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Archive for the ‘Meditation’ Category


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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Hang Out With Peace

Wednesday, February 21st, 2018

When 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.

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The Year of Devotion

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

As I sat ready to release 2017 (and I was ready!), I listened for what 2018 was preparing me for. What energy, focus, theme, word or phrase did I need most for the new year? Devotion.

Devotion to stillness, to meditation, to love, to service, to creating, to healing, to traveling, to causes, to writing, to connections, and to nourishing peace.

I also ask our community to share and declare their word/s and focus for 2018. The global response was amazing. Here are some that have been shared by our tribe:

Direction. Intentional. Employment. Believe. Focus. Inspire. Patience – with Myself. Breathe. Focus on What Matters. Detachment. Declaration. Non-judgment. Trust. Forward/Align/Reflect. Transformation. Intentionally. Forgiveness. Fortitude. Determination. Intention. Meaning/Joy/Flow. Kindness. Resist. Inner Strength.

What is your word/s, theme or focus for 2018?

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The Light of Your Being – Winter Solstice

Thursday, December 21st, 2017

“I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being.” ~Hafiz

How will you celebrate the light in the darkness?

As winter draws near, it is time to go 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 dive deeper into the dream world, it is 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 possible. Let us embrace the opportunity for deep rest and integration that winter provides.

How will you keep the candle lit inside yourself?

Celebrate the light of your own being!

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Wait, So You Just Sit?

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

For the first few years of my meditation practice, I sat in formal lotus posture cross-legged with my back straight and often unsupported. Now for the past two years I sit very differently. My sitting practice teaches me to listen. It’s my way of becoming present. It’s my way of being completely relaxed and comfortable on a chair, or a cushion, or even on a seat in the subway. I have chosen to be comfortable during my practice. This comfort has taught me about how my body rests. My sitting practices has taught me how to more deeply listen to my body and mind. My legs can be crossed or not. My legs can be flat on the floor or not. I just sit upright, comfortably, relaxed and natural. I give myself complete permission to just sit without judging my sitting or anything that arises during my practice.

I place my hands either resting on the arms of the chair, my lap or my palms facing upwards on my lap, whichever is more comfortable. My palms are in the cosmic or also known as the universal mudra, left palm on top of my right, thumb-tips touching. I expand my shoulders so I can feel my heart-center open. I am in receive mode. I either close my eyes or leave them partially open looking down.

I begin sitting with four very slow, deep breaths, expelling all the air through my mouth. Breathing in through my nose and out through my mouth, I continue to count these slow deep breaths for a few moments. Then I begin breathing naturally with mouth closed, through the nostrils only, dropping the counting and just sitting without judgments. I allow my mind to wander until it fades. I see the thoughts as floating and passing – this way there is no grasping at one particular thought. Sitting in a non-judging mind takes time – a daily or lifetime practice.

Sitting in this way I can completely relax, and make adjustments if I feel any pain anywhere in my body. I sit for fifteen minutes to one hour. It has become a daily ritual that allows me to start my day with ease and grace. Sitting daily teaches me how to be present. I don’t need to get caught up in chaos. Sitting has taught me to slow down.

There is real joy and pleasure in serving and being present for others. There is a very deep appreciation for being who we are, and not needing to change or fix anyone. Allowing you to be you and me to just be me. Sitting gives me permission to let go, drop into a deeper place within, and live from that place. It is not always easy. When I am stuck, I go back to the breath. When I feel overwhelmed I go back to the cushion. In the stillness within, I experience peace again and again and again. If I am willing to sit, just sit, I discover what remains – pure joy.

Wait, so you just sit? Yes.




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