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April 16th, 2015

Frozen earth  Spring_1
Sitting in the dark
Light rises
Buds blooming
Eyes openning
Touching the sky
Waiting for me
Making space for beauty
Nature mulching
Growth is possible

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Posted in Happiness | Toning the Om

Book Review: Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

April 10th, 2015

There have been many books on the subject of habits – having them and keeping them. The deeper question is how do we change?

BetterThanBeforeIn Gretchen Rubin’s new book, the answer to change is habits. As Rubin says, “Habits are the invisible architecture of everyday life. It takes work to make a habit, but once that habit is set, we can harness the energy of habits to build happier, stronger, more productive lives.”

Better Than Before presents a practical, specific framework to allow readers to understand their habits. Infused with Rubin’s anecdotes, research, humor, and packed with stories, Better Than Before explains the core principles of habit formation. As she often does in her books, Rubin laid out her thinking about and interest in habits: where they came from, her personal discussions with her husband, her observations about herself and those in her life. Better Than Before reveals the value of self-knowledge in relation to our habits. It is only through accurately understanding ourselves that we are able implement effective strategies to support our intentional behavior changes.

Whether readers want to get more sleep, stop checking their devices, or finish an important project, habits make change possible. Rubin’s book provides methods and strategies for intentionally examining and building habits that support us rather than ruling our lives. If you are ready for some reflection and inner examination of your habits and strategies to support changing habits, then you will enjoy Better Than Before.

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives

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Posted in Fun | Toning the Om

The Courage to Connect to What Matters

April 1st, 2015

Where does our courage come from? How is it that even when we are scared, we do things afraid?

In thinking about courage, I dug deep into the birthing of my own courageous experiences. I noticed that I had many courageous moments, and at times, and just as equally, moments when I held back from being brave. What I discovered was:

Not only am I inherently courageous – I tap into my courageous self in order to connect to everything that really matters.

Courage is the doorway that opens up to other rooms in my life. I need all these rooms to step fully into my life. Others rooms that open up once I tap into courage are:

Curiosity, Connection, Compassion, and Creativity.

Courage is needed to cultivate all of these qualities. These qualities are the antidote to fear, anger, impatience, and apathy. I noticed that when I am courageous, I’m often afraid in the exact same moment.

Who are you when you are feeling courageous and who are you becoming?

Keep doing it afraid!

Would love to hear your thoughts.

Posted in Vulnerability | Toning the Om

Peace Meditation in Hawaii

March 26th, 2015

Spend about five minutes opening up your wild cosmic heart to the joy of peace. If we can feel a little bit of peace, we can feel a lot of peace. Be peace and send peace. This video was created near Kalani Oceanside Retreat Center on the Big Island of Hawaii.

Breathing in: I am peace. Breathing out: I give peace.

It is dedicated to the 2015 Wild Cosmic Heart Retreat participants who were willing to unpack their hearts. With hands on your heart, smile, and bow.

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Posted in Meditation | Toning the Om

Rewilding Your Heart

March 23rd, 2015

When was the last time you really listened to your heart? When was the last time you nurtured your sense of wonder?

MAF_LeafThere is a deep sense that we are being called to rewild our hearts. We need to make wild again our sense of self, our sense of compassion, and our sense of curiosity. Rewilding is a lens – a way to view the world, to view one another, and to view ourselves. Rewilding is a movement and a way of being. We are called to open our eyes, open our heart and open to the untamed wilderness that lives inside.

To rewild our hearts means we need to make room for wider spaces within ourselves, our community, our environment and our world. Rewilding is about expansion and redefining our borders and boundaries. It’s a desire to connect ourselves more intimately.

If we are to rewild our hearts, it would mean we would deepen our relationship with nature and the landscape that surrounds us. Rewilding is an exploration and a journey.

Want to come on a journey of rewilding your heart?

Join me on a Rewilding the Heart Journey in 2015 and 2016 – details coming soon.

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Posted in Meditation | Toning the Om

Be Audacious

March 20th, 2015

Buddha-NatureWhen we connect to peace and happiness, we can discover Universal Love and Universal Compassion. We need to make the decision to go there – go to what brings us peace and happiness.

Take a few moments, and just let go and take some time to focus on what generates joy in our life. Notice that when we focus on joy, peace arises naturally. As my Buddhist teacher, Kadam Morten says, “Peace is the nature of our mind. When we pay attention to peace, it expands.” My teacher will often recommend that we hang out with our peaceful mind.

Personally, when I sit in meditation, I am reminded of my peaceful nature or my Buddha-nature. I can let go of delusions – of self-grasping and ignorance. When I open my eyes, the work of remembering that peace within continues and I must make the decision to go to the peaceful places within myself. As Kadam Morten says, “I can have a heart pervaded by peace, joy, and compassion.” He challenges us to wish for enlightenment for all loving beings without exception (bodhichitta – enlightened mind).

As Kadam Morten often says, “It’s audacious to identify with your Buddha-nature.” The idea of striving for enlightenment for the benefit of all as a way of being can feel too much. So, we start with ourselves. We carry love in our hearts as a way of being. The sun doesn’t think about radiating light – it just does it. We don’t have to think about radiating light – we can just be light. We can transform situations into peace and fuel the path to enlightenment.

We can be audacious and identify with our Buddha-nature.

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Posted in Learning | Toning the Om

Flute Meditation for the Wild Cosmic Heart

March 18th, 2015

A few days before giving the Wild Cosmic Heart Retreat in Hawaii, I met a beautiful flute player, Kylie Miller. She had just finished her retreat and I was about to begin mine. We were in the same housing complex and when I walked into the room, I heard the most meditative and sweet flute playing. We shared our backgrounds with each other. Kylie grew up in Australia and moved to Nepal to study and teach music.

The more I listened to her play, the more the music brought me closer to my heart. I asked Kylie if she would play her flute as a meditation for me as I filmed the beauty outside the room. This recording took place outside our housing at Kalani Oceanside Retreat Center on the Big Island. Enjoy five minutes of relaxing flute playing. Thank you Kylie for permission to share your loving gift if music!

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Posted in Meditation | Toning the Om

Meditation Is a Practice of Homecoming

February 25th, 2015

Do you pay regular visits to yourself? ~Rumi

This week ask yourself, do you pay regular visits to your heart?

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Posted in Meditation | Toning the Om

Seeking Peace and Finding Forgiveness

February 19th, 2015

“When we are no longer able to change a situation…we are challenged to change ourselves.” ~Viktor Frankl

hold yourself with kindnessHow can we change ourselves? As Viktor Frankl writes, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” Forgiveness has taught me to live in the present and leave the past behind.

When I find myself seeking peace, I have noticed that peace is seeking me.

Are there people and situations in your life you are still carrying around with anger, disappointment, and sadness? Perhaps it is time to fully let go.

Join us for a four-week telecourse: Resting in Radical Forgiveness. Starting March 23, take a deeper dive into forgiveness through eyes of kindness and compassion. For more information and/or to register, click here.

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Posted in Forgiveness | Toning the Om

Listen to the Voice Above, Below, and Inside

February 9th, 2015

Heart Flower in HawaiiListen to the Sacred Three Voices:

The voice of your ancestors speaking to you;

The voice of the earth beckoning you;

The voice of your heart opening you.

What if that really was your wild cosmic heart?

Would you listen?

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Posted in Toning the OM | Toning the Om