Where does inspiration lie? Everywhere!

This is my attempt to pounce on and then shape the words I breathe.

Please join me with your comments and make this a dialogue . . . and visit Susan's Poetry!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Saturday! Sunday! Monday! Healthy!

Buddha sends love to all beings.

I've been cultivating Metta, sometimes for me, sometimes for others, with a little casual "why don't I close my eyes now and meditate" thrown in.   I love it all, though I am aware that my meditations are still brief enough to be laughable to Those Who Meditate.  Yet it is helping me.  

Yesterday, for example, I went to two Meetings for Worship--Upper Dublin in the morning and West Philadelphia in the afternoon.  When sitting became painful--because with the driving I actually sat with little relief from 9:15 until 2:45--5 hours!--I found that a brief meditation helped me to re-compose my body so that the right skeletal parts, muscles, and nerves were working together more efficiency.

Add the breath to that too and you have a much healthier Susan.  A pain-controlled Susan. Imagine that!  I've got 3 bottles of 600 proof Ibuprofen that I just may be able to throw out.  For the last 2 months I have only taken Lyrica and Tylenol.  

Physical Therapy is hard, but I like it a lot.  I feel my core muscles getting stronger and beginning to take over instinctively.  I've got a long way to go.

But I feel that I have the tools to get there.

Sooo.  Will this post seem irrelevant to me some day like so many journals I've written in my life?  Possibly, but now I want to remember how it feels to get hope from small personal moves and experience how healing strengthens me for facing the devastation of terrorism and inhumanity around the entire world.   Meditating helps me to notice the kindness that is also working around the entire world.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Mindful Monday: Love and Kindness Practice

I totally enjoyed doing this today (Friday, not Monday).  I've been working with loving kindness to me and to friends and needed a break before moving forward.  

I don't know this young teacher's name.  He calls himself JusTMindfulness (this link goes to his You Tube Channel where he has many more videos, some of them lessons).  This one is a little fast and wordy, but since he's talking to children as well as adults, the concepts are swiftly accessible to me.  And since I've worked his breathing mindfulness videos, I know how to prepare the body for leaving tension behind and still imaging who I wanted to see and even larger things.

Two months ago, this video would not have seemed too short.  I'm learning/changing.  I meditated in the physical therapist's waiting room earlier this morning and I'll be entering that state again before the evening is over.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

Meditating more than once a day!


Today and yesterday I meditated with  Stage 2 – Cultivating metta towards a good friend
A friend is by definition someone whose well-being is important to us. When they feel bad it upsets us, and when they feel good it’s pleasing to us. So a friend is someone we already have metta for, and what we’re doing is strengthening that metta.
The above flower is from its page on whether to use the same person or vary.  For these two days, I brought in my friend Jennifer Elam who is once more in Kentucky to care for aging parents.  May she experience loving-kindness in her visit.

I hope I experience again today the ease with which I meditated right after Physical Therapy, laying on an ice pack, but still, and for almost 20 minutes.  Then again with ice pack after hurting my back cleaning.  And then again for 10 more minutes while waiting for the Buds of Jesus to arrive. Wonderful!  I felt kinder all evening to myself and to each of them.  My grin was genuine.  There is nothing better.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Finding Metta (noun) = loving kindness, the Buddhist virtue of kindness; also called maitri

Taking a full morning to ready myself and read all the pages about the importance of Stage One: Cultivating Metta Toward Yourself, I came across this statement and felt great that I had discovered this myself:

"When I use the phrase 'May I be well, may I be happy, may I be free from suffering,' I like to drop each part of the phrase in separately, as if it were an individual flower. I drop in 'May I be well,' and then pause for a complete breath to watch for the ripples in my emotions. Then I say 'May I be happy,' and pause again to feel any effect from the phrase. Then I do the same with 'May I be free from suffering.' "  

Amanda Kemp's post meditation glow 
with Jake the compassionate lab.

          I am grateful to Amanda for valuing and extending this practice as part of her mission to change the world.  I've got to persist because it is working!

Monday, November 16, 2015

"Stage 1 – Cultivating metta" and Today's Colors of Sadness and Hope

hands and flowers

Dr. Amanda Kemp sent a powerful link to us on Day 16 of this cycle of her 30-Day Meditation Challenge (Can it truly be day 16 already?): Stage 1 – Cultivating metta toward yourself. The image above is from the same page. Imagine that is me/you in those hands. Imagine those hands every shade of skin imaginable. I love the image because it reminds me of the fragility of hands all over the world--like flowers, they need loving kindness to stay alive, lively and life-giving. A post I read earlier today spoke of the thousands of heartbeats the world lost due to bombings and terrorism in the last few days. When you think of hands, multiply by a factor of at least 2.

So I started this meditation in a state of anxiety. I fixed my chair to give my spine support and began the ritual relaxation that brought me to the phrases I attempted weeks ago:

May I be well.May I be happy.May I be free from suffering.
And they worked so much better! I'm building "me" as a starting place for larger work. Knowing that was basic made me let go of the pit of guilt in my stomach and the sadness of this day. 

When the voice spoke of dropping these words into my relaxed body, my mind gave me a watercolor image: You know how washing the brushes tints a glass of water? I saw myself as the glass of water. I was a blue tint. Dropping the words in changed that to pink which I felt as a rosier outlook. That's as far as that went today, but I want to work more with the image!