manifesting itself in our environment in the form of people, events, and issues that appear to be beyond our control. But all these external expressions are reflections of our insides, and it is inside ourselves that we can safely experiment with surrendering to what we fear and dislike. It may feel scary, and we may find ourselves in the company of a lot of resistance as we begin the process of opening to what we fear. But the more we learn to surrender, and the more the demons that plague us disappear in the process, the more courageous we will become.

 

“Life will give you whatever experience is most helpful for the evolution of your consciousness. How do you know this is the experience you need? Because this is the experience you are having at the moment.” – Eckhart Tolle

 

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it.”

 – Eckhart Tolle

 

“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.”– Eckhart Tolle, 

 

“The primary cause of unhappiness is never the situation but thought about it. Be aware of the thoughts you are thinking. Separate them from the situation, which is always neutral. It is as it is.”

 – Eckhart Tolle20140417_180149

Stillness

23 Apr
WORD FOR THE DAY
Wednesday, Apr. 23
Even if I should be locked up in a narrow cell and a cloud should drift past my small barred window, then I shall bring you that cloud, Oh God, while there is still the strength in me to do so.
Etty Hillesum
An Interrupted Life
April 23, 2014
Language of the Soul
The Paradox of Spirit

The self is not small or big but is both at the same time. Our spirit is like a drop in the ocean of spiritual energy.

Each of us has a spiritual self that animates our bodies and infuses our thoughts and feelings. Our language is limited to the world we know for descriptions of something that perhaps cannot be fully comprehended by the human mind. Therefore, only metaphors approach the expressions that give us a true sense of our spiritual nature. The paradox lies in opposing concepts, all of which are true at the same time. And in harmonizing the opposites, we begin to know the wonders of the spirit.

The self is not small or big but is both at the same time. Our spirit is like a drop in the ocean of spiritual energy. Although our spirit seems like a small, disconnected part of a larger whole, it is still made of the same things and can become part of the vast ocean once again. Our individual spirit seems to inhabit our bodies like a passenger in a vehicle but at the same time is not bound by our bodies. Spirits can reach across the miles to touch the heart of a loved one or expand to become one with the universe. We may feel small and perhaps insignificantly young when we look up at the stars, but we are made of the same basic elements. Perhaps looking at the stars is merely a reflection of what is going on within each atom and cell of our being. We are a universe within a universe. Our spirits are ever renewing, yet ageless and eternal. So the self is not new or old but both at once.

So our spiritual self is not small or big, new or old. We may experience life as good and bad, right and wrong, happy and sad, but this is the experience of the material world of dualities, not the truth of our spiritual nature. By going within to touch the eternal and changeless energy at our center, we can go beyond the contrasting metaphors to the experience of oneness. And in that connection we can know big and small, new and old, movement and stillness. By accepting the paradox of spirit, we open ourselves to the fullness of our own being.

 
 
 
April 23, 2014
Philosophy
For me, AA is the synthesis of all the philosophy I’ve ever read,
all of the positive, good philosophy, all of it based on love.
I have seen that there is only one law, the law of love,
and there are only two sins;
the first is to interfere with the growth of another human being,
and the second is to interfere with one’s own growth.
c. 2003 AAWS, Experience, Strength and Hope,  p. 431
 
“Always say “yes” to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? what could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say “yes” to life — and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”
 
“Sometimes letting things go is an act of far greater power than defending or hanging on.”
 
“You are here to enable the divine purpose of the universe to unfold. That is how important you are!”
 
~ Eckart Tolle

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Meditation … just do it

22 Apr
WORD FOR THE DAY
Tuesday, Apr. 22
When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.
Jalaluddin Rumi,
April 22, 2014
Before the World Wakes
Morning Meditation

In the first moments of day before our mind is fully awake can be a wonderful time for meditation.

Just before the coming of the pale rays of dawn, Mother Nature exists in a state of flux. Earth’s energy is stable, free of the disordered vibrations that are a by-product of humanity’s comings and goings. In these first moments of day, when the sun’s golden light is only just peeking over the horizon, our animal mind remains in the land of slumber though we ourselves are awake. Deep sleep has washed away the impurities of existence that accumulated within us, so our mental, physical, and emotional potential is heightened. To meditate in this peaceful yet energetically charged in-between time is to connect with the divine in an extremely intimate fashion. We discover a new kinship with the universal life force during morning meditations because our awareness becomes a mirror for earthly consciousness—we wake as the world wakes, quietly embracing the joy of being and setting the tone for a serene, fulfilling day.

In the first glorious glow of morning, the light, air, and energy flowing around us speak in hushed tones of the activity to come. While we recognize that another day of being means becoming once again immersed in the challenges of action and reaction, we also understand that we can draw upon the unique energetic qualities of daybreak for comfort, creativity, and vigor. There is bliss in the simple knowledge that we have been given the gift of another day of existence. We are inspired by sights and sounds of the sun’s gentle ascension. Birds serenade the luminosity, which grows richer by the minute. And though we may feel a residual lethargy, our vitality returns as our meditation helps us to become one with the stirring of other beings rubbing the sleep from their eyes. At the start of each day, our destiny has not yet been written, and so there is nothing we cannot do.

How we choose to meditate is less important than our choice to attune ourselves to the spirit of wakefulness that travels round the world each and every day. Even the briefest moment of quiet contemplation in the muted light of the sun can put all that is yet to come into perspective. As a consequence of our daybreak reflections, our lives are imbued with the same stability, tranquility, and increased awareness that humanity has long associated with the stillness of early morning.

 
“Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn’t know you left open.”
-John Barrymore
 
“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
-Dalai Lama
 
“Be happy for this moment. For this moment is your life.”
-Omar Khayyam
 
So you’re ready to explore meditation? 
There are many ways to go about it, but essentially meditation is about one thing: opening to the depths of this very moment.
 ~Eckhart Tolle
Meditation

Meditation

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