Awake in the World

Awake in the World

Live Life as an Adventure

posted by debramoffitt

Life is an adventure. Explore it.

Opening the heart can become an adventure. Recently a friend wrote to me in a state of shock. She was on her way to the hospital for a surprise – open heart surgery. I felt her shock even through the email. It’s always difficult to know what to say, but I sensed she would come out of the experience okay. “It’ll be an adventure,” I wrote. She said those surprising words shifted her perspective. 

On the way down the hospital corridors she saw a quote displayed prominently on a wall. “One way to get the most out of life is to look upon it as an adventure.” The synchronicity caught her off guard. “I had no choice but to let go and be carried along by the angel spirits,” she later wrote. Today she’s well on her way to mending with a happy heart. She is healing well and her attitude and elevated spirits have helped. According to recent studies at Duke’s Center for Spirituality, Theology and Health in Durham, NC, those who have solid spiritual beliefs and upbeat attitudes make it through life’s challenges better,  heal faster and reduces stress. It confirms that when life is viewed as an adventure we take the journey in a way that is healthier for our bodies, minds and spirits.

As I go through challenging and uncertain times right now, I’m making myself remember and hold to that view. So often it’s easy to settle into a comfortable situation and find it easy to lose consciousness and fall asleep. It seems this is when life jerks us back into the game and throws a curve ball that changes the score. It’s like the universe is says, “Wake up!  We’re on a trip and you can’t afford to drive it with your eyes shut.”

If you’re having challenges today, make the effort to shift perspective from worry, fear and anxiety to viewing life as an adventure. Explorers who set off on a journey don’t expect comfort and constancy. They anticipate difficulties and challenges on their great adventure. Find excitement and joy in the new opportunities that may grow from challenging situations.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at  http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

Love in Action – The Highest and Hardest Spiritual Practice

posted by debramoffitt

“Love is neither sentiment nor emotion. Love is energy.” – Sathya Sai Baba

Some of my best and greatest teachers have been embodiments of love. They teach through example. My grandmother, Eva, gave me good lessons. Regardless of my childish and often egocentric ways she’d always wrap me in her thick, warm arms and give me absolute and total unconditional love. I’d bury my head in her flower print cotton dress and whatever troubled my heart would fade in an instant. She may have taught me some of the greatest lessons about how to put love into action. They came through her in waves of loving energy that I will never forget.

When I lived in the South of France, I often attended satsang (being in company of the spiritual-minded), with Tibetan Buddhist Lama, Sogyal Rinpoche. His gentle humor and warmth represented another kind of love. He could speak to compassion and entice my heart to open and expand. The big leap came on a trip to India, the first time I saw Sathya Sai Baba. Baba was an elevated soul who could melt the hardest hearts with the love that emanated from him. He never sought publicity and yet millions of people from around the world traveled to the remote village where he lived in India for his darshan (vision of a holy one).

When he died recently, he received a funeral with state honors and the Dalai Lama along with representatives of other major world religions paid tribute to his works of service. Baba built state-of-the-art hospitals, schools and canals that carry drinking water to villages that previously had none. The health care and education in the institutions is provided entirely for free. His love in action helped millions in India and around the world.

The greater the love, the greater the power to effect change and bring a positive influence to the world. Many people think of speaking of Love as a cliché. But real  Love as a practice is hard work – and worth every iota of effort. It transcends romantic notions and unites us with deep feelings of Oneness.  To me this type of Love means making an effort to help others even when there is no reward; thinking kind and loving thoughts; giving back to the community in small ways and in big ways when possible. Sometimes a smile to someone at the right time or an inspired gift of food can be the love needed in the moment that will change someone’s heart and lift them from despair.

What does Love mean to you and how will you consciously Love today? What quality of Love will you put into your work, your relationships and your life? The energy of Love that we bring into our actions, projects and words today add up over the long term to bring meaning and beauty.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

Expand into the Place of Inspired Mind

posted by debramoffitt

The level of mind at which we function can have a huge impact on our lives and on the lives of those around us. Remember Einstein’s comment, “The problems we face cannot be resolved at the same level of mind at which we created them.” So how do we go beyond and get into the realm of inspired mind?

We usually function during the day from the waking level of consciousness. We’re awake and conscious of what’s going on in the immediate environment. At night we move into dream and deep sleep consciousness. Meditation and other related practices expand the mind so that we can consciously grow into the regions of higher mind. The Sanskrit term is “buddhi” or higher intellect. Being in this place is like standing up on a mountain top and having a spacious view. Many things can be understood from this perspective and we’re able to see connections and have insights that shed new light on how to solve problems and what to do next.

The next time you’re faced with a challenging issue, instead of acting (or often reacting) to the situation, choose to sit quietly in meditation for a few minutes. Allow a space to open up by focusing the mind on a candle flame, a sacred object or image. Some people find it easier to use a centering mantra like “shanthi” (peace) or Love, or use a sacred name like Jesus, Allah or Buddha. This takes practice. The mind will wander and it requires gentle effort to bring the mind back to the image or word. With the mind focused, the mind occupied you can expand into the higher mind and become receptive to new solutions and creative ideas. This practice brings about powerful transformation and unexpected insights. It may even open the space to enlightenment.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.debramoffitt.com and http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

Conscious Cooking: Mindfulness in the Kitchen

posted by debramoffitt

The kitchen offers one of the best and most creative places for practicing mindfulness. Many mindfulness practices are done in yoga studios or meditation rooms where everything is designed to be calm and peaceful. This is a nice way to begin the practice of meditation, but real meditation starts to take place when it’s intimately integrated into daily life. What better place to start than in the kitchen?!

Turning a meal into a meditation experience can be a beneficial way to observe the mind, explore challenges and also sow love into a meal designed for yourself, your family or a friend. When viewed as play, it can also bring fun into the practice and keep it light and joyful rather than dour and serious. But more than that it can be an opportunity to consciously cook with love.

Walter Danzer, founder of Soyana, a natural foods company located in Switzerland takes the ancient practices to heart. Food cooked with love provides nutrition for body, mind and spirit. It gives the added “soul nutrients” that don’t come from factory made, processed foods. Ever have that longing for mom’s homemade dishes? Baked, sweet yams, persimmon pudding, cheesecake or even simple corn on the cob? Sometimes the store brought varieties can be found, but they still leave an unsatisfied feeling. Danzer and his employees realize the importance of peaceful surroundings for food preparation. All of Soyana’s employees meditate regularly and consciously bring the energy of love into their work and food handling. The result has been a successful company that exports to Germany and continues to expand with new product lines and creative ideas.

In ancient traditions it’s said that the cook transmits subtle properties of his or her thoughts and emotions into the food. To avoid being contaminated by the world, monks would cook their own food or take something with them when they traveled away from the monastery. Danzer said he and his staff experienced this first hand when they all ate a meal at a restaurant and all of them awoke with nightmares. From that time Danzer dedicated himself to providing foods made in the most uplifting environment.

With these reflections in mind, try making a conscious meal and bringing in that delectable energy of love. Chop the zucchini with careful attention. The mind will want to wander to other things, but gently bring it back. Enjoy the creative joy of being present in the kitchen.

Bio: Debra Moffitt is author of Awake in the World: 108 Practices to Live a Divinely Inspired Life. A visionary and teacher, she’s devoted to nurturing the spiritual in everyday life. She leads workshops on spiritual practices at the Sophia Institute and other venues in the U.S. and Europe. Her mind/body/spirit articles, essays and stories appear in publications around the globe and were broadcast by BBC World Services Radio. She has spent over fifteen years practicing meditation, working with dreams and doing spiritual practices. Visit her online at http://www.awakeintheworld.com.

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