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And We Greet Again

March 23rd, 2017

And this is the place where I stand.
And this is the world where I stand.
And this is the universe where I stand.

And I breathe.
And I breathe.
And I belong.
And I love.
And I long.
And I grieve.
And I desire.
And I remember.
And I greet again.
And again.

And this is the place where we stand.
And this is the world where we stand.
And this is the universe where we stand.

And we greet each other.

And we greet God in each other.
And we greet again.
And again.

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Posted in Vulnerability | Toning the Om

Bridging Our Inhale and Exhale

March 21st, 2017

Breathe gently in and out.

Allow the exhale to be a little longer than the inhale.

Release any tension, worry, or anxiety with each out breath.

Allow light in any form to arrive with each in breath.

Notice how your body feels while breathing the full inhalation and exhalation.

Just notice. Be aware. Be the inner note-taker.

Welcome all the thoughts. Know the exhale will take them.

Greet the critic and the judge. Embrace them.

Breathe in and out slower and deeper.

Relax into the fullness of the inhale and exhale.

Breathe all the way down to your feet. This breath will anchor you.

Breathe all the way up to the top of your head (your crown chakra). This breath will open you to your divine connection.

Take a fuller breath. Tune into the wisdom of your heart-center.

With each breath, bridge your heart and mind.

Be the observer, the anchor, the wisdom, and the breath.

Your breath takes you where you need to be ─ right here in this moment.

Welcome home.

 

Posted in Meditation | Toning the Om

Finding Our Inner River

March 7th, 2017

riveroflifeAs a writer, I am often looking for the “right” word. Sometimes, I am looking for any word. It is the blank page that can either become my most meditative or dreaded moment. I am known to type notes on my iPhone, scrawl words on the back of envelopes, or fill journals (dozens of them) with meditations and ideas. I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing. I may not always be poetic or even grammatically correct, but the joy of writing has always superseded being a perfect writer.

When I feel stuck with writing, I read more, meditate more, and spend time in nature. I try to let go of frustration of not writing and open to what is available as my writing teacher. As my cousin in England recently wrote to me after I expressed my experience of feeling stalled in my writing:

Sometimes the river is full.

Sometimes the river runs low.

But the river is still there.

Everything has its season.

Seasons turn.

She concluded with, “Don’t give up. Keep going with your writing.”

We don’t always know who we touch with our words. So, I am going to keep writing, keep scrawling, and keep dreaming.

What keeps you going? Where do you turn when the river seems low?

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Posted in Vulnerability | Toning the Om

The Courage to Connect to What Matters

March 6th, 2017

spring_flowers17Where does our courage come from? How is it that even when we are scared, we do things afraid?

In thinking about courage, I dug deep into the birthing of my own courageous experiences. I noticed that I had many courageous moments, and at times, and just as equally, moments when I held back from being brave. What I discovered was:

Not only am I inherently courageous – I tap into my courageous self in order to connect to everything that really matters.

Courage is the doorway that opens up to other rooms in my life. I need all these rooms to step fully into my life. Others rooms that open up once I tap into courage are:

Curiosity, Connection, Compassion, and Creativity.

Courage is needed to cultivate all of these qualities. These qualities are the antidote to fear, anger, impatience, and apathy. I noticed that when I am courageous, I’m often afraid in the exact same moment.

Who are you when you are feeling courageous and who are you becoming?

Keep doing it afraid!

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Posted in Vulnerability | Toning the Om

Be Audacious

February 4th, 2017

audaciousWhen we connect to peace and happiness, we can discover Universal Love and Universal Compassion. We need to make the decision to go there – go to what brings us peace and happiness.

Take a few moments, and just let go and take some time to focus on what generates joy in our life. Notice that when we focus on joy, peace arises naturally. As my Buddhist teacher, Kadam Morten says, “Peace is the nature of our mind. When we pay attention to peace, it expands.” My teacher will often recommend that we hang out with our peaceful mind.

Personally, when I sit in meditation, I am reminded of my peaceful nature or my Buddha-nature. I can let go of delusions – of self-grasping and ignorance. When I open my eyes, the work of remembering that peace within continues and I must make the decision to go to the peaceful places within myself. As Kadam Morten says, “I can have a heart pervaded by peace, joy, and compassion.” He challenges us to wish for enlightenment for all loving beings without exception (bodhichitta – enlightened mind). It is a practice I am working on daily.

As Kadam Morten often says, “It’s audacious to identify with your Buddha-nature.” The idea of striving for enlightenment for the benefit of all as a way of being can feel too much. So, we start with ourselves. We carry love in our hearts as a way of being. The sun doesn’t think about radiating light – it just does it. We don’t have to think about radiating light – we can just be light. We can transform situations into peace and fuel the path to enlightenment.

We can be audacious and identify with our Buddha-nature.

 

Posted in Meditation | Toning the Om

Live Your Meditation Practice

January 5th, 2017

Your breath is an inhale and exhale to life. breathe2017

Your breath is your meditation practice.

Your life is your meditation practice.

Breathe your liberation.

Breathe your life.

What are you breathing in?

What are your breathing out into the world?

Breathe in love and exhale it out into the world.

Here is to the liberation of your breath that allows you to become aware, awake, and alive!

 

Posted in Meditation | Toning the Om

My Word for 2017 Is

January 3rd, 2017

Verve.

I choose to focus on a word or theme that will represent an upcoming year. Sometimes the word or theme comes easily and get a sense of the New Year will bring. Or I get a string feeling of what I am being called towards experiences and living.

2017 was a little different. I had a sense of what I wanted for the New Year, but couldn’t quite name it. The word adventure kept coming and yet it wasn’t encompassing the totality of the energy I was feeling. It was more than experiencing adventure in 2017; it was more like the energy, spirit, and wisdom that comes from adventures.

While on a road trip, I started playing with the word adventure. As I expressed my stream of consciousness of words around adventure, I found myself smiling at the feeling of all the words. I thought about experiences and adventures on a deeper level.

Verve.

The word came effortlessly flowing in and out. Verve is all about vigor and spirit or enthusiasm. It’s what a friend might call “a happening.”

Verve is more of an experience or energy difficult to describe in words; it is felt.

Verve.

Thank you to everyone who participated in sharing their word or theme for 2017. Many amazing words and themes have been shared so far, including Hope, Engaged, Productivity, Cure, Mets, Wellness, Momentum, Contract, Release, Focus, Trust, Ease, Conscious, Diligent, Onward, Action, Hope (again), Declutter, Integration, Faith, Open, and Swagger.

And you? What is your word, focus, them for the New Year?

Posted in Fun | Toning the Om

Uncertainty as a Path Towards Freedom

December 28th, 2016

Life is about living in uncertainty. sunset_uncertainty

Life happens in the in-between moments.

Life asks us to make a journey with ourself.

Life happens in the ordinary moments – washing the dishes, sitting with our loved ones, driving in traffic, taking a walk, watching the sunset.

When we live with uncertainty, there is room to explore everything.

Maybe the map we really need to follow is one that makes us lost. In that space we find our way. By being lost, we can find our life moment by moment.

Perhaps that’s the real meaning of lost and found. By being lost, and abiding there, we are truly found.

Posted in Letting Go | Toning the Om

Lighting the Candle Within

December 21st, 2016

How will you celebrate the light in the darkness?

As winter draws near, it is a time of going inward. The winter season allows us to align with a slower pace. In the depths of winter, when the bears hibernate, trees put their energy deep into their roots, and many of us dive deeper into the dream world, it is a natural time to retreat.

As we go inward, let us notice the beauty and tranquility of winter. Let us celebrate the light within that is always available. Let us embrace the opportunity for deep rest and integration that winter provides.

How will you keep the candle lit inside yourself this winter?

Posted in Peaceful Actions | Toning the Om

Meditation on Relaxation

December 8th, 2016

Spend a few minutes enjoying meditating on relaxation. Notice what happens when you take time to really breathe in and breathe out. Spend five minutes tuning into your mind and body – relaxing and welcoming more inner wisdom. Let go of the “busyness” that normally runs your life and make time for you. From that place, you can give more fully and with more attention. When you let go, you make space for more joy, more peace, more compassion, and more love to enter. Enjoy this meditation with Mary Anne Flanagan, Toning the OM. This was filmed at Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx.

Posted in Meditation | Toning the Om