Category Archives: Inspiration

Courage Dear Heart

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Courage Dear Heart

The most important thing is to find out what the most important thing is.
There I said it, thats all you need to know. Yet in The world of ten thousand things, how hard is it to focus in on any one?

Finding the most important thing is not something anyone else can do for us, perhaps by sharing our stories and our hearts, we can help each other in finding at least the right direction.

In our modern digital culture, the connections of social media, and the endless web of the internet, the opportunity for distraction are ever increasing.

But even before all of this our own minds are true masters in the art of distraction, of throwing ten thousand thoughts up to cloud the heart of the matter. The mind wants at least half of those ten thousand things and will happily spend the rest of eternity trying to work out how to get them.  And even our achievements offer little respite from the deep well of wanting, our mind skips to the next thing it want’s so quickly.

The heart however in my experience has a little more magnitude. We all know the best things aren’t things, The best things are living, feeling, breathing, being, LOVING. When I am willing to surrender the minds need to manipulate and control reality into what I think it should be, what I think I should have or want, surprise surprise all these things that matter to the heart were here all along.

It takes courage to remain in the heart in a world that tells us we can’t afford to, but when I really touch that presence I know I can’t afford not to.

I don’t need a better car, job, lover, or hairstyle, I just need to learn how to feel and live life directly from the heart. I don’t need your approval, likes or attention, (as lovely as they are!) I need to learn to focus my intention and energy into the heart of my own matter; physical, metaphysical and beyond into the beating heart of life itself.

So forgive me if I don’t seem interested to have the most, to be the best or most popular. The sips I’ve taken from the hearts cup have already made me love drunk, and that sweet simple joyfulness of an alive heart is more important to me than anything in this world that can be bought or sold.

The world tells us we need to fight fire with fire, but we all know if you want to put out a fire you use water. When I indulge the minds capacity for endless wanting it feels a lot like burning.  This fire can only be tempered by the cool calming presence of my own Compassionate heart.

courage

Featured image :”Life Isn’t Tragic” by Arturo Vega.

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Keeping on. Yoga & the Practise of resilience

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Keeping on.                                                   Yoga & the Practise of resilience

Sometimes knowing where to start is the hardest part, sometimes it’s knowing when to stop but very often the hardest thing I’ve found is how to keep on going. Life is beautiful but it can also be chaotic and unpredictable and downright scary at times, when we want to stop the world and get off, learning how to keep going is the art of resilience.

As each day adds to my accumulated life experience I’m developing a sweet mix of confidence and humility. Confidence in who I am and a trust in life, and the humility to accept that theres so much more to life than I could possibly understand.

I am a lover of life, it’s wildly exciting to the point of near constant distraction. And maybe I’ve always been more interested with the fact of living than in directing it. Casting your ship out to see without a map is exhilarating but also exhausting. It’s taken me years (& years) of practise to discover how very much I still need to learn how to focus.
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Prayer & Wisdom of the first peoples

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Modern culture is quick to asses itself as advanced and everything else as primitive. Yet the test of time is probably the most pressing of all. Bypassing the ancient wisdoms indigenous cultures contain is like the know it all teenager who won’t listen to experience.

New Age philosophies and quantum physics are coming to similar  conclusions on the power of the mind and the interconnectedness of all things. Indigenous cultures not only know and understand these things they have integrated this wisdom into daily life through a living spirituality embodied in the earth itself.

indigenous-proverb

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You Win

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You won’t always feel it, heaven knows there are days when you feel the exact opposite. When things feel so stacked against you it seems all is lost, forever. However….

Perspective is a powerful thing. When you think of the probability of any of us being alive here at all, were all winners. What a beautiful world, what an amazing thing life is, how strange and wonderful it is to be here!

We all forget sometimes so here’s a gentle reminder. Your doing Great!

youwon

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Perfection amidst the chaos

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Manjushri Pauba

Manjushri is a Bodhisattva considered the personification of the combined wisdom of all the Buddhas.

He holds a sword in his right hand — symbolizing his ability to cut through delusion.

In his left hand, by his heart, he holds the stem of a lotus flower, which bears a book — the Perfection of Wisdom teaching.

Manjushri mantra
Om A Ra Pa Ca Na Dhih

The literal translation of this Mantra gets into some pretty cosmic Buddhist philosophy but I first fell in Love with this mantra through this simple translation offered by Deva premal from her album of Tibetan Mantras for Turbulent times with the Gyuto Monks.

Amidst The chaos, everything is Pure by nature”

 

Here is a great simple version you can chant along with to get you started

 

Re-Love-ution

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Tonglen is a breathing meditation practise from the Buddhist tradition. The word means Giving and taking, and the technique is a practise of active compassion.

We’ve all seen the memes ‘Breathe in the Good, Breath out the bad’ tonglen turns that on it’s head. We Choose to breathe in pain and suffering, to acknowledge and transform it within our own hearts.

Every story on earth involves some degree of challenge, pain and difficulty, these give our lives the context and depth that is required to rise to our highest potential and create meaningful lives.  In a world can often seem overwhelming in its complexity, Tonglen offers a simple yet powerful tool to begin the process of transformation.

The power of the heart is not to be underestimated, if we want to change our lives and our worlds there is no better place to begin.

tonglen

Tonglen instruction  

“On the in-breath, you breathe in whatever particular area, group of people, country, or even one particular person… maybe it’s not this more global situation, maybe it’s breathing in the physical discomfort and mental anguish of chemotherapy; of all the people who are undergoing chemotherapy. And if you’ve undergone chemotherapy and come out the other side, it’s very real to you. Or maybe it’s the pain of those who have lost loved ones; suddenly, or recently, unexpectedly or over a long period of time, some dying. But the in-breath is… you find some place on the planet in your personal life or something you know about, and you breathe in with the wish that those human beings or those mistreated animals or whoever it is, that they could be free of that suffering, and you breathe in with the longing to remove their suffering.

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Living Stories

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What if your life was a story you were telling? What would you like it to say? All the choices we make, what we say, do and think have a powerful effect on the world around us.

In this post-Factual world in can be easy to become obsessive about the truth, and caught up in never ending arguments. Perhaps it’s because facts aren’t half as interesting as feelings.

So let’s forget about the so called facts for a moment. Facts without stories have no context with which to relate from this felt sense of self. A good story gives us hooks to relate and remember information, it provides a solid foundation on which our imagination can build.

To be human is to be vulnerable, to feel. When we are willing to directly experience and embody this felt sense of the stories of our lives, our sense of self expands accordingly. Our lives become Bigger, broader, Greater.

In telling, listening and sharing our stories, we strengthen our connection to all of life around us. Read the rest of this entry

Consciousness and Bliss

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“At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity,
Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.”
~ T.S. Eliot, The Four Quartets

natararaj
Image : Natraj Original Artwork
By Avik Chakraborty, Howrah
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Fear-less-ness Bunnies and Breathing

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A short while ago, the cutest little white bunny turned up unexpectedly in my life – or more precisely in my front yard. Friendly enough to have been somebody’s pet at some stage, he liked company, offerings of flowers ,(dandelions!) and skritches around the ears. He didn’t much like being picked up, and even though we repeatedly invited him into our back yard he preferred as most wild creatures do, freedom and open space.

When we listen, life talks to us in many different ways. Having happened upon my furry friend, I decided to look into the spirit medicine of the rabbit; I found that they traditionally represent sensitivity, abundance, fertility, desire, creativity and anxiety. Some Native Americans refer to the rabbit as the fear caller. “Fear sends out a certain vibrational energy that may attract the very thing we fear,” writes Ina Woolcott. “Fearful thoughts reproduce (like rabbits) and manifest what we fear.”

Perhaps I need to be careful, or at least more creative about what I fear….

Much like we all do, at times I find myself falling down the rabbit hole of fear: will I have enough? Am I doing enough? Do enough people like me (or my posts on Facebook?).

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WHAT LIVES IN US

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“If you put your hands on this oar with me, they would no longer

lift anything to your
mouth that might wound your precious land-
that sacred earth that is your body.

If you put your soul against this oar with me,
the power that made the universe will enter your sinew
from a source not outside your limbs, but from a holy realm
that lives in us.”

~ RUMI

yoga-circle

Scientific research into how yoga helps us live well is a fascinating subject but for those of us who already know it from the inside, poetry says it best.

Yoga primarily is a sacred practise, we use the body through the asanas to worship life itself flowing through us in every breath.