#296 The Surging Ocean of Love

A few years ago, I wrote a lot about emanating love. I learned something from that practice — one cannot simply emanate love.

One must be in the flow of love in order emanate it. Think of love as a moving, flowing, stream of energy. A surging ocean of it. It is from within that ocean of love that one can emanate love.

How do I join the flowing stream of love? How do I fill myself with love so that I can emanate it?

Gratitude and appreciation place me there. Gratitude and appreciation fill me with love, which then flows through me. I emanate it.

And here’s another sure fire way to stand in the flow of love — hug a tree. Lean on that tree. Commune with it. Mingle your roots with its. Share your hope with it, your joy, your sorrow. Offer it kindness and curiosity. Receive what it offers you, and you’ll recognize the flowing stream of love.

How do you place yourself into the flow of love?

#295 Conscious Breathing

“Meditate”  is a word that means different things to different people. Here’s what it means in my life. Twice a day, morning and evening, I set the timer on my phone for 15 minutes. Then I practice conscious breathing — which means I breathe and I keep my awareness on my breath. I feel my breath in my nostrils; I am aware of the movement of my diaphragm, my ribs, my abdomen; I experience where my lungs receive my breath, and where they don’t; I experience the glory in every inhalation, and the acceptance in every exhalation; I keep a little smile on my face.

At the end of 15 minutes of conscious breathing, I find that I have gathered my wits, I remember who I am, I dwell in appreciation and gratitude, love is in every cell. Really, it’s quite a satisfying experience! And when I don’t do my 15 minutes of conscious breathing? Chaos in some form or another is a likely visitor to my life.

And so I encourage you to answer the question — what does “meditate” mean in your life?

#294 The Thread

I came across this poem the other day, and it got me thinking.

The Way It Is
by William Stafford

There’s a thread you follow. It goes among
things that change. But it doesn’t change.
People wonder about what you are pursuing.
You have to explain about the thread.
But it is hard for others to see.
While you hold it you can’t get lost.
Tragedies happen; people get hurt
or die; and you suffer and get old.
Nothing you do can stop time’s unfolding.
You don’t ever let go of the thread.

I know, I have known, that there is a thread I follow, and I have traced it back quite a ways. But the poem got me wondering where in my life the thread had originated. Then I saw a story about Elie Wiesel, who had gone to Cambodia to help survivors of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge. Someone there asked him why he had gone so far to help, especially since it was not a Jewish tragedy. He answered, when I desperately needed people to come, they did not. That is why I go to help. And that gave me the whole story of the thread I have followed since birth. Maybe I’ll write about it some day.

What is your thread?

#292 Looking for lilacs?

For the past several weeks, a phrase from a song has been playing over and over in my head. I was fixin’ to get irritated by it, when I thought to wonder why it was sticking around. I listened to it as though it had a message for me, and it did! Turns out it’s all about appreciation and gratitude. Now when it comes around, which it does quite frequently, I smile and am glad for the reminder.

It’s a phrase from a Joan Baez song. Just this and nothing more, except, of course, the tune: “Why go looking for lilacs, when you’re lying in a bed of roses?” 🌹

#291 Thanks, toaster

I received several encouraging replies to my most recent Tenacity Notes. They helped me be not quite so unbalanced. And being not so unbalanced, I was able to receive the blessing that came in an email from a friend and Tenacity Notes reader. She said:

The other day I noticed that I say thank you to “inanimate” objects.  After the toast pops up, I say thank you, toaster!  And after I take the clothes out of the dryer, I say thanks, clothes dryer!  After I write in my journal, I say thanks pen, thanks paper, thank you light, thank you chair! And much more….
But I never planned it, or even intended it.  And I just noticed that I’ve been doing it every day, and after I noticed it, I realized that it’s really good for me, for my state of mind.  Every night (almost every night) I write gratitudes in my journal, but that’s more formal and is a way to review my day.  But thanking things as I go, well — I was interested and glad to notice myself doing that.

Maybe it’s what some spiritual people mean when they say: “pray constantly.”

Also, I do have a feeling that the things I say “thank you” to receive my thanks.  That’s why I put the word inanimate in quotes.

Yes! I encourage you to try it.

For one thing, it’s impossible to say “thank you” to the toaster and not smile. And smiling invites gladness. Believe me, thanking everything all day long, and feeling glad and smiling all day long, does a lot to restore ones balance.

Which isn’t to say that Trump and the frightening wing of the GOP will magically disappear or that world peace will ensue. But a balanced person who is grounded in gratitude and gladness is more likely to be intellectually, spiritually, and emotionally available for whatever struggles are to come than a person who is unbalanced. At least that holds true for THIS person!

Thank you, computer.

#290 Briars and Brambles

I lost my footing, and I blame the election — the shock and the dread knocked me off balance, and I found myself falling back into some very negative and very old patterns. Being judgmental; noticing everything that’s wrong with a situation and nothing that’s right; complaining — things like that. Then someone pointed it out to me, and I was appalled with myself, but grateful to have been shaken awake.

Then I got a message from someone who said, “I heard a talk about Buddhism, and they focused on ‘right thoughts, right speech, and right actions.’ I’m tying to follow it.”

Then I got a second message from someone else: “I recall a saying from my childhood that I remind myself with once in a while — if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.”

Sometimes people tell me that Tenacity Notes comes to them at exactly the right time, giving exactly the message that they need then. Well, thank you to those who sent me the right messages at exactly the right time. Exactly what I needed!

Now that I am aware that I lost my footing and strayed into the briars and brambles of negativity, I can get back on the path I want to be on, the path of love and gratitude.

I am very grateful to those who caught me straying, and to those who showed me the way back.