Did you know?
The capacity to feel and express feelings is essential to living a full human life. But many of us have a lot of old rules about what’s OK to feel. Fear, shame, rage or hatred seldom make it on the Top 100 list.
That’s quite a dilemma, if opening to the whole range of human existence is the only path to true happiness. (It is.)
Conscious movement can not only be a shortcut to mindfulness, but a path of deep meditation and prayer.
When I hold in awareness the inner world of my moving body (sensation, breath, flow, texture, feeling, image) without agenda or expectation, receiving the moment to moment unfolding of the experience, I may fall through the veil of everyday consciousness into a state of expanded awareness accompanied by a felt sense of connectedness, wholeness, and spiritual belonging.
You can do this – relax in your body, love yourself, learn relationship skills, open your heart a little more, experience spacious mind… for moments at least – but it does take time and practice. That’s why it’s called a “practice,” not a “perfect”.
The work of waking up is a lifelong journey, not a 7 step program. You will be moving along a spiral path. Sometimes it may feel like you're going backwards.
'tis the season to go bonkers! So, do you have really good friends? Someone with whom to hang out when you're not feeling social, or dazzling, or even remotely chipper?
The Holy Daze is upon us. Perhaps especially at this time, the beautiful dark time between fall equinox and winter solstice, a beautiful but sometimes lonely time, perhaps far away from family, or even worse, right in the midst of family where real contact has been missing for years ... having a community of practice, what the Buddhists call a sangha, may make the precarious ride back into the light so much more doable.
Something wild is happening with the current yearlong program participants. People are actually spending regular time in practice with each other.Read more
Perhaps it is too much excitement, all the transatlantic travel, or a hormonal imbalance, but on some days, meditation feels to me like a royal waste of precious life units. What's the point of sitting there, thinking thinking thinking?
Since I'm rarely able to transcend the human condition and dissolve into bliss (with no side effects), on those other days I resort to micro-practices. Can you guess what they are? Well, exactly what the name says: very very short periods of paying attention. Really short, like three, five, ten, or fifteen seconds at a time, but they are done early, and often.
Me, I like to pay attention to sensations: they are the secret language of Life. Even when my mind feels like a washing machine in a power cycle (you know, extra agitation), I can manage ten seconds of uninterrupted presence. To paraphrase Stephen Colbert, I am micro-practice, and so can you.
Wanna try? Take the next ten seconds to sense your hands. Are you holding a latte, a slice of pizza, a gadget? Close your eyes--unless you're driving--feel the texture of that thing you're touching, let it touch you, and then come back to reading. Take a sip of that latte. Really smell and taste it, feel how it wants to be drunk by you.Read more