Anchor Deep Within

“The rhythm of life has its up and downs. The answer isn’t to get out of the ocean, but to anchor deeply within.” – Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiji

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Waheguru

Waheguru has many meanings. It can refer to the almighty God or supreme soul. It is a mantra chanted in Kundalini yoga – that is used to elevate the spirit. Waheguru also means wondrous enlightener.

When I say, “Waheguru,” I acknowledge the eternal present moment. It’s not just the present moment, but the exact moment. After I am mindful of the moment, I say to myself, “Wow! I am still alive.” Living moment to moment has taught me to be where I am and appreciate my aliveness.

Challenges in life will enter into my present moment. But then when that moment or moments are gone, I can see that my life has changed again. I try not to carry on the burden of past moments, although they like to hang out in my mind. I realize that I am okay. I take full responsibility for my actions in life. I am not perfect – so I need to be a guru to myself to mindfully see that I can choose a path and go forward.

My Buddhist teacher, Bhante Sathi (www.triplegem.org), says that we need to be like the GPS app on our phone. We put in where we want to go and go forward. We do not go backward. We begin where we are and go towards our destination. The past is gone. Therefore, we need to start where we are.

All of your past experiences shaped who you are today. However, you are not those past experiences right now. You have changed and grown. You are a different person – just like how your body changes and your cells change.

Honor your authentic soul. Set boundaries, take care of yourself, and take care of others. I say to you, “WAHEGURU!” May you elevate your spirit, be wise, and rejoice in the present moment.

Namaste, world.

Life’s Lemons!

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. We can take a difficult situation and see it as an opportunity for spiritual growth. We can change our mind on how we see the situation and create openness. It doesn’t mean to give up or run away. It means to see clearly and wisely.

I have a hospice patient who is diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). It is a disease affecting motor neurons of the spinal cord, which causes progressive weakness and atrophy of muscles. My patient is confined to a wheelchair, and he can only move his head. He was handed some major lemons.

I am surprised by my patient’s calm attitude and acceptance of his situation. It’s been a long two years for him. I’m sure he’s gone through a process of acceptance over time. My patient is happy with his life, and he has no regrets. He’s an amazing person!

When life hands us lemons, it’s hard to see that “this too shall pass.” But everything is temporary and impermeant. Our impermeant body is a blessing. Most of us will face the lemons of old age, illness, and eventually death.

What can we do when we have to face the lemons in our life? The making of lemonade is mindfulness, deep breathing, acceptance, positive attitude, resilience, and appreciation or gratitude. No one is perfect. There will be days when you don’t want to make lemonade – and that’s okay. A few days ago, I had a hospice patient who is consistently pleasant and happy, who said she was feeling angry that day. We are human – be human.

The main lessons that I learned from my hospice patients are to enjoy your life, be cheerful when working with people, and drink a lot of lemonade!

Namaste, world.

Mindfulness in Action

“Mindfulness is an embodied knowing of our present moment experience. It’s being present with our experiences in real time rather than being reactive and mindless, and pulled along by whatever is happening around us. It’s not about getting rid of thoughts or even about relaxation. It’s about developing the skills for greater clarity and choosing how we respond in any given moment.” – Alex Haley, Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing

Investing in Friends, by Thich Nhat Hanh

Even if we have a lot of money in the bank, we can die very easily from our suffering. So, investing in a friend, making a friend into a real friend, building a community of friends, is a much better source of security. We will have someone to lean on, to come to, during our difficult moments.

We can get in touch with the refreshing, healing elements within and around us thanks to the loving support of other people. If we have a good community of friends, we are very fortunate. To create a good community, we first have to transform ourselves into a good element of the community. After that, we can go to another person and help him or her become an element of the community. We build our network of friends that way. We have to think of friends and community as investments, as our most important asset. They can comfort us and help us in difficult times, and they can share our joy and happiness. – Thich Nhat Hanh

Sky Visualization

SKY VISUALIZATION

Sit comfortably on your chair, bed, or sofa. Allow your legs to relax. Release any tension in your arms and shoulders. Straighten your back. Relax the tension around your eyes and forehead.

Inhale a long, deep breath – hold it – hold it – then slowly exhale. Repeat two more times. Relax. Feel the gentle vibration of your body.

Now read these words and then close your eyes to visualize the scene. You are sitting in a park with a beautiful lake in front of you. It’s a gorgeous day – warm with a little breeze. As you sit near the lake, you lift your head and look at the blue sky. The sky is bright blue with a few puffy clouds. You can feel the expansion of the sky – it is endless.

The sky is so expansive that it has room for everything. You can have a mind like a sky. Your mind can be open, free, and nonjudgmental. If you are thinking too much or feel stuck – look at the sky. It will remind you to let go – be spacious like the sky.

You can choose your thoughts, and the sky is a beautiful reminder to let go of the thoughts that are not serving you. Let your unhealthy and judgmental thoughts disappear into the sky. Let them go like passing clouds.

Our ancestors looked up at the sky with gratitude. They took the time to observe the moon, planets, and stars. Our ancestors honored the sun and pondered the mysteries of the night sky. Today, many shamans around the world advise us to look at nature for guidance.

The sky reminds us to keep our chin up and walk on the earth with respect.

Namaste, world.

True Self

Gassho symbolizes respect, feelings of gratitude, and our inter-connectedness with each other.

True Self is the Self that existed before the division of heaven and earth and before one’s father and mother were born. This Self is the Self within me, the birds and the beasts, the grasses and the trees and all phenomena. It is what is called, “Buddha Nature.” – Takuan Soho, “The Unfettered Mind: Writings of the Zen Master to the Sword Master”

Today I said to myself, “I think I get it. I am getting to know my true self.” I am receiving spiritual knowledge from books, my intuition, and people around me. But how do I put it into practice? It’s easy to say, “Let go of your ego. Let yourself shine like the sun without judgment.”

I have a mind – that’s the problem! So I know that I need to train my mind – and that’s the practice. My true self is compassionate and open. I live moment by moment. I have a bright light that affects everything on my path and everything can affect me.

We need to rediscover our True Self because it is only in that state of mind that we full realize that the universe is us and we are the universe. – Frans Stiene, “The Inner Heart of Reiki: Rediscovering Your True Self”

Once again, the answer is meditation (even short meditations are effective). We need to sit down without any distractions and look at our mind. The goal is mindfulness, awareness, and oneness.

When we reach a state of muso (exceptional) we are resting our mind in the great bright light, our True Self. Now life becomes meditation and meditation becomes life. – Frans Stiene, “The Inner Heart of Reiki: Rediscovering Your True Self”

I have an ego that likes to judge, compare, and analyze. However, I can soften my ego with compassion and awareness. I am not like the shining sun that gives without judgment. But I can remind myself not to judge people or things – just let it go. With the knowledge and practice that I have now, I can create a joyful, bright spirit that lives moment by moment with an open mind.

Namaste, world.

Eternity

“What we do now echoes into eternity.”Marcus Aurelius

Wow! What a powerful quote! The message is clear: create the kind of life that you want right now. What is important to you? What do you want to continue into eternity?

I know that my love for people, animals, and nature will echo into eternity. I want to serve people and help people as much as I can. I want to continue to study, learn, grow, become wise and strong. I want to use my intuition to decode information that resides inside my body, mind, and the universe. I want to train my mind and increase my mindfulness, awareness, and love in my heart.

I want an adventurous life. I don’t need to hop on a plane and travel around the world (although that would be amazing). All I need to do is be open to the present moment. Carol Orsborn reminds us, “The present is always free and full of possibilities.” If we intentionally open ourselves to possibilities, life will naturally become adventurous.

I know two things that have stayed with me for a long time: yoga and meditation. Several years ago, I had a past life regression done. Through hypnosis, I traveled to three of my past lives. My previous life, before this one, I was a Buddhist monk in China. I accept that possibility.

We need to remember we are multidimensional beings. The past, present, and future are within us. Train your mind not to fear – something I continue to work on. Fear is a roadblock to intuition and spiritual growth.

I am reminded of another great quote: “The wise man makes his own heaven while the foolish man creates his own hell here and hereafter.” – Ven. K. Sri Dhammananda

Things to remember:

  • Use the power of your mind. Create a strong mind through meditation.
  • Seek sacred knowledge. Fill your mind with wisdom.
  • Keep exploring who you are. Embrace your loneliness by putting your energy and effort into something that you love. Everyone experiences loneliness. However, we can learn to channel that energy.
  • Be thankful for everything in your life.
  • Increase the love in your heart by helping other people, animals, or another good cause.
  • Create the kind of life that you want right now.

I am sending you love and healing energy.

Namaste, world.

Prayer for Wisdom, by Jose Luis Stevens

Prayer for Wisdom

Great Spirit
I have learned much during my life so far
I know and understand how to do many things
Thank you for making me intelligent
Thank you for giving me the opportunities to learn
Thank you for all the things you have exposed me to
I know that being intelligent doesn’t make me wise
Nor does being educated in a conventional way
I desire to be a wise person in addition to being smart
I desire to be wise in all ways as you are
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to become wise
Thank you for helping me to listen more
To watch more
To withhold my judgment longer
To speak the truth as I know it with courage
Thank you Great Spirit for access to wise people
Thank you for providing me with nature to learn from
Thank you for helping me to remain silent for longer periods of time
So that I can contemplate and hear you speak to me
I know that wisdom does not come all at once
I am listening
I will listen
I am becoming wise
Because you are all wise
And you are my source
You are within me
I have access to you at all time
I realize from my vantage point
That I know very little
Yet you are teaching me daily about what has heart and meaning
Great spirit I open my heart to you
I open my heart to experience
Thank you for helping me to withhold judgment
To see with clarity
To understand without confusion
To perceive with accuracy
To be insightful and filled with awareness
Thank you for making me a wise person
So that I may be generous and serve
So that I may make a contribution
And fulfill my life task work
Yes, with you in me, I am wise