Underwater-Photography-by-Neil-Craver-6

“We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.

When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy.

It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.”

Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have

Advertisements

A Still Forest by Ajahn Chah

image1 (1)

Image by Talon Wolf

Just try to keep your mind in the present. Whatever arises in the mind, just watch it and let go of it. Don’t even wish to be rid of thoughts. Then the mind will return to its natural state. No discriminating between good and bad, hot and cold, fast and slow. No me and no you, no self at all—just what there is. When you walk there is no need to do anything special. Simply walk and see what is there. No need to cling to isolation or seclusion. Wherever you are, know yourself by being natural and watching. If doubts arise, watch them come and go. It’s very simple. Hold on to nothing. It’s as though you are walking down a road. Periodically you will run into obstacles. When you meet defilements, just see them and overcome them by letting them go. Don’t think about the obstacles you’ve already passed; don’t worry about those you have not yet seen. Stick to the present. Don’t be concerned about the length of the road or the destination. Everything is changing. Whatever you pass, don’t cling to it. Eventually the mind will reach its natural balance where practice is automatic. All things will come and go of themselves.

Return to the Present

beb2d4d6aa0fa1a5656fbf9c2b82c6be

“When your world moves too fast and you lose yourself in the chaos, introduce yourself to each color of the sunset. Reacquaint yourself with the earth beneath your feet. Thank the air that surrounds you with every breath you take. Find yourself in the appreciation of life.”

-Christy Ann Martine 

Image from yoasis-katokiti.tumblr.com

Stop. Breathe. Listen

stock-photo-72694561.jpg
Photo by Leah Robinson
‘STOP. BREATHE. LISTEN.
Whatever is happening in the circumstances of your life, stop. Just for a moment.
Bring your attention towards the here-and-now. Let the moment become fascinating. Gently begin to acknowledge what is actually happening where you are. Come out of your conclusions about life, your dreams about past and future, and begin to notice the sensations, feelings, thoughts that are present, right here and right now. Let your present experience – sights and sounds and smells – become the most curious dance in all the universe. You are seeing, tasting, touching, hearing the world as if for the first time.
This is your Garden of Eden, your messy, intense, joyous and heart-breaking Garden of Eden, and you are awake to it at last.
Stop trying to figure everything out. Give in. Give up. Give all to the moment’s embrace. Fall into not knowing…’
~Jeff Foster

The Secret of Happiness

Screen-Shot-2013-04-23-at-1.52.55-PM

“That is the simple secret of happiness. Whatever you are doing, don’t let past move your mind; don’t let future disturb you. Because the past is no more, and the future is not yet. To live in the memories, to live in the imagination, is to live in the non-existential. And when you are living in the non-existential, you are missing that which is existential. Naturally you will be miserable, because you will miss your whole life.” 

― Osho

Andy Puddicombe: All it takes is 10 mindful minutes…

quote-most-people-assume-that-meditation-is-all-about-stopping-thoughts-getting-rid-of-emotions-andy-puddicombe-53-56-10 (1)

I guess we all deal with stress in different ways. Some people will bury themselves in work, grateful for the distraction. Others will turn to their friends, their family, looking for support. Some people hit the bottle, start taking medication. My own way of dealing with it was to become a monk. So I quit my degree, I headed off to the Himalayas, I became a monk, and I started studying meditation.

People often ask me what I learned from that time. Well, obviously it changed things. Let’s face it, becoming a celibate monk is going to change a number of things. But it was more than that. It taught me — it gave me a greater appreciation, an understanding for the present moment. By that I mean not being lost in thought, not being distracted, not being overwhelmed by difficult emotions, but instead learning how to be in the here and now, how to be mindful, how to be present.

I think the present moment is so underrated. It sounds so ordinary, and yet we spend so little time in the present moment that it’s anything but ordinary. There was a research paper that came out of Harvard, just recently, that said on average, our minds are lost in thought almost 47 percent of the time. 47 percent. At the same time, this sort of constant mind-wandering is also a direct cause of unhappiness. Now we’re not here for that long anyway, but to spend almost half of our life lost in thought and potentially quite unhappy, I don’t know, it just kind of seems tragic, actually, especially when there’s something we can do about it, when there’s a positive, practical, achievable, scientifically proven technique which allows our mind to be more healthy, to be more mindful and less distracted.

And the beauty of it is that even though it need only take about 10 minutes a day, it impacts our entire life. But we need to know how to do it. We need an exercise. We need a framework to learn how to be more mindful. That’s essentially what meditation is. It’s familiarizing ourselves with the present moment.But we also need to know how to approach it in the right way to get the best from it. And that’s what these are for, in case you’ve been wondering, because most people assume that meditation is all about stopping thoughts, getting rid of emotions, somehow controlling the mind, but actually it’s quite different from that. It’s more about stepping back, sort of seeing the thought clearly, witnessing it coming and going, emotions coming and going without judgment, but with a relaxed, focused mind.”

Andy Puddicombe

Say Yes To Life…

7373da8ce8c645cfcd1c0c8f86f9ced2

“Always say yes to the present moment. What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to what already is? What could be more insane than to oppose life itself, which is now and always now? Surrender to what is. Say yes to life—and see how life suddenly starts working for you rather than against you.”

—Eckhart Tolle

Get A Life.. A Real Life.. A Full Life

91e894e93671f854b85056d90be69c23

A photograph by artist Michael Rock

“You [are] the only person alive who has sole custody of your life. Your particular life. Your entire life. Not just your life at a desk, or your life on a bus, or in a car, or at the computer. Not just the life of your minds, but the life of your heart. Not just your bank account, but your soul. People don’t talk about the soul very much anymore. It’s so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit. But a resume is a cold comfort on a winter night, or when you’re sad, or broke, or lonely, or when you’ve gotten back the test results and they’re not so good. So here is what I wanted to tell you today:

Get a life. A real life… a full life, a professional life, yes, but another life, too, a life of love and laughs and a connection to other human beings. Just keep your eyes and ears open.”

~ Anna Quindlen in her Commencement address full of sweet heart to Villanova University (23 June 2000) ✨