Forgiveness Project update

Microsoft clipart MP900399589

Microsoft clipart MP900399589

I haven’t forgotten my forgiveness project but I’m just now starting to feel that I’ve integrated the first round.  Sometime in the next few days I plan to do the next person on my list.  As before, 1-3 days of lovingkindness chant and, when that feels complete, I’ll do the forgiveness ceremony I created.

And, I’m delighted to announce that Louise from Dare Boldly is going to write a post about forgiveness sometime next week, so check — I can already tell you you’ll love whatever she writes!

The Healing Of Pain: Finding the End to Suffering

yogaleigh:

Another post from Nadine that could be in my Round of Forgiveness project!

Originally posted on Aligning With Truth:

The goal is not to get rid of the pain. The goal is to enter it. Go through the pain. Feel it and feel through the pain. The way out of the pain is to gothrough it.

Pain is part of life. It comes with the human journey. We cannot avoid pain. In fact, it is to our best interest that we do not. When we avoid entering the pain, the deeper the pain becomes.

Experiencing pain is a very normal and natural part of the human journey. When we numb ourselves, when we numb our pain, when we deny ourselves of the experience of pain, when we turn to food, alcohol, drugs, shopping, superficial affirmations and positive thinking and other similar New Age/spiritual jargon to avoid our pain, it only leads to dissociation. The various aspects of our selves end up more fragmented.

The…

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Happy Birthday Little Dinosaur

yogaleigh:

Happy Birthday, Rara….

Originally posted on Stories that Must Not Die:

We are patiently waiting for you to come out of your cave. While we wait we’ve decided to celebrate your birthday with some Stories about you that will live on forever.


One day, a dinosaur appeared in my fishbowl. She was wildly drawn and breathing fire, but I wasn’t afraid. She dropped an insightful comment and left. I poked my head into her domain and found a wondrous world full of creative and awesome things. I followed her immediately.

A few months after we met, she asked me to guest post on her blog. It was my first guest post. I was nervous as hell, even though, at that point, I didn’t realize what a blogging celebrity she was. I posted what, in all honestly, is one of my most half-assed posts since I had the flu at the time, but her audience was kind, just like Rara.

For the…

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The union of meditative prayer and active prayer

Originally posted on Healing Science Today:

Meditative prayer involves thoughtfulness, introspection, and reflection; usually a lot of sitting around.

Active prayer involves action. Looking, feeding, cleaning, traveling, knocking, etc.

Marrying the two allows us to better experience what Christ Jesus talked about in his Sermon on the Mount. Matthew 5-7

Both prayer types must be treated equal.

If meditative prayer dominates the consciousness, harmony and expression shrivel. If active prayer rules the roost, substantial mindfulness wavers and weakens.

In reviewing Christ Jesus Sermon on the Mount, we find concerted effort given to meditative and active prayers.

Jesus began his sermon with what we know as the “Beatitudes,” mini-proverbs packed with blessing and meaning; each deserving of thorough study.

Then he said, “You are the salt of the earth,” coaxing the mind to move.

We are warned to guard against insincere prayers that make us look pious or busy.

helping handsChrist Jesus flops back and forth between meditative…

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Chant, Pray, Be Peace

Collective Prayer Sundays:  In case you’re new, we’re finding 10 minutes at a minimum to pray or chant or meditate (or???) for peace every Sunday.  Details are on the CPS page.  For comments:  you can comment here or on that page or you can go to the Facebook page.

A This and That Post

English: Thoughtful Reflection: Steyning (West...

English: Thoughtful Reflection: Steyning (West Sussex)  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s one of those days when there are several things vying in my mind for a spot on the blog today and, since I couldn’t make up my mind, I’m meandering through a couple– which sort of relate, I think… maybe…

1.  First some gratitude for the great discussion my blogging friends put on my post yesterday! If you read it before the comments were up you might want to go back and check out their thoughtful conversations.  Several included the reminder that you don’t really get rid of all negative thoughts, and I’m so glad they added the piece I left out.  Also some thoughtful additional techniques for turning your thoughts away from the negative thoughts.  What a blessing you all are!  Thanks so much.

2.  That post and the comments left me pondering today.  I’ve been doing various spiritual practices for decades now so really, my complaining time has gone down dramatically.  And I’m pretty good at catching the negativity and letting it go.  So I found it curious that my general feeling of late is that I’m still too much in the grip of those old ways of thinking.

This has been kind of a tough year for me.  Although my health is much better now than years ago, my ability to cope with ongoing health-related issues has gone down dramatically.  So that’s a piece of feeling more negative.  And I’ve not been successful at shifting away from the thought that I’m sick and tired of being sick and tired.

But I also realized that in the last year or two a lot of core muscles have been unwinding in my head and, along with that, a lot of core issues have been working their way out.  I’ve been experiencing a lot of my negative threads again because they’re rising to the surface on their way out.

Since I started getting bodywork again a few months ago the “unwinding head” progress has been both awe-inspiring and exhausting.  In the last few weeks — really since I worked on the forgiveness project — a lot has opened (my eyes don’t feel set in cement any more!) and along with it a sense of well-being and confidence that all is well has been moving in.  All that shifting is also still bringing up old stuff so I’m yo-yo-ing a bit.

I’ve mentioned before that I felt those wound up muscles in my face created an emotional climate that almost had its own life.  And it feels now like I’m finally getting free of that and naturally moving into a better space.  When I’d finished thinking this through and realized that, I felt like my world changed.

3.  I could also see that in some ways I folded in around the rising emotions.  After so many years of practice, I hold a serene space pretty naturally.  I’ve written before that practices can sometimes create a shield instead of an opening.  I’ve had a sense of paralysis this year that I’ve put down to the end-of-my-rope-with-illness thing.  Today I realized that my ability* to stay in a calm, centered place also meant that all those emotions moved through almost outside my consciousness.  And on some level I did what I’ve always done — folded in around it.  And it froze me to some extent.  And it felt like realizing it was all I needed to shift away from it.  Yeah!

* Ability is almost not the right word because I don’t make a lot of effort any more — I’ve just shifted into a space where, by and large, I stay calm.  Certainly never reach the heights of angst and neuroses that used to hold sway all the time.

Changing mental patterns

Scenes of Inner Taksang, temple hall, built ju...

Scenes of Inner Taksang, temple hall, built just above the cave where Padmasambhava meditated (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I read a thoughtful post by Tracie Carlos today about complaining and shifting your thoughts.  I think a lot about mental patterns.  I come from long lines of worriers/complainers on both sides of my family.  Among many of them I think they actually feel that’s what’s interesting and I definitely imprinted the pattern in the core of me.  It’s been one of the toughest things in all these years of working on “creating reality” or Law of Attraction.

While I agree with Tracie that we can change our minds, I have yet to make a complete shift.  It isn’t that I don’t sincerely want to be positive in my thoughts but I’ve never figured out how to completely break the pattern.  I’ve made huge inroads.  Meditation has helped a lot.  Affirmations have helped a lot.  Mindfulness has helped a lot though I’ve never become so consistently mindful that I’m monitoring my thoughts at all times.  Gratitude practice is also a boon.

One thing I’ve been up to for about a year-and-a-half–sporadically–has been looping a playlist of Dick Sutphen’s affirmation recordings in the background (i.e. so softly it’s almost subliminal) on the computer that’s either in my lap or sitting next to me a great deal of the time.  I wandered away from it for quite a while and a few weeks ago realized that I’d been forgetting to put it on.  This time I could really tell what a difference it made in my general thinking to have all those positive messages streaming for eight or ten hours a day.  See below for another post I wrote about it.

I have the list on Spotify, so you can check it out to see if it helps you.  

With all the various practices I’ve improved.  And I can now catch myself pretty quickly and shift my thoughts in a more positive direction.  But I’ve never stopped the negative thoughts from arising.

I still don’t have a formula that guarantees a change of mental patterns and I seriously don’t get how some people seem to just flip a switch and become positive thinkers.  Have to admit I wonder if all the thoughts in their heads are as positive as what they say out loud…  I know I’m not alone in having ingrained childhood patterns plus generations of cellular memory adding up to deep mental patterns of worry, complaining and negativity.  Has anyone else figured out some great way to shift all that?  And no, lobotomy doesn’t count :>)  Do you have one thing that does it for you or is it a combination?