Week of April 1
Spring's kiss can finally be felt here in the Great North. This week I was greeted with the songs of returning American Goldfinches and Robins, always a delight. The finches' feathers fade in winter to a dull green-gray and brighten to a brilliant gold come spring. Flashes of gold against the still brown trees elevate my happiness.There are signs of "Holy Newness" all around. Even the air smells different. I feel re-invigorated and open to new possibilities for my inner life and my outer life. How about you?
Happy Easter to all of my Christian friends! A blessed Passover to my Jewish friends! May spiritual friendship unite us in our common love of the Sacred.
At My Desk
Spirit urged me to create a Spring practice period and share it with others. There are so many wonderful invitations when it comes to Spring, including emergence, growth, and blossoming. If you are interested in learning more about the spiritual practice of Sadhana and the benefits of having a daily routine, check this out. Our group Sadhana for Spring begins April 6 and runs through April 26. I love practicing with others because it keeps us on our toes (or, better yet, cushions!), calm, centered and always exploring ourselves. It's easy to get lazy about spiritual practice. The ego is a very capable distractor.
If you'd like to learn more about the concept of Sadhana in its entirety, check out this awesome article on Wikipedia.
a lot of Thich Nhat Hanh! I was fortunate to find a thick volume of this work at our library: The Thich Nhat Hanh Collection. Right now, I'm enjoying Teachings on Love.
He writes, "Happiness is only possible with true love." And true love must contain Joy, Compassion and Equanimity. And that is why we practice. We practice to love everyone (not just our partners or family members). Love, Compassion, Joy and Equanimity are "The Four Immeasurables." We cannot live well without them. Their benefit is immeasurable, boundless. That is why they are called "immeasurable." Their presence non-negotiable and far reaching.
How we "practice" with love. I have a friend who always meditates or prays with her hands over her heart. I like this. A gesture such as this reminds us to stay in our heart center, to warm our heart, and cultivate love during our practice. The love, of course, begins with ourselves, then radiates out to all beings. We can even bring difficult people under the umbrella of this kind of love, especially love in the form of compassion. It serves us well to do this. We free ourselves from so much heaviness when we can love more...
with a prayer/exercise from Thich Nhat Hanh's book, Teachings on Love.
"May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and love.
May he/she learn to look at him/herself with the eyes of understanding and love.
May they learn to look at themselves with the eyes of understanding and love.
Isn't this powerful? It's obvious that Thay equates love with understanding. May it be so for all of us.
How is your week unfolding?
Thanks for joining me. Blessings, as always, upon your precious heart.
is a touchpoint. a resting place, a "remembering" of who we really are and how we can best live—kindly and compassionately with ourselves and others.
Janice Lynne Lundy, DMin
is an educator, interspiritual director/guide and retreat leader who has been pointing people back toward the Sacred for more than twenty years. She is the author of several spiritual growth books, including Your Truest Self, My Deepest Me and Portable Peace., and is the co-founder and co-director of the Spiritual Guidance Training Institute.