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Today

The four aspects of the Plum Village Tradition (Thich Nhat Hanh’s practice) are: study, practice, work, and play.

Today:

Let us study our relationships with one another.

Let us practice to enfold the quality of mindfulness into as many of our daily activities as we can.

Let us work to be fully present in the here and now.

And let us play in the fluid motion of joy, as we train in the art of not taking ourselves so seriously.

Having a sense of humor, being able to delight in simple pleasures, and not taking oneself so seriously is of great benefit. Here’s a 1-minute video I took yesterday – may it help you to train in the fluid art of cultivating joy.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, the little toy in this video is solar powered. Prior to yesterday, I had no idea it could dance with such vigor!

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Posted by on November 25, 2017 in Everyday Practice, Fun, video

 

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The Good Ole Days Are Here & Now

The good ole days are happening right now and the answer to every question is: It depends.

I feel as though the above declaration could serve as an incredibly rich and powerful guiding statement to life. It pretty much sums things up. Life. The pursuit of whatever it is we’re looking for.

If we can crack open our hearts and know with every tendril of our understanding that this moment is it – if we can expand our consciousness to the point of embracing the truth of there being no one right way to do anything or be in the world – then we’ll find ourselves in the midst of living a full blown good life, the best life.

The best time of our lives doesn’t have to have happened already – it doesn’t have to get regulated to sometime down the road in the future. The best time of our lives really can be right now, today. With our thoughts we make the world, as the Buddha said.

If you think your life sucks, then it does. If you think your life is good, then it is. If you think you have great abundance beyond measure – that every day is a gift bestowed upon you – then the freedom to enjoy each moment is boundless.

And, it doesn’t hurt if every once in a while you find yourself wearing matching chicken hats with your cat, too. Just sayin’.

 

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2017 in Everyday Practice, Fun

 

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Cat on the lap

 

In only the way a cat can, I was commandeered – in the best way possible – unable to break free. And, as we were sitting outside, I was afforded the luxury of time to look up and ponder the merits and inspirational value of the two towering elm tree friends posting guard in our backyard.

So, it was just this morning that I was able to determine, without wavering, that while they are cause for dismay and require great efforts of manual labor at times, their beauty, wisdom, and fortitude offer far more benefit.

I realized, too, that the one directly overhead of me had a sense of humor, as it was pelting me occasionally with small bits of twigs and leaves as I was writing.

P.S I thought it worth mentioning that I have mild-moderate levels of hesitation in fashioning and posting this photo array from pics I took this morning, as there is a part of me that wants to stay in close personal accord with not becoming one of “those” kinds of cat people. But after careful consideration, I decided it was worth the risk.

 
 

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Time Well Spent

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Today, in the folds of early morning darkness, the quiet of my sitting meditation session was interrupted by the familiar and awful, guttural groaning of my cat preparing to toss his cookies.

I didn’t need to open my eyes to know which of my two cats it was. We have one who’s earned the honorific title of Head-Wound-Harry, and then we have Sir-Throws-Up-A-Lot.

In a small victory, I managed to spring up in time to shoo him off the couch. Unlike dogs, who throw up in conveniently concentrated piles, cats have the need to create long, unscripted trails, which inevitably require the cleaning of both hard and soft surfaces.

It would’ve been easy to have labeled this experience solely as un-welcomed, un-favorable, and gross. But, I thought, isn’t this life, too? Isn’t it the unanticipated, messy occurrences that happen which help constitute life itself?

If it isn’t in this very moment that I’m being called to apply my mindfulness practice,                          what moment am I waiting for?!

After settling back into my meditation, upon completion of haz-mat clean-up detail, I spent the remaining majority of my time, as the impassioned writer that I am, crafting how to encapsulate what had just happened into words I would scribe down when my sitting meditation timer went off. It was time well spent, if you ask me.

 

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Present Moment

presentcats

My cats :)

I wanted to share a poem I came across today in an old journal of mine:

Your Reading this, Be Ready

Starting here, what do you want to remember?

How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?

What scent of old wood hovers, what softened

 sound from outside fills the air?

 

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world

than the breathing respect that you carry

wherever you go right now? Are you waiting

for time to show you some better thoughts?

 

When you turn around, starting here, lift this

new glimpse that you found; carry into evening

all that you want from this day. This interval you spent

reading or hearing this, keep it for life—

What can anyone give you greater than now,

starting here, right in this room, when you turn around?

–William Stafford

 

 
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Posted by on December 5, 2014 in Creative Writing

 

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