|I want to tell you a story that annihilated me into itself when I heard it. Maybe it will annihilate you too, and point you back to essence…|
A story that almost could be from the Mahabharata, that almost could have happened. But it didn’t.
And not the way I am going to tell it.
And none of this will matter if you feel where it points…
When Arjuna the great Indian warrior found himself on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, across from an army led by the very teachers who had trained him to become the finest archer in the land, full with brothers and uncles- the family he grew up with, he couldn’t lift his bow to fire the first arrow across the enemy lines.
He looked at their faces and his heart broke.
He knew his Dharma, he knew it had to be such- that he must engage this battle, for it was Divine will, and yet, as he gazed across the battlefield, he couldn’t fire at the enemy.
He just stood there, seeing them with this heart.
And when the very people he couldn’t shoot at, began firing arrows at him, something unusual happened: as the arrows they shot touched Arjuna, they began to transform into petals of Rose and fell at his feet.
You see, he had become love.
The enormity of his love was such that it dissolved everything that touched him into itself- back into the essence of the Everything- the core vibration of love.
And the harshness of the arrows, the hate, the anger, the violence that came at him, transmuted into Roses- the fragrant softness of love.
I feel at the core, this is life’s invitation to us all- to not just know love as a verb, but to become it…and in that becoming, make everything we meet part of the Love we are…
This is no small order. And yet, there are beings who join us here on Earth and embody this capacity.
This morning at 00:00, 1.22.22, in the temple he was initiated in as a young boy, Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh left his body. And as I sat feeling his essence in meditation, this story came up and again made me cry. Because Arjuna’s story also describes him.
Maybe you’ve met his teachings? Maybe this note will inspire you to…I hope it does.
I’ve always experienced Thich Nhat Hanh as the Boddhisattva of peace. I haven’t read any of his books, nor attended any of his retreats. Nor really followed his teachings closely.
But I have heard his voice name the Truth in us all.
I have seen his brush, make spirit into form.
I have felt the power and the radiance of his presence, melt me with love, into itself.
It’s a gift to be annihilated, over and over again in meeting a presence like his. The best way to honor him, of course, is to live aligned with the Truth in you.
You can read his parting words below, gently melting all the pointy arrows in me, into the tenderness of petals…
in celebration, in honor of a Life lived fully, his, yours and mine-
with big love,
It occurred to me in words that we are all just growing into ourselves, supported by a magnificent field of Grace. All I ever had to do was be open to receiving it.
A few weeks ago I had the honor of holding space for two people I love dearly, who are falling in love.
Breaking all the rules of “professional conduct” I asked one to invite the other into our session and when they came, we sat together for a while, listening, seeing, loving…in that profound simplicity, not many words were needed and neither was I anymore. So I declared our session over and went for a walk, filled by love, becoming it…
I walked on the open roads in the countryside, hands held out like a beggar and all I could say over and over, like a poem, like a prayer was “Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God…”
It was there when I came home. It was there when I picked up my paintbrush, when I was facilitating…I even went into meditation retreat ready to receive any beatings necessary to tame my spiritual pride, and what melted it instead again, was love.
Feeling the enormity of Grace- love and wisdom ready to pour into me, filled my heart and again what was left was just this:
“Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God…”
And I can feel that phrase weaving itself through the fabric of my being. I can’t even pretend not to see how much resource is available to me in every moment. I cry seeing the times I hid it from myself. Even in the midst of pain.
…sometimes I sing it. Mostly I cry it. “Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God. Thank you God…”
What else remains? So much Beauty. So much Grace.
Thank you God. More please.
Open Meditation Meetup
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Re-wire Your Brain to Master Your Game
Life in 2017 moves faster than we can keep up. Overstimulated, hyperconnected and always on the go, we seldom pause to self-center. Competing priorities vie for our scattered attention, and in the face of increasing workloads and pressures we navigate life on autopilot.
Stress or burnout inevitably follow, hijacking decision-making and communication, thereby straining relationships and inhibiting access to flow- the very place where creativity, innovation and joy thrive!
Overwhelmed, we start to question if it’s all worth our life energy. You may know this cycle. Through my time in the high stress design industry, I sure did.
So, how can we lead, work and thrive in the Attention Economy without sacrificing our sanity or well-being?
The key lies in our ability to align intention and attention- our skill at being present, here and now. Best practices in business and spirituality intersect at meditation, or in simpler terms, attention training. Efficacy lies in the mastering how our inner space meets the world.
Mindfulness and Meditation train our attention on which all else depends. Cultivating focus and self-centering develops flow. Presence, Self Regulation and Emotional Intelligence are vital to harness technical and leadership skills in the fast paced digital age.
Enhancing our work, relationships and wellbeing depends on enhancing our inner space. Neuroscientists and global business leaders know this too well.
Presence, Self Regulation and Emotional Intelligence are vital to harness technical and leadership skills.
Rewire your brain to master your game. It’s time to come to center.
From a certain perspective, meditation is essentially attention training!
“You should care because training your attention is the most important thing you can do in life. All your other skills depend on the quality of your attention. A weak, flitting attention makes doing anything in life slower and harder. A strong, steady attention makes doing anything easier. It even makes being yourself easier, because it opens the door to knowing yourself. It smooths the path to knowing who you are, what you want, and what to choose in life. It allows you to navigate your life more skillfully. So why not put in the work to develop a strong, steady attention and take the easy path through life?”
-Steven Kessler (author of the 5 Personality Patterns)