Patience

Patience is not a high skill set for me. It offers me life lesson everyday, as I am daily sent teachers to home in on practicing patience. Being a high energy, task-oriented person I move quickly from one task to another. In the process of always thinking ahead to the next task, I miss the present moment. As I notice impatience taking over, I am learning to breathe deeply and pause. Just that moment of awareness and presence makes a difference.

Below is a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke that I return to periodically as a reminder not to rush through life and/or questions.

Be patience with all
that is unresolved in your heart
and try to love
the questions themselves
do not seek
for the answers that
cannot be given
for you would not
be able to live them
and the point is to
live everything
live the questions
now
and perhaps
without knowing it
you will live along
someday
into the answers

May we all live a slower paced life so we may live into the questions.

 

 

Dalai Lama’s Questions for the Millennium

 

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cherishing my garden

The Dalia Lama answered five questions at the turn of the century. As I reread this today I find it to be even more relevant than in 2000.  We are at the end of the second decade of the 21st century and these words soothe me and inform my behavior.

The Dalai Lama was asked five questions.
1. How do we address the widening gap between rich and poor?
2. How do we protect the earth?
3. How do we educate our children?
4. How do we help Tibet and other oppressed countries and peoples of the world?
5. How do we bring spirituality (deep caring for one another) through all disciplines of life.

The Dalai Lama said all five questions fall under the last one.  If we have true compassion in our hearts, our children will be educated wisely, we will care for the earth, those who “have not” will be cared for.  He was asked, “Do you think loving on the planet is increasing or staying the same?” His response, “My experience leads me to believe that love is increasing.”

He shared a simple practice that will increase loving and compassion in the world.  He asked everyone to share it with as many people as they can.

The Practice:

  1. Spend five minutes at the beginning of each day remembering we all want the same things (to be happy and be loved) and we are all connected to one another.
  2. Spend five minutes–breathing in–cherishing yourself, and breathing out–cherishing others. If you think about people you have difficulty cherishing, extend your cherishing to them anyway.
  3. During the day extend that attitude to everyone you meet.  Practice cherishing each person you meet as well as your family. A simple smile can bring light to another.
  4. Continue this practice no matter what happens or what anyone does to you.  These thoughts are very simple, inspiring and helpful.  The practice of cherishing can be taken very deep if done wordlessly, allowing yourself to feel the love and appreciation that already exists in your heart.

May we all take time each day to cherish all the beauty that surrounds us and all the people that bring love and joy to our lives, including ourselves.

Soul-Stretching

Soul stretching, what a wonderful metaphor for living our lives fully. If you haven’t visited Rita Kowats blog “Spirituality without Borders” I highly recommend it.

Spirituality Without Borders: Reflections on Spiritual Practice

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Our attempts at self-protection
cause us to live
in a cramped corner of our lives.

Frank Ostaseski “A Friend until the End”
Lion’s Roar July 2018

Senescence has overtaken my back, but I am releasing pain and regaining flexibility by doing PNF stretches and swimming. Compared to five months ago, I am literally a walking miracle. I often meditate in the water, where this analogy came to me.

Stretching
A miracle for the back
Why not for the soul?

Pull push
Pull push
Breathing out ego
Breathing in light

Synced simultaneous soul-stretches
Creating space for the divine.

© Rita H Kowats 6-25-18

Hour Glass Photo Credit: https://pixabay.com/en/hourglass-sands-of-time-woman-man-1356070/

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Courage

In these stress-filled divisive times may we find the courage to follow the wisdom of the following poem.

COURAGE

True courage is composure
in all situations

True courage is being thoughtful
in all situations

True courage is loving compassion
in all situations

True courage is being nonviolent
in all situations

True courage is maintaining peace
in all situations

Kazuaki Tanahashi
published in “Lion’s Roar,” July 2018

Balancing Male and Female Energies

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At the collective level centuries of imbalance between the masculine and feminine ways of being have left a deep scar in the human psyche. No one can escape the effect of this which pervades both our inner and outer lives . . . when we experience a split between heart and mind, feeling and thinking, tenderness and strength, it is at work.           John Welwood, Toward a Psychology of Awakening.

During a meditation I heard It is time to shift your self-image from warrior to dancer. I was stunned. It made perfect sense. As I reflected on this shift I wrote:

I have been a warrior most of my life. I felt I needed to prove, achieve, master, and do. I lived life like I had to conquer it. I moved out into the world, believing I had to make things happen. This mode served me well for a long time. I built a successful career and business, and created a sense of competency and worth around my achievements. Now, this self-image no longer serves me, in fact, it drains me. I am tired of pushing through, I want to rest and let life come to me, to dance with life.

Ah, this is the image of the dancer. As I began playing with the dancer image I realized I craved the idea of letting life flow through me. As a dancer, I am a partner with life not a conqueror of life. I am in relationship with life. My dancer waits, trusting in life and knowing all is well. My whole body relaxes as I let this image flow through me. It is hard for me to imagine waiting for life to come to me. Trust is not a quality that comes easy.

Warrior is my default mode. When I feel stressed, anxious, or frustrated, I move into the warrior, take-charge mode. It is my warrior energy that creates the struggle of believing I should be doing more. With awareness, I can allow my warrior to rest. It is not either/or, it is both, a flow between my warrior and dancer. The shift of image is a process and I trust in its slow movement through my being.

I build trust when I focus on the word flow. When I flow with what is, there is no need to control. Flowing body movements are sensuous and feminine. The dancer flows, the warrior marches. I do both, and am incorporating flow much more often.

How balanced are your male and female energies?

This is an excerpt from my newly published book Listening to My Life: My journey Through Fear to Trust.