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Thursday, November 25 2010

Happy Thanksgiving



A grateful heart is a soft heart,


A soft heart that opens us to abundance,


To the flow of love and joy.



Heartfelt gratitude is a gateway to abundant life.


As we see more abundantly what we have,


We more abundantly have what we see.



Gratitude is its own gift.


"See the gifts you have," it says.


"See the gift you are."



Happiness and thanksgiving go together.


Happy Thanksgiving is not only my wish for you,


It's a declaration of what is.




Posted by: AT 04:37 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Thursday, November 18 2010

One Run


       It's a dull gray Minnesota morning.  My mood reflects the day.  Meditation practice has been slipping some lately, and I've been neglecting the writing.


       As I start my morning run along the river, I'm struck by how barren everything seems.  No birds chirping, no dogs barking, not a soul on the trail.  In an attempt to push away the gloom, I decide to try a running meditation.  On the in-breath, I open the soles of my feet to the nurturing energy of Mother Earth and, with an upward (palms up) movement of my wool-mittened hands, I bring that energy up through my body.  On the out-breath, I push the hands downward (palms down), connecting and grounding myself in the energy of Earth.


       Gloom and gray quietly fade, as the various shades of brown – dirt, leaves, and grasses – grow more vivid, and the trail before me comes into sharper focus.  I notice the bits of green that still hang on and tiny patches of snow left over from Saturday's storm.  As I continue to connect, there's a moment when separation ceases.  I have a brief taste of oneness, before self-consciousness pushes it away – a gift, I can't grab back.


       Further down the trail, I think:  "Hey, I can write about this".  Rehearsal replaces meditation.  After a minute or so of that, a stump on the path trips me.  Ok, I get it: I'm being reminded to let go of rehearsal.  In another fifty yards, I'm rehearsing again – only to find myself bombarded by chaff or seeds of some sort falling down on me from a tree above.  Again, I receive life's invitation to return to now.


       Toward the end of the run, I notice again my focus on the path, how I'm attending to just what's in front of me.  I'm heartened.  Lately, I've been focusing on focusing and feeling the joy of that practice. 


       I decide to look around.  Dozens of geese and ducks are floating in the shallows of the river, sheltering themselves in tall, tan grasses.  Soft light reflects on river's ripples.  Naked branches stand out vividly from a gray-sky background, which somehow doesn't seem dull anymore.


       I'm surrounded by beauty.  I'm reminded of connection and love.






Posted by: AT 10:21 am   |  Permalink   |  Email
Saturday, November 06 2010

Dangerous Safety


       I've been thinking lately about how we try to stay safe in relationship and how our efforts sometimes defeat us.  Here are a couple examples.


       A classic approach to safety in relationship is to adopt an exterior of toughness, a bit of a barricade around our hearts that says:  "I can't be hurt if I don't let you hurt me."  I pretend to myself and to a partner that I'm tougher, less vulnerable, than I really am.   As I use this method of self-protection, my partner, not knowing where I'm sensitive, may unintentionally hurt me.  Or, frustrated with the lack of connection, may decide that the only way to get through to me is to use strong medicine – a 2 x 4 rather than a gentle request.  Either way, I invite the very hurt I'm trying to avoid.


       Another approach to safety is to avoid commitment.  If I live in fear of being trapped in an unhappy situation, I'll tend to keep my eyes on the exit.  I may even rehearse exit strategies, just to make sure I can still leave if I have to.  My approach to relationship mires in "maybe".  I ruminate in doubt, prepare for the worst, and wind up living in just the sort of unhappy world I'm trying to escape.  Adding to my discomfort, a partner who senses my halfheartedness is likely to self-protect in ways that confirm my worst fears.


       Relationship is so lovely in theory and so messy in practice.


       Perhaps, living dangerously – staying soft and acknowledging vulnerability with pedal-to-the-metal, wholehearted commitment – is safer than being safe.

Posted by: AT 11:23 am   |  Permalink   |  Email

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