5 Minute Compassion Meditation

Namaste everyone! May you be abundantly blessed as this day unfolds. I am sitting in my rocking chair and re-reading the notes I took while studying an online course titled “ Primordial Sound Meditation.” It is an available through the Chopra Center.

Toward the end of the course is an exercise entitled: Empower Yourself

I stopped and did the 5 Minute practice and knew I wanted to share it. A meditation anyone can do that can benefit the practitioner and others. Oh, the power of 5 minutes! Sit where you can see a clock or set a quiet timer if you like.  Here it is.

Sit comfortable with your hands resting on your heart. Close your eyes. Slow your breath down so that you can feel yourself breathing and you still feel comfortable.

As you inhale, breathe in Compassion for yourself.

As you exhale, breathe out Compassion for others (it might be one in particular or your family, office, country, etc.)

When you finish, sit quietly for a moment and open your eyes. Notice how you feel and allow gratitude.

Blessings!

Enough Already!

Is anyone else as weary as I am of the fighting and squabbling? Do we not live in the United States of America? Do we not elect our leaders?

Are we communicating with those we elect or are we just arguing and demanding that everyone agree with our personal point of view? How is that working out in Washington?

So, I’m asking each of you to take a breath. Then contact those who represent you on the national, state, and local levels. Express your views and vision for your community and our nation without bashing those who think differently than you do. Support them in working as Americans, across party lines to find solutions NOW.

This country has done it before and it can do it now…but we must stop going after each other and start going after reasonable answers instead. Please join me in praying, meditating, seeking wisdom and then living in that wisdom to bring healing to our communities and our nation. And let’s begin by creating healing and peace in our own lives to begin the process.

Thank you, catherine.

Peace Is SO Worth It

The longer I live and practice meditation the more convinced I am that it is the most sure path to Divine Love, Peace, and those are the essence of Enlightenment.

Most of you are familiar with this outer from Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken:”

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-

I took the one less traveled by.

And that road has made all the difference.

The practice (remember that practicing is doing something faithfully and consistently until it becomes natural to you) of meditation is one of the roads less traveled. It requires a change in one’s daily routine as well as the insight and willingness to retrain the mind. I find thinking in terms of being consistent, rather than telling myself to “get it right,” allows my Soul to invite me to sit in silence regularly.  As my practice becomes more consistent, the benefits flow more regularly and clearly,

For example, meditation supports my spiritual path of non-judgement. It encourages my heart and mind to see that others are like me: spiritual beings figuring out how to be human. The reading I am drawn to more and more guides me into higher understanding of truths I have known for decades. I also encounter beautiful thoughts and phrases that carry me through the challenges of human life.

One of the core teachings concerning creating a successful life is to become aware of where I put my attention in any given situation. As a result, I became aware that, in the past, I used to take the role of a victim when I was hurting. If only that other person had taken better care of me, been kinder, etc. My years of Hatha yoga and meditation helped me be more honest about my responsibility in almost every situation.

This morning I read a verse in the Dhammapada that made my heart open. It is a verse intended to bring awareness to what I can be doing, not an invitation to turn judgement inward….assessment rather than judgement is the key. I realized that focusing more deeply on the meditation side of yoga has internalized a key truth and that I am beginning to truly live it!

Do not give your attention to what others do or fail to do; give it to what you do or fail to do. (Verse 50)

The result? PEACE of mind and body as well as the deepest awareness of Divine Love that I have ever known. 🙏🏻📿

Oh yes, dear hearts, that PEACE that passeth understanding is SO worth every ounce of effort, every moment I have taken a seat to be still. Please don’t give up. You deserve to live in peace. 💫💖

The Rhythm of the Universe

All parts of creation are linked together and interchange their influences. The balanced rhythm of the universe is rooted in reciprocity.

Man is Soul, and has a body.when he properly places his sense of identity, he leaves behind  all compulsive patterns.

God is Harmony;  The devotee who attunes himself will never perform any action amiss…After  deep prayer and meditation he is in touch with his divine consciousness; there is no greater power than that inward protection.

… Man must satisfy the laws of nature, while not discrediting the define omnipotence. He should say: “Lord, I trust in Thee, and know Thou can help me, but I too will do my best to undo any wrong I have done.”

Quotes taken from Autobiography of a Yogi, pp 182-183, (13th edition, 1998), by Paramahansa Yogananda.

I Can Fly

It all began about a year and a half ago when my granddaughter was about 18 months old. She would launch herself into the air and, when she landed, hurt herself. Alone with her one day, I caught her before she could do that and asked her if she thought she could fly.  She smiled broadly and looked into my eyes and said, “Gama! I can fly!”  I pulled her gently onto my lap facing me and looked into her eyes. I told her that, when I was a very little girl, I also thought I could fly.  Then I explained to her that, when we come into these physical bodies, our ability to fly is limited. I also told her that there are master teachers who might be able to train her to fly but they were not easy to find in this world. Then I gently said, “Remember? Every time you try to fly, you hurt yourself, don’t you?” She nodded then leaned into my chest. I pulled her gently to myself and whispered in her ear, “For now, sweetheart, please stop trying to fly. I don’t want you to hurt yourself anymore.”  She didn’t say anything; she just snuggled more closely to me and we sat for a few moments. She has not tried to fly since.

She is almost 3 now and beginning to experience intense emotions like frustration and anger. Her strong, loving parents are working with her with deep compassion to teach her how to process these strong emotions and still be true to the sweet,  tender soul that she is. In walking meditation last week I remembered a song that I loved and that touched my heart and mind in a very powerful way during a difficult time of my life. I decided I would share it with her on our next alone time together and begin to teach her  that one of the ways we can fly free is in our meditation times.  When I meditate, I fly free of ego, desire, and resistance to life in this world as it is in the moment.

The next day she came over for time with me. I told her that we could use our imagination while we’re being very quiet and fly! We sat on my bed with our legs extended and her sitting between mine, our hearts facing outward. I took her hands and arms into my hands and began to softly sing the parts of the song that I could remember. I invited her to imagine that we were flying through the sky like birds. Then she wanted to get down and sing the song some more while we held our arms out and softly swayed around the room pretending we could fly. The game extended into having stuffed animals fly with us and she laughed and twirled and felt the freedom I wanted her to feel.

Yesterday when she came over I realized I could download the song and she could hear the whole thing with me. The song is “I believe I Can Fly,” recorded by R. Kelly. Oh, we had a glorious time!

Later, as I looked back over the morning with her and remember the joy of that time, I realized how powerful that song is and felt deeply grateful that I had downloaded it. This morning, aware of the inauguration and the conflicting emotions among my brothers and sisters in this country, I decided I would offer those I have contact with a suggestion:

Please go to iTunes and down download (less than $2) R. Kelly’s recording of “I Believe I Can Fly.”  Listen to it today…maybe more than once…and keep it handy to listen to often.

For those feeling anxious and worried, may this soothe your mind and heart and bring up the lightness of the love and peace of your Soul. May you understand that today does not change the Truth of Who You Are.

For those of you feeling elated and sure you have won, may this inspire you to come from a place of compassion and to seek common ground with those who see things differently than you do.

May we all remember that we are Divinely Loved and that true unity and wholeness requires diversity along with compassion and respect for one another.

 

Strangers Are Wonderful Too

As I waited to board the plane, I decided to find a seat in the first five rows. It was a short flight so a middle seat would be fine. They called the flight and, as I boarded, I reminded myself to look for that seat near the front. I found it in the fourth row and settled in between two young women. Once we took off, the young woman in the aisle seat cordially began a conversation. Before too long, the one to the left joined us.

The topic of conversation turned to fear of flying when we felt the plane respond to air currents over the mountains. Both women shared a fear of flying. One had learned to deal with it quite calmly; the other was only beginning to fly after a frightening experience. As women are prone to do, we had quite a lengthy discussion. What impressed me was that these two women, less than half my age and I am almost 71, were so open and honest with themselves and with us. One said, “Please don’t share exact details. I do very well now but details can still trigger me.” The other responded, “Of course! What do you do to help yourself because I am getting anxious right now?”

I sat back and listened as one gave useful and compassionate responses to the other. As the conversation slowed, I offered my insights on using breath to calm the body and mind. I also suggested that regular, simple meditation techniques are effective. Further details are not important.

As the plane landed and we prepared to disembark, we all thanked one another for an interesting and fun time together. We had shared our fears, our desires to be more balanced and ultimately our laughter and encouragement. We all agreed that it seemed like a twenty-minute flight rather than an hour.

My discussion with one of the women continued at baggage claim. Why am I not surprised that our bags were side by side!

I left the terminal smiling. What a wonderful experience! Strangers discovered common experience and spent an hour compassionately supporting one another in powerful ways. Openness of mind and heart, whether sharing or responding, made the trip easier for one as she  gave another real hope for her future travels. Though I do not have a fear of flying, it isn’t as fun as it used to be so I do avoid at times. This trip made me want to go again!

When you lead with an open heart, you aren’t really strangers after all. Love and peace abound. I will smile every time I think of those two lovely, open-hearted young women. May they be abundantly blessed. As may each of you.

At Sunrise

My meditation begins before sunrise and is complete as the soft golden rays of the sun show softly through the norens that cover my bedroom window. My breath deepens and I hear the first sounds of waking birds, then the train whistles in the distance. It is a new day and my heart expands into the moment. It is a beautiful new day and it begins in perfect peace. I breathe more deeeply feeling the peace within fill every cell of my body. I breathe deeply again and there is love, pure and clear, flooding my consciousness with a profound awareness of the Divine in everything.

It is a beautiful new day and it begins in perfect peace.

May you be blessed in the love and peace of your Soul.