Home is Everywhere We Are

While I have lived and have traveled to some pretty amazing places, I have always felt that my true home, my refuge, was in my heart and in this present moment right now.turtle_scientific_illustration2_thumbHome, you have sought it everywhere, but you are already there.

Home, the flowing river of the heart.

Love holding you in close embrace.

Home, it’s not a place but a state of being.

Enjoy more poetry from Danna Faulds
Go In and In: Poems From the Heart of Yoga

Courage, Grit and Grace

It takes courage to come home to the here and the now. To arrive in the place in our heart, our home, to feel the connection to what is real right now. Courage to feel the real emotions we may not want to feel. The anger, the resentment, the fear. I am incredibly inspired by Tara Brach’s Meditation Talks and her first book Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha

Today I choose the courage to feel what is real over the temporary comfort of numbing the pain. It takes courage to seek the answer to the question – What am I unwilling to feel?  The process can be painful, but it is also quite liberating.

heart

The root of the word courage “cor” is Latin for “heart”. True courage requires living with heart-felt intent.

Sensing Awe in the AWEdinary

sun riseIf you are paying attention you can find truth and inspiration anywhere and everywhere, in the most ordinary things and experiences in life.
To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower – Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour. 
~ William Blake

Study – The Complete Poetry & Prose of William Blake

What passes for spectacular and awesome in today’s culture is mostly synthetic and artificial – most experiences fading like fireworks in a night sky.
Feeling Awesome
Awe is not a function of the brain. Awe is a feeling that comes from that mysterious place deep within the heart and soul. Awe isn’t a product of thought. Rather, awe arises from the gap between our thoughts. There, we connect with that which is beyond description and understanding – something that can only be felt – something that can be shared, but not explained. Read more awesome thoughts here
“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.” – Marcus Aurelius
Read his philosophy here

Meditations (Dover Thrift Editions)

 plumeria
Profound truths are in the anthropological field notes of life.  The sweet honey fragrance of pink plumeria aromatizing along my pre-dawn morning walk.  The salty, slightly cooler fresh air blowing through my hair from the Gulf of Mexico. The nervous scurrying about of the hard shell blue crab across the inter coastal dock.
Life’s Field Notes
When searching for awe in the ordinary, I study life like an anthropologist. Ethnographers engage in participant observation in order to gain insight into cultural practices and phenomena. To facilitate this process, ethnographers must learn how to take useful and reliable notes regarding the details of life in their research contexts. My journals may include –
  1. Date, time, and place of observation
  2. Specific facts, numbers, details of what happens at the site
  3. Sensory impressions: sights, sounds, textures, smells, taste
  4. Personal responses to the fact of recording fieldnotes
  5. Specific words, phrases, summaries of conversations, and insider language
  6. Questions about people or behaviors at the site for future investigation
  7. Page numbers to help keep observations in order
 crab
The Blue Crab as Spirit Animal
Time to come out of your shell and be yourself. Stop hiding. He is reminding you that not all paths lead directly to your personal goals. Sometimes a sideways approach is necessary. Shift your focus to what is all around you because your inner senses are trying to guide you through an easier way. Alternatively crab can be reminding you that community is vital for growth, however equally important is a time of introspective seclusion. Know when to withdraw and discern what is right for you.
Crab can also be letting you know that it is important to fuel your curiosity on all levels. Exploration of the world around you leads to discovering new horizons and a vibrant life.

Pursuing Your Own Path

creekOn this amazing journey of becoming all that we are to be, we need to be reminded of the power that we have to shape our own lives.  We are never stuck in any one place. We have choices and we have options. We can choose to make where we are better or we can move to a place that calls us. This is true freedom. Not sure which path to take? Start by being curious about life. What sparks your interest?

So, just how do we stay curious? Well, I have been experimenting with the idea of trying to see everything in front of me from a new perspective, with a fresh pair of eyes.  Each morning as I set on my regular workout routine, whether that be a bike, a hike or a run in the same small town that I live in, I force myself to be curious, to find something interesting to photograph and post to Instagram, to see my surroundings in a brand new light. This active curiosity process helps me stay creative and closer to the divine spirit of life.

Read more
Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

The question to ask yourself – What vision of your life fills you with curiosity and expectancy?

This post was inspired by our Sunday Morning Ritual, listening to “Be Where You Are” from The Rob Cast, a podcast by Rob Bell, surfer, preacher and master of the sermon on the mount.

Mental Training and Mindfulness

stone_buddha_faceOne of my favorite Sunday rituals involves listening to meditation insights from TaraBrach with my husband. For us, it’s like going to church or temple, but a whole lot more fun.  We sip our coffee and get to sit on the beach or lie in our bed and just listen and absorb the wisdom. I think of it as a mental workout for my mind because  physical workouts and fitness training will only get me so far. It is the combination of mental training and exercise that will help me succeed at being a better version of my former self.

About Tara

Tara has been  practicing and teaching Buddhist meditation, emotional healing and spiritual awakening, with a focus on vipassana (mindfulness) meditation for over 35 years. She is a senior teacher and founder of the Insight Meditation Community of Washington and author of several books including one that I am currently reading.

Radical Acceptance: Embracing Your Life With the Heart of a Buddha

Tara explains that meditation stimulates our capacity for empathy while improving our ability to collaborate with others while benefiting from mutual creativity. It also has made me a more patient person. Just ask my happy family.

I began meditating for about 10 minutes daily about three months ago and started with the Headspace App. Andy, the surfer turned meditation coach, guides you through calm breathes to soothe the mind. The clarity of mind and inner calm that I received from these brief breaks before I started the day have been astonishing. So much so, that I searched for more and stumbled upon Tara.

While I have been committed to a simple ten minute practice of Vipassana meditation, I do want to try some of the other meditations that Tara mentions in her recent interview on The Tim Ferriss Show.

Specifically the “smile meditation” – to soften my entire face and body and relax throughout the day; “inviting Mara to tea” to help face my enemies and challenges head on and the “body scan to melt away stress” to ward off feeling depleted and exhausted.

Click to listen to this podcast interview with Tara on the The Tim Ferriss Show.

Have you incorporated mindful meditation into your daily routine? If so, what have you found helpful? I’d love to know more.

Had to share this one from Instagram – so #true about me.

.me

timeless presence

full_moon_on_a_dark_night_by_dragon1600-d4s6sv8

As difficult and dark as life might get, I stay awake and aware of the impermanence of all things and remain in this moment, seeking refuge in compassionate and forgiving timeless presence.

Listen Tara Brach Tara Brach Audio Dharma Teaching Talks