Everyday Wisdom #69

The time before sunrise is believed to be the most auspicious time for meditation.

There is a Sanskrit phrase which seeks to describe the feeling that exists in the pre-dawn. The phrase is “Brahma muhurta”. The literal translation is “the hours of God”.

The pre-dawn atmosphere is highly charged.  Being still and quieting the mind at this magical time of day is transformational on energetic and spiritual levels.

So tomorrow morning, set your alarm for 30 minutes before the sun rises.

Meditate with a view of the sky.  It will give you a start to the day that is full of wisdom.

 

 I was desolate and afraid, and full of woe and terror. But when that beautiful sun began to climb the horizon life was to me again.
Bram Stoker

 

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Everyday Wisdom #68

 

If we learn to open our hearts, anyone, including the people who drive us crazy, can be our teacher. 


― Pema Chödrön

 

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Giving thanks to the Universe

I feel so incredibly blessed, and so grateful.

For the wonderful things currently happening in my life.

It’s hard to even put into words, but I’ve been reminded recently of how wonderful the universe is, and even if you go through hard times (sometimes very hard times), there is always something better waiting for you.

This post by my lovely friend Nicole, on patience and right timing, also resonated with me this week.

In her post she reminds us “You ARE supported and well-loved, and there IS a magic and a wisdom to the way things unfold for us.”

I truly believe this.

The past 10 years, and the events of last year particularly after my husband left, were unspeakably difficult and challenging.

However I have now found happiness that I never knew could be possible.

I feel like everything I went through was worth it – because as bad as things were then, they are good now, if not better.

For those who are currently suffering, please know that better things are coming to you.  

Just believe, and have faith.

And let your friends support you along the way.

Look forward to the wonderful times that are coming.

And trust in the Universe.

 

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Everyday Wisdom #67

All we are is a reflection of our thoughts, words and actions. 

We alone are responsible for our world.  We are our creation. 

Once we realize this the dark clouds are lifted from our shoulders and we fly.  We no longer have the authority to point fingers and be a victim in our play. 

We are the cause.  We have no where else to look. 

The responsibility lies entirely at our feet.

 

Thomas D. Craig

Zen Revolution

 

Terrific Tuesday

 

I woke up feeling unwell and a tiny bit glum this morning…

Until I saw this wonderful video.

I challenge you to watch it and not smile! 🙂

Love & blessings to you all ♥

Please PLEASE don’t miss out on watching this video. So incredibly beautiful and inspiring ♥

Beautiful and inspiring poem ♥

The gift of listening

Have you ever truly been listened to?  

Have you ever had someone give you 100% of their attention?

Perhaps they didn’t even say anything, or offer any advice.  But they just deeply listened to you.

It’s one of the most precious gifts you can give someone.  Your full attention.

Sometimes that can mean listening to someone discuss a problem.  Without thinking about what advice you are going to give them.  Or what you would like to say.

Other times it can mean listening to someone with an open and fresh mind.  Perhaps they are telling you something that you have heard many times before.  Can you listen with a beginners mind?  Is there something you could pick up from the story that you haven’t heard before?  

Deep listening is one of the ultimate ways you can show respect to someone.  To show them you believe what they have to say is valuable, and worth listening to.

The goal of deep listening is to be touched by the other person and to hear the essence of what he or she is saying.

Following a conversation with someone, how much would you be able to repeat back of what you heard?  

How much were you really listening and paying attention?

And deep listening doesn’t just have to apply when you are having a conversation with someone.

How often do you “tune out” when you are listening to information being given.  Assuming that you already know?  And that you’ve heard it before?

For me it brings to mind “the 3 defects of the pot” (I heard this during a wonderful dharma talk today).

This can be related to a cooking pot.  

The first defect relates to cooking in a dirty pot.  If you cook a delicious meal in a pot that has rancid leftovers in it, the meal is never going to taste nice, no matter what beautiful ingredients you use.  

In that way, it’s similar to having a lot of preconceived notions about what you are listening to.

The second defect is having an upturned pot.  

Which means that you are not listening, or taking anything in.

The third defect is a pot with a hole in it.

You listen to the information being given, but you don’t take it in.  It immediately empties from your mind.

 

Really listening – to someone, or something – can open up your mind to a whole new level of awareness.

 

“To listen fully means to pay close attention to what is being said beneath the words. You listen not only to the ‘music,’ but to the essence of the person speaking. You listen not only for what someone knows, but for what he or she is. Ears operate at the speed of sound, which is far slower than the speed of light the eyes take in. Generative listening is the art of developing deeper silences in yourself, so you can slow our mind’s hearing to your ears’ natural speed, and hear beneath the words to their meaning.”
Peter Senge

 

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Everyday Wisdom #66

Sometimes we may not fully see the people we love because we’re too caught up in our own worries. Other times, it might be because we’re too comfortable to fully appreciate what comfort means.

Either way, we can make a little time to smile with the people we love. It might take effort to come into the moment, but once we let ourselves enjoy each other, it rarely feels like work.

~ Lori Deschene

 

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The eye of the storm

Does everything that goes on around us have to dictate how we feel, and what we do?  Do we have to be influenced by the events around us?  

Or are we practising being the eye in the centre of the storm?

Are we practising balancing ourselves and remaining calm no matter what we see, or what we think, what we hear or what we feel?

That is the purpose of meditation.  The purpose of practice.

To do that every moment of every day. 

And not be swayed by every perceived slight, every angry word, every misunderstanding.

That’s how most of the world operates.  Whatever is going out outside – that decides what they do, how they feel.  That determines their day, that determines their life.  

If we do this we surrunder our power, and our control over our mind.

The purpose of practice is to work with our mind, to train our mind, so we are not at the mercy of the events of our daily life.

And through stillness and stability in our mind, we find peace.

 

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Giving without expectation

I was thinking further on my post from yesterday about Acts of Service.

There are so many little things we can do to show people that we care, without expecting anything in return.

Here are some of my favourites…

  • Give money (that you can spare) to someone who needs it and then pretend you never had it.
  • Listen to someone fully and openly – without jumping in with your own story, or the temptation to offer a solution. Give them the respect of your full attention, and show them that what they have to say is important to you.
  • Don’t ask someone if you they need help.  Follow your intuition, and just do what you feel in your heart would be the right thing for them in that situation.

 

The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.
Mahatma Gandhi

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Compassion and forgiveness

I heard this wonderful story that I would like to share.

As soon as I heard it, it caused such a shift in my mind.  It’s so beautiful, yet so profound.

 

One day the Buddha was sitting under a tree, teaching his students.

A man – who was there for the first time – walked right up to the Buddha, and spit in his face.

All the Buddha did, was remained sitting, and remained calm. and asked him what else he would like to say.

The man was shocked.

He didn’t expect that kind of reaction.

The Buddha’s disciples were outraged, and asked why he would allow that kind of behaviour.  That if he tolerated it, that others would think it was acceptable.

Speaking to his disciple, the Buddha said –

“This gentleman is obviously upset, and has something he wants to say.

I’m not offended by his behaviour.  But I am however upset by yours.  You have known me for years – and you want me to react to that?  To lash back at him?  Do you think, after all the years I have taught you, that I would do something like that?

That I would yell at him, or correct him or embarass him?

This gentleman probably has some mistaken view of me.  He has some mistaken concept of who and what I am.

He didn’t spit on “me”.  He spit on his idea of me, because he didn’t know me.  He spit on a notion of me.

If you consider it deeply, and take it a step further, he spit on his own mind.”

The gentleman that spit on him couldn’t believe what he was hearing.

He had never received this reaction before – he was used to being yelled at, or retaliated against, but that wasn’t happening this time.

He went home, and couldn’t sleep – he thought about it all night.

He came back the next day, and he bowed deeply to the Buddha  to show respect.

The Buddha looked at him – the same way as the last time – and asked him what else hw would like to say.

The man profusely apologised and asked for his forgiveness.

The Buddha said –

“I am not the same person you did that to.  

You are not the same person you were 24 hours ago.  

Everything is constantly changing.  The man you spit on, is not longer sitting here.

So don’t worry so much about what happened yesterday.”

 

I loved this story.  About our own ego’s and our ideas of “self”.

That the Buddha could recognise that it was not himself that was spat on, but an idea of himself.  

And that he was able to remain equanimous and understanding.

 

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Everyday Wisdom #65

 

Gaining mastery over our destructive propensities, through the exercise of awareness and self-discipline with regard to our body, speech, and mind, frees us from the inner turmoil that naturally arises when our behaviour is at odds with our ideals. In place of this turmoil come confidence, integrity, and dignity – heroic qualities all human beings naturally aspire to.

Dalai Lama

 

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Acts of service

In the last week of our Power of Kindness course, we are looking at Service.

This weeks theme has really resonated with me, because it’s something I discovered for myself recently.

About the value of acts of kindness that are given in a true spirit of generosity – without expecting recognition, praise, thanks, or some other form of compensation in return.

A couple of months ago I made dinner for a neighbour of mine who had been unwell.  It was something that I did for her frequently.  In a conversation that followed, she was full of praise for another neighbour of ours who had also helped her, but did not recognise my contribution.  Nor thank me.  At the time I was quite hurt, and I remember coming home and swearing that was the last thing that I was going to do for her.

Then it occurred to me – that if that was how I was reacting, then I was not giving in the right spirit.  It should not have mattered how – or if – she reacted. 

The next day I took her down dinner again.  And this time I did it with a pure heart, and and without expecting anything in return.

And it was a beautiful and freeing experience.

There are infinite ways that we can bring into the life of another person some benefit, relief, kindness, hope and love.  

This is true service.

It can also be in the smallest of actions – a genuine smile, giving warm appreciation, truly listening to someone.

If we expect recognition from the person that we provide this service to, we are doing them a dis-service.

The act does not make the recipient feel uplifted or enriched. Instead it takes away it’s beauty.

There is such capacity for beauty in acts of service that do not come with strings attached.

And the ability to selflessly provide kindness and love in this world that so badly needs them.

 

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Today I loved – saving a lost dog

I am so grateful today for the opportunity to have helped a lost dog.

On my way home from school today I noticed a beautiful little dog walking along the main road (by himself).

I couldn’t leave him there, so brought him home with me until I could find his owners.

Thankfully after an afternoon of being loved and spoilt, he was reunited with his grateful owners.

Such a beautiful experience, and I am so glad I could be part of it ♥

 

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Everyday Wisdom #64

Have a conversation today with a child under six years old.

Ask them about life’ s most profound questions…

How can we be happier?

What is the purpose of life?

What happens to us after we die?

Be prepared to hear great and simple truths.

And to experience wide-ranging discussions that will broaden your mind.

 

“Do not despair, every new born baby is a potential prophet.”
R. D. Laing

The Happy Bus

I couldn’t resist sharing this wonderful video.

His facebook page fan says:

This is an appreciation page for THE ‘Happy Bus’ Driver.

I’ve had him as a driver a number of times now, on Brisbane 385/380 services and he is a God among men. I actually can’t think of someone who more effectively brightens bus loads of people’s days.

If you’ve had him as a driver you’ll know what I’m tlaking about, if you haven’t be assured he is a truly fantastic man and in no manner can I over exaggerate how cool he is.

So yeah tell your stories about the ‘Happy Bus’ driver and share the love around. So for all intents and purposes let’s just have a big love in on the basis of The ‘Happy Bus’ Driver …

AND KEEP SMILING!!

 

I am so inspired by this – a one man happy movement ♥

Everyday Wisdom #63

As I go through all kinds of feelings and experiences in my journey through life — delight, surprise, chagrin, dismay — I hold this question as a guiding light: “What do I really need right now to be happy?” 
What I come to over and over again is that only qualities as vast and deep as love, connection, and kindness will really make me happy in any sort of enduring way.

Sharon Salzberg

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Everyday Wisdom #62

 

Solitude is freedom.

It’s an anchor, the anchor in the void.

You’re anchored to nothing,

and that’s my definition of freedom.

John Lilly

 

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Everyday Wisdom #61

Watch your words

Today, become aware of what you say as you say it.

Which words do you habitually use?

These words offer a clear insight into your state of mind, and how you are projecting yourself (and therefore how others see you).

How often do you use negative statements such as “I’m not sure” or “I don’t know”, or “I hate…”.

Simply noticing which words you are using is the first step towards thinking and acting more in line with your intentions.

And also adds to your sense of wisdom.

 

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.
Buddha

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