Jul 27 2014

Joy Follows Like A Shadow

Published by Cathie under Main

“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind if pure,  joy follows like a shadow that never leaves.” Buddha

In order to live a life that is balanced and stress reduced, you need to be the caretaker of your thoughts. Guard them like you do your bank account. Refuse to let other people’s thoughts stray you from your path. Learn to live with integrity. Think before you act. Define what you really want, not what someone else wants for you. Don’t conform to society’s way of thinking because usually it is propaganda. And when you do, joy will follow you like a shadow. You will be centered and true to your true self.

The calendar reminds me that we are at the end of July. This season’s ruling element is fire. The flickering flames will break up any residual heaviness and left over energy you are still carrying around. Refrain from looking back and hashing over hard times because you will be drawn into those conditions, joy will be hard to follow you. Shed old energy and clutter as you move forward. Worry and fear are robbers of time and energy and strive to keep your mind and your creative energy in the present moment. Then joy will follow you. Remember, you are always guided and loved.

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Jul 25 2014

Celebrate You–Celebrate Summer

Published by Cathie under Main

“Hold fast the time! Guard it, watch over it, every hour, every minute. Unregarded it slips away…Hold every moment sacred. Give each clarity and meaning, each the weight of…awareness, each its time and due fulfillment.” Thomas Mann

The end of July. We are in the middle of the summer season; although I’ve observed the sun is shifting. It’s darker in the morning. The nights have been crisper. We just came through a warm spell where everyone complained about the heat. While it is 30 degrees warmer inside an RV, we’re not shoveling snow! But people like to complain. I think it’s part of the human condition. I know a person who always starts a conversation complaining about the weather. It’s too hot. It’s too cold. It’s windy.

If you find yourself complaining about the weather why not enjoy where you are at this moment in time? Celebrate the long, lazy days of summer. Looking for a few good ideas: Go swimming. Walk barefoot in the grass or sand as much as you can. Sip lemonade under a large tree while reading a good book, you know one of those summer reads. Take your art project outside. Go canoeing, paddle boarding, kayaking. Have a picnic at the lake. Go camping. Ride your bike. Tonight stargaze with your beloved. Enjoy a juicy peach, ice cream, or a snow cone. Practice yoga outside. Meditate outside. Fire up the grill and enjoy fresh grilled vegetables drizzled with olive oil.

Learn to love where you are. When you complain or say you “hate” something, you draw that energy toward you. Make it your mission to love everything and celebrate the season and YOU.

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Jul 23 2014

Bear Learns to Contain Himself

Published by Cathie under Main

It was several days later. Bear and the old man sat outside atop the mountain. He contemplated the old man’s words. He was working on his anger and his pride. He had learned from the tribe and his elders, and now the old man wanted him to rise above them. How does he do that? This is hard, Bear thought as he breathed in and out, taking the air down deep into his belly like he had been instructed, holding it for a few seconds, then exhaling.

“When your mind is still fewer things float to the top to distract you,” the old man said. Bear glanced at the old man, who was smiling broadly. “Your meditation sit is much better. I don’t see your energy bouncing off the trees and rocks. You are learning to contain yourself.”

Bear felt a swell of pride, but then remembered pride was one of the poisons of the soul. He bowed his head in humility. “I am trying.”

The old man grinned. “I see you are learning. I am proud of you. We will discuss the last poison, but before we do can you remember what we’ve discussed so far?”

“Well, Bear began slowly. “We discussed ignorance, which doesn’t mean stupid like I thought.” He remembered being called stupid by some of his friends at school.

“Good. What does it mean?”

“It means not knowing your true nature. Ignorance paves the way for delusion and believing something that is false.”

“Do you remember how to become not ignorant?”

“Yes,” Bear said, feeling empowered for the first time in his life because he was successful with learning. “Through the practice of loving kindness and compassion to myself and others I can turn ignorance into nectar that feeds my potential for true happiness.”

“Very good,” the old man said. “What was the next poison?”

“Anger, and I struggled with anger because I was very angry at the human who killed my father.”

“That is to be expected,” the old man said. “But you need to forgive because when you practice forgiveness you actually forgive yourself. Just because you forgive someone doesn’t make what that person did correct. Forgiveness frees you from carrying around all that dead energy.”

Bear noticed he felt lighted. “I did let it float away like you suggested, but I still miss my father.”

“And you will every day of your life, but you will meet again. I promise. I remember your father struggling with anger as a young bear.” He laughed. “It got him in a great deal of trouble. What was next?”

Bear sighed. “Pride, which means I thought I was better than others. And jealousy.” He paused. “That’s when I was jealous of something someone else had or did.”

“Very good,” the old man said. “The last poison is desire or attachment.”

“Isn’t it good to want things?”

“Yes, it is. But not to become attached to things. All life is in a constant state of change and flux. Everything will change. Learn to let things go and don’t hold on to anything too tightly. Holding on too tightly will make it slip through your fingers.”

Bear thought about all the things he had tried to hold on to–his father for one–and how he had slipped through his fingers. “When you want things and you get them it never seems to really satisfy you. There’s always something else that you want,” he mused.

“That is the condition of the physical world,” the old man said gently. “When you learn to weave inner stillness into your daily life you will break the feeling between feeling tones and cravings. Be mindful of doing things to get attention and praise. Instead do them because they are needed or right. Keep your desires few and you will live a fulfilled life.”

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