Monday, January 31, 2011


In the space between our words and thoughts exists oneness with all that is.  In the silence, we find the vast creative consciousness that breathes life into our world of form, the world we know.  God is there, in the silence.

It is, for me, an amazing exercise to allow myself to notice all that is contained in silence.  Until recently, I interpreted silence as a void, a place where something is lacking.  I was always listening for something.  But if we just listen without expectation or preconceived notions of what is supposed to come next, we can hear in the silence an unlimited opportunity for creation.  In the silence, and in our openness to it, all things are possible.

In my meditation practice I have watched my thoughts come and go, and I've gotten better acquainted with the constant chatter that is my mind.  I've even learned to quiet that chatter to a certain degree.  But I have been so focused on watching my mind's activity that I never thought to really notice what exists in its absence.

Between one thought and the next, I am.  That's all.  There is no identification with the external circumstances that I thought defined me.  Being part of the ongoing miracle of creation, and experiencing the perfection of that, is the only truth in that flickering moment.  

What I am left with is a tremendous sense of joy in being here, and a deep peace that stems from knowing that whatever happens in this world of form is perfect, holy, and fleeting.  In the space between the noise, there is a rightness to all things.

I think musicians must be aware of the grace inherent in the space between sounds.  I have noticed it listening to my son performing with the orchestra that he's a part of.  In the silence between two beautiful notes, I have been achingly aware of the creative potential of what's to come, delighting in the beauty when it comes but not holding my awareness on that one beautiful note, because that would mean not being completely open to the next one.  I want to live my life like that.

We can take a pause in the moments of our days to listen to the silence.  During the brief rests in dialogue we can notice the gift of choosing how to create the next moment.  In the quiet between the sounds we hear in nature, we can know our oneness with all of life.  And in the quiet between our own harried thoughts, we can feel God consciousness living through us.

In the silence, may we hear the sound of eternity, may we see with eyes that know only beauty, and may we feel the immense joy of our being.

May this tool be a blessing.

Monday, January 24, 2011


Hope springs eternal. I’ve heard this saying countless times, but never stopped to consider the profound truth of it. There is always hope. As long as we live to create another day, we have the opportunity to witness outcomes that may have previously seemed impossible.

It’s human nature to base our expectations on what we see on the surface. We tend to make assumptions based on things that seem important but really aren’t in the bigger scheme of things.

What happened in the past has no bearing on how things will turn out now. We are much bigger than that, as limitless expressions of divine consciousness. In each moment we can find ourselves creating something really great, something that never felt quite within reach before. With each breath there exists the possibility of a door opening that had been closed to us, a change of heart, a new direction, or an answer to a nagging question or problem.

In my life I’ve watched things that didn’t seem possible happen. Many times. I still get stuck in worry and limiting beliefs, but I’ve realized that I’m meant to see the truth, even if it means getting smacked in the head with it over and over.

The highest good prevails, always and in all ways. We can attract our good, be it more time, more joy, a more fulfilling job, or the relationship of our dreams. We just have to be grateful and get out of the way.

Having hope is believing in miracles. In our small challenges and in the darkest of days, it is holding on in shaky trust to that whisper that says “There will be a way through.” We don’t need to know when, or how; we just need to acknowledge that gentle voice of truth within us. And we can trust that the light that exists in all things waits with flawless timing to illuminate our profound good.

May you have the very highest of hopes, and may this tool be a blessing. . .

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Charter for Compassion

As caring beings having a human experience, we all are born with the capacity for compassion. Someone once said the difference between sympathy and compassion is that the one who sympathizes, can see and feel what another is experiencing, but does nothing. The one who has compassion, sees, feels and then acts on what is seen.

In 2008 a charter was developed with input from over 150,000 people from over 180 countries.  It was called the "Charter for Compassion."  An amazing experience produced this world-changing document.  Watch the embedded video below to hear people breathing life into the words from the charter.  We change the world by changing ourselves and you can act by making a commitment with others to live the charter. Visit the website here, Charter for Compassion, and sign on.   If this speaks to your spirit, tell someone else about this movement.

May you practice compassion daily and may this tool be a blessing...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Gift of the Breath

I had a delightful “aha” moment last weekend at a workshop that I attended.  The insight actually came from the meditation that the facilitator led us through at the beginning of the session.

As a practice, I remind myself as often as possible to connect with my breathing.  Many people from all types of spiritual practices focus on the breath as a way to quiet the mind and bring attention into the present moment, thereby reducing stress.  It is an important part of many wellness practices.

In being conscious of our breathing, we are able to reconnect with the part of ourselves that is eternal, always whole, an integral part of ongoing creation.  We remember that through our breathing God lives as us, and so we can never really make a mistake; we are not only in the light, we are the light.

At last weekend’s workshop, as we were beginning to pull our attention back from the external things that demand our attention to the quiet within, I began to become aware of that now-familiar communication between body and spirit.  I felt the lightness that comes as my thoughts move into the background and my soul expands with gratitude into the temple of experience and sensation that is my physical body.

As the group leader led us in meditation, he suggested a perspective that was new for me - that we notice the breaths coming, unbidden, for the gift that they are.  As I sat there, probably for the first time in my many years of meditation, delightfully watching for each breath, and feeling each one filling me, every single breath became another hello from God. 

I was humbly and very gratefully aware of doing nothing for this gift, of needing to do nothing; life just kept pouring into me in wave after wave of grace.  I am, and I am again, and I was a child being given a new present to unwrap each time the breath of life filled my lungs.  My body knew no separation from God and never-ending good as I welcomed the gift of each and every breath.

I don’t even begin to understand the source of this inexplicably vast goodness at work in our Being.  The more I experience it, the more I realize how much I don’t understand.  But I'm fine about that because that's part of being human.  Even as I recognize my mind's inability to make sense of the miracle of creation, still I try to put it to words. It's my own way of honoring the gift.

May you find delight in unwrapping your life’s gifts, and may this tool be a blessing. . .

Saturday, January 8, 2011


A dear friend of mine suggested to me yesterday that I write a post on play.  We've known each other a long time, and she knows that playing is definitely one of my favorite topics.  Friendship would be another wonderful topic today, as I am aware of the amazing gift that my friends are in my life, spiritually and otherwise.  But I think I'll save the very worthy topic of friendship for another day, and today celebrate the importance of play as a spiritual tool.

One of the things that I recommend to people who need to reduce their level of stress is to find a way every single day to play.  It's a pastime that we tend to do much less of when we become all grown up, and start taking our lives more seriously than is probably good for us.  I know that's pretty true of me.

Still, I do make it a point to find ways to include the energy of play in my life as much as possible.  Engaging in pleasurable activities, things that just make us happy for their own sake and delight us in their spontaneity, are good for body and soul.  The cells of the body heal when we are happy, laughing, or just thinking positive thoughts.  And when we engage wholeheartedly in some act of rebellion toward our adult deference to responsibility, propriety, and keeping our clothes clean, spirit within giggles and says, "more, more!"  In all types of play, and in life in general, a good rule is the more childish the better.

When was the last time you jumped on the bed?  I can't tell you how many times my husband has in fun scolded that I was going to break ours.  Even jumping up and down on my knees in bed is enough to bounce him around, and that definitely tickles me.

He and I take swing dance lessons, and even though we have a lot yet to learn, we have a whole lot of fun doing it.  And I have to say, attempting those anchor steps and underhand turns standing up in bed is a hoot.  I always feel like we're living dangerously because I'm afraid that any minute an overly-enthusiastic rock-step is going to land us on the floor.

Have you looked lately at a rain puddle as the amazing opportunity that it is? Why not indulge the child within you and go ahead and jump in it?  Kids really do know a lot about what's important in life.  I can tell you from first-hand experience that the splash is so worth having to dry out your shoes.

How about trying a bout of last one up the stairs is a rotten egg?  Or to the car, or that fence, or . . . anywhere?  When we play like this we are so caught up in the moment that we are able to fully enjoy being alive.

There is no end to the ways that we can play.  There are child-like ways and grown-up but still hugely fun ways.  Sing at the top of your lungs driving in the car (that's the only time I'll do it).  Play solitaire instead of loading the dishwasher, or Twister instead of doing the budget.  Dance alone in your living room.  Try your hand at juggling using the fruit in your kitchen.  Blow a raspberry, or blow some bubbles!  Who says that freeze-tag won't get your heart rate up as much as the treadmill?

(Shhh...My husband is napping.  I think this would be a good time to get in some serious spiritual practice using a tried-and-true tool mentioned above. . .)

May you cultivate many playful moments, and may this tool be a blessing.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Seeing Things From a Distance

In the middle of the trees, it’s hard to see the forest.  And oftentimes while in the midst of our life’s circumstances it’s hard to see the bigger picture playing out.  Getting caught up in the details that are apparent on the surface is part of being human, and sacred because it allows us to fully experience our humanness.  It provides the opportunity for us to struggle with challenges, and learn from them.  Through our humanness we are graced with forgetting, and then blessed with remembering that all is for our good.

Still, sometimes it feels like we struggle more than we need to, and we long to find a way to access the awareness of perfection at work in our human experience.

Lately, when I’ve been caught up in circumstances, I have chosen to step back, and view them from a distance.  And just as if I had been able to take a glass elevator up from the forest floor to a space high above, my limited view opens up to take in a broader perspective.

We can do this on a spiritual level any time we want to step out of a situation and view it from a more neutral place.  All that it requires is to be aware of pulling your energy back from it, and then watching what enfolds.

One technique I learned many years ago during my years with the Berkeley Psychic Institute is to “go to the corner of the room.”  Start by spending a few minutes in relaxation with your eyes closed.  Then allow your energy (or whatever you would like to call it - your spirit, the observer, God within you) to move up to a corner of the room.  From this perspective, look down at yourself, and let spirit within you see from a higher vantage point. 

From this distance, you may want to notice what thoughts and emotions are moving through your body.  Because you are not in that moment caught up in the situation, you are able to see it more completely.  As the observer you are able to be more neutral and less reactive. 

As moving our attention to this observer's perspective becomes more comfortable, we are able to shift to it in an instant, eyes open, by pulling our energy out of a situation just enough that we are for a time not part of it, but watching it without judgment.

We can use this tool any time we want to approach something from a less reactive and limiting outlook.  In any moment that we choose to become the observer of our experience rather than caught up in unconscious reaction, we are brought directly into present time.  And from our perspective as fully-present in this moment, we connect with the truth of our being.  We align with what is.  For that moment we are timeless, and we live in the miracle of ongoing creation.

May this tool be a blessing. . .