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Posts Tagged ‘Mindful’

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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What Does Being Mindful Mean?

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

I felt much more mindful on my birthday yesterday. I felt mindful of all the beauty, joy, love, and laughter in my life. I celebrated every moment and every breath. I dedicated my birthday meditation to being mindful.

My meditation on being mindful:

Being mindful is breathing, noticing, and being present.
Listen to what is in front of you and what is inside you. Right here. Right now. Being mindful is listening to your heart rhythm or the wind swaying or the people in your life sharing their day. Being mindful is deeply listening to your feelings and noticing the places of joy and the causes of suffering. Being mindful is living from your heart center (your heart/mind connection). Let go of the busyness. Free your mind and there is nothing to escape from. Open your heart and feel the peace that you already are.

Breathe. Notice. Be present. Mindful.

How will you take time to deeply notice what is happening inside and outside?

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Breaking Ourselves Open

Monday, August 30th, 2010

After visiting Omega Institute for the weekend, I felt myself break open a little more. I became so mindful of the earth I was walking on, the food I was placing in my mouth, and the thoughts flowing in and out. I “thought” I was going to Omega for a yoga weekend, but found myself exploring organic foods. I walked away with a whole new relationship with my meals—eating slowly, consciously choosing what I put on my plate, and noticing how foods from the earth tasted in my mouth. My relationship with food is breaking open.

Elizabeth Lesser, co-founder of Omega Institute, writes about the journey of breaking open in order to blossom into who we really are. In her book, Broken Open, she writes:

“Over and over, we are broken on the shore of life. Our stubborn egos are knocked around, and are broken open—not once, and not in predictable patterns, but in surprising ways and for as long as we live. The promise of being broken and the possibility of being open are written into the contract of human life. Certainly this tumultuous journey on the waves can be tiresome. When the sea is rough, and when we are suffering, we may want to give up hope and give in to despair. But brave pilgrims have gone before us. They tell us to venture forth with faith and vision.

May you listen to the voice within the beat when you are tired. When you feel yourself breaking down, may you break open instead. May every experience in life be a door that opens your heart, expands your understanding, and leads you to freedom.”

Here is to breaking open over and over and over again.
Mary Anne

This is dedicated to Elizabeth Lesser, all the amazing staff at Omega Institute, and Sri Dharma Mittra for breaking open my relationship with food.

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Popcorn Ceremony

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

PopcornWhile visiting a youth program in the Bronx last month, a young boy looked up at me and asked, “Do you want to join our popcorn ceremony?” I told him I would love to join his popcorn ceremony and asked him to tell me more about it. “Well, it’s very special”, he told me. “First, you have to have all the ingredients, put them on the table, pour the special corn in the popper, wait a few moments because at first it seems as though nothing happens because the popcorn is so quiet. Then, it gets very loud and the corn pops like crazy. Look, we can even dance while it’s popping.” A few boys start swinging and swaying as the popcorn maker shakes on the table. After a few sporadic pops, the boy opens the lid and ever so gently pours the popcorn into a striped glass bowl. He then whispers thank you to the popcorn, takes a handful, and passes it around to the other boys in the group. Each boy is careful to only put what fits in their hands to eat and they keep passing the bowl around. We pass the bowl around at least ten times.

I have been to wedding ceremonies, prayer ceremonies, fire ceremonies, and even tea ceremonies, but this was my first ever popcorn ceremony!  Given the right attention, openness, reverence, could more of what I experience be ceremony? If young boys can pay attention to their popcorn and create a ritual out of that, could I be more mindful of the rituals I create in my life?

After finishing the popcorn, the young boy looked at me and asked, “Did you like our popcorn ceremony?” I told him it was one of the most fun and sacred ceremonies I have ever been to in my life. They asked me to define sacred – and it was with ease that I told them it was the purposeful act of paying attention to their popcorn and each other. “It is the respect you gave to making popcorn as well as helping each other and sharing it.”

“We have popcorn ceremony every day. Will you come back?” Yes, I will.

Let’s share more ceremony,
Mary Anne

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