Saturday 24 May 2015 - Invocation

Om namah shivaya gurave
Satchitananda murtaye
Nishprapanchaya shantaya
Niralambaya tejase.

I bow to the goodness within myself, the true Eternal Teacher.
The essence inside of me takes the form of pure joy, pure awareness and bliss.
Always present, luminous and full of peace. This essence is my true nature.
Independent in its existence, full of light, and always supporting me.

Saturday 16 May and Tuesday 19 May - It Is I Who Must Begin - Vaclav Havel

It is I who must begin.
Once I begin, once I try --
here and now,
right where I am,
not excusing myself
by saying things
would be easier elsewhere,
without grand speeches and
ostentatious gestures
but all the more persistently
-- to live in harmony
with the "voice of Being," as I
understand it within myself
-- as soon as I begin that,
I suddenly discover,
to my surprise, that
I am neither the only one,
nor the first,
nor the most important one
to have set out
upon that road.

Whether all is really lost
or not depends entirely on
whether or not I am lost.

Saturday 9 May 2015 - Living Life - Bonnie L. Mohr

Life is not a race - but indeed a journey.
Be honest.
Work hard.
Be choosy.
Say “thank you”, “I love you” and “great job” to someone each day.
Go to church, take time for prayer.
The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh.
Let your handshake mean more than pen and paper.
Love your life and what you've been given, it is not accidental - search for your purpose and do it as best you can.
Dreaming does matter.
It allows you to become that which you aspire to be.
Laugh often.

Appreciate the little things in life and enjoy them.
Some of the best things really are free.
Do not worry, less wrinkles are more becoming.
Forgive, it frees the soul.

Take time for yourself - plan for longevity.
Recognize the special people you've been blessed to know.
Live for today, enjoy the moment.

Saturday 2 May 2015 -- The Ball ~ Wislawa Szymborska ~

As long as nothing can be known for sure
(no signals have been picked up yet),
as long as Earth is still unlike
the nearer and more distant planets,

as long as there's neither hide nor hair
of other grasses graced by other winds,
of other treetops bearing other crowns,
other animals as well-grounded as our own,

as long as only the local echo
has been known to speak in syllables,

as long as we still haven't heard word
of better or worse mozarts,
platos, edisons somewhere,

as long as our inhuman crimes
are still committed only between humans,

as long as our kindness
is still incomparable,
peerless even in its imperfection,

as long as our heads packed with illusions
still pass for the only heads so packed,

as long as the roofs of our mouths alone
still raise voices to high heavens--

let's act like very special guests of honor
at the district-firemen's ball
dance to the beat of the local oompah band,
and pretend that it's the ball
to end all balls.

I can't speak for others--
for me this is
misery and happiness enough:

just this sleepy backwater
where even the stars have time to burn
while winking at us

(View with a Grain of Sand, translated by S. Baranczak and C. Cavanagh)

Sunday 26 April 2015 -- I AM: It Starts with You -- Rev. Naomi Fay

It starts with you.
It starts with you.
It starts with you.

What is it that you desire most?

It starts with you.

What is it that you seek?

It is nowhere else
But within
Your very hands
Your very breath
Your very feet.

The circle starts with you.
And as it
Ripples out
You will feel it in your heart.
It has its own song.
It is here.
You have started
At the beginning point.

The circle starts with you.
It has always started with you.

Stand in the center
Of your own light.

Embrace yourself
For it
Is everything
That you have
That you can change
That you can bend
And create.

The circle starts with you.

(Blessing of the Day: Wisdom for your Journey, Written by Rev. Naomi Fay with photos by Eileen MacAvery Kane)


Sunday 26 April 2015 -- Another Spring -- Kenneth Rexroth

The seasons revolve and the years change
With no assistance or supervision.
The moon, without taking thought,
Moves in its cycle, full, crescent, and full.

The white moon enters the heart of the river;
The air is drugged with azalea blossoms;
Deep in the night a pine cone falls;
Our campfire dies out in the empty mountains.

The sharp stars flicker in the tremulous branches;
The lake is black, bottomless in the crystalline night;
High in the sky the Northern Crown
Is cut in half by the dim summit of a snow peak.

O heart, heart, so singularly
Intransigent and corruptible,
Here we lie entranced by the starlit water,
And moments that should each last forever

Slide unconsciously by us like water. 

~ Kenneth Rexroth ~
(One Hundred Poems from the Chinese)

On meditation and daily practice… Headspace


Meditation always felt like a chore to me. Maybe it had something to do with waking at 5:30am and aiming to leave the house by 6:40 for work. Maybe it had something to do with not enough sleep. Maybe it was the cold winter. Maybe it was fear.

What I found helped was lying down on my back, lighting a small votive candle (scented… an extra treat), covering myself with a nice fleece blanket, setting a timer on my iPhone or a separate timer, and adjusting the time to a smaller amount if I was running late. I was aiming for 20 minutes a morning, but sometimes only did 5 or 1. Hey, it was something!

Lying down helped tremendously, and I did not find that I fell asleep, even with being a little groggy. However, the meditation sessions felt a little sudden and abrupt, and still like a chore.

That is, until I found Headspace. My friend recommended this app to me last summer, but I never downloaded it or tried it until this spring.

I downloaded the free version (“Take 10”) and what I discovered right off the bat was that this guided (mindfulness-based, secular) meditation brought me to a deep state of peace and well-being that I had previously only associated with or come in contact with during my meditation sessions at Ananda Ashram (the local yoga and meditation center I frequent). It was like I had discovered a new key to unlocking my depths that did not entail driving twenty minutes, parking, coordinating my schedule so I could be there for their 9am or 7:30pm group sessions. It was readily available to me. I ploughed right through all ten days (ten minutes each).

When the time came to decide whether or not to purchase (about $90 for the year), I pondered it for about three days, discussed with a friend, and came to the rather easy decision that this was too good to be true. And too useful to pass up. (Plus they offered a small incentive if I purchased within the week after completing the “Take Ten” - smart marketing.)

I completed a fifteen-days-in-a-row streak and got this sweet email from Headspace congratulating me and offering me a “Get Some/Give Some” incentive. The email included a gift code to share with a friend to give them one month’s free access.

I love the well-thought-out curriculum, the way they seem to run their business, the reasonable price. The guidance starts at the beginning, very basic, and builds on prior knowledge and experience. I’m currently in the “Stress Pack” and love the visualization of liquid sunlight pouring in through the crown of my head, filling up my toes and the rest of my body. Try it!

If you’re interested in trying Headspace, please let me know and I’ll share the gift code with you! Private message me on Facebook or send an email. Then friend me on the app and we can “nudge” each other on to peaceful awareness. Om shantih!