The Bliss Blog

The Bliss Blog

Abundant Love

If I could offer you the most precious gifts imaginable, they would be:

The ability to adore the person in the mirror

A chance to make a difference in someone’s life

Fulfillment of your dearest wish

Satisfaction of a job well done from start to finish

Willingness to put your heart on the line

Delight in each moment

Stillness and silence

Overcoming your deepest fear

Letting someone in all the way

Peace of mind even in the midst of a swirling tempest

At least one (& hopefully many) who loves you unconditionally

Time to sing, dance and play with abandon

Being known completely and fully

Owning your personal strengths

Unbridled enthusiasm

Boundless creativity

Discovering your purpose

Learning something new every day

Implicit trust in Spirit, knowing you will be safely held and cradled

Facing your shadow and seeing the light shining within and around it

Knowing that you are never alone

People who believe in you and tell you so

All the hugs you could possibly want…and then some

Being your bliss

Following your passion

Cleansing tears

Remembering who you truly are

Open hearted acceptance of what is

Belly laughs

Wild Card/Fill in the blank——————————-

Living Fully: Finding Joy In Every Breath

The cover exuded a sense of serenity, as it welcomed me inside and the title carried me on the breath of  peace; much needed for this recovering Type A, go-getter. As I immersed myself in its pages, I found myself smiling in recognition of the wisdom contained within a subtle blending of the flavors of East and West. Easily translatable for readers who are not familiar with meditation or Buddhist practice and sublime for those who are. What would it indeed be like to live fully and find joy in every breath? Could it be as profoundly simple as following the inhalation and exhalation required for survival and transform our lives with the idea that this precious moment is really all we have? The author;  Buddhist teacher, lama, humanitarian and world citizen Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche offers concepts that say a hardy yes to that question.

With intriguing chapter titles such as Precious Human Birth, Turn Toward Freedom, The Profound Meaning of Compassion and Territorial Self, the reader is taken along on a journey that embraces peace and lovingkindness. Rinpoche’s conversational style makes it seem as if he is telling a story and turning the pages himself.

It is not sufficient, however, to merely read the words. The power is in putting into daily practice, the ideas contained within. He offers:  “The practice is to be  gentle. The practice is to be kind. The practice is to be understanding…….   there will be nothing further you need to accomplish. With this alone, you will have accomplished everything.”

He closes with the humble prayer: “May this benefit all beings.”

 

Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche is the author of LIVING FULLY: FINDING JOY IN EVERY BREATH (New World Library, February 2012).  He is the spiritual guide of Shyalpa Monastery in Kathmandu, the founder of the Tibetan Refugee Children’s Fund, and the head of Ranging Yeshe, Inc., a nonprofit that organizes teachings and retreats throughout the United States.  He has lectured at Harvard, Yale, Wesleyan, and the Naropa Institute.  He lives in Nepal and New York.  For more information, please visit www.shyalparinpoche.org.

For more information, you can read the interview with Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche in the March issue of Wisdom Magazine www.wisdom-magazine.com

 

Dress It Up, Mess It Up, Bless It Up

 

Heard a stunningly simplistic bit of wisdom on Sunday morning, offered by Rev. Kenneth White who was speaking at Circle of Miracles. An interfaith minister, AIDS Activist/ Educator and playwrite (I will be interviewing Kenny shortly and you will learn more about this multi-talented Renaissance Man). His style is to the point and laced with humor, so as to bring any audience to rolls of laughter and tears as he did for us on this crisp, cold Southeastern Pennsylvania day. We were warmed by his tales about the generations of his family, from his grandmother Aggie, to his wise mother who shared her beliefs in spirituality, to his grandkids who amaze him and drive him wonderfully crazy, by his admission.

So, the wisdom…he expressed that we always have the choice in any situation to:

Dress it up- embellishing the story so it is exaggerated beyond its actual boundaries. Some people feel as if they are not enough as is, so they make themselves appear to be something that they are not, out of a sense of insecurity. By dressing it up, we become inauthentic and out of integrity.

Mess it up-making the story worse than it needs to be, catastrophizing and awfulizing, with the intention of garnering sympathy, blaming, finger pointing and refraining from taking responsibility for our choices.

Bless it up-turn it over to a Higher Power, whatever that is for you. It doesn’t mean accepting abuse in any way. It is about reframing challenges into exercise equipment that strengthen us and make us more flexible.

Throughout my life, I have been in all three places. As a consummate Type A -overachiever-recovering-co-dependent whose inner critic has a field day at times and whose ‘savior behavior’ kicks in when I sense someone in need, I have come to recognize when I am about to tumble into the first two realms.  When I am temped to dress things up, I notice that ‘imposter sydrome’ has kicked in and what it takes to remedy it is to list my accomplishments that day, week, month, year and sometimes lifetime. The pull can be that strong requiring heavy duty remedy.  When messing it up rears its snarly head, I throw a brief pity party, whining in my head “how come, it’s not fair, they get to, I don’t…” When I realize that I am the only guest there, I leave, although recently my dear zen-friend Peggy has joined what she called my “poutin’ self” and gave me space to complain for a bit. Blessing it up is my true delight and I have been able to reframe even the most painful and challenging situations, turning lemons into the best  lemon merengue pie, I have ever had. Yum~

 

Divine Lunacy

 

As I am writing this entry, I am surrounded by sonic sweetness, offered up by a group of musicians singing in a language that is not native to them or their country of origin, but is clearly one that they have adopted and spread world wide. The CD entitled To Be Home, created by David and Mira Newman, whom I consider rock stars of the sacred chant world, followed me home from a kirtan (call and response honoring of the One in its many forms) I attended last night.  The Sanskrit word ‘kirtan’ means ‘to repeat’. This devotional musical form came easily to me 6 years ago when I was introduced to it in as I began my yoga practice, because it reminded me of the chanting and prayers in synagogue. I would pop a CD by other various international kirtan artists, including Deva Premal and Miten, Krishna Das and Benjy and Heather Wertheimer, Wah! and Donna DeLory on in the car and sing myself into nirvana while on even the most tedious of drives.  At turns slow and meditative and rollicking and handclapping lively, the music has universal appeal, regardless of religious tradition. David and Mira were indeed home last night, since they hail from the Philadelphia area. The yoga community came out to support their own, big time. I had the bliss of seeing friends with whom I hadn’t crossed paths in years who have been part of my kula (community or family) and  Theresa, whom I had just seen that morning at another yoga studio. One was Amy Cronise-Mead who was one of my first yoga teachers in the beginning of this joyous journey. Another was Mirabai Galashan,  a sister interfaith minister with whom I got to share the divine dance, actually ‘being danced by the music’, so contagious it was.

The kirtan that David, Mira, and friends Marianne Sutin, Corey Sokoloff and Terry Bortman offered (I hesitate to limit it by calling it a performance, although that it was as well, since they are each talented performers who have honed their craft; David thinks of it as ‘prayerformance’) their best to the gathering and God(dess) at the beautiful Dig Yoga studio in the riverside (The Delaware) town of Lambertville, NJ  owned by Sue Elkind and Naime Jezzeny. The high ceilinged, hard wood floored room couldn’t contain all of the energy that swirled around as the music began. A hundred or so people of all ages, from infant (Mira and David’s beautiful baby Tulsi Magdalena, about whom I joked with her grandma Rhoni and aunt Jade that she was the center of attention during the kirtan with her gleeful laughter and chanting, feet kicking and hands clapping in time to her parents’ music) to elders. I was delighted to watch as older boys and girls  (in the 8 -10 year old range) created their own back up singing and dancing troupe, hands in the air, swaying, making up their own dance moves that would have impressed hip hop artists. When I was growing up,  only parents who were considered counter culture hippies would have brought their flower- child -in -the- making kids to an event like this. Now it seems ‘normal’…in my world at least (:

The temperature in the room (although I can’t be certain) would have supported a Bikram hot yoga class, but no one seemed to care as they amped up the energy along with the band, hands stretching and reaching to the heavens, feet grounding to the earth. At one point, David was explaining, in his easy going humorous manner, that bhakti (an intensive love of God) is ‘divine lunacy’ and I heard myself giving knowing affirmation in my own mind, since when I am in that state, I lose track of time, and all that matters is the essence of devotion in the moment. Drippingly drenched afterward, I was infused with shakti, the energy of creation. Feeling blessed that I have the words to describe the nearly indescribable. Sometimes there are none. Sometimes the sound alone is enough. Om Shanti.

www.davidnewmanmusic.com

www.digyoga.com

 

 

 

 

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