Week of April 21
I continue to be faithful to my "unfolding." I hope you are too!
What does this mean--unfolding—especially when it comes to your inner life? I believe we are always in a state of homeostasis. A returning to original knowing; to Source, equanimity, true self, highest purpose, whatever we wish to call it. To a state of beingness that is fully actualized and in alignment with how we are meant to live on this planet as people with higher consciousness' and earthly bodies.
It is vital that we stay attuned to this unfolding breath by breath, moment by moment. And how we do that is through mindful attention, and by tending to ourselves with self-compassion. We don't push through life. We receive life. We step into life—into the experience of what is unfolding right in front of us—with curiosity, gentleness and grace. What is right here right now is the practice ground. Experiencing life this way, we are continually invited to assess how loving we are, how generous, how kind.
So how you are doing with that?
I'm home for a full month after a busy round of teaching. I've just completed one of my doctoral classes, "Mindfulness as a Healing Contemplative Practice" and am still savoring the benefits of six weeks of deeper practice. More meditation than I've done in a long time. I was newly reminded that we can meditate any time, anywhere. It's simply remembering to do so. I can meditate at my desk (which I do) or right before falling asleep, or upon waking while lying in bed. In the car (as a passenger, of course!) and while waiting in the med center, which I did a few weeks ago when my husband went in for relief from a bronchial bug. Simply being present, watching the people coming and going, noticing when judgment arose, feeling grateful when compassion whooshed in because I could bear witness to how so many people are suffering.
Yes, indeed, life is the practice ground and if we are open to the invitation, school is always in session.
p.s. As I ease into a more leisurely summer schedule, I'll be changing the frequency of posting here. This "weekly" journal will now be more of a "as-the-spirit-moves-me" sort of blog. Thanks for understanding!
One Buddha Is Not Enough by Thich Nhat Hanh and the Monks and Nuns of Plum Village. The point of this statement, "One Buddha is not enough." is that having one enlightened teacher named "The Buddha" is not enough to bring about collective awakening. All of us are potential buddhas—baby Buddhas, if you will—and each of us has the capacity to grow ourselves and to nurture others along this path too. We do not grow in awareness simply to feel good or have a great life, or be more happy. We do the "good work of self" to be encouragers, role models, way showers for others, so that we can actually create a planetary shift and put an end to suffering, creating a better life for all people everywhere. A very inspiring book!
How to best do the above and honor my unique spiritual path. My doctoral program is revealing how very passionate I am about self-compassion in particular, and how essential it is for being well, and for being present to others in the very best way. Self-compassion for me is the "missing link" when it comes to "how to live" skills. Why are we not taught how to be self-compassionate? We are taught that it is good to be kind to others, but to ourselves? No. Unfortunately, self-compassion becomes confused with self-centeredness or selfishness. It seems one of my roles in life is to demystify this confusion and create good conversations about the importance of self-compassion, and also share HOW we can incorporate it into our lives. Love this work!
Still sitting in silence mostly. Wordless prayer. Body prayer. Breath prayer. Being centered in the present moment with peace and love as my companions. Sitting with what arises. Saying a "Thank You" prayer when gratitude arises, which it often does for me these days as life feels very rich and full.
As the Christian mystic Meister Eckhart taught, "If the only prayer you ever offer is thank you, that will suffice."
How is your week unfolding?
Thanks for joining me. Blessings, as always, upon your precious heart.