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Showing posts from April, 2020

LIGHT

I love a cloudy, rainy day. I love the thunder, the wind, the lighting and noise of a night storm. There is something unknowing in the deluge of rain, thunder and the darkness that is storm. Unconsciously, you hear so much in the storm and sense that only when the storm passes, when there is light of day will you be able to look beyond. Indeed, there is much metaphor, symbolism and spirit in the space of a storm. Consequently, it's not hard to connect the meaning of light that comes when the storm clears. Mindfulness as a daily practice invites light and the opportunity to see clear. Mindfulness through intentional breathing draws us to light. By paying attention to our breath, we are able to slow down; breathing gets easier and our body becomes lighter. We lighten up and clear the way for awareness beyond the thunder of thoughts that can storm our mind throughout the day . With daily practice mindfulness can bring light to insights that help you create better balance as you for

COMPASSION

The combination of feelings and thoughts we have as rational beings is astounding. I’m sure there’s some computer generated account of the actual number of feelings and thoughts we have every day, every hour and every minute. Yet, who cares. The effect is always the same.  We are in those feelings and thoughts for better or worse, those thoughts and feelings are in us. However, it is important to care about how those feelings and thoughts affect us inside. We wholly embrace those positive feelings being happy when spending time with people you enjoy being with. Likewise, we may revisit those good thoughts of reward when you get credit for a job well done. In general, there is no effort in giving care to our good feelings and thoughts because readily see as having a positive affect. Alternatively, we don’t care, literally, for those feelings and thoughts we experience as uncomfortable or negative. Typically we don’t care for feelings or thoughts like anger, disappointment or sadnes

PERCEPTION

You’ve heard that saying, “It’s all about perception” sometimes recited in an attempt to clear the air when people don’t see things the same way. Obviously that is the reality, otherwise there would be no need to make such a statement. In times like these, cliches can compromise understanding rather than clarify. Certainly, most of us have had the experience as a young child, lying awake in the dark, alone in a room looking, watching in terror of the “monsters” on the bedroom wall. Of course, those monsters exist because of the shadows cast by clothing, or furniture or trees which affect perception. Later you may be terrified out of your skin by a snake that almost bites you during a school camping trip, only to discover your perception skewed by a tangled rope on the ground. Or what about the plain black and white sketch that challenges your perception of seeing both a beautiful young lady and old witch within the same drawing. And who hasn’t seen the internet blue vs. gold dress c

CHOICE

With choice come such freedom, so many options and the ability to be as you decide. Perhaps you recall as a child telling a grown up “I can’t wait until I’m older enough to decide, make the choice for myself!” Thus in doing so felt that you were staking a claim on a guarantee of happiness, a life without care or responsibility. Certainly, choice can allow us to make rewarding decisions about our life. And yet, I've listened to many parents recount such a story to their children years later with a loving, satirical smile while adding...“Now you know.” Indeed. In reality, making a choice can be challenging. Yes, choice is empowering, and most of us would rather have choice than not. Yet, there are times when you can’t seem to make a choice or would rather not make a choice for fear of making the wrong choice. Nonetheless, it’s been said, “No choice is a choice.” In as much as each of us will have this experience with choice at some point in our lives, Mindfulness can help. Mi

WHOLE

Joy. Adventure. Knowledge. Comfort. Fun. Love. Peace. There are as many components to life as there are philosophy, theory, ideology about the purpose of life. For as long as the concept, idea, reality of “life” has been in existence, human beings have been trying to figure out “What is THE purpose of life” and how do we fulfill that purpose?” I certainly don’t have a definitive answer. More to the point, I’m certain no one person can tell, explain or define any person’s “special” purpose for/about life. Yet, I’m confident we all want to feel our life is full, together, whole. We want to feel, experience, be doing life with a sense that each piece is a part bringing together our whole. Mindfulness can help us toward being whole. Mindfulness as a daily practice is a way to be still, get quiet and listen to insights about different parts of our life. With attention to breathing, we calm and open to awareness. Awareness is the opportunity to explore, reflect and realign those diffe

SOFT

I swatted the bug away from my face so hard I practically punched my eye. I was too heavy-handed, the pressure of my hand was too hard and hardly necessary for that small speck.So why the force? In short, I wanted to make sure I “go it” and in effect the bug bother would be done. How complicated it sounds now, writing and thinking about the heavy-handed approach I took to achieve such a simple goal. Interestingly, there seems to be a tried-and-true tenet that more often than not, the hard approach is more effective, and a soft approach is secondary, subordinate or insubstantial. Of course, there is legitimate logic in the axiom that hard work gets results. And yet, there are times when we “go at” something so hard, we miss the mark. In which case we realize there is also wisdom in “softly, softly” knowing when a soft touch is best. Mindfulness is one of those times when a soft, yielding, easy approach gets best results. Mindfulness is an opportunity to reap so much benefit with so

SONG

“What’s Going On? ” This is the title of the iconic song by Marvin Gaye which gave voice to charismatic talent, signaled a sign-of-the-times and the possibility for song to effect change. Songs like poetry can put things into perspective with just a few words. By way of melody, music and metre we receive messages through songs like Amazing Grace (Mahalia Jackson), A Motherless Child (Odetta), I’ll Take You There ( Staple Singers), Lovely Day (Bill Withers), I Shall Be Released (Bob Dylan), Bridge Over Troubled Water (Simon & Garfunkel), Touch of Grey (Grateful Dead), In The Garden (Van Morrison) and Love Sermon (Al Green) and so many more. We each have our favorites and no matter how many times you hear "your song" it has a resounding effect that calls your attention. Such is the effect of resonating breath which invites attention to Mindfulness. Mindfulness as a daily practice is a message to be still, get quiet and listen. The more you engage intentional b

SMILE

Do you think when you smile? This is not to ask,“What do you think about when you smile?” or “What makes you smile?” Rather it’s about what goes on when you smile. Do you consider all the muscles it takes to make a smile? Or do you think about all the communication that takes place between the brain and muscles when you smile? Or do you consider what you look like once your muscle receives the message from your brain which communicates the movement for your smile? Chances are you give little or no thought to what happens when you smile, you simply “Do it!” and it opens you to good, to better, to peace. Mindfulness like a smile only requires that you “do it” to receive its benefit. Mindfulness is a practice, with a method. However, like a smile, the steps are easy and natural, requiring little or not explanation to experience the benefit of awareness.   Your breathing is basic to life and when you pay attention, you slow down, get quiet and get the good.  This means you set aside t

SHiFT

Society spends so much time doing - that we rarely get a chance to look to see what we are actually doing with our lives. Much of this involves every day commitments such as eating, driving, working and often as not, a great deal of rushing and robotic “doing” without thought. This type of life style makes it challenging to look, to see, to reflect on the effects of what, why or how our doing affects our life, which in due course connects to the lives in the world we all share. Fortunately, it's becoming clearer that this type of doing creates imbalance often showing up as general fatigue, physical disease or mental depression the world over. Certainly, I recognize ours is a complex society, and doing is part of what perpetuates the society. And yet, just a simple shift can change our attention to look, see and reflect on our doing. Mindfulness helps engage that simple shift. Mindfulness is a way to get quiet, calm and still so we can see our doings. Through daily practice of

REVERBERATE

Every now and again the general populace or the new generation decides to review, revisit and reset their existence relative to that which is “Greater” and beyond the eye. That is to say, people begin to look outside themselves seeking answers about their particular position in life. Manifestations of this seeking may be characterized as Mysticism, Occult, Super-Natural, Self-Help, New Thought, New Age and now Spirituality. No matter the label, I think each has taught us something meaningful. For example, more and more people are learning, understanding and embracing the principle of intention. That is to say, “Every action, thought and feeling is motivated by an intention, and that intention is a cause that exists as one with an effect” as explained by Gary Sukav in his book The Seat of the Soul. Much is being said, quoted and revered of this principle which can make it seem more complicated than it really is. It might be simply said that “Every action, every thought has an effect”

SYNC

Sometimes I think we forget that “life” is for “living” and as a result put too much energy into “doing” life. This type of “doing” life may look like too much eating, too much work, too much buying; too few expressions of gratitude, too few walks in nature, too few acts of kindness and little or no “being” in sync with life. Even the word “sync”- an abbreviation of “synchronicity”is in some manner an indication that we sometimes forget, put aside, dismiss the“living” life.  After all, synchronicity is such a mystical word in sound and meaning. However, we’ve gotten so busy “doing” life we literally cut short synchronicity thereby changing, denying, blocking the harmony, balance and peace that is the very essence of synchronicity. Mindfulness can help restore us to “living” every day of life. Mindfulness is a way to help synchronize "living" through daily practice of intentional breathing. This invites awareness which provides an opportunity to pay attention to how we are

AWARENESS

I came across a new word the other day and was really surprised. Not because I’m a word genius or some kind of “Rain Man” able to retain and recite thousands of arbitrary words when prompted. My surprise came because I love reading and I’m always on the lookout for new words. I pay attention to words; I research words and investigate word meanings. I love philosophical discussions about words, Scrabble, word games, word puzzles and basically, literally, utterly adore words! So, I was astonished when I read up on a familiar topic and discovered this new word. The word “teleological” refers to a definition which describes a thing/phenomena/behavior in terms of its goal or purpose. From the outset, take note this is my compacted explanation of the word. For example, a teleological definition of why spoons are rounded is that the design helps us eat soup. Well! Of course, I thought, that only makes sense. Right? It is what it is. Furthermore, it never even crossed my mind that a word wa

JOY

Aaaahhh. What a challenge to explain the meaning of joy. Indeed, there is no easy or simple explanation. There are, of course, joyful examples you might call to mind such as the delectable taste of the best mango, fresh, juicy and just sweet enough to be joyful. Or perhaps, the experience of children as they play without worry, care or cause for angst; a reminder of how joyful life can be when we live in the moment. We can also look to nature; a luscious green lawn, a bountiful blue sky, and the wonderful wetness of a waterfall can certainly be joyful. And yet, any attempt at explaining  "joy" is often wanting. Even the noted essayist C.S. Lewis found it challenging to explain "joy" definitively. Lewis admits, "it's difficult to find words strong enough” to describe the “sensation that came over me” in this state. He would go on to ascribe the “quality” as “unsatisfied desire” allowing the word “pleasure” as being close, but not an actual explanation.

COMMUNITY

I was re-reading an essay by Thich Nhat Hahn, Zen Buddhist, humanitarian, teacher, advocate for children, counsel to refugees and poet of peace. As is always the case, I continue to discover new insights from the same book even two decades later. In Being Peace the teacher discusses “the seven methods of settling disputes” adopted by Buddhist communities all over the world. These methods have been practiced for 2,500, and one of the essential aspects is community. The essay goes on to explain that the practice for settling disputes works because the monks agree to embrace “being community” as a way of life. In doing so, each becomes a participant and no longer is outside or an observer. Indeed, as a participant, all fully engage which benefits the greater good. Mindfulness is a way you can embrace “being community'' and benefit greater good as well. Mindfulness as daily practice helps you focus your breathing to become quiet, calm and connected.  With this connection, you becom

PUSH

Push toward. Push beyond. Push through. Though the concept of push is most likely associated with the action of force, push can also be an action of release and relief.  Recall the motion of release when you push air from a pump into a tire or mattress bed.  It is comparable to an action of relief as the air goes out of the pump and into the vessel. Granted a certain amount of pressure is needed to push and engage such release. This in turn becomes a movement of relief.  You may have even witnessed some aspects of this "push toward, push beyond, push through" technique while watching those who practice the ancient martial art of Tai Chi. Mindfulness can also engage the action of push to assist your move toward better balance. Mindfulness as a daily practice prepares you to more easily become quiet, calm and ready for attentive breathing. However, there are still times when we struggle to embrace the preparation needed for mindfulness. In these times, we may need to strengthen

WALK

I can walk and walk and walk and walk. I love to walk. Fortunately, it's good exercise. It helps keep me healthy, centered and balanced. It’s simple, easy and natural. That’s why I’m surprised when people say they don’t like to walk. Maybe it's because most families have at least one car and most people have grown accustomed to utilizing some mode of public transportation in the busy movement of their daily life.  Invariably this cuts down on the opportunity, impetus and the desire to walk. Even so most of us do have a lunch break, or a period between classes or some free time at the end of the day when we can walk, if only a short walk. By doing so, we move a bit closer to better health. Mindfulness and a walk have in common this ability to improve your everyday life with a simple and easy daily practice. Mindfulness, like the walk, is a practice of being. That is, although it's easier to take a walk to “somewhere” a greater benefit of the walk can be found in just the wal

WALK

I can walk and walk and walk and walk. I love to walk. Fortunately, it's good exercise. It helps keep me healthy, centered and balanced. It’s simple, easy and natural. That’s why I’m surprised when people say they don’t like to walk. Maybe it's because most families have at least one car and most people have grown accustomed to utilizing some mode of public transportation in the busy movement of their daily life. Invariably this cuts down on the opportunity, impetus and the desire to walk. Even so most of us do have a lunch break, or a period between classes or some free time at the end of the day when we can walk, if only a short walk. By doing so, we move a bit closer to better health. Mindfulness and a walk have in common this ability to improve your everyday life with a simple and easy daily practice. Mindfulness, like the walk, is a practice of being. That is, although it's easier to take a walk to “somewhere” a greater benefit of the walk can be found in just the w

ROOT

Brassica napobrassica, more commonly known as rutabagas originate as root vegetables along with turnips and parsnip. Notably, favored by Europeans (the English) and Scottish, the root can be eaten in a variety of ways. Rutabaga is also a fun word which I’ve used to teach children (and sometimes older folks). One lesson introduces children to vegetables and how things grow differently. Case and point, we eat the root of rutabagas which grows underground. Alternatively we eat the leaf of spinach which grows up and out of the ground. The other lesson comes through the context of onomatopoeia, which are words that sound like what they mean. For example meow, hiccup and sizzle. Yes, I realize rutabaga is a bit off the mark, still it's a fun word for children and that helps. Likewise, I think if planted in the context of onomatopoeia, (words that sound like what they mean), popular understanding of mindfulness might grow. Mindfulness like the rutabaga has dual purpose. A daily practice

JOURNEY

This morning I remarked to the puppy (yes, chatting to the puppy) that “making this cup of coffee has been a journey too long” as I could not get the machine to cooperate. Of course, it wasn't the coffee-maker that was in error. It was my rush and inattentiveness to the process that caused the making of a single cup of coffee to seem such a journey. Interestingly, I use the same coffee every day, same filter, same cup. So why the mix up? By definition a “journey” is an expedition, a circuit or voyage which requires you take steps along the way to move forward; if not, you stall and/or prolong the journey. Although I’d appreciate a voyage just about anywhere, the making of my morning cup of joe is not intended to be a junket. So after I sat down to sip and thought a bit, it came. This morning’s coffee making was more like a journey, because I didn’t pay attention to my steps. The fact is, I was using a different machine which simply changed the course of my coffee making process. M

JOURNEY

This morning I remarked to the puppy (yes, chatting to the puppy) that “making this cup of coffee has been a journey too long” as I could not get the machine to cooperate. Of course, it wasn't the coffee-maker that was in error. It was my rush and inattentiveness to the process that caused the making of a single cup of coffee to seem such a journey. Interestingly, I use the same coffee every day, same filter, same cup. So why the mix up? By definition a “journey” is an expedition, a circuit or voyage which requires you take steps along the way to move forward; if not, you stall and/or prolong the journey. Although I’d appreciate a voyage just about anywhere, the making of my morning cup of joe is not intended to be a junket. So after I sat down to sip and thought a bit, it came. This morning’s coffee making was more like a journey, because I didn’t pay attention to my steps. The fact is, I was using a different machine which simply changed the course of my coffee making process

WAIT

There is much in the experience of having to wait that unsettles. I do not like to be left waiting; especially for someone. It’s unkind. Nor do I wish anyone to be kept waiting for on my behalf. It’s inconsiderate. Please don’t.  Nevertheless, being bound to wait is something that does happen from time to time. Moreover, being forced to wait is often required in everyday life. With that said, I’ve come to embrace wait time as space for growth. Such is the case, that presents an opportunity for mindfulness. Mindfulness in this occurrence is not a ploy to escape the wait. On the contrary, any accessibility to mindfulness is kismet. In this regard, intentional breathing is a way to relieve and release the stress while I must wait. In mindfulness I inhale and I exhale. I become quiet and focus more on breath and less on the wait. In the inconvenience of the wait, the routine pace of your daily mindfulness practice helps to create better balance as you forward the path of progress and peace

WAIT

There is much in the experience of having to wait that unsettles. I do not like to be left waiting; especially for someone. It’s unkind. Nor do I wish anyone to be kept waiting for on my behalf. It’s inconsiderate. Please don’t.  Nevertheless, being bound to wait is something that does happen from time to time. Moreover, being forced to wait is often required in everyday life. With that said, I’ve come to embrace wait time as space for growth. Such is the case, that presents an opportunity for mindfulness. Mindfulness in this occurrence is not a ploy to escape the wait. On the contrary, any accessibility to mindfulness is kismet. In this regard, intentional breathing is a way to relieve and release the stress while I must wait. In mindfulness I inhale and I exhale. I become quiet and focus more on breath and less on the wait. In the inconvenience of the wait, the routine pace of your daily mindfulness practice helps to create better balance as you forward the path of progres

ATTENTION

The benefits and practice of mindfulness prompt produce perfect one’s ability to pay attention. I remember visiting some folks and realizing I’d forgotten to bring shampoo. I walked to the family room to ask if I could use the unopened bottle in the bathroom only to be intercepted by their Alsatian. This breed is known for courage, loyalty and guarding instincts. Notably big and imposing, she is a loving family pet; quiet, friendly and even playful with friends and family (myself included). However, on this particular occasion as I tried to walk past, she barked a distinctly unfriendly tone. I wasn't frightened, not truly as she had never been a vicious dog. I thought (although it was highly unlikely), she’d forgotten I was in the house. Or maybe it was too early to be going into the family room, her domain when not out for a walk. Still, as I said, I wasn’t terrified and proceeded. I wished I had paid attention. I knocked, called out, pushed open the door of the Family Room and he

QUIET

There’s is obvious irony and sad comedy in a cartoon of a mother in big colorful hair curlers, pink colored house robe and sloppy slippers, holding a carton of juice in one hand, trying to maintain balance, while skirting a pet or toy on the floor as she tries to make it to breakfast table to serve 3 screaming children of various ages 2-6, but who suddenly drops, stops and screams “QUIET!”  And just like that...there is quiet. At least that’s how it happens in the comedy skit. If you missed the “obvious", it can be found in that mother's “screams” for QUIET, which of course is exactly the opposite of what she’s doing. I think many of us can sympathize with this mother's life is so crowded, overwhelmed and busy that she literally has to scream for quiet. It’s circumstances like these that encourage daily practice of mindfulness as a way to engage, embrace and create quiet. Mindfulness as a daily practice can be as a circle of energy that helps to center you into quiet.

QUIET

There’s is obvious irony and sad comedy in a cartoon of a mother in big colorful hair curlers, pink colored house robe and sloppy slippers, holding a carton of juice in one hand, trying to maintain balance, while skirting a pet or toy on the floor as she tries to make it to breakfast table to serve 3 screaming children of various ages 2-6, but who suddenly drops, stops and screams “QUIET!”  And just like that...there is quiet. At least that’s how it happens in the comedy skit. If you missed the “obvious", it can be found in that mother's “screams” for QUIET, which of course is exactly the opposite of what she’s doing. I think many of us can sympathize with this mother's life is so crowded, overwhelmed and busy that she literally has to scream for quiet. It’s circumstances like these that encourage daily practice of mindfulness as a way to engage, embrace and create quiet. Mindfulness as a daily practice can be as a circle of energy that helps to center you into q

GOOD

"This"..."Or something better" is a fantastic prayer for  good ! It's an easy, simple, heartfelt   prayer .  It is a prayer of patience, of faith or all things good.  This prayer insists that no matter what I am going through, no matter what the outcome, no matter how tough the times may seem, it is all good.  It's a simple prayer that promises only one outcome:   good .  This follows the edict that good thoughts... produce   good  outcomes. Again , it  speaks  of the infinite Energy of  life ;  the unseen power, The Spirit in and of all  things  which offers good.  The Energy that encourages faith in best outcomes.  The Source that provides.  "This”…” Or something  better "  is  a  prayer  that your  faith  in The Energy, The Good, The Omnipotent will  result  in the right and  best  outcome.  Mindfulness is a way to connect to prayer. Mindfulness  is  a  daily  practice that  helps   you   focus .  Prayer is a form of focus with intent to help le

GOOD

"This"..."Or something better" is a fantastic prayer for  good ! It's an easy, simple, heartfelt   prayer .  It is a prayer of patience, of faith or all things good.  This prayer insists that no matter what I am going through, no matter what the outcome, no matter how tough the times may seem, it is all good.  It's a simple prayer that promises only one outcome:   good .  This follows the edict that good thoughts... produce   good  outcomes. Again , it  speaks  of the infinite Energy of  life ;  the unseen power, The Spirit in and of all  things  which offers good.  The Energy that encourages faith in best outcomes.  The Source that provides.  "This”…” Or something  better "  is  a  prayer  that your  faith  in The Energy, The Good, The Omnipotent will  result  in the right and  best  outcome.  Mindfulness is a way to connect to prayer. Mindfulness  is  a  daily  practice that  helps   you   focus .  Prayer is a form of focus with intent to help l

STILL

Have you ever noticed how frantically you move when looking for something you can’t find? You move from here to there, back to here, then over there distressed, distraught, distracted by doing the opposite of what you wish to do. You can’t find it; because you are not seeking.  Instead, you are looking. It’s the familiar dilemma of absentmindedly looking for your glasses, which in comedic fashion are right there with you, sitting on your head. Invariably, once you get quiet, calm and collected, you seek, see and find. Mindfulness is a way to help us find what we need to see when we seek to practice daily. Mindfulness as a daily practice is a way to be still, focus, and calm down so we can re-collect and find what we need. Few of us are successful at finding solutions, answers or clarity when frenzied, we must be still. Through daily practice we learn to breathe, relax and release what is impeding us from seeing what can best benefit better balance in our life. Moreover, the daily pract

STILL

Have you ever noticed how frantically you move when looking for something you can’t find? You move from here to there, back to here, then over there distressed, distraught, distracted by doing the opposite of what you wish to do. You can’t find it; because you are not seeking.  Instead, you are looking. It’s the familiar dilemma of absentmindedly looking for your glasses, which in comedic fashion are right there with you, sitting on your head. Invariably, once you get quiet, calm and collected, you seek, see and find. Mindfulness is a way to help us find what we need to see when we seek to practice daily. Mindfulness as a daily practice is a way to be still, focus, and calm down so we can re-collect and find what we need. Few of us are successful at finding solutions, answers or clarity when frenzied, we must be still. Through daily practice we learn to breathe, relax and release what is impeding us from seeing what can best benefit better balance in our life. Moreover, the daily pr

UNCOVER

The Jack-in-Box is a jolly old toy. It’s also a simple toy. In recent thought, for reasons, I can't touch, “uncover” the picture of a Jack-in-the-Box popped into my thoughts simultaneously. I picture the first time experience of a person when The Jack pops out of that box with the big bright red dots, painted on clown face and winding knob on the side. Surprise. Joy. Laughter. Either and all of these might be part of that experience when what’s inside pops out. Mindfulness can uncover those feelings as well as harmony, tranquility, and serenity with daily practice. Mindfulness as a daily practice can awaken and uncover opportunities that help create better balance in your everyday life. Like the proverbial Jack-in-the-Box, these opportunities are inside waiting for us to take action, to engage, “turn the knob” to experience what's inside. Chances are a picture The Jack-in-the-Box isn't how most people visualize mindfulness. And yet, the awareness we experience through the d

UNCOVER

The Jack-in-Box is a jolly old toy. It’s also a simple toy. In recent thought, for reasons, I can't touch, “uncover” the picture of a Jack-in-the-Box popped into my thoughts simultaneously. I picture the first time experience of a person when The Jack pops out of that box with the big bright red dots, painted on clown face and winding knob on the side. Surprise. Joy. Laughter. Either and all of these might be part of that experience when what’s inside pops out. Mindfulness can uncover those feelings as well as harmony, tranquility, and serenity with daily practice. Mindfulness as a daily practice can awaken and uncover opportunities that help create better balance in your everyday life. Like the proverbial Jack-in-the-Box, these opportunities are inside waiting for us to take action, to engage, “turn the knob” to experience what's inside. Chances are a picture The Jack-in-the-Box isn't how most people visualize mindfulness. And yet, the awareness we experience throug

CLOUD

At times the idea of connectedness escapes my understanding. Or better said, I attempt to escape the idea of connectedness. As might be expected, it’s impossible because connectedness is greater than an idea, more than a concept, connectedness is (a) reality. Mindfulness is a way to appreciate and ultimately practice daily connectedness. Believe it or not; there is an innate connectedness between clouds and paper. I read many years ago this story of connectedness from one of my first spiritual teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh. The Buddhist teacher's simple story explains that a cloud which is connected to infinite everything gives rain, rain waters seed, seed grows a tree, tree can become paper, thus paper is connected to cloud (and ultimately infinite everything). Perhaps growing up as a child with (seemingly) wholly divergent ideas, thoughts and wanderings from other children my age, fate delivered books to my rescue. In books, in reading I discovered ideas, thoughts and wanderings to

CLOUD

At times the idea of connectedness escapes my understanding. Or better said, I attempt to escape the idea of connectedness. As might be expected, it’s impossible because connectedness is greater than an idea, more than a concept, connectedness is (a) reality. Mindfulness is a way to appreciate and ultimately practice daily connectedness. Believe it or not; there is an innate connectedness between clouds and paper. I read many years ago this story of connectedness from one of my first spiritual teachers, Thich Nhat Hanh. The Buddhist teacher's simple story explains that a cloud which is connected to infinite everything gives rain, rain waters seed, seed grows a tree, tree can become paper, thus paper is connected to cloud (and ultimately infinite everything). Perhaps growing up as a child with (seemingly) wholly divergent ideas, thoughts and wanderings from other children my age, fate delivered books to my rescue. In books, in reading I discovered ideas, thoughts and wanderings

TASTE

Chips. Salt. Salty. When it comes to snacks, I love chocolate, chocolate covered nuts, chocolate chip cookies and even chocolate mint ice cream. However, when it comes to what I most often have a “taste” for...it's likely to be chips, nuts or even a good pickle with the quintessential salt taste. Thankfully, I learned a long time ago that I must be cautious about salt intake, as well as sugar intake (I can go a long time without a cake). This is not because my body has indicated I have a problem with salt or sugar, instead because I know food (groups) require balance. Invariably, it is the nature of all things (beings) to seek better balance and mindfulness as a daily practice can help. Mindfulness is sometimes misunderstood as trying to enter a state of nothingness; presumably, foregoing the senses of sound, smell, sight, touch and even taste. Yet, to be clear mindfulness is about awareness. And although quiet, still and calm are integral to mindfulness, attention to breathing all

TASTE

Chips. Salt. Salty. When it comes to snacks, I love chocolate, chocolate covered nuts, chocolate chip cookies and even chocolate mint ice cream. However, when it comes to what I most often have a “taste” for...it's likely to be chips, nuts or even a good pickle with the quintessential salt taste. Thankfully, I learned a long time ago that I must be cautious about salt intake, as well as sugar intake (I can go a long time without a cake). This is not because my body has indicated I have a problem with salt or sugar, instead because I know food (groups) require balance. Invariably, it is the nature of all things (beings) to seek better balance and mindfulness as a daily practice can help. Mindfulness is sometimes misunderstood as trying to enter a state of nothingness; presumably, foregoing the senses of sound, smell, sight, touch and even taste. Yet, to be clear mindfulness is about awareness. And although quiet, still and calm are integral to mindfulness, attention to

RELEASE

Retrieve. Reset. In. Out. Hold. Let Go. How do you explain the process of breathing to a 7 year-old? It’s like trying to explain the obvious; the sun, the sky, water. It’s so simple...it's natural. While visiting my niece wanted to join in as I began my morning yoga. I was delighted and explained to her that we would be doing a lot of quiet time. Even as I said this and she happily agreed, I knew she didn’t quite understand or frankly care what that “quiet time” means in yoga. She just wanted to join me (and of course is always super when a little wants to embrace something healthy). Also, before we began I explained that she should stop if anything hurts, doesn’t feel right or she simply doesn’t want to do it. “This is fun. Not a contest. We each do what we can. It’s easy that way,” I further explained. “Ok Auntie. Ok. I got it,” she said excitedly. So we began. All is well as we begin with Mountain Pose both of us standing tall, settling and steady. This is a modified yoga techni