I am heeding the call of early Spring to be so very present to the newness unfolding all around me. Are you? One of my favorite inspirational quotes that addresses this soul call is:
"Lured by love, the crocus kept spring's promise. Lured by love, I too will flower ... "
I have not seen any crocus yet, but I am breathing, looking deeply, and waiting for this first real sign of Spring's return. In Turkish culture, the crocus symbolizes survival and strength. This delicate plant bursts through the snow, confident it is time to rise. We can all take a hardy lesson from the crocus who reminds us that even under the most adverse conditions, we can bloom. Let us be patient and wait gracefully upon our own unfolding.
I am still enjoying being a student again. My studies in mindful awareness continue to deepen as I read Thich Nhat Hanh (Going Home), Jon Kabat-Zinn (Wherever You Go, There You Are) and Gordon Peerman (What Christians Can Learn from Buddhists About Suffering). Some days I am studying on the fly as March is a busy travel and teaching month for me. That's alright. We can practice mindful attention wherever we are. And I am. This is a wonderful mantra to stay centered in the moment, no matter what you are doing or where you find yourself: "Listen, listen. This wonderful sound brings me back to my true home." (Thich Nhat Hanh)
I am enjoying planning upcoming retreats too. I love journeying with small groups of women. We are at our best in kindred community where we can be and share our true selves.
Did you receive my March newsletter? It featured a Guided Teaching/Meditation courtesy of Gordon Peerman (though I narrated it) for a potent 3-minute practice for "Blessed Relief". You can view the newsletter here.
so much! And because I am, I make sure to take plenty of breaks for silence. We cannot absorb what we read if do not give our mind space to rest. Let us make room and time for silence. For stillness. I recently watched travel journalist, Pico Iyer, speak with Oprah on her Super Soul Sunday show. His new book, Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere, is on my "Must Read" list as I love his work and writing. But not now. Now is the time for stillness breaks, amidst the peak times of input and output. You may enjoy this TED video featuring Pico.
to the sounds of silence, as I said. Keeping it simple here. Noticing the sounds of birds in the morning now. Delightful! I actually enjoy practicing "Listening Meditation." I recorded a little video on this meditation form a few years ago. Have you seen it? You can find it here.
I read this passage last night in Thich Nhat Hahn's book, Going Home: Jesus and Buddha as Brothers. It shook me up in such a good way. I thought to myself, "Yes!" What do you think about this?
"The image of Jesus that is presented to us is usually of Jesus on the cross ... I hope that our Christian friends will also portray Jesus in other ways, like sitting in the lotus position or doing walking meditation. Doing so will allow us to feel peace and joy."
Thay confirms that Jesus was most certainly a meditator, taking periods of time away from others to reflect, pray and BE. Of course, he says, meditation would be part of Jesus' spiritual practices! Meditation is simply focused awareness done in silence, either sitting, standing, walking or laying down. I like this viewpoint very much.
mostly by being in the Great Silence. I still offer Metta (Loving-kindness) to myself, to others, especially to any one I know is struggling with life as it is. This beautiful little prayer in the spirit of Metta could serve us well for Spring—and for any season. It is from the book Bless the Day; Prayers and Poems to Nurture Your Soul by June Cotner.
"May I so live the life of love
this day that all those with whom I have
anything to do may be as sure of love
in the world as they are of the sunlight."
~ Author Unknown
Isn't this just as lovely as a crocus?
How is your week unfolding?
Thanks for joining me. Blessings, as always, upon your precious heart.