EMBRACING LIFE AS IT IS
Welcome, I say, opening the door, inviting you to come in.
In a word and a gesture, I say much more… Come in… I’m glad to see you… you belong here….
your needs are important…I offer you what I have…I accept you as you are…you are in the right place….
Welcoming! How we all long for and enjoy this experience. December more than any other month brings us into a direct encounter with welcoming traditions of hospitality that are both ancient and universal. Through rituals of gift giving, special dinners, reaching out to the poor, and festive gatherings of family, friends, and sometimes even strangers, we welcome one another into our homes and our lives. Unlike past generations, in our modern times we usually live apart, with few multi-generational homes and many single persons living alone. Yet in this month of December, as the hours of darkness become longer, the urge to extend hospitality grows stronger. We call it “the holiday spirit.” Who knows? Maybe on some deep cellular level we remember our ancestors coming together in their dark caves, telling stories, singing, eating and drinking together, and taking comfort and pleasure from the warmth and light of the fire and friendly companionship!
BREATHE EASY: Awareness is the Key
“Fear is excitement without the breath”
“For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will live long on earth”
Breathing…our life line! We can survive weeks without food, days without water, but only minutes without breathing. In many cultures, breathing is considered the essence of being. The word for breath in many cultures is often the same as words for spirit or the life force—prana in Sanskrit, ruach in Hebrew, spirtus in Latin, chi in Chinese. Cultures throughout history have acknowledged the role of breath in connecting the conscious and unconscious parts of ourselves; regulating the autonomic nervous system; and joining us to the nature and to other people. Remarkably, leaders in the domains of both spirituality and science agree about the centrality of breathing to the health of body and mind. Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Master, author, and teacher of mindful breathing says, “Breath is the bridge which connects life to consciousness, which unites your body to your thoughts”.
MEDITATION — It’s Not Just In Your Head
"Meditation is not about forcing our mind to be quiet; rather it's a process to rediscover the quietness that is ever-present. Behind the screen of our internal dialogue is the silence of pure awareness-a silence that is not disturbed by thoughts of the past or concerns of the future."
--Dr. Deepak Chopra.
Meditation has become mainstream! In May 2011 ABC World news did a special report on the benefits of meditation with a focus on meditation studies done by prestigious institutions like Harvard University. According to this report, health care providers are increasingly suggesting that their patients look to meditation and other integrative techniques to improve their health.
FIND INNER PEACE By Questioning Your Thoughts
It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.
Thoughts are passing through our minds at every moment of our day, whether we notice them or not. It is like there is a multi-band radio station playing inside our heads all the time. Various internal and external events trigger them, causing us to bounce from station to station. Gifted Irish novelist James Joyce in his book Ulysses was among the first to capture this inner chaos in literature as he guides the reader into the mind of his protagonist, showing us that it is not neatly organized into structured sentences and sequential, logical thoughts, but is rather a punctuationless formless flow of constantly changing words and images, which seem at times to take on a direction and meaning, and at others to be totally meaningless.
ENERGY TAPPING FOR HEALTH
“Your body has the ability to heal itself”
Andrew Weil, MD.
Our bodies have a remarkable built in bias toward healing. If we break one of our bones, we trust that it will heal. Not only will it heal, but we know that the place where the bone has broken will become its strongest part. Yet when our wound manifests as psychological instead of physical, this innate capacity to heal is often not as clear and we do not trust it in the same way.