At the end of each month, I publish my favorite articles from around the web, books, and resources – ones that will spark your goodness and help you live with more confidence, clarity, and ease.
Month: January 2014 (Page 1 of 2)
“Our awareness of feelings in the body and mind ranges from simple frustration and malaise to anguish, despair, and white-hot physical pain, and from simple pleasures to extraordinary ecstasy. As we become clearly cognizant of the bandwidth of our own feelings, we direct our awareness externally. We become vividly aware that myriad sentient beings around us are not simply objects of our pleasure, displeasure, or indifference, but have feelings just like ours. By turning our awareness outward and closely applying mindfulness to other sentient beings, we can empathize with their feelings. When we empathize with another’s suffering and we attend closely, compassion arises. The suffering of unpleasant feelings is the very source of the experience of compassion.” – B. Alan Wallace, Minding Closely, The Four Applications of Mindfulness
I recently attended an intimate “talk story” gathering with Harry Uhane Jim, a Kahuna (Hawaiin priest), healer and teacher, to learn about the Hawaiin practice of Ho’oponopono, which centers on forgiveness, gratitude, and love. Here’s a little piece about Harry:
“Harry was born and raised on the island of Kauai, and was trained as an apprentice by the best known native Kahunas of the last seven decades. He carries a distinct authenticity and is know for unveiling profound ancient truths with a delightful dose of wit and laughter. As the author of Wise Secrets of Aloha and a revered Kahuna, Harry travels far and wide sharing a wealth of ancient Hawaiin teachings.”
The evening, which was presented by the Wellness Institute of Hawaii, offered a sampler of “Ho’oponopono:”
“…an ancient Hawaiian tradition that is utilized to bring balance and harmony into one’s life. At its root, Ho’oponopono is a technology of forgiveness, and allows us to release that which keeps us feeling stuck in negative thoughts and patterning.”
“All of man’s difficulties are caused by his inability to sit, quietly, in a room by himself.” – Pascal
Many people run – or even panic – at the first sign of boredom. Boredom can also be the wall you hit when you try to learn mindfulness or mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques. Given our usual aversion to boredom, it might be surprising to know it can be one of your most important pivotal points in meditation and in life.
Boredom can be beautiful. Here’s why.
“Always recognize the dreamlike qualities of life and reduce attachment and aversion. Practice good-heartedness toward all beings. Be loving and compassionate, no matter what others do to you. What they will do will not matter so much when you see it as a dream. The trick is to have positive intention during the dream. This is the essential point. This is true spirituality.” – Chagdud Rinpoche
Traditionally the word “focus” means to concentrate or pay particular attention to. But “focus” has so many expanded meanings for me. For example, all these ways of being depend on one’s capacity for focus, but are also not limited by it:
- Mindfulness and awareness
- Spacious awareness
- Relaxed awareness
- Loving awareness
When I use the word “focus,” I don’t mean being overly concentrated. You can focus lightly on one thing, but still be cognizant of everything else going on around you. That’s spacious awareness that is both relaxed and alert.