Posted: February 17, 2015 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Yoga | Tags: blogging, Buddhism, compassion, cycling, family, freshly pressed, happiness, health, hipster, kindness, life, love, lululemon, meditation, nature, passion, running, writing, yoga, Zen
The truth knocks on the door and you say, “Go away, I’m looking for the truth,” and so it goes away. Puzzling-
Meditation is like that. Full of seemingly impossible contradictions! Meditation is tedious and difficult to write about given our connected-analytic nature. Meditation is much easier to explain to someone who habitually thinks poetically. Like the inspired yoga instructor who creates a magical flowing class off the top of their head, or the mountain biker who flows with little effort on tight single-track. Meditation, my kind of Meditation that is … Centers on expanding our logical thinking into poetic and logical thinking. Still with me?!?
How then do we tap into being both a logical thinker, in addition, to being a poetic thinker? This is the essential transformation that a deeply rooted Meditation-Mindfulness practice teaches us.
Allow me to change logical thinker and poetic thinker into – Mind and Heart.
A few years ago, I decided to attend a local workshop and “learn” to meditate. The plan was to attend this workshop, receive a mantra or whatever and instantly become healthier, increase my focus, and calm my crazy mind in like, 13 1/2 minutes of practice twice a day. That was the promise printed on the meditation workshop website. I was “that dude” at the time before tearing my knees apart. An over-achieving runner, and I prided myself on the hard, mindless work I put in daily. Maybe this mindfulness meditation stuff would help me compete at a higher level?!?
On the day of the workshop, as I signed in and unfolded my freezing yoga mat in the picturesque studio, something began to stir within my mind and heart. I had a warm sense of excitement and anticipation that quite surprised me. I literally had no idea what to expect from this class, however in some “weird” way, I resonated with the people who were presenting the workshop and my fellow class mates – Each one of them had a sense of calm that was palpable and real. I listened attentively to their words and the stories they shared, but it was something far beyond the resonating words that was connecting with me, stirring my soul. It’s as though I had passed through a doorway into a serene, peaceful place where my heart expanded and connected to world spinning around me.
This was the first time that I had an awareness of my mind, separate from the peaceful part of my heart.
There are two ways of experiencing Mindfulness … Mind and Heart.
Posted: January 22, 2015 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Yoga | Tags: Adventure, Anne Alexander Bingham, beauty, cycling, family, gratitude, Identity, kindness, life, love, Mindfulness, Omaha, passion, Poetry, Prose, writing, yoga
To know that the atoms
of my body
to think of them rising
through the roots of a great oak
to live in
leaves, branches, twigs
perhaps to feed the
the blue iris
or rest on water
freeze and thaw
with the seasons
some atoms might become a
bit of fluff on the wing
of a chickadee
to feel the breeze
know the support of air
and some might drift
up and up into space
star dust returning from
whence it came
it is enough to know that
as long as there is a universe
I am a part of it.
– Anne Alexander Bingham
Posted: January 15, 2015 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Yoga | Tags: compassion, desire, family, Gregory Djanikian, kindness, life, love, Omaha, passion, Poem, Poetry, reading, The Fight
It was over a girl,
One boy had spoken to her,
Had asked her out, the other
Had been feeling with her
The twitches of something serious.
It was a misunderstanding,
Something that might have been fixed,
Talked out or around,
But the whole school had turned out
To watch them settle it.
It was too late for talk,
It was no longer just their fight,
Something irrelevant and impure
Had entered it, honor, looking
More upright than the other,
Things which had nothing to do
With the girl, or desire,
Or what she had whispered to one of them
One night in a car.
So they faced each other,
Bringing their anger up
By saying what finally did not matter
But loudly enough so their bodies believed it.
There was a sudden coming together,
There were fists flailing
While everybody, hundreds, watched.
One was cut above the eye, the other’s
Knuckles were bloodied against teeth.
It lasted half a minute until
One of them pulled back and said
Something like “This is stupid”
And the other dropped his fists
And watched him walk away
– Gregory Djanikian
Posted: January 8, 2015 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Yoga | Tags: compassion, family, love, New Years Resolutions, Omaha, Poems, Poetry, reading, Storytelling, To the New Year, W.S. Merwin, writing, yoga
With what stillness at last
you appear in the valley
your first sunlight reaching down
to touch the tips of a few
high leaves that do not stir
as though they had not noticed
and did not know you at all
then the voice of a dove calls
from far away in itself
to the hush of the morning
so this is the sound of you
here and now whether or not
anyone hears it this is
where we have come with our age
our knowledge such as it is
and our hopes such as they are
invisible before us
untouched and still possible
– W.S. Merwin
Posted: January 5, 2015 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Yoga | Tags: Body Image, compassion, family, gratitude, habits, icchā, Intention, meditation, New Year's, New Years Resolutions, passion, yoga
Things are always better in the morning-
Old habits … Die hard. Cultivating new and lasting passion … Feels elusive. Our habitual patterns in life create a repetitive stream of thoughts and behavior. Right now, today, in this vulnerable New Year … Is precisely where we get stuck. A fleeting resolution penned on a stained bar napkin simply is not enough; tacking upon a fresh breeze is required with the necessary energy to sustain it.
Think for a moment of yourself floating in a vast ocean, on a sprout little sailboat. Maybe the faded name “Bering in Mind” is painted on the side … As you begin rigging your brightly colored sail, this effort on your part equals your intention to sail away into this inspiring day. Although, you are not setting a course, and technically “sailing,” without a little wind. This gentle wind you so desperately seek, is evocative of your icchā – your will. You will need both the sail and the wind in order to make it safely back to shore – You require both icchā and intention to achieve this goal …
When we become invested in the change we desire? We commit to a turning point in our lives. Whether or not reading this blog – Your Blog – this morning can be considered a defining moment in your life, is up for a heated debate! However so, you made it here, and I am deeply grateful.
Posted: December 24, 2014 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Yoga | Tags: christmas, Donald Hall, family, friends, holidays, Poetry, Waiting on the Corners, winter
Glass, air, ice, light,
and winter cold.
They stand on all the corners,
waiting alone, or in
groups that talk like the air
moving branches. It
is Christmas, and a red dummy
laughs in the window
of a store. Although
the trolleys come,
no one boards them,
but everyone moves
up and down, stamping his feet,
They are talking, each of them,
but it is sticks and stones
that hear them,
and memories of the old time.
The words fly out, over
the roads and onto
the big, idle farms, on the hills,
forests, and rivers
of America, to mix into silence
of glass, air, ice, light,
and winter cold.
– Donald Hall
Posted: December 9, 2014 Filed under: Kindness, Meditation, Yoga | Tags: Bliss, blogging, Body Image, Buddhism, compassion, cycling, exercise, family, fitness, freshly pressed, gratitude, happiness, health, holidays, hope, kindness, life, love, lululemon, marathon, meditation, Mindfulness, Omaha, passion, pilates, Self-love, Solitude, winter, yoga, Zen
Solitude is fine but you need someone to tell that solitude is fine.-
When I became chronically “injured” over five years ago, I was forced to trade the exciting life of an aspiring athlete for the isolation of my own mind … The loneliness was dense, palpable at times, it was hard to distinguish between the injury I was struggling through at the time and the loneliness that gripped me all of the time.
Back in the wonder years, I found being alone anything but glorious, and far from being soothing. It wasn’t even remotely sweet and delicious. Although, a close friends advice that yoga was what I needed - planted a delicate seed in my mind, and so I began to explore the meaning of “being alone.” I realized early on that being alone on my mat, in and of itself, is neither positive nor negative. This profound feedback described a good portion of my life trying to be someone who I was not – The painful loneliness of striving to be better than the person next me on the starting line or the glorious solitude of going home broken and empty-handed.
The spiritual manifestation of yoga (not to be confused with the physical) and a deeply rooted mindfulness “practice” showed me that if I could let go of the desire to win at all costs, I might be able to open my heart and soul to the possibility that life could be sweet, maybe even delicious?!? I gradually warmed to the quiet calm of my mind, mindfully following my breath entering and leaving my body. My powers of observation, began to bloom – noting the subtle details swirling around me, details that in the past – Escaped me, like the play of sunlight reflecting from the metallic rims on the road as I cycle along or leaves dancing carelessly in the air on a windy fall morning.
Once I opened my heart and soul to being alone, my loneliness did become sweet and delicious. And some days, when all is calm, it’s even beautiful. Cultivating self-compassion more so than anything else, softens my loneliness and pain, which in turn makes me smile.
Rachelle, Jeff, Cheryl – Sandra, Jim, Katelon, Alyssa, Susie – Michelle, Sara and Maia. To all of you who have “followed” my ramblings from the beginning – My sincerest gratitude for your kindness and support. There truly is no way I can accurately put into words how much you have helped me – Thank you.