Buddhism

Mindful Monday: May you be happy

Mindful Monday: May you be happy

Buddhism, contemplation, Love, mindfulness, peace, spiritual practice, Spirituality
I'm taking a weekly class on meditation and cultivating compassion. One of the practices is to repeat time-honored phrases of lovingkindness (aka metta or maitri in Buddhist traditions) to oneself, such as "May I be happy. May I be free from suffering. May I know peace and joy" in meditation and throughout the day. The words can be changed, depending on your needs, but I've stuck with these basic, easy-to-remember phrases for now. We also "send" these phrases to others, known and unknown, in our lives in order to remind ourselves of our common humanity. Although I don't necessarily feel the emotions of happiness, ease, peace, and joy when silently saying these phrases, with practice I'm now more likely to catch myself in the midst of a negative story in my mind and switch to saying these ...

Mindful Monday: Control Issues?

Buddhism, Challenge, contemplation, mindfulness, overwhelmed, Spirituality
Do you have control issues? I do. In the past five years, my family has experienced a long string of stressful events—terminal illness diagnoses, deaths, breakdowns, emergencies, chemo and radiation, surgeries, and alarming revelations. Life kept falling apart. It still is. I struggled to control the outcomes of these events because I found myself terrified by suffering and loss. Surely if I knew how to do just the right thing, I could make a situation turn out well, solve the problem, or keep people from dying. When I couldn’t, which was most of the time, I felt like I had failed: bad mother, bad daughter, bad wife. Self-loathing escalated. Margaret Wheatley, a consultant, writer, and student of Pema Chödrön, sheds light on this idea of hating oneself because we think we fall short whe
Mindful Monday: Listening to Fear

Mindful Monday: Listening to Fear

body, Buddhism, Challenge, Grief, mind, mindfulness, Spirituality
This post is the second of three on the topic of mindfulness and listening. ~~~ My mother had pulmonary fibrosis during the last four and a half years of her life. This disease slowly steals your breath, hardening your lungs until you die of heart failure or suffocation. Her illness angered and terrified me, as much as it broke my heart. I never overcame the fear, to my regret, and a lot of times, I didn't know what to say or how to be. Rodney Smith, a former hospice chaplain and the guiding teacher at Seattle Insight Meditation Society (SIMS), urges us to listen mindfully to our reactivity when we listen to someone else, including the sick or dying. He asks: "Can you connect with [another] person's humanity? Can you access his [or her] pain? Are you able to own that anger that you proj...