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Posts Tagged ‘Meditation’

Flickering Light

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

Our light goes in and out.
We find ourselves again and again.
And we lose ourselves again and again.
Sometimes we need the darkness to find our light.

Our light dims and love helps us find it.
Our light shines bright lightly and love shows us how to share it.
Our light glows and other people notice it.

We sometimes see the light in others before we see our own light.
We shine and celebrate the light in others.

Oh, and their light flickers too.

As our days grow shorter, may we find our inner sun that is always shining light.

May we remember that light emerges from the darkness.
And that the most holy darkness is the deepest darkness.

Let our flickering light and holy darkness be our teachers.

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And God Whispered…

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

I’m right here.

As I headed into the woods to look for fall warblers and hawks, I found myself smiling at the abundance of yellow trees. I looked up to see the sunlight streaming down onto the tops of the trees. Then tears came streaming down my face. I was overcome with joy of being in nature, of being surrounded by light, of walking with my spouse. Of feeling the crunching of leaves and feeling peaceful. It had been a long time since peace filled me – as most of the year has been spent being with my ill father until his passing in September.

Nature is a great reminder that everything changes. Leaves fall and mulch. Seeds succumb to the darkness. And transformation comes in every season.

Many emotions filled me with every breath – sadness, gratitude, peace, and grief. I felt all of it. I looked up as the sunlight bounced off the yellow leaves and listened to the silence that filled the trail. Suddenly I heard squirrels hurrying through bushes, birds flying from tree to tree, and crisp air blowing the leaves. Smiling at the beauty all around me, I heard the words, “And God whispered, I’m right here.”

Through the mystery of grief and love, my heart felt peaceful. Lost in emotions of sadness, I knew joy. Grasping for connection, I knew groundedness. Longing for the return of hope, I found myself whispering, “I’m right here.”

 

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Permission for Joy

Thursday, August 30th, 2018

After attending the 5th and final year of Camp Good Life Project, I had a clear sense of what nourishes me. Connections. Conversations. Community. All of those fill my heart. Meditation. Mindfulness. Mantras. Those fill my soul. Letting the rest go. Clearing the way for what comes to me and fills me up with joy. As I sat on a rock looking out at a lake, I started listening for what I could give myself permission to experience to feel more joy and more peace.

I give myself permission to…  

Take a weekend off to play;

Read the entire Sunday New York Times; 

Take a long afternoon nap;

Read three books at the same time;

Write from my heart all day;

Impulsively book a weekend get-a-way;

Connect more with nature;

Be open to not knowing;

Make room for what is next;

To experience JOY;

Love myself more.

What are you willing to give yourself permission to experience?

 

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The Four Noble Truths of Love – Book Review

Monday, July 9th, 2018

Susan Piver’s book, The Four Noble Truths of Love, is an inner course on navigating relationships and well-being. In her new book, New York Times bestselling author and mindfulness expert, Susan Piver applies classic Buddhist wisdom to modern relationships, including her own long-term marriage.

The Four Noble Truths of Love will challenge expectations we have about dating, love, and romance. This mindful approach towards relationships and love invites us to explore our heart fiercely, deepen communications with our partner, increase our compassion, and lead us toward a path of wisdom and happiness.

Through the lens of both her Buddhist practices and her own experience in a 20-year marriage, Piver interweaves personal anecdotes with practical wisdom to arrive at the Four Noble Truths of Love. Piver spends time in each truth: Relationships never stabilize; Expecting relationships to be stable is what makes them unstable; Meeting instability together is love; The path to liberation. While her practices come from a Buddhist background and her study of the Four Noble Truths, the Four Noble Truths of Love are an invitation to be questioned and examined from our own experience/s.

It’s when we stop trying to see a relationship as only an extended love affair that we gain access to its unique and often undercelebrated powers: of warmth; of solace; of protection; of friendship; a connection that slows and deepens until it subsumes both hearts and blurs the lines between you, me, and us. –Susan Piver

Piver shares from her own personal experience of marriage including some personal struggles and revelations. She shares that if a couple meets their instability together – this is love. This book is a teaching on love from a “big” mind. There are insights about the phases of relationships, from irritation to deep compassion. Piver also offers practical wisdom, including meditation practices. Meditation can be a practice of love.

Everything in this book is a practice – of the heart, of the mind, of the Self. Love at its core is about being vulnerable, open, and kindhearted. Love shows us our inherent goodness and it can also reveal our unhealed pain. Love isn’t about hiding the pain, rather its’ about uncovering it. This path takes great courage – and the noble truths of love offer wise insight to practice that courage.

 

*I received an advance review copy of Susan Piver’s The Four Noble Truths of Love. I have also met Susan Piver and taken courses with the Open Heart Project.

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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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Tears + Geckos – A Wild Cosmic Heart Journey

Wednesday, April 11th, 2018

Seven years ago, I began planning a week-long retreat that would take place on the Big Island of Hawaii. I wanted to spend a week exploring our wild cosmic heart. I had no idea that a week before the retreat a hurricane would sweep the East Coast. I had no idea that three weeks before the retreat I would have medical appointments and not feel well. I had no idea that my heart would feel so heavy and raw.

In November of 2012 as I prepared to leave for my flight, I thought of canceling – of staying home to help family and friends affected by the storm. I thought about how I would reschedule my medical appointments that were canceled due to the power outages from the hurricane. I thought about volunteering somewhere to help hurricane victims who lost everything.

When I asked friends if I should still lead the retreat, they all gave the same answer – YES. I listened and took an 11-hour flight to Hawaii. I arrived exhausted and anxious. When I arrived at my room, two large geckos were awaiting me. I barley slept my first night and, in the morning, I met with the Group Manager. She greeted me with a big hug and my eyes filled with tears.

As the week continued I knew I was in the right place (not only because it was Hawaii). I met so many people willing to explore their hearts. I met people who were open to being seen and heard. I met people who were willing to be vulnerable. As I sat and listened to the retreat participants, I became more in awe of the many people who live their life celebrating and tending to their wild cosmic heart.

I met Louise whose husband was dying of brain cancer. I met Yolanda who celebrated her 75th birthday with friends and a group of strangers. I watched Tina snorkel with joy as she swam in the warm ponds. I smiled as Angela took her first hula class. I listened to Francine remember that she can drum and sing. I took a picture of Susan sitting in her shamanic earth mandala, which she made in the roots of a huge tree. I laughed with Lisa in the water, like a teenager with the giggles.

Most of all, I remember that my heart felt open and grateful. I realized that when I open and invite others into my heart, the world expands. Many in the our sacred circle were longing for connection, community, and belonging. The Wild Cosmic Heart Retreats offers just that — deep connections through guided meditations, mindfulness walks around trees, shamanic journeying to the garden of the heart, and sacred play. In the midst of worry and responsibility, participants from around the world were willing to drop the armor around their heart.

I even befriended the Geckos, known to me as Heckle and Jeckle. The retreat was so powerful that I have taught it again and again. And this November, I will be facilitating the Wild Cosmic Heart Retreat at Kalani on the Big Island of Hawaii, November 4-10, 2018. Join us for a week of daily meditations, mindfulness walks in the luscious tropics, shamanic journeying, and homemade ice cream! What is your wild cosmic heart asking of you?

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Leaving the Station

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

Next stop – the Bronx. I often wait a long time at the Pelham Bay station for my train to leave the station. How long have I sat scrolling social media or reading or meditating or listening to a Podcast while waiting to leave the station? Over the years, I have left many stations behind – some that I have not returned to in years and some ever again. Leaving the station of people and places often means letting go and moving on.

Leaving and arriving are daily practices. It’s when I am stuck in the station that negative emotions arise. Leaving the station can mean a good-bye, a travel away, a travel towards, a moving on, a welcoming, a grieving, a homecoming, a shift in perspective. I have learned that we all leave the station at some point and each time is different. What are we really leaving?

Everything changes. And in the end, I have learned that everyone leaves in some form. It’s the inhale and exhale of life. Breathing in and breathing out. We meet each other in the in-between breath.

We all leave the station at our own pace. Welcome the leaving.

Soon the conductor will shout, “Leaving the station.”

Next stop…

This is dedicated to my mom who passed away 17 years ago. Glad we had time together to share the in-between breath.

This essay was inspired from the Prompt a Day Program with Cynthia Morris.

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Watching Over Everything

Wednesday, June 28th, 2017

The birds – they see everything. They fly overhead seeing everything. The birds have a different view.

View. The view of the heart. Does that not watch over everything too? How do we watch over? With love? With judgment? With peace? With an open heart?

Is there a being of love watching over everything? Perhaps this is my faith calling me back. Maybe I am ready, listening, and remembering to return.

Returning to light and darkness. Day and night. Doesn’t that watch over us too?

The night sky – looking up – watching over everything through the stars. The lights blinking, glowing, soaring through the sky. What do the stars see through their lens of light?

The light passes. The darkness opens me up to more light. Here I am shining. Here we are shining.

I have learned how much is watching over me. In the end, it is love, always love, watching over me. Here I AM: SKY, SPIRIT, STARS, LOVE watching….

Watching over everything.

This essay was inspired from the Prompt a Day Program with Cynthia Morris.

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And We Greet Again

Thursday, 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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Finding Our Inner River

Tuesday, 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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