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Archive for November, 2011

My Journey Inside the King’s Chamber

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

On the last day of my spiritual journey in Egypt  I awoke early as our group was going to have a private tour of the King’s Chamber inside the Great Pyramid in Giza. After going through tight security, we were escorted by local police to this ancient site. We were guided along the side of the Pyramid toward a small opening. I was given the keys and asked to open the lock. My hands shook as I placed the key in and opened the gate. We were invited to walk along the long flight of stairs that would lead us to the top where we would meditate alongside the King’s tomb – a red granite sarcophagus.

The entrance was a long, dark, narrow stairway. Had I allowed myself to think about where I was, I probably would have panicked or succumbed to claustrophobia. Yet, somehow I knew I had to keep walking inside the chamber. My eyes began to adjust to the dim light inside and I began climbing up the narrow steps, while holding onto the metal bars on the side, and hearing my own heavy breathing.  I looked up to find others in my group, but all I could see were my own feet in front of me.

Was I climbing up? Climbing in? Climbing out? I wasn’t sure. I just knew I had to keep going – inside the Pyramid – inside myself – into the dark. I pushed past all the fears and kept walking. I crawled my way to the top of the King’s Chamber. The room was cold and dark with only a tomb inside. After some meditation, we were invited to lie inside the sarcophagus for as long as we wanted. I waited until I felt ready to step inside the tomb and lay down. With my eyes closed and arms crossed, I began to feel the ancient tomb beneath my body. I asked the tomb to liberate the burden of past lifetimes. The darkness I have feared – my own darkness, softened.

After more than ten minutes, I was ready to come out of the tomb. I was ready to climb out of my own tomb. What was inside the chamber?

Death. Life. Breath. Egypt. Home.

Mary Anne

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So Many Blessings!

Thursday, November 24th, 2011

May you awaken to the mystery of being here and enter the quiet immensity of your own presence.

May you respond to the call of your gift, and find the courage to follow its path.

May you take time to celebrate the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

May you experience each day as a sacred gift woven around the heart of wonder.

~Blessing, by John O’Donohue

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Shine Your Light

Monday, November 21st, 2011

The light in me is the light in you.

Albert Schweitzer once said, “At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” During this season of gratitude, may we thank all those who light the spark in others. And thank you for keep the flame lit.

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And How Are the Children?

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011

If we don’t put children first, who will?

When politics, sports, or money come before the safety of children, we fail as adults. If we don’t tell the truth, report a crime, or protect our children, how can we expect another generation to know or do better?

There is a greeting in Africa when people meet, “And how are the children?” This is done whether you have children or not as every village knows every child.

And how are the children?

Mary Anne

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Who Will You Thank Today?

Friday, November 11th, 2011

As I stood waiting for my #5 train at Grand Central Station, I took notice of an MTA worker who I see every day. He helps keep the trains moving, lets the conductor know when to shut the doors, and assists struggling passengers. I have noticed how he does this with such kindness and always with a smile on his face. As I waited for my train, I went over to him to thank him. I shared with him that I have noticed how good he is with the customers and his positive attitude. He was very grateful for the compliment. He said, “I try.” I acknowledged his work, especially as people are always in a rush on or off a train. We chatted for a few minutes and he continued with his work.

My train started to pull into Grand Central and the MTA worker came over to me and before the doors opened he said, “You made my day.”  All it took was a thank you. And what he didn’t know was that he made mine too.

I realized on my way home just how easy it is to make life nicer for another – a simple thank you. I have been much more aware of saying thank you and acknowledging people and noticing what a difference it makes.

Who will you thank today? Go ahead – make someone’s day sweeter.

Mary Anne

This is dedicated to all the Veterans for their service. Thank you.

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Sitting in Our Heart Center

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

As I sat in an overcrowded subway ride in New York City, I closed my eyes. I could hear people pushing and complaining and I took long, deep, and slow breath. I knew it was going to take me at least an hour to get into Manhattan and I needed a mantra to feel calmer. I took a breath and the phrase, “Sit in your heart center” came streaming through.

Taking slower breaths as the trained jerked and screeched, I imagined myself sitting in my heart center. I started to feel expansive. I breathed love, forgiveness, and compassion in my whole body. As I left the train, I felt a sense of peacefulness.

I wanted to be with this feeling longer so after exiting the subway I found a place to sit with my notebook and write about “Sitting in your heart.” Here is what flowed:

Feel your heart. Call wisdom living in you.
There are limitless sources.

What does your heart say?

What does your heart want right now?

What is your heart saying to you about your day?

Take a deeper breath.
Fill yourself up with more of yourself.

Are you ready to fill yourself up with more love?

And more love? And more love?

Bring your hands to your heart center.

Do you feel that?

The love that you are is waiting.

What love name do you want to be called?
Sit in your heart center and notice.

Breathe through your heart center.

You are being breathed in your heart center.

Breathe. Sit. Be. Love


Mary Anne

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A Heart-Center Meditation

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

As a new month begins with endless possibility, I offer a heart-center meditation.

Take a breath. Breathe yourself.

Breathe in a way that feels best for you.

Close your eyes and breathe in through your nose and out your mouth.

Take in ‘more’ with the next inhalation – whatever that means to you.

And release ‘more’ with the next exhalation – whatever that means to you.

With every breath, go deeper.

With every breath, your brilliance awaits you.

Allow your breath to become softer and gentler.

Trust your breath. Your breath is your greatest teacher right now.

What is your breath showing you at this very moment?

Breathe through your heart center.

How will you be in your heart center today?

Breathe through that. Listen for an answer – however it arrives.

Bring your hand to your heart.

Breathe the lesson of your heart center.

Breathe your heart’s vision.

Breathe your heart’s deepest healing.

Breathe your Whole Self.

Through your heart center, allow love to flow.

Allow love to touch the heartbeat of everyone you meet.

Where do you go to touch love?

What love has come in deeper as you sit with your breath?

Love awaits you with each breath.

Open your eyes. Look around at the love you created.

Mary Anne

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Self-Respect, Magical Thinking, and Blue Nights

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

One of my favorite authors is Joan Didion. Her writing is sharp and deep. And I credit her book, The Year of Magical Thinking, for helping me grieve after the loss of my mother. Her new book, Blue Nights, about the loss of her daughter is released today and I wanted to honor this brilliant writer by highlighting some of my favorite quotes. Each one is a meditation in and of itself. Do yourself a favor – go out a read one of her books.

The willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life is the source from which self-respect springs.

To free us from the expectations of others, to give us back to ourselves – there lies the great, singular power of self-respect.

Was it only by dreaming or writing that I could find out what I thought?

I was thinking as small children think, as if my thoughts or wishes had the power to reverse the narrative, change the outcome. In my case this disordered thinking had been covert, noticed I think by no one else, hidden even from me, but it had been, in retrospect, both urgent and constant.

In time of trouble, I had been trained since childhood, read, learn, work it up, go to the literature. Information was control. Given that grief remained the most general of afflictions its literature seemed remarkably spare.

That I was only beginning the process of mourning did not occur to me. Until now, I had only been able to grieve, not mourn. Grief was passive. Grief happened. Mourning, the act of dealing with grief, required attention.

Grief turns out to be a place none of us know until we reach it. We anticipate (we know) that someone close to us could die, but we do not look beyond the few days or weeks that immediately follow such an imagined death.

You have to pick the places you don’t walk away from.

Mary Anne

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