Storms

We weather storms the best when we are centered, inwardly quiet, present, alert, declining to indulge the spinning mind. Like when a storm rolls in, we prefer to go inside, fix a cup of tea and sit quietly. Storms can push our attention deeper into the core of our Being, where we can become aware of the silent, living presence…

The Relaxation Response

Life on planet earth is often stressful, so one of the best things we can do is to consciously relax. Since the 1970’s, research has consistently shown that relaxation enhances the health of the body, the mind — and strengthens the immune system. The autonomic nervous system regulates the health to a large degree. It works in two distinct ways; the…

Hit The Pause Button

The mind and the cyber-world have certain similarities; our mind is not separate from the collective mind of humanity, like our computer or mobile device is connected to the world wide web. Our computer can be infected with a virus by those with malicious intent. Similarly, our mind can become infected by the dark side of the collective mind, like…

Lunar New Year

The Lunar New Year celebration comes out of China’s ancient agrarian society. Traditionally, the second new moon after the winter solstice is regarded as the stimulus for the first stirrings of spring, so for almost a quarter of the world’s population, the spring festival is a time for new beginnings. To make the most of new beginnings, it may be…

Home In The Cosmos

It is easy to get lost in our personal reality and not see where we are, what or who we are. But that does not change the fact that we are home in the cosmos. A positive use for the mind is to remember, to stop and “look up” and recognize our inherent connectedness with the universe. In this contemplation, we…

Loneliness

I read an article yesterday, published in an Australian on-line news site about loneliness. The article echoed research explaining that;  “Social isolation is more lethal than smoking 15 cigarettes a day”… “Public health experts in many countries are debating how to address a “loneliness epidemic”. Loneliness used to be more of an issue for older people but these days it…

“Wrestling With Your Demons” 

To wrestle with one’s demons is no casual thing.  People can feel isolated in a cocoon of misery, trapped in the pull-and-push of the mind, feeling stuck in doubt, delay and regret. Self-help books and therapy have their place of course. But finally it becomes clear that wrestling with one’s demons will not ultimately succeed in bringing about a happy…

Feeding The Monkeys

The Buddhist analogy for the mind being like a bunch of crazed monkeys jumping about and chattering is often used in spirituality and pop psychology. What feeds the monkey-mind is attention, interest and belief in the reality of thoughts. It nourishes them, makes them stronger and gives momentum to the mental chatter. (And of course, trying to make the mind…

“Keep Your Eyes On The Prize”

“Keep your eyes on the prize” is a phrase that comes from the title of a song that was influential during the civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 60’s. Keeping one’s attention focused on what is wanted most is especially important these days with so much going on and so many distractions.  The best thing we can do for ourselves, our…

The Wheel

  The wheel is a symbol that has different meanings in Eastern religious and spiritual traditions. One of the meanings has to do with the circular nature of mind and the illusion and delusion it creates (the cycles of samsara). In the turning of the ‘wheel of the mind’, the top of the wheel     represents high blissful states,…