Jack Kornfield- The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace

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‘Let yourself sit quietly and at ease. Allow your body to be relaxed and open, your breath natural, your heart easy. Begin the practice of gratitude by feeling how year after year you have cared for your own life. Now let yourself begin to acknowledge all that has supported you in this care:

With gratitude I remember the people, animals, plants, insects, creatures of the sky and sea, air and water, fire and earth, all whose joyful exertion blesses my life every day.

With gratitude I remember the care and labor of a thousand generations of elders and ancestors who came before me.

I offer my gratitude for the safety and well-being I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the blessing of this earth I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the measure of health I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the family and friends I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the community I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the teachings and lessons I have been given.

I offer my gratitude for the life I have been given.’

 

This excerpt is taken from the book, “The Art of Forgiveness, Lovingkindness, and Peace

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THE STILLNESS IN THE CHAOS -Jeff Foster

THE STILLNESS IN THE CHAOS

Your legs ache. You’ve been on your feet all day. You’re in a long line waiting for the ticket machine. They’ve just announced your train is delayed.

You feel the frustration mounting. Impatience, annoyance, aggression.

Suddenly you remember, you are breathing. And it is Now. And you feel your tired feet rather than thinking about them. You give them a little attention, which is love. And you feel the frustration in your chest and belly rather than trying to delete these innocent sensations.

And you feel the weight of your body, the way it gently rests in gravity, supported by the sacred earth. And you feel your belly expand, slowly, rising on the in-breath. Falling on the exhale. And all the sounds around you are now innocent; you are a soft microphone. And the thoughts whirring around in your head, they are just little birds, singing their songs, flapping away. And it’s all ok. It’s all ok. It’s all present. It’s all ok.

And you find gratitude again. You are alive, you have been given a day. A day to live. A day to breathe, and taste human experience, taste the joy and sorrow of it, the bliss and the boredom, the frustration and the rush and the whirr of it, the silliness and the crash and the pull and the chaos of it.

You are already surrendered. And you find yourself on the train home, trusting some unfathomably ancient schedule.

– Jeff Foster

“Weak men make us nervous. Gentle men make us calm.” -Marianne Williamson

“Usually, when we think of power, we think of external power. And we think of powerful people as those who have made it in the world. A powerful woman isn’t necessarily someone who has money, but we think of her as someone with a boldness or a spark that makes her manifest in a dramatic way. When we think of a powerful man, we think of his ability to manifest abundance, usually money, in the world.

Most people say that a powerful woman does best with a powerful man, that she needs someone who understands the bigness of her situation, a man who can meet her at the same or even greater level of power in the world.

Now this is true, if power is defined as material abundance. A woman often faces cultural prejudice when she makes more money than a man, as does he. A woman who defines power by worldly standards can rarely feel totally relaxed in the arms of a man who doesn’t have it.

If power is seen as an internal matter, then the situation changes drastically. Internal power has less to do with money and worldly position, and more to do than with emotional expansiveness, spirituality and conscious living…

I used to think I needed a powerful man, someone who could protect me from the harshness and evils of the world. What I have come to realize is that…the powerful man I was looking for would be foremost, someone who supported me in keeping myself on track spiritually, and in so maintaining clarity within myself, that life would present fewer problems. When it did get rough, he would help me forgive.

I no longer wanted somebody who would say to me, “Don’t worry honey, if they’re mean to you I’ll beat them up or buy them out.” Instead, I want someone who prays and meditates with me regularly so that fewer monsters from the outer world disturb me, and who when they do, helps me look within my own consciousness for answers, instead of looking to false power to combat false power.

There’s a big difference between a gentle man and a weak man. Weak men make us nervous. Gentle men make us calm.”
― Marianne Williamson

Love: the healer the world is looking for

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‘The clarity and power that comes with a growing love for ourselves and all beings is greatly underestimated. Much of the harm in our world is driven by a lack of love – this makes more and more sense as we turn inward and begin to understand that as our own self love grows, harming another becomes less of an option.

Wisdom teaches us that to harm another is to harm oneself, while love teaches that our own happiness flourishes when we no longer harm ourselves or others. It is our cravings, which rapidly solidify into attachments, that drive us into the blind arena of direct and indirect forms of harm. Love is what allows us to see, like another set of eyes that we can use to view life and the world from a grander perspective. When our love is limited so is our ability to imagine new solutions outside of archaic forms of fear driven action.

Love is the healer the world is looking for. Love has the power to unbind and release the attachments that rationalize everyday harm. Love is the only sturdy enough platform we can use to build a new world where all can live well. Sending love to all beings. May we all understand that our own self love is an essential piece to building a new world. May we all grow our self love into the unconditional love that can end all harm. May we all understand that our own unconditional love for ourselves and all beings is directly connected to our highest freedom and happiness.’

-Yung Pueblo 

The Thing About Fear -Mark Nepo

We try to avoid it, distract ourselves,
even put others in the way.  Because it
makes what is necessary seem monumental.
It makes what is needed seem uncrossable.
Yet when we stumble over the line, or are
loved over the line, or, in our exhaustion,
fall beyond our pain, what we feared
was a fall to our death turns out
to have been the next step.

-Mark Nepo

What if today was your last?

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“If today was it, would you die knowing you did your best?

If tomorrow never came, would you be proud of the last thing you said to each person you love?

If someday was only now, would you do everything you’ve always put off?

If you knew you had a choice about what kind of life you could be living, would you choose different?

If you knew failure is impossible, what would you do?

If it were true that everyone you meet is you in another body, how would you treat them?

If love was the true currency of the Universe and the more you gave away the more you received, how would you spend it?

If fear were the biggest illusion and the greatest lie of all time, how would you choose to live your life?

If the Universe always supported a life lived towards achieving dreams, how big would you dream?”

Jackson Kiddard

Let Your Light Shine

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“A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower. You didn’t have to struggle to make your face different than anyone else’s on earth. It just is. You are unique because you were created that way. Look at little children in kindergarten. They’re all different without trying to be. As long as they’re unselfconsciously being themselves, they can’t help but shine. It’s only later, when children are taught to compete, to strive to be better than others, that their natural light becomes distorted.” ― Marianne Williamson

Sweet Surrender

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“We are all tired. Really, we are. It’s a hard road, but it’s also a beautiful one. Perhaps we expect too much from ourselves and from others. Perhaps humanity can only make slow progress, like an inchworm. Perhaps we need to celebrate how far we have come. And rest more. And relish the simple pleasures. And look for love everywhere. There is a river near where I live. It meanders slowly, peacefully. It doesn’t ask itself why it isn’t an ocean, or a raging river, or some other thing. It just surrenders to what it is. Maybe we just need to surrender more to who we are. I think I will lie down tomorrow beside the river. And take a rest. And sweet surrender.”

-Susan Frybort

The Homecoming -Jeff Foster

THE HOMECOMING

The more free and transparent you become,
the more you’re constantly
bewildered by yourself.

Because you’re no longer stuck
in some mental image
of how you ‘should’ be,
how you ‘should’ think or feel or act.

You’ve lost the old reference points.
Even the ‘spiritual’ ones.

You’re more and more of a mystery to yourself,
yet you know yourself more deeply than ever.
How can this be?

More bewildered than ever,
yet rock solid in Knowing?

Yes. Awakening doesn’t make you into a special person.
An expert. A guru. A perfect being. The best.

It makes you as vast as the night sky.
It returns you to Wonder. To the Wild.
It destroys ‘you’ as you knew yourself.

You know so much less.
But you Know so much more.

You are imperfect but you are free.

It is a divine bewilderment.
It is a second childhood.
It is a homecoming.

Thank you life, for making me doubt
everything I thought I knew.

And guiding me back
to Source.

– Jeff Foster

Drama Invites Dis-ease

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‘Sometimes people invite us into a drama that is of value to us—we have something to learn in the heart of it. But sometimes it is of no value to us—someone wants to live out their stuff, someone wants a woundmate to join them in their trigger-fest. Drama loves company. Drama needs company to flourish. And if we grew up with chaos, we may jump in without realizing that boundaries were possible. Old drama habits die hard. We recreate what we know best. But we do have a choice. We really do. We can tell them to live it out somewhere else. We can establish a boundary. We can choose peace. Developing your ‘no drama’ muscle may well save your life. A drama based lifestyle drains the adrenals and invites disease. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy that keeps coming back for more. Best to draw a line in the sand and refuse the invitation.’

-Jeff Brown