The Mandala Center

Mandala Center Walk Meditation Archives

Live... “May I Live ”

For the past 8 weeks we have listened to some suggestions on, “How do we live with intention?” We started this series with the words of Kristin Armstrong: “We either live with intention or exist by default.”

#1 - we talked about “Mindfulness” - listening – taking the time to still your mind

#2 - was “Self-care” - We all need some self-care.

#3 - was “Play/laugh” - Even in the most difficult times, taking time to laugh and play can go a long way to making you feel better

#4 - was “Choose with no regrets.” – to realize the choices we make, make all the difference

#5 - "Be Thankful"

#6 - was “Learn” – Learn to enjoy each moment of your life

#7 was “Love” – Nothing is more important than having a healthy sense of self-esteem and love for yourself.

#8 was - Love of others. "When somebody loved me, everything was beautiful."

Today is a reminder that life, our life, is what we choose to make of it - and the words of Hunter S. Thompson, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman, 1955-1967...

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming "Wow! What a Ride!”

Your choice!

“We either live with intention or exist by default.” May I live with intention!

Love (Part 2)

“May I Love ”

We started this series with the words of Kristin Armstrong: “We either live with intention or exist by default.”  And we posed the question, “How do we live with intention?”

#1 - we talked about “Mindfulness” - listening – taking the time to still your mind

#2 - was “Self-care” - We all need some self-care.

#3 - was “Play/laugh” - Even in the most difficult times, taking time to laugh and play can go a long way to making you feel better

#4 - was “Choose with no regrets.” – to realize the choices we make, make all the difference

#5 - "Be Thankful"

#6 - was “Learn” – Learn to enjoy each moment of your life

Last week was “Love” – Nothing is more important than having a healthy sense of self-esteem and love for yourself.

And that leads us to today’s meditation focus - Love of others.

“Not only do self-love and love of others go hand in hand but ultimately they are indistinguishable.” ― M. Scott Peck, The Road Less Traveled: A New Psychology of Love, Traditional Values and Spiritual Growth

We all know the truth of the need we have to love others. For those of us who follow the Christian tradition we are familiar with the words of Jesus to “love one another.” John 13:34 - “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so also you must love one another.”

Regardless of our faith choice, the challenge is to practice both self-love and loving others until the two are indistinguishable. It is my belief that we should place our emphasis not on our differences, but on what binds us together. You have the power to be a difference in another person’s life.

Remember the great line from Jessie in Toy Story 2 - When somebody loved me, everything was beautiful.”

Will you, begin, twice/day take a few moments to love the others in your life?

“We either live with intention or exist by default.” May I live with intention!

Love

“May I live with intention ”

We started this series with the words of Kristin Armstrong: “We either live with intention or exist by default.”  And we posed the question, “How do we live with intention?”

#1 - we talked about “Mindfulness” - listening – taking the time to still your mind

#2 - was “Self-care” - We all need some self-care.

#3 - was “Play/laugh” - Even in the most difficult times, taking time to laugh and play can go a long way to making you feel better

#4 - was “Choose with no regrets.” – to realize the choices we make, make all the difference

#5 - "Be Thankful"

#6 - was “Learn” – Learn to enjoy each moment of your life

Today it is "Love".

Today’s meditation begins with two quotes, poses a question, and offers a beginning.

“Where there is love there is life.” – Mahatma Gandhi

I have found that if you love life, life will love you back. - Arthur Rubinstein

What does it mean in your life to intentionally love?

Love that leads to life and a life that gives you love begins with you.

Nothing is more important in your life than having a healthy sense of self-esteem and love for yourself.

Will you, begin, twice/day take a few moments to love yourself?

“We either live with intention or exist by default.” May I live with intention!

Learn

“May I live with intention ”

We started this series with the words of Kristin Armstrong: “We either live with intention or exist by default.”  And we posed the question, “How do we live with intention?”

#1 - we talked about “Mindfulness” - listening – taking the time to still your mind

#2 - was “Self-care” - We all need some self-care.

#3 - was “Play/laugh” - Even in the most difficult times, taking time to laugh and play can go a long way to making you feel better

#4 - was “Choose with no regrets.” – to realize the choices we make, make all the difference

#5 - "Be Thankful"

Today it is "Learn".

Benjamin Franklin said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”

Involvement leads to learning. Are you learning from the things you are doing or are you just muddling through?

Take the advice of Earl Nightingale; “Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don't wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it's at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored.”

Will you, twice/day take a few moments to learn?

“We either live with intention or exist by default.” May I live with intention!

Be Thankful

“May I live with intention ”

We started this series with the words of Kristin Armstrong: “We either live with intention or exist by default.”  And we posed the question, “How do we live with intention?”

#1 - we talked about “Mindfulness” - listening – taking the time to still your mind

#2 was “Self-care” - We all need some self-care.

#3 was “Play/laugh” - Even in the most difficult times, taking time to laugh and play can go a long way to making you feel better

#4 - was “Choose with no regrets.” – to realize the choices we make, make all the difference

Today’s intention is to “Be Thankful."

Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.”

John Fitzgerald Kennedy reminded us, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

Grateful living is a way of life that comes as you are aware and intentional, focused on what gives you the feeling of being most alive. It is the way to live longer, experience more joy, and be an inspiration to yourself and others. Your life becomes your mandala, holding your pain and grief with compassion; your joys and thankfulness with a deepening love, generosity and respect for all.

Studies have shown that Grateful Living is a way of life that enables you to live longer, experience joy, inspire others, move through difficult times even when it is not easy to do, and deepen love, generosity and respect for all life and, in so doing, contributes to a peaceful, thriving, and sustainable world – held as sacred by all. (gratefulness.org/blog/ideas-practices-grateful-thanksgiving)

Will you, twice/day take a few moments to practice living gratefully and always giving thanks?

“We either live with intention or exist by default.” May I live with intention!

Choose with No Regrets

“May I live with intention ”

We started this series with the words of Kristin Armstrong: “We either live with intention or exist by default.”  And we posed the question, “How do we live with intention?”

#1 - we talked about “Mindfulness” - listening – taking the time to still your mind

#2 was “Self-care” - We all need some self-care.

#3 was “Play/laugh” - Even in the most difficult times, taking time to laugh and play can go a long way to making you feel better

The 4th point in living with intention is to be able to “Choose with no regrets.”

I believe this, probably familiar, Robert Frost poem captures the sense.

“The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.”

“We either live with intention or exist by default.” May I live with intention!

Play/Laugh

“May I live with intention ”

It’s Valentine’s Day! It’s also Ash Wednesday! For some that creates a conundrum. Can I eat chocolate? Can I have a romantic date/meal with my love? Or do I have to fast? While those kinds of dilemmas sound funny to some, for others they are very real. Remember that the story of St. Valentine that supposedly started the day was that out of love, while he was waiting to be executed, he wrote to his daughter and signed it “From Your Valentine.”

Ash Wednesday is about beginning 40 days of preparing yourself for Easter, which happens on April 1st – but that’s for another day.

So my suggestion for you is that today and every day, out of love live with intention.

#1 - we talked about “Mindfulness” - listening – taking the time to still your mind

#2 was “Self-care” - We all need some self-care.

Today it is Play/laugh

In our hectic, modern lives, many of us focus so heavily on work and family commitments that we never seem to have time for pure fun. Somewhere between childhood and adulthood, we’ve stopped playing. We all need to play. It can be an important source of relaxation and inspiration.

Adult play is a time to forget about work and commitments, and to be social in an unstructured, creative way. Focus your play on the actual experience, not on accomplishing any goal. There doesn’t need to be any point to the activity beyond having fun and enjoying yourself. Play could be simply goofing off with family or friends, sharing jokes, throwing a Frisbee, building a snowman in the yard, (as soon as we have snow), playing fetch with a dog, or taking a hike, maybe stroll, with your spouse/significant other. By giving yourself permission to play with the joyful abandon of childhood, you can reap oodles of health benefits throughout life

Play can add joy to life, relieve stress, supercharge learning, and connect you to others and the world around you. Play can also make work more productive and pleasurable.

Incorporating more fun and play into your daily life can improve the quality of your relationships, as well as your mood and outlook. Even in the most difficult of times, taking time away from your troubles to play or laugh can go a long way toward making you feel better. It’s true what they say: laughter really is the best medicine. Laughter makes you feel good. And the good feeling that you get when you laugh and have fun remains with you even after the laughter subsides. Play and laughter help you keep a positive, optimistic outlook through difficult situations, disappointments, and loss.

“We either live with intention or exist by default.” May I live with intention!

Self/Care

“May I live with intention ”

We started this series with the words of Kristin Armstrong: “We either live with intention or exist by default.” And we posed the question, “How do we live with intention?” Last week we talked about “Mindfulness” - listening – taking the time to still your mind – being fully present - aware of where we are and what we’re doing - not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

This week it is “Self-care”. It is an important topic most people do not spend enough time thinking about.

We all need some self-care. You may be the most “put together” and “with it” person for miles around, But that doesn’t mean you don’t need some self-care.

Self-care should always come first, but don’t let this lead you to thinking that self-care is “selfish”.

I think of self-care like the airplane mask warning. When emergencies happen, and the mask drops from the ceiling you are supposed to help yourself first. Then proceed to help others to put on their masks.

The idea is that if you help others first, and fail, then there are two people out of commission. While if you take the time for a bit of self-care first (like putting on the gas mask) then you will be okay and, in a position, to help others more effectively.

From the Christian scripture we get the great commandment; You should love God, And you should love your neighbor as yourself… if you can’t love yourself then how can you love someone else?

A quote from Parker J. Palmer for you to think about; “Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”

“We either live with intention or exist by default.” May I live with intention!

Mindfulness/Intention

“May I live with intention ”

Last week we started with the words of Kristin Armstrong: “We either live with intention or exist by default.” And we posed the question, “How do we live with intention?” This week we begin with, “Mindfulness” - listening – taking the time to still your mind – being fully present - aware of where we are and what we’re doing - not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience. It isn’t more complicated than that. It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.” – Sylvia Boorstein

At its essence, mindfulness is about being fully present with your current experiences and accepting them as they are.

Just as we need consistent exercise to build our physical muscles, we need consistent practice to build our “mindfulness muscles.” The more we practice, the more we feel mindfulness rising up in our lives during those moments when we need it most.

The most important step in getting started is to set aside time – as little as ten minutes – for daily formal practice. While there are many practices to help you, I recommend just a few minutes, twice a day to focus on your breath. Focus on the breath, not because there is anything special about it, but because the physical sensation of breathing is always there, and you can use it as an anchor to the present moment. Do it intentionally, and regularly. You will find that it will not be long before it is woven into your day and each experience.

Breathe in – be aware – Breath out – allow the stress, anxiety, and pain to flow out. Breathe in – see the breath coming into your body – into your chest – your heart center. Breathe out – notice how calm, clear, and focused you are Breathe in - … Breath out - …

“We either live with intention or exist by default.” May I live with intention!

Intention - “May I live with intention ”

A quote I have shared before: “We either live with intention or exist by default.” Kristin Armstrong – pro bike racer – 3-time Olympic gold medalist

How do we live with intention? This will be our topic over the next eight weeks of our Mandala Walk. Our subjects will be:

  • Mindfulness - listening – take the time to still your mind
  • Take the time to take care of yourself
  • Play/laugh

  • Choose with no regrets
  • Be thankful

  • Learn
  • Love
  • God – however you conceive of that
  • Self
  • Friends
  • Others
  • What you do
  • Live
  • Today, from the Great Affair by Diane Ackerman...

    “The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sun-struck hills every day. Where there is no risk, the emotional terrain is flat and unyielding, and, despite all its dimensions, valleys, pinnacles, and detours, life will seem to have none of its magnificent geography, only a length. It began in mystery, and it will end in mystery, but what a savage and beautiful country lies in between.”

    “We either live with intention or exist by default.” May I live with intention!

    Transformation - “May I be transformed”

    What does it mean to be transformed?

    Cambridge Dictionary: Transformation is “a complete change in the appearance or character of something or someone, especially so that that thing or person is improved.”

    I like that. When I transform I am improved.

    Transformation literally means going beyond your form.” Wayne Dyer

    Mahatma Ghandi said, "Your beliefs become your thoughts. Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions. Your actions become your habits. Your habits become your values. Your values become your destiny."

    Twice/day take a few moments to ask yourself...

    • What one thing have I accomplished today?
    • What one thing have I failed to accomplish today?
    • What advice would you give yourself? Can you make it one word?
    • How will I be transformed/improved?

    Keep it simple; one or two words or a short phrase is all you need.

    (Repeat)

    Grateful Living - “May I be Grateful ”

    Did you know that living with awareness and intention, focusing on what makes you feel most alive allows you to: live longer, experience joy, inspire others, move through difficult times even when it is not easy to do, and deepen love, generosity and respect for all life?

    Studies have shown that Grateful Living is a way of life that does all of the above and, in so doing, contributes to a peaceful, thriving, and sustainable world – held as sacred by all. (gratefulness.org/blog/ideas-practices-grateful-thanksgiving)

    John Fitzgerald Kennedy said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

    Will you, twice daily, take a few moments to practice living gratefully?

    3 small things

    • Stop what you are doing and notice the world around you, especially the sky – the changing clouds and colors.
    • Think of what you have done so far today that has left you or someone else better off.
    • When you meet someone look at them and simply smile. Notice what happens.

    Twice a day take a few moments to practice living gratefully.

    Health & Happiness - “May I be Happy and Healthy”

    I guess we could ask, “How are your new year’s resolutions going?” Maybe well, for being the third day. Maybe you come with the attitude, “resolutions are made to be broken.” Or maybe you don’t make new year’s resolutions at all.

    What is a resolution? – one definition - a firm decision to do or not to do something – probably how most of us would define it.

    There is another way of defining it - the quality of being determined or resolute. Whose synonyms are: determination, purpose, resolve.

    So when I say, “May I be happy and healthy” it is not just a decision to be happy and healthy. Rather it is saying, “I resolve to be happy and healthy,” with determination and purpose.

    “Research shows that happiness is not the result of bouncing from one joy to the next; achieving happiness typically involves times of considerable discomfort.

    Researchers also estimate that much of happiness is under personal control. Regularly indulging in small pleasures (such as a quiet walk, or a beautiful sunrise!), getting absorbed in challenging activities, setting and meeting goals, maintaining close social ties, and finding purpose beyond oneself are all actions that increase life satisfaction.

    Mental, physical, and spiritual, health and happiness are intertwined. What brings you happiness and health? – allow those things to be the focus of your resolve. Resolve to live the good life—that is, living with a sense of meaning and deep satisfaction.”

    Happiness and health isn’t something that comes to you or that you find when you get somewhere, it’s something you can take with you on your journey through life and a way to walk in the world.

    Twice a day take a few moments to reflect: “May I be Happy and Healthy”

    Others– “May I be in service to all”

    While service to others is a timeless concept, the phrase “servant leadership” was coined by Robert K. Greenleaf in The Servant as Leader, an essay that he first published in 1970. In that essay, Greenleaf said: “The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.

    The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived? “

    A servant-leader focuses primarily on the growth and well-being of people and the communities to which they belong. While traditional leadership generally involves the accumulation and exercise of power by one at the “top of the pyramid,” servant leadership is different. The servant-leader shares power, puts the needs of others first and helps people develop and perform as highly as possible.”

    As we prepare to enter a new year let our resolution be, to be in service to all - being a servant leader - serving others; family, friends, neighbors, and those who drive us up the wall - with perseverance, patience, kindness, and wisdom.

    “May I be in service to all”

    Wisdom..."May I become Wise"

    Since ancient times, men and women have been on a personal quest for wisdom. It's hard to put into words exactly what we are seeking, but it has to do with discovering the meaning and purpose of life in general and specifically what's happening in and around us.

    According to Abraham Ibn Ezra, "wisdom is to the soul as food is to the body."

    The seeds of wisdom are found in everything that life brings our way from good to bad experiences, from failures and successes, and from all our relationships. Wisdom is one of life's grandest gifts, but we must keep our eyes open and our hearts and minds responsive to her comings.

    When we practice this wisdom, it becomes like a flower, giving out a fragrance that is so alluring that we want to return again and again to re-experience the scent, the sweetness, and the beauty.

    "God did not create hurry" is a brief but profound Finnish proverb. We live in times when "hurry sickness" is a national outgrowth of our worship of speed and productivity. Slowing down is a spiritual antidote to our habit of rushing through things and often ignoring what is right in front of us.

    God did not create hurry – slow down – breathe – see what is in front of you – become wise.

    James 3:17 says “the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.”

    “Practice becoming wise”

    Breathe

    By concentrating on our breathing, we calm, clear and focus our minds. Drawing our breath into our heart centers we bring our minds into deep meditation.

    How often do we think about breathing? Probably not at all, unless we are intentional about it. It is so natural that we don’t think about it. But if we don’t do it…well, we know the consequences.

    Chinese proverb - If you know the art of breathing you have the strength, wisdom and courage of ten tigers.

    Stop now and breathe, inhale…exhale. Now breathe in and pay attention to where it goes…see that air moving into your lungs…moving into your heart. Exhale slowly…feel how that air has calmed you…how your mind is clear and focused…REPEAT!

    Genesis 2:7 – “God formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive - a living soul!” (The Message)

    In this holiday season take the time, twice a day, to consider how the air which comes into you brings you alive. Be intentional and practice. Allow this very natural, vital practice to take you deeper in your spiritual quest.

    Just breathe.

    “May I be mindful through breathing”

    Love

    Manifesting loving compassion is the elixir for the health and happiness for ourselves and others. Vow to bring this intention into each moment of your life.

    Desmond Tutu, the retired Anglican Archbishop tells the story of the Anglican nun who described “how Jesus coped with all of the pain and anguish he encountered in his ministry. She described it in terms of the difference between a vacuum cleaner and a dishwasher. The vacuum cleaner sucks up all the dirt and keeps it in the bag; whereas the dishwasher cleans up the dirty dishes and immediately spews forth all of the filth into the drains. She contended that Jesus acted more like a dishwasher than a vacuum cleaner. He absorbed all that came to him and then, as it were, passed it out, passed it on to the Father.” – (No Future Without Forgiveness, p 285)

    To be loving and compassionate we have to choose whether we are the vacuum cleaner, storing up our pain and anguish, or the dishwasher, washing it all down the drain, leaving ourselves clean and ready.

    "In the Buddhist tradition, compassion and love are seen as two aspects of the same thing: Compassion is the wish for another being to be free from suffering; love is wanting them to have happiness." Dalai Lama

    From the Christian tradition the words of Jesus …“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Matthew 22:37-39

    In the Gospel of John (13:34), “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

    '‘Love yourself - Love one another’

    In this holiday season take the time, twice a day, to consider: When you give yourself unconditional love, compassion, forgiveness, and acceptance, you’re then able to give that to others.

    “May I be loving and compassionate”

    Awaken

    Imagine the highest ideals for your life.

    Albert Einstein said, “Everybody has certain ideals which determine the direction of his endeavors and his judgments. In this sense I have never looked upon ease and happiness as ends in themselves — such an ethical basis I call more proper for a herd of swine. The ideals which have lighted me on my way and time after time given me new courage to face life cheerfully, have been Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.”

    What are your ideals? Write them down…post them on your mirror…vow to let them transform your life.

    Ram Dass: The tools for positive transformation that I’m most aware of are the nature of the human mind…and the nature of the human heart… the quietness of mind and the ability to sit in a place where you’re not in a reactive mode.

    Twice a day, stop, take a breath, calm, clear, and focus your mind, see the ideals that you want to light your way. Let them give you the courage to face life cheerfully, heal your ignorance and negative emotions and cultivate wisdom and compassion for all.

    “May I be awakened and transformed.”

    Thanksgiving

    “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy

    Grateful living is a way of life that comes as you are aware and intentional, focused on what gives you the feeling of being most alive. It is the way to live longer, experience more joy, and be an inspiration to yourself and others. Your life becomes your mandala, holding your pain and grief with compassion, producing a deepening love, generosity and respect for all.

    Thanksgiving is tomorrow, for many it is a wonderful day to enjoy good food, and be with family and friends. Let us not forget John Kennedy’s words ~ “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

    Let our gratefulness inspire us beyond the day, to a way of living.

    Twice a day, stop, take a breath, calm, clear, and focus your mind, see what’s in front of you.

    “May I be thankful for life’s profound gifts”

    Happiness

    “Happiness is a journey, not a destination. For a long time it seemed to me that life was about to begin—real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life. This perspective has helped me to see there is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way. So treasure every moment you have and remember that time waits for no one.” Alfred D. Souza - Writer, Philosopher

    Happiness isn’t something that comes to you or that you find when you get somewhere, it’s something you can take with you on your journey through life and a way to walk in the world.

    One step towards happiness is to make yourself healthy and strong so that you can be useful and enjoy life.

    Where do you find happiness? What are you doing to be healthy? Twice a day, stop, take a breath, calm, clear, and focus your mind, see what’s in front of you.

    “May I be Happy and Healthy”

    Dedication/Service

    Everybody can be great . . . because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. —Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

    What am I doing to help others? What am I doing to assist people less fortunate than myself? Is there more I could be doing to make an impact on my community and my world?

    Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?“

    Yes, these are somewhat loaded questions, but what if each one of us made it our mission to engage ourselves and others in acts of service? Can you imagine the amount of positive change our world would experience? We are all citizens of this impacted world, why not join hands and put in a little effort to make an impact on our world’s wellbeing?!

    Do your little bit of good where you are. It’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. —Archbishop Desmond Tutu

    Twice a day, stop, take a breath, calm, clear, and focus your mind, see what’s in front of you.

    “May I be in service to all”

    Meditation

    Meditation is a precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state. It is the means for fathoming all the levels of ourselves and finally experiencing the center of consciousness within. Meditation is not a part of any religion; it is a science, which means that the process of meditation follows a particular order, has definite principles, and produces results that can be verified.

    In meditation, the mind is clear, relaxed, and inwardly focused. When you meditate, you are fully awake and alert, but your mind is not focused on the external world or on the events taking place around you. Meditation requires an inner state that is still and one-pointed so that the mind becomes silent. When the mind is silent and no longer distracts you, meditation deepens.

    Drawing from the wisdom of the world’s great teachers, sages, and exemplars, we engage in our personal practice of meditation. Deepening in our own wisdom, we honor the sacred experiences of others.

    Do you have the patience to wait till your mud settles and the water is clear? Can you remain unmoving till the right action arises by itself? – Tao Te Ching

    “May I become wise through meditation.”

    Mindfulness

    Action for the week –Twice a day, stop, take a breath, calm, clear, and focus your mind, see what’s in front of you.

    Mindfulness – paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally. Jon Kabat-Zinn (scientist, writer, meditation teacher)

    “Eyes and No Eyes” – written over 100 years ago – Arabella B Buckley

    The old story of Eyes and No-Eyes is as important for us today as when it was first written.

    Eyes and No Eyes are told that they must take a walk. "No-Eyes" has fixed his attention on the fact that he is obliged to take a walk. For him the chief factor of existence is his own movement along the road; a movement which he intends to accomplish as efficiently and comfortably as he can. He asks not to know what may be on either side of the hedges. He ignores the caress of the wind until it threatens to remove his hat. He trudges along, steadily, diligently; avoiding the muddy pools, but oblivious of the light which they reflect. "Eyes" takes the walk too: and for him it is a perpetual revelation of beauty and wonder. The sunlight inebriates him, the winds delight him, the very effort of the journey is a joy. Magic presences throng the roadside, or cry salutations to him from the hidden fields. The rich world through which he moves lies in the fore-ground of his consciousness; and it gives up new secrets to him at every step. "No-Eyes," when told of his adventures, usually refuses to believe that both have gone by the same road. He fancies that his companion has been floating about in the air, or beset by agreeable hallucinations. We shall never persuade him to the contrary unless we persuade him to look for himself."

    Intention

    Action for the week – twice/day take a few moments to reflect: Intention – “May I be loving and compassionate”

    Vow to bring this intention into each moment of our lives.

    “We either live with intention or exist by default.” Kristin Armstrong – pro bike racer – 3 time Olympic gold medalist

    Vow to bring love and compassion into each moment of our lives.

    • Discover a new, daring paradigm of compassion by strengthening your bridge from intent to action. Challenge your judgments, assumptions, and beliefs and identify what stops you from being a compassionate person.

    • Committing to live compassionately is not for the faint at heart. Acting upon compassionate intent often requires not only courage but also curious daring. Dare to live by letting go.

    • Increase compassionate responses through the practice of mindful awareness

    • Limit the negative impact of your actions by integrating three foundational awarenesses: cause no harm, alleviate suffering, and take life as it is, into your lived experience.

    “May I be loving and compassionate”

    Gratitude

    Action for the week – twice/day take a few moments to reflect: This week – Gratitude – “May I be grateful for Life’s profound gifts.”

    “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Transformation

    Action for the week – twice/day take a few moments to reflect: This week – Transformation – “May I be awakened and transformed "

    The only thing constant in life is change." ... La Rochefoucauld – (la rouch fu cu) – philosopher

    We face changes every day. Breaking out of our normal routine and thought patterns can be stressful. Even changes that bring happiness into our lives can cause us to be anxious.

    Imagine the highest ideals for your life and vow to actualize these. Vow to heal your ignorance and negative emotions as you cultivate wisdom and compassion for all.

    Motivation

    Action for the week – twice/day take a few moments to reflect: Motivation – May I be Happy and Healthy

    “Research shows that happiness is not the result of bouncing from one joy to the next; achieving happiness typically involves times of considerable discomfort.

    Researchers estimate that much of happiness is under personal control. Regularly indulging in small pleasures (such as warm baths!), getting absorbed in challenging activities, setting and meeting goals, maintaining close social ties, and finding purpose beyond oneself are all actions that increase life satisfaction.

    Mental, physical, and spiritual health and happiness are intertwined. What brings you happiness – allow those things to be the focus of your intention to bring happiness and heal the causes of illness and suffering in yourself and others. More than simply positive mood, happiness is a state of well-being that encompasses living a good life—that is, with a sense of meaning and deep satisfaction.” – Psychology Today

    THE MANDALA
    The Meaning behind the Name

    The Mandala

    The Mandala represents wholeness, transformation, integration, and balance. The Mandala, as used here, is seen as a universal image found over and over again in nature itself and, in some form, in all cultures. It is a circle that does not exclude but contains. It does not separate, but protects and holds opposing forces in such a way that it can be transmuted and transformed. We believe The Mandala is the perfect symbol for the Center. It is a sanctuary for “holding space” for our quests, healing work, pilgrimages, educational learning, and creative expressions.