The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Monkey Mind Meditation

When I first saw this cartoon, I laughed with knowing awareness, since it is how I and many who meditate, find the practice to go. The truth is, meditation is ‘not what you think’. My initial foray into that realm occurred under water as I swam multiple laps for many years as a competitive swimmer, long before I put my tush on a meditation cushion or yoga mat. It seemed a natural thing to do, as I was in the ‘zone’, clocking mile after mile in chlorinated nirvana. I lost track of time, lost count of laps, my body cutting through the water seemingly effortlessly at times. At the end of the practice, shaking off the droplets, I felt both exhausted and exhilirated. These days, I appreciate the saying that prayer is talking to God, meditation is listening for the answer. I admit, that I don’t have a disciplined practice, catching glimpses of the insides of my eyelids (other than for sleep) not as often as I would like. I do know that when I do submerge into deep delta state, I emerge refreshed and re-energized…who wouldn’t want more of that?

When I am doing it solo, that dialogue in the cartoon is an accurate portrayal, a running patter in my ever so active, swinging from the trees monkey mind, chattering at me about all the things I could be/should be doing rather than ‘wasting’ my time traveling in other realms…plenty of opportunity while I am sleeping, is what I tell myself. When I experience guided meditation in the presence of someone who is soothing of voice and deft of technique, I immerse more deeply, letting go of control. I don’t always remember what happens in that state, but I know that I am receiving benefit nonetheless. Music helps me too, as a beckoning invitation to float away on its melodious and harmonic raft. I welcome entering the zen zone~

http://www.spiritvoyage.com/yoga/Kundalini-Meditation-Music/Snatam-Kaur/CDS-004086.aspx  Snatam Kaur Harijiwan Khalsa, GuruGanesha Singh

Leaping Into Life

 

As I am writing this, it is still officially Leap Day…that anomaly in the calendar that occurs once every four years, an ‘extra day’ to balance out the year. It hadn’t occured to me until tonight that many people consider it a magical event as well. I was facilitating a workshop tonight called Leap Into Life at the beautiful Greenshire Arts Consortium in Quakertown, Pa. It is a lovely nestled-in -nature venue for workshops, classes, drumming circles, spiritual events and the like. Arlene and Jim Curley are the owners/directors of the center and in the years I have known them, have found them to be stewards of the land on which it sits and welcoming hosts to all who set foot on it, as it emits a palpable healing energy.

On this rainy night that filled the winding forest-embraced roads that took me to Greenshire, I had a sense of exhiliration, wondering what leaps the folks who would attend would be willing to take and how I as a guide could create a safe space for them to do so. As a facilitator, that feels like Job 1.  I know that I don’t have the right or responsibility to decide what anyone will glean from our time together, only that I build a ‘container’ for what could emerge and they create their experience. I have seen gifted teachers do this over the years AND I have, sadly witnessed what could happen when others haven’t.  When we began the opening circle, those in the workshop all shared that idea…that Leap Day felt like a transitional time, infused somehow with an extra oomph!  So, with that in mind, I encouraged them to use it as a springboard, since what we believe, fuels our activity. Intention is like that. I shared with them that leaps need not look like pole vaults. For some, little bounces can feel leap-y!  Many’s the time over the years that baby steps into change, were all I could manage. These days, my leaps feel like I am wearing my Wonder Woman cape for extra lift and I am loving it.

They look like asking for what I desire, refraining from questioning, “do I deserve this?”, connecting with people for mutual benefit, knowing that I have resources to share, as do they.  We have become family of choice. Rarely intimidated, I expressed to the women there last night, that I heed the wise words of my father Moish: “They put their pants on one leg at time, just like you do.”, and the fun guidance of my mother Selma: “Walk in like you own the joint.” , with head held high, making eye contact and (I added) “knockers up”. That got a laugh from the group.

Another leap is seeing my vision for my life clearly layed out before me, when I wouldn’t have dared to do so in earlier times, since the thought “What if it doesn’t happen?” would plague me. These days, I ask “What if it does?”, which delights me endlessly.

What are your leaps, hops and bounds?

Who supports you in taking them?

Are you willing to hold hands with your ‘family of choice’ as you leap together into your new life?

http://youtu.be/3_wQsERQ_Yc  A video with Jim and Arlene Curley…the vision continues

www.theoriginof.com/leap-year.html
-

When Two Or More Are Gathered

 

Cynthia Segal  (another Facebook friend) was describing to someone the way to create a certain emoticon to go along with postings.  Simply by typing the < symbol followed by the number 3 side by side, it becomes a lovely heart.

Had an interesting insight  about those symbols:  “When 2 or more are gathered in my name….”  < +  3   =<3

Although I am an interfaith minister, I am not a Biblical scholar. I am however, a lover of symbol and ritual  and know a metaphor when it is dancing right in front of me. The quote from Matthew 18:20 reminds me of the power of kindred spirit relationships.  “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”

Tonight was such a night to have that amazing experience. Sipping tea, I am easing back following a presentation I offered at a healing haven in Emmaus, PA called Vitality Healthcare Center, stewarded by Darin Mazepa who is an awesome chiropractor who actually gave me what he calls an ‘entrainment’ prior to my speaking, telling me he wanted me to be clear for the audience. Less than a year ago, Darin and I did not know each other, but sensed an immediate connection, an ‘oh there you are, old friend’ experience. You all have them, I imagine when happening upon another person who feels strikingly familiar. We share similar musical tastes and world view and until tonight, had never laid eyes on each other, but the in person ‘reunion’ was lovely. When I drove up to his office, I saw my name on the marquee out front and felt like a superstar(:  He greeted me with a big old hug and welcomed me into the room which was filled, in short order with eager participants who wanted to leap into a life they had only dreamed of. By showing up, they signaled a willingness to take a step beyond what they thought was possible for themselvcs, into what could be so, with sufficient dream power, followed by inspired action. I met a roomfull of new friends, including Darin’s lovely partner Pamela. Together we stretched and kvetched, (I teach something called the ‘oy vey stretch’), shared our deepest dreams and most heart felt desires and supported each other in drawing in what we wanted. We sprinkled love on each other that poured forth from a can marked Love, Spice for Living. We laughed and cried, we perfectly imperfect works in progress. I am certain that upon leaving the room, these folks  also left an imprint; an energetic signature that will reverberate in endless waves of contentment and joy. I am equally sure that they will carry this contagious condition out into the larger world. We may have entered as strangers, but left as family of choice.

Certainly the I Am, was invited into that room tonight and I sense, was metaphorically smiling in welcome, reminding us to continue to gather to celebrate the love that we are.

Gratitude As A Way of Life

                                                                                       
In a recent article written by Melinda Beck in The Wall Street Journal, she shared:  “A growing body of research suggests that maintaining an attitude of gratitude can improve psychological, emotional and physical well-being.  Adults who frequently feel grateful have more energy, more optimism, more social connections and more happiness than those who do not, according to studies conducted over the past decade. They’re also less likely to be depressed, envious, greedy or alcoholics. They earn more money, sleep more soundly, exercise more regularly and have greater resistance to viral infections.”
Within the article is a test that readers can take that measure the degree of their gratitude. I scored 42 out of 42 points. It indicated that people who score in the 40-42 range, see life as a gift and that for them, gratitude is a way of life. I do and it is. Hard to imagine feeling any other way. Perhaps it has something to do with my upbringing. In my family, we were taught that awareness and expression of gratitude were natural outcomes of  healthy interactions between people, regardless of age. Never did I feel less than because I was a child. My parents thanked my sister and me and each other in our presence. Thank you notes were sent following birthdays. Appreciation for the blessings in our lives was as natural as breathing. Besides, it just plain feels good to immerse myself in thankful mode. I sometimes think of it as being thank-full to overflowing, just as a stream can overflow its bank, so too can we let our appreciation water and nourish the grass around us, as we grow our relationships.
I love ritual and engage in it throughout my day. When I awaken, I give thanks for the day, brimming with opportunity to create anew. Over the next 12 hours, especially if I am feeling anything but grateful, I pause and consider what it is I appreciate about my life circumstances, even as I may be hardpressed to find something to like about the current situation. When I do that, it feels as if a huge boulder has been lifted. Before I drift off into dream land, I take stock of my day and count my gifts and treasures. I also periodically create an ‘attytood of gratitude list’ and listen to songs that express thanksgiving, singing along with gusto. As a result, I find that I am consistently healthier and happier than many people I have encountered. Since like attracts like, I am discovering lately that the folks with whom I cross paths are indeed more pleasant to be around.
I invite you to take time and create a list of 10 things for which you can be grateful. It could be as simple as being able to open your eyes and see the sun streaming into your home.  Create a gratiude vision board with pictures and words that evoke a sense of serenity and appreciation. Tell the people in your life that you are grateful for their presence, even those (especially those) who push your buttons. AND it is important to thank the woman or man in the mirror for sticking with you all these years.
http://youtu.be/ZRe339H4Iwg  You Inspire Me: A Song of Gratitude by Skye Dyer
http://youtu.be/D6jB7PFSw8k  They Shaped My Life by Jason Mraz
http://youtu.be/HliNxhlDP4o The Thanksgiving Song of Gratitude by Bob Baker
Previous Posts

Invulnerable and Invincible?
  Yesterday, in the midst of a radio interview with Kerri Kannan,  I was asked a question about vulnerability. It is a topic that has become as familiar as the fingers typing these words. I was awakened to it when viewing a TEDTalk by Brene' Brown a year or so ago. It doesn't come easily to

posted 10:24:20pm Sep. 18, 2014 | read full post »

The Now What Club
This morning, I joined two dear friends for brunch at Mal's Diner in Skippack, PA.  After a heart-healthy workout in cardiac rehab, I had a heart- happy  meal of egg whites, spinach (no cheese), fresh fruit instead of home fries and dry (no butter) whole grain toast. Yvonne Kaye has been my mentor

posted 10:10:09pm Sep. 16, 2014 | read full post »

Enjoy Every Moment
Feeling emotionally raw at the moment, having just returned from a day of honoring my friend Delane Lipka. I had written about another extraordinary day in a previous Beliefnet article called In the Garden of Eden that described a gathering of kindred spirits that had been organized by Delane. For d

posted 10:03:50pm Sep. 15, 2014 | read full post »

Cardia-versary
This morning marks 3 months since I experienced the kind of pain that cracks you open and has you revealing the emotional viscera that had long lay dormant. Literally at this moment, I was captured by the symptoms of a heart attack- searing heart burn pain, jaw tightness and wringing wet sweats. I s

posted 10:56:19am Sep. 12, 2014 | read full post »

Cosmic Coincidence
My definition of cosmic coincidence are those events that have me shaking my head in bewildered awe, asking "What are the chances that such a thing could happen?"  My answer is always the same. "100%, since it occurred." It is that encounter with just the right person, hearing a song on the radio r

posted 10:05:23pm Sep. 10, 2014 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.