Secret Admirers So often the holidays bring up expectations of how things should be. The media does a good job of promoting various images to set the stage, but ultimately we buy in, leading to some sort of collective force our culture gets swept up in. The day seems to bear an invisible stamp of approval if it meets certain criteria and disapproval if it does not. The latter is tied to disappointment. This realization alone can bring up dread in anticipation of what will and won’t happen. Vowing to simplify my already hectic life, I dropped all planning for what was going to be our winter break travels. Instead I focused on the necessary yet mundane tasks of life- like laundry. Thoughts of snow covered ski slopes turned into crisp clean cotton folds. In letting go of pressure to find that creative and festive meal, I was open to take a friend up on her invitation to dinner. In forgoing the last minute second trip to the store in search of valentines cards that had been accidentally tossed out, my daughter learned to make her own. Taking a step back gave me time to appreciate what is truly important to me, people, moments, and adequate space to experience them. In my meditation today, I am cultivating the space that will allow me to take a moment to appreciate all the blessings in my life as well as the numerous and mostly unknown people that played a role in my being able to experience them. On this valentine’s day I like to consider these people my secret admirers and here’s how. If you haven’t done so already I, along with meditation teacher, Sharon Salzberg, challenge you to join us on this 28 day Real Happiness journey. In addition to resources at SharonSalzberg.com check out MyMindfulWayofLife.com and access a free sample meditation to follow along: Click for meditation Come along there is still time to Begin!
I had attended Krishna Das and Sharon Salzberg’s retreat before and looked forward to their outpouring of insight through storytelling, meditation, and chant. So, the anticipation of this experience brought back all sorts of warm memories of tranquility, insight, rest, and revelation. This time, over a hot cup of Chai tea, Sharon and I would chat for hours late into the night in the simple cottage. We reminisced and spoke about everything from life’s mundane, everyday, joys and hassles to coping with trauma. I was privileged to hear personal stories of some of her early experiences in India while discovering meditation. The practice of Loving- Kindness has been her life’s path.
Click to listen to Sharon Salzberg speak on Bhavana
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To meditate, or to do work, or to check the blog, or to be with the kids? THAT is the question. The possibilities floated by like fish gliding through the ocean and circling back around. They weren’t intrusive thoughts. On the contrary. I barely paid any attention to them. That was it! I was not paying any mindful attention to what I was doing or my thoughts. Continue reading
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What is rain but the product of a collision between thousands of minuscule droplets of water. It is this collection of droplets that joins with particles in the air such as dust and other foreign bodies that form a cloud. Through this process of collision and joining, the mass eventually becomes heavy enough to cause what we see as rain- liquid drops of water falling from the sky.
Day 1 of Sharon Salzberg’s Real Happiness Challenge, and here it was evening already and I hadn’t formally meditated. No, I wasn’t avoiding it, at least not this time. No, I hadn’t forgotten. In fact, it was on my mind when I was awakened by an energetic superhero toddler. Continue reading