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Archive for the ‘Meditation’ Category

Peaceful Mind, Happy Heart

Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

If our thoughts are peaceful, our meditation is also usually peaceful. If we have spiral or negative thoughts, then we describe our mind as unsettled. We might be unable to “stop” our thoughts.

The goal of meditation is not to stop our thoughts. It’s to notice our thoughts. It’s a place where we can experience a subtle change in our thoughts. Our meditation is as much when we are in the world as it is when we are on the cushion.

If your mind is a little peaceful then it’s possible to experience a little more peace and expand it. As my meditation teacher says, “If we can feel a little peaceful, we can feel a lot peaceful.”

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Being Here—Being Home

Tuesday, August 7th, 2018

There was a time I was between here and there. Now I find myself between here and here.

I came across the above line in one of my journals and was reminded just how easy it is to move away from the present moment. I have released the notion of staying busy. I found the busier I was, the more exhausted I became. By making space for some quiet, I am able to find time for walking, watching sunsets, meditating, writing, and sitting. It’s amazing how busy we can convince ourselves to be!

As Thich Nhat Hanh says in his writing, I Have Arrived, I Am Home:

“I have arrived” is our practice. When we breathe in, we take refuge in our in-breath, and we say, “I have arrived.” When we take a step, we take refuge in our step, and we say, “I am home.” This is not a statement to yourself or another person. “I have arrived, I am home” means I have stopped running; I have arrived in the present moment contains life. When I breathe in and take refuge in my in-breath, I touch life deeply. When I take a step and I take refuge entirely in my step, I also touch life deeply, and by doing so I stop running.

          Stop running is a very important practice. We have all been running all of our lives. We believe that peace, happiness, and success are present in some other place and time. We don’t know that everything—peace, happiness, and stability—should be looked for in the here and the now. This is the address of life—the intersection of here and now.

I have stopped running and I have arrived. For me, being here is being home.

Welcome home.

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What Is Your Suggested Speed Limit?

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

We decide life’s pace.

We decide whether we must get someplace at 50 miles per hour or 20 miles per hour.

We decide how fast or how slow we go.

We decide the pace of our life and the pace of our breath.

What is your pace?

Can we slow down long enough to feel life, to feel our heart, and to feel our breath?

What is your suggested speed limit?

Mantra: I allow the pace of my heart to show me
the way.


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Where Are Your Thoughts Taking You?

Thursday, July 19th, 2018

As we become more aware of our thoughts, we can start to observe and listen deeply to the messages we give ourselves.

Take a moment and ask yourself:
Is this thought giving me joy or taking away my joy?


Spend 10 minutes each day observing your thoughts.

Watch where you mind goes and allow your breath to take you back to peace.

The calmer our mind, the more we can give and receive.

Give yourself 10 minutes each day to observe your thoughts.

Where will your thoughts take you today?

Breathe your way to peace.

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Friday, July 6th, 2018

In the morning light 

Song of the great blue heron

Brings joy to my heart

📷 Mary Anne Flanagan


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Meditation on Compassion

Tuesday, June 26th, 2018

Fill yourself up with compassion with each breath. 
What do you look like when you are living with compassion?
Show yourself some compassion right now.
Allow yourself to breathe compassion into your whole body.
Notice your body and breathe even more compassion.
Let compassion move your hands to your heart.
How are you transmitting compassion to yourself?
What is your message of compassion today?
Listen to compassion.
Take a deeper breath in and out.
Breathe compassion. Again. And again.
When you see the world with compassion, what’s possible?
And take a nice big breath.
Be compassionate to youself, always.
Beam compassion with every interaction.
And so it is.

As Pema Chödrön writes, “Just as nurturing our ability to love is a way of awakening bodhichitta, so also is nurturing our ability to feel compassion. Compassion, however, is more emotionally challenging than loving-kindness because it involves the willingness to feel pain. It definitely requires the training of a warrior.

When we practice generating compassion, we can expect to experience our fear of pain. Compassion practice is daring. It involves learning to relax and allow ourselves to move gently toward what scares us. The trick to doing this is to stay with emotional distress without tightening into aversion, to let fear soften us rather than harden into resistance.”

Stay with your breath. Stay with yourself. Stay with compassion.

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Aware, Awake, and Alive Meditation

Tuesday, June 19th, 2018

Tune into your body. Notice any place that is tense and breathe there. Like a radio station that we adjust the knob to remove the static—take a moment to adjust your body to remove any static. Send your breath to any part of your body that feels tense. Breathe into that part of you that is holding on. Be aware of your body in this moment. Your body is teaching you right now where it is. Allow your body to show what is most needed in your life right now. Your body is showing you how to be aware, aware, and alive.


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Mastering Our Breath

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

For many years, I would sit with my teacher and she would ask me to be mindful of my breathing. We would sit each week and take a few slow, gentle breaths in and out.

Often my homework assignment from my teacher would be an invitation to be mindful of my breathing throughout my day. I was to pause and take conscious breaths with each phone call, before each email, or meal.

My teacher would often say, “I want you to master your breathing. If you can master your breath, you can master anything.”

Want to join me in my daily practice of breathing with mindfulness throughout the day?

Breathe in. Breathe out. Let’s master our breathing – a breath at a time.


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What Is the Call of Your Heart?

Wednesday, April 25th, 2018

How can we slow down long enough to hear our own heart?

How do we return to our wild, untamed selves?

How do we make plans and stay open to serendipity?

How do we sit in uncertainty and trust that the universe will provide?

These are just some of the questions I sat with during a recent meditation. I started my meditation by taking conscious breaths. I breathed into my heart center until it expanded more and more. With each exhale, I could hear the question, “What does my Being want today?”

I listened with my whole body. I took longer pauses and was willing to sit in the quiet. I had to let go of the noise that normally fills my day. I stopped my inner world and I noticed I wasn’t as busy as I once believed. As I sat in the emptiness, emotions rose and connections to myself deepened. My meditation was a reminder to release old ways and to be open to new routines.

My invitation to you is to break some routines. Take a new path to work. Try a new food. Do something unfamiliar. Listen more.

All this inner work has allowed me to expand and co-create in new ways. I have emerged from my time in stillness with incredible meditations that I will be sharing at the upcoming Wild Cosmic Heart Retreat in Hawaii at Kalani Retreat Center, November 4 – 10, 2018.

What is the call of your heart?

Why not try something new and join us on the Big Island for the Wild Cosmic Heart Retreat at Kalani and enjoy some magnificent tropical beauty while you explore your wild, untamed heart.

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Spring Meditation

Friday, March 30th, 2018

Celebrating a new season means exhaling the darkness of winter and welcoming the light of spring. Springs gives us the opportunity to recognize that we too go through endless cycles of birth, growth, and rebirth. Spring is nature’s way of inviting us to open to more love.

Stepping into an invitation of more joy, more love, and more light, enjoy this meditation.

Feel free to soften your gaze, sit with your spine long and tall, and take a few soft breaths.
Inhale through your nose and exhale out your mouth.
On the next inhale, breathe in a little deeper, and on the exhale, breathe out OM (AUM).

Repeat this breathing in and exhaling out OM three times.

Allow yourself to really feel everything that comes through the OM sound.

Breathing in and out, allow your experience to expand with each statement and question.

Love What Is Now. Love What Is Now.
Beloved, what is your heart saying to you in this very moment.
What seeds are you watering inside yourself?
What are you willing to grow?
What has been dormant and ready to burst into the world?

We show up with love and that is all grief needs to flow into grace.

We show up with love because in the end that’s all we really need – that’s are we really are.

Water the garden of you.

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