Posted in Uncategorized, tagged Alzheimer's disease, Camus, compassion, dogs, Emerson, friends, friendship, heaven, love compassion, mothers, peace on March 23, 2016|
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Friends are indispensable in our lives whether they are people or pets. Each has similar reasons for entering our lives and each play different roles. There are so many quotes about friendship in The International Thesaurus of Quotations that it would take a long time to choose just one. In this moment what definition comes up for you? What verb, what adjective, what noun, what name, what face?
Emerson is to have said, “To have a friend, you must be a friend.” And he also said, “The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the job of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.”
Who are you trusting with a “friendship” today? Someone has said that man’s best friend is a dog. One of my “friends” sent me a link today to a video entitled “So God made a Dog.” It is a beautiful tribute to dogs of all sizes and shapes and ages! And, of course, my new best friend Annie was listening to the video while I did. Well, not really, as you can see, she was napping contentedly in her little red bed next to my desk with her two stuffed animals quietly snugging up next to her and her paws wrapped around them. Stuffed friends, live friends, people friends who’s to say which is the best—each lives with us in separate moments in time just when we need them.
My mom had two dolls made of cloth that she treasured. As she became less and less lucid from her Alzheimer’s disease she would sit in her wheelchair staring out from some hidden place in her mind. She lived in another world—of which we do not know. Most days I would put one of the dolls in the crook of her arm. She would hold onto the doll with care and tenderness and I trusted that each time she looked down the precious doll would still be there helping her up to heaven– waiting for that eternal moment to appear.
Friends are there with us in every moment if we just look for them, reach out to them, and covet their friendship with all of our might and with all of our love in every moment possible. I leave you with this mystery of the moment…
“Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow;
Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead;
Walk beside me, and just be my friend.”
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Posted in BUddhism, cause and effect, enlightenment, happiness, love, Mindfulness, prayer, prison system in America, psychology, religion, self-help, suffering, Uncategorized, Zen, tagged anger, Buddha, Buddhism, challenges, compassion, fear, happiness, joy, love, meditation, mindfulness, peace, prayer, sitting, suffering, wisdom, Zen, Zen Buddhism on March 15, 2016|
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The problem with me is that in this moment I am often not mindful about what is going on in me, around me, and through me. My monkey mind is busy reflecting on the past, thinking about the future, and wandering hither and yon. Thus, I am not actually living in this “moment.” Unbeknownst to me I have lost a significant portion of my day, my life, and my joy. Whoever that “me” is has been deprived of experiencing the moment, of living a life of focus. Instead I am living a life lost and filled with grasping at the straws of the unknown.
Today my desire is to live in the moment mindfully aware of the food that I eat and its taste, texture, smell, and temperature. To be fully present as I attend a jukai ceremony for one of the men at our prison ministry. To bask in his joy and freedom as he accepts the Buddhist precepts as his way of living. To be fully present to enjoy the cookies and drinks that I will have after the ceremony and to celebrate fully and wholly with him and his friends in the Zen group where he sits each Tuesday.
McCown and Micozzi in their book New World Mindfulness wrote, “…the Buddha’s first teaching is revealed as essentially relational and experiential. It is possible to image him actually saying, “Don’t take my word for it; check it out for yourself (p. 71)!” As Walt Whitman in his “Song of Myself” wrote, “Looking with side-curved head curious what will come next, both in and out of the game and watching and wondering at it (p. 78).” To be present in the moment, to be there for others, for self, and beyond is what Whitman is enticing us to do.
Check it out for yourself! Be mindful of your thoughts, feelings, emotions, and actions. Don’t be so quick to take other people’s viewpoint of your life. Don’t be so quick to take other people’s word for it either. Simply be honest with yourself about your life and what you like–keep and what you don’t like–change. To do that you must be mindful in the present moment!
Take time each day to sit in the quiet of your breath. Open yourself to feeling “worthy” of taking time each day to simply sit and “contemplate your navel” if that is what you want to do! Finally, simply “be,” whatever that means to you.
I learned many years ago that I am not a human “being.” I am a human “becoming.” Which are you? Be mindful of that and your life could be transformed.
Keep me posted!
 McCown, D. and Micozzi, M.S. (2012) New World Mindfulness from the Founding Fathers, Emerson, and Thoreau to Your Personal Practice. Healing Arts Press: Rochester, Vermont
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