“Now is the Time,” by Pema Chodron

“We’re always in some kind of mood. It might be sadness, it might be anger, it might be not much of anything, just a kind of blur. It might be humor or contentment. In any case, whatever it is, that’s the path.

When something hurts in life, we don’t usually think of it as our path or as the source of wisdom. In fact, we think that the reason we’re on the path is to get rid of this painful feeling. In this way, we naively cultivate a subtle aggression against ourselves.

However, the fact is that anyone who has used the moments, days, and years of his or her life to become wiser, kinder, and more at home in the world has learned from what’s happening right now. We can aspire to be kind right in the moment, to relax and open our heart and mind to what is in front of us right in the moment. Now is the time. If there’s any possibility for enlightenment, it’s right now, not at some future time.” – Pema Chodron

Guided Meditation for Immunity (12 minutes)

To strengthen your immunity, you can get a good night’s sleep, eat healthy (more fruits and vegetables), increase your vitamin C and Zinc intake, take probiotics/herbs, exercise, forest bathe, garden, do yoga, and meditate. However, thoughts and feelings can affect immunity too. Remember, where thoughts go, energy flows.

Right now, fear can creep into your mind. It’s normal to feel some fear during uncertain times. But fear can cause restlessness and sleeplessness – which can affect immunity. Try to keep your mind on positive thoughts and emotions – as much as possible. Keep your vibration high by staying in love and gratitude. If you feel fear, turn your thoughts and feelings to gratitude. Or distract your mind by thinking about your goals or the things that you want to accomplish.

If you do become ill, then let illness be your teacher. You can still be well even if you are sick. Miles J. Stanford says, “Health is a state of body. Wellness is a state of being.” Humans beings go through cycles of health and illness, and now we have the new challenge of COVID-19.

Here is a 12 minute guided meditation to strengthen your immunity:

Use headphones or earbuds.

“I Start My Day,” by Karen Drucker

I start my day with love, when I start my day with love
that’s what I get more of is love
Love love love, love love love

I start my day with peace, when I start my day with peace
I feel that sweet release of peace
Peace peace peace, peace peace peace

I start my day with joy, when I start my day with joy
everything I do is infused with joy
Joy joy joy, joy joy joy

I start my day with love, I start my day with peace
I start my day with joy and I feel that sweet release

Just Be

I like collecting crystals putting them in my rock garden. For example, I have rose quartz, aquamarine, yellow citrine, amethyst, agates, and plain rocks. A few days ago, I found this “Just Be” rock (see above).

My friend gave me this rock about a year ago, but the message is timely for what is happening in our world right now. It is difficult to “just be” when there is so much uncertainty.

I feel the transformation on all levels. I need to remind myself that I am an eternal being, and change is part of life. However, to survive this turbulent time, I must fortify and strengthen my internal self – mental, psychological, and emotional.

To “just be,” I need to accept the present moment. Am I safe right now? Do I have everything that I need? Can I let my emotions teach me about life? Rumi has a fascinating poem about thoughts and emotions:

Namaste, world.

I Ching

I Ching Trigram

“The I Ching explains that life is sometimes like a well that is being lined with stone. While it is true that the well cannot be used while the work is going on, ‘the work is not in vain; the result is that the water stays clear. In life also there are times when a man must put himself in order.’

There are times when you feel invisible. You feel passed over and ineffective. Your phone messages go unanswered. Your letters come back to you marked address unknown. During such times, you may not be able to express your power in the outer world. But that does not mean you have the right to throw up your hands in despair.

Rather, you can take this opportunity to enhance your character through the serious work of inner development. What you are doing may not be apparent on the surface. It may look as if you have fallen into disuse. But the work that is transpiring in you at this very moment, so quiet and so internal that even you may not have realized it was going on, is of utmost importance. What you are doing when you give yourself time and space to nurture your spirit at the deepest levels is no less than fortifying yourself for the greater role you are being prepared to play in the world. The I Ching teaches that if you cultivate within yourself qualities of character, such as strength, faith, and perseverance, you will not have to force opportunities to come to you. Those that are meant to be yours will come to you of their own free will.” – Carol Orsborn, The Art of Resilience: 100 Paths to Wisdom and Strength in an Uncertain World.

Mind your Mind

It is time to train your mind. You can control your thoughts! Rein your thoughts like a rider reins a horse. Also, become aware of how your environment affects your thoughts. You need to be careful of what you let into your consciousness, especially from technology/media, books, and other people. Remember where thoughts go, energy flows.

As you train your mind, connect with higher vibrations of love and intuition. It’s not always easy – it takes practice. The best way to train your mind is through daily meditation. Singing or reciting mantras can also help to train the mind. The word “mantra” is from Sanskrit and contains two words. “Man” or “manas,” which means “mind” and the suffix “tra,” which means “tool.” Translations of this mantra are “instrument of thought” and “I am that I am.”

Here is a video of the seven chakra mantras to help balance the energy in your body and mind:

I am. Namaste, world.

What would my Dad do during this COVID-19 Pandemic?

My Dad and I in 1981

My dad died on August 7, 2016. But if he were alive and well today, what would he do? If you read my blog post on February 24th, you know that my dad was a prepper (a person who believes a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and makes active preparations for it).

My dad was like a ping pong ball, one minute he was happy and calm, and the next minute, he was angry. He was an emotional man and a protector of his family. What would he do if he was here today? He would pray and prepare.

My family would pray when things got bad. Every night my mom and dad would have me and my brother’s kneel around my parents king size bed to pray. My dad would say, “All of us better pray.” I remember praying for our family and all of God’s creatures.

My dad prepared for emergencies. When I was young, I remember my dad stocked up on food, survival supplies, and collected gold and silver coins. My dad was a risk-taker, and he would not take crap from anyone. Many times, I was afraid of my dad.

Even though I was a little afraid of my dad, I knew that he loved me very much. Love is one of the highest vibrations. I can choose to let the current pandemic scare me, or I can fill my heart with love and gratitude. Negative forces will try to bring down my vibration, but I can stop that by increasing the love in my heart.

Love is our armor/armour (protection).*

*”Love” in French, Spanish, and Italian – Amour, Amor, Amore

In January 2020, I made an intention for the new year to work with my heart chakra. Now I know why I chose this intention. The heart chakra will help me transform during this time of change. Also, as a community, we need to increase the vibration of love in our hearts.

The heart chakra functions as a bridge between the drives of the lower chakras and these higher chakras. At this threshold, the energy of compassion and loving-kindness draws us upwards into the higher spiritual dimensions. – Layne Redmond

If my dad could talk to me today, he would tell me that this pandemic is temporary, God is love, and that I should pray every day for those who are suffering.

May you be well, happy, skillful, and peaceful.

Namaste, world.

Ujjayi Breathing, by B.K.S. Iyengar

Last night I had difficulty falling asleep, so I tried several breathing techniques to calm my mind. I realized that I am using my computer and cell phone more often than usual. I have to be careful of digital overload and make sure I take breaks from technology.

The breathing technique that worked the best to calm my mind and body was Ujjayi Breathing or Pranayama. Here is a simplified version of Ujjayi breathing:

  1. Start to breathe in and out through your nose, naturally.
  2. Empty all the air in your lungs. Then take a slow, deep breath through both nostrils. The passage of the incoming air is felt on the roof of the palate and makes a sound (sa).
  3. Exhale slowly through both nostrils. The passage of the outgoing air is felt on the roof of the palate and makes a sound (ha).
  4. Repeat the cycles for five to ten minutes.
  5. Ujjayi breathing sounds like the ebb and flow of the ocean.

Namaste, world.

Brave and Calm (COVID-19)

Vietnamese Refuge Boat

When the crowded Vietnamese refuge boats met with storms or pirates, if everyone panicked all would be lost. But if even one person on the boat remained calm and centered, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive. Thich Nhat Hanh

Several months ago, my former father-in-law, Bill, was in the intensive care unit struggling to breathe. He was 86-years old and was hospitalized several times in the past year. I told my ex-husband that I would come to the hospital to support him and our daughters. I knew that Bill was going to die.

When I arrived, Bill, laid in his hospital bed with an oxygen mask as he struggled to survive. My former sister-in-law, Kari, wanted to remove the mask and let him go. Since I worked in the hospice field, I helped the family make end-of-life decisions such as when to increase medication, ordering a hospital chaplain, and explaining the dying process.

A few weeks later, at Bill’s funeral, Kari thanked me for my calm presence at the hospital. I was that one person who remained calm and centered during an emotional time. I kept all the people in the boat from panicking.

You, too, can be the one person to keep your family calm during this pandemic. We will survive this pandemic! Human beings are resourceful, adaptable, and creative.

There are a lot of worries about getting sick, taking care of someone who is sick, and how to pay bills. Hopefully, everyone can go back to work soon (as long as it’s safe and there’s a good plan in place).

The Vietnamese refugees set sail on small boats. They did not have any guarantees, but they were brave enough to face the unknown. We, too, can face the challenges ahead and be brave enough and calm enough to weather the storm.

Namaste, world.