When we act mindfully, we breathe life into our day. Where agitation once reigned, peace and spaciousness take root. Even the most mundane tasks can become refreshing.
In fact, mundane tasks are perfect vehicles for mindfulness because they are simple and repetitive. Try savoring the act of doing dishes. You have to do them anyway, right? Why not see if the experience can enhance your day instead of detract from it?
I was so moved by this email I received from Peter Cutler, an Order of Interbeing Member with the Dharma Name True Sangha Virtue, that I requested his permission to share it with you. Peter is a member of Boston’s Old Path Sangha. He is a spiritual teacher, Zen artist and founding member of the Sacred Circle in Sedona, Arizona.
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Is it possible – guilt free brownies? Oh Yes. These rich morsels satisfy our sweet tooth and pose no threat to our waistline or our health. Four simple ingredients combine for chewy, sweet, chocolate squares that are ready to eat in less than thirty minutes.
Think it’s too good to be true? I did too until my friend Kelsey showed me how it’s done:
During an eight-hour workday we each take about 8,000 breaths. This is great news. We have 8,000 opportunities to touch peace, creativity and productivity.
Gift yourself bliss in less than 2 minutes. Take a break from whatever it is you’re doing. Find a comfortable chair, cushion or rug to sit on and watch this brief meditation. Breathe easily and freely focusing on your in-breaths and out-breaths. Absorb Thay’s words and the sound of the bell with each inhale, release all the tensions in your body with each exhale.
My 13 year old came home from school one day frustrated. Over the kitchen table he told me of his troubles but I was miles away. My mind raced between thoughts of my three children, husband and career.
Last month I was in the city of my birth, New Orleans, Louisiana. Everywhere were preparations for Mardi Gras celebrations, which included many decadent and delicious foods like "king cakes", pralines and bananas Foster. I was reminded of my youth and the purpose of Fat Tuesday: to have one last fling before lent commences the next day.
In movies, love is romantic, overwhelming and above all else, provokes a willingness to give up everything, even oneself, to protect it. This framework births spectacular stories full of drama but the truth is, we cannot love another fully and sacrifice ourselves. We need to honor ourselves while honoring our loved one. True love creates freedom, abundance and joy.
The Buddha describes four elements of true love: