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“Just as life is made up of day and night, and song is made up of music and silence, friendships, because they are of this world, are also made up of times of being in touch and spaces in-between. Being human, we sometimes fill these spaces with worry, or we imagine the silence is some form of punishment, or we internalize the time we are not in touch with a loved one as some unexpressed change of heart. Our minds work very hard to make something out of nothing. We can perceive silence as rejection in an instant, and then build a cold castle on that tiny imagined brick. The only release from the tensions we weave around nothing is to remain a creature of the heart. By giving voice to the river of feelings as they flow through and through, we can stay clear and open. In daily terms, we call this checking in with each other, though most of us reduce this to a grocery list: How are you today? Do you need any milk? Eggs? Juice? Toilet paper? Though we can help each other survive with such outer kindnesses, we help each other thrive when the checking in with each other comes from a list of inner kindnesses: How are you today? Do you need any affirmation? Clarity? Support? Understanding? When we ask these deeper questions directly, we wipe the mind clean of its misperceptions. Just as we must dust our belongings from time to time, we must wipe away what covers us when we are apart.”
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“Many people forget their own body. They live in an imaginary world. They have so many plans and fears, so many agitations and dreams, and they don’t live in their body. While we’re caught in fear and trying to plan our way out of fear, we aren’t able to see all the beauty that Mother Earth offers us. Mindfulness reminds you to go to your in-breath and to be totally with your in-breath, be totally with your out-breath. Bring your mind back to your body and be in the present moment. Look deeply straight in front of you at what is wonderful in the present moment. Mother Earth is so powerful, so generous, and so supportive. Your body is so wonderful. When you’ve practiced and you are solid like the earth, you face your difficulty directly, and it begins to dissipate …”~Thich Nhat Hanh 

Relax a Little!

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“Maybe the most important teaching is to lighten up and relax. It’s such a huge help in working with our crazy mixed-up minds to remember that what we’re doing is unlocking a softness that is in us and letting it spread. We’re letting it blur the sharp corners of self-criticism and complaint.”-Pema Chodron

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Matters of the Heart

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“Our mind is filled with noise, and that’s why we can’t hear the call of life, the call of love. Our heart is calling us, but we don’t hear. We don’t have the time to listen to our heart. Mindfulness is the practice that quiets the noise inside us.”

-Thich Nhat Hahn

For Bentley. You left paw prints on my heart.

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‘This body is not me; I am not caught in this body, I am life without boundaries, I have never been born and I have never died. Over there the wide ocean and the sky with many galaxies All manifests from the basis of consciousness. Since beginningless time I have always been free. Birth and death are only a door through which we go in and out. Birth and death are only a game of hide-and-seek. So smile to me and take my hand and wave good-bye. Tomorrow we shall meet again or even before. We shall always be meeting again at the true source, Always meeting again on the myriad paths of life.’

Thich Nhat Hanh, No Death, No Fear

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Another Reminder: Only Now Exists

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“Negative feelings are not true feelings at all; rather, they are your thoughts about something, based always on the previous experience of yourself and others. You will not find Truth in your past data, Forget your “past experience” and look directly at the experience you are having Right Here, Right Now. There is your Truth.”

~ Neale Donald Walsch 

Mental Clarity- Lao Tzu

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“Eliminate mental muddiness and obscurity; keep your mind crystal clear. Allow your pure original insight to emerge. Quiet your emotions and abide in serenity. Don’t go crazy with the worship of idols, images, and ideas; this is like putting a new head on top of the head you already have. Remember: if you can cease all restless activity, your integral nature will appear.”

~ Lao Tzu

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Be Like a Lion 

  

“When you run after your thoughts, you are like a dog chasing a stick; every time a stick is thrown, you run after it. 

But if, instead, you look at where your thoughts are coming from, you will see that each thought arises and dissolves within the space of that awareness, without engendering other thoughts. 

Be like a lion, who rather than chasing after the stick, turns to face the thrower. One only throws a stick at a lion once.”

 ~ H.H. Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche

A New Day- Jump Right In

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Start a New Life Every Morning ~ 17th Karmapa

‘We sometimes wake up fresh in the morning yet still go through the day half asleep. Our busy 21st century lives overwhelm us with a relentless stream of immediate tasks. We lose sight of how precious it is just to have a human life.

This is an awareness that we need to feel in our hearts. I would like to share with you a practice that I call ‘living your whole life in a single day.’ You can do this by starting with this thought in the morning: ‘I am starting a whole new life. It begins right now’. Initially, leave yourself a note at your bedside to remind you, and then slowly cultivate the habit of waking up with this thought.

Your body is fresh from the night’s rest; when you wake up with this awareness, so does your mind. Ask yourself what kind of person you want to be in the life that you will live today. Throughout the day, remind yourself that your life is happening right now. In the afternoon, check to see how your life is going and readjust as needed. A whole lifetime of possibilities stretches out before you every moment.

This is the basic truth of interdependence. Conditions are constantly shifting, and what seemed impossible earlier can suddenly become possible. Every moment counts. Every action counts. A single kind act can have a positive impact on the future of many others you share the earth with. You can change the course of the future in any moment. Do so consciously, and the whole world will benefit.’

17th Karmapa