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Archive for the ‘spiritual’ Category

I receive a daily email from Oceans of Dharma, and a couple of the recent quotes they’ve shared have spoken to me. More specifically are the ones on the attempts of being spiritual. And I immediately thought about this concept that I’ve been formulating in my thoughts and beliefs but have been unable to formulate the words to properly describe my thoughts.

Quite often I refer to the facets of the various subjects I’m discussing. That’s because to me all of life, of our being, our personalities, beliefs, etc are multifaceted. There are many layers to a concept, to the meaning of the words we speak, and many dimensions to our emotions.

Here is one quote from Chögyam Trungpa’s “The Four Foundations of Mindfulness” in A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation: Practical Advice and Inspiration from Contemporary Buddhist Teachers:

“People have difficulty beginning a spiritual practice because they put a lot of energy into looking for the best and easiest way to get into it. We might have to change our attitude and give up looking for the best or easiest way. Actually, there is no choice. Whatever approach we take, we will have to deal with what we are already. We have to look at who we are.”

I can relate so much to this. Early on in my journey all I wanted was to already know about the subject, already be able to do this thing, to already be this type of person. I kept looking ahead of where I was into wanting to be over there. Does that make sense?

At some point, I stopped wishing and focusing on what I wasn’t and what I wanted to be and just started living into what I am. As Chögyam Trungpa says “we have to deal with what we are already”. I’ll paraphrase it a little differently and say be present with who we are, where we are already.

I have one quote taped to the wall right beside my computer that states: Patience is being at peace with the process of life. Once I became at peace with the process of my journey, of being me, I enjoyed my spiritual journey.

Wishing you a beautiful month – Namaste~

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This morning I was cleaning out the closet that my mother used while she lived with me, and I came across a frame that was in the corner on the floor. It is a framed copy of  ‘The Invitation’ by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, an Indian Elder. I found myself pondering this for a while after I read it, and thought I would share with you.
The Invitation
It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.
It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dreams, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow. If you have been opened by lifes’ betrayals or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain! I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it or fade it or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; If you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, or to remember the limitation of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you’re telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. I want to know if you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy. I want to know if you can see beauty even when it is not pretty every day, and if you can source your life from God’s presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of a lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary, and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done for the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you are, how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself, and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.
My wish for you this month, is for joy and peace to bloom abundantly in your life. Namaste~ Xina

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My current class that I am taking is on Therapeutic Prayer. Which is a fascinating subject to me. What is wonderful about this class is that it is not on religion based prayer, but simply about prayer itself. When I was a child, I had learned that when I went to mass I should do all my asking before mass even started. And then I should give prayers of thanks and gratitude when I prayed after receiving communion. I cannot remember how or when I learned this. So as my spirituality broadened, so to did my concepts of prayers – and so have my questions on and about prayers.

In my studies I read A Prayer of an Unknown Confederate Soldier, and was deeply moved by his words and the way in which he prayed. This has given me much to ponder, and I wish to share this with you.

I asked God for strength that I might achieve;
I was made weak that I might learn to obey.

I asked for health that I might do great things;
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things.

I asked for riches that I might be happy;
I was given poverty that I might be wise.

I asked for power that I might have the praise of men;
I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.

I asked for all things that I might enjoy life;
I was given life that I might enjoy all things.

I got nothing that I asked for,
but everything that I had hoped for.

Almost despite myself my unspoken prayers were answered;
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

I have an inclination that I will be writing more on this subject. I  have many stories I could tell, and many questions I could ask. I welcome your comments, thoughts, and beliefs on prayer.

Wishing you peace and love.

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The holiday season is upon us. Thankfully, I am back in the mood to celebrate this year. I am trying to be more sensitive to those who are not looking forward to the holidays.

I’ve seen the stickers that remind us of the ‘reason for the season’. I know they mean the birth of Christ. However, I believe in today’s world, the ‘season’ has a much broader meaning. We are living in a more diverse society than ever.  In my parent’s generation, not only did my father’s parents want him to marry a good Catholic girl, but an Italian too. I think as the heritages become more diverse, our religions and spirituality becomes more rounded and inclusive too.

For me the reason for the season is about family. My family has been spread out across the country for many, many years. But the day gives us pause so that we can spend a little time with each other, even if that is by way of a phone call. We all know that time waits for no one. So for me, Christmas is the one day that, while it can be hectic leading up to, does slow down to allow me the time to celebrate traditions and be with my family.

I love saying to people “Happy Holidays” just as much as “Merry Christmas”. I don’t feel that I am disrespecting Christmas by broadening my greeting. I feel I am being more inclusive, and more accepting of other people’s customs, spirituality, and religions.

I sincerely wish you a very Blessed and Happy Holidays.

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I recently read an article about a slightly different observance to Lent.  The true intention of Lent is of a preparation for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus.  This preparation is to help wean people from sin. It is most common today to abstain from eating meat on Fridays. Some people take this a step further and give up something else, like eating sweets, or giving up getting a manicure during lent (all things I’ve heard); however, the article I read suggests thinking outside of the box. To give serious contemplation to what you wish to give up for Lent.

By giving up some mundane object for the 40-days, which really ends up being more of an inconvenience, dig deep into something you really want to give up. Some possible ideas the author suggested was to give up gossiping, aggressive driving, or speaking rudely to others. I really liked this, and I even thought of giving up ridiculing ourselves, or giving away of ourselves.  Idea’s like these show us how we could be more observant to the true meaning of spirit of Lent.

In this spring time of renewal, I wish you a renewed sense of energy, peace, and love within yourself on your journey.

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I cannot believe that we are on the cusp of ending yet another year, and beginning the new one. Reflecting on 2011 is something I can sum up in one word – bittersweet.  Losing my mother this year was an exceptionally hard thing. Grieving is such an individual process, something I hadn’t done to this depth before. So I’m really learning a lot from all of this. What is surprising is that I am still learning from her. Not that she’s in another realm passing along info, I wish! Rather, when I miss and think of her I try to do something from that memory or thought.  I use this to motivate myself to be more, to be better, to live now and not stay stuck in that memory or my sadness.
2011 was a 9 year for me (in numerology), meaning I’ve been wrapping up some things. Pondering this energy for this year is interesting, when some things that have happened this year feel like they’re just beginning.  So 2012 is a one-year, the beginning of a new nine-year cycle. And yep, it’s all about starting new. I most definitely feel this energy as a major influence in my life, my thoughts, and my desires for what lies ahead of me now.
I am looking forward to 2012, and see what lies in my journey. Whether it’s my personal life, my relationships, my jobs – whatever aspect in my life I’m focusing on, I do know there will be changes. Namaste~

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Most of you know that I go to Jazzercise, and dearly love it. During the workouts I almost always have a huge smile on my face, and I totally get into the routines. The instructors are great at getting everyone to have fun while working out. But what has been very evident and always gets me thinking is how every woman (I don’t pay attention to the men so much) no matter her age or fitness level has moves! For that window of time that we’re there, each of us opens up and allows the fun, sexy and beautiful woman out to play. As much as I enjoy the workout routines they put together, is as much as I enjoy seeing these women, myself included, allow themselves the freedom to physically express their splendor.

When I take this a step further,and look at this through a spiritual lens I see there is a sense of trust and respect for each other that allows us to open up and be so free.  And shouldn’t’t life be this way, or at least our immediate community circles? In my younger years I was insanely insecure to the point of being jealous of just about every female regardless of her age. I remember what I was like back then, and those feelings.  For me it came from a place of not feeling good enough. It’s not enough to say ‘feeling inadequate’, because that doesn’t contain not good enough. As well as the aspect of feeling isolated or alone and not connected.

My journey of confidence was a slow one, and priceless nonetheless. I think it’s the same as the inner journey we seek, in that we always want to be at the end point now! We want to already know all there is to know, to feel experienced in whatever modality we like.  But in that very restless thought we prevent ourselves from experiencing this very moment of our lives. When I finally relaxed from wanting to be something else into just being was when I liked myself, felt secure, and became connected to All. Remember not to solely focus on the destination, but to enjoy the journey! Oh, and don’t forget to tap into your inner splendor, and let her/him out!

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