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Opening to Your Energy

Opening to our energy with gentleness and kindness allows us to develop unconditional confidence and a tender heart or maitri. We uncover our strengths and let them shine! We radiate a natural brilliance, our authentic presence.

~ Irini Rockwell

The Perfection of Patience

  • December 1, 2018
  • Blog
The third paramita — kshanti paramita — is the perfection of patience. Let’s begin with a conversation about what patience is not, and what the perfection of patience is, according to the Tibetan Buddhist view:
Patience is NOT
Giving up
Resignation
Repression
Ignoring
Grinning and bearing it
Accepting everything
Not doing anything
Trying to get resolution on our own terms
Patience IS
“Getting smart”
Pausing and getting still
Being really honest with ourselves about how we feel
Creating space for our experience
Responding instead of reacting
Cultivating courage to sit with discomfort, discord, or disagreement (or any other “dis”)!
Patience is an antidote to anger and aggression. Here is a link to a great article from Pema Chodron:  The Answer to Anger and Aggression is Patience.
How Our Meditation Practice Leads to Patience
Our meditation practice helps us to cultivate patience because it teaches us how to be with our experience without repressing or indulging it, but rather witnessing it with kindness and curiosity. Meditation invites us to be fully present with ourselves in a kind and non-judgmental way, and this helps us to be more fully present with others….even those who push all of our buttons! No one said this was easy!
But Pema Chodron does say: “Patience is an enormously wonderful and supportive and even magical practice. It’s a way of completely changing the fundamental human habit of trying to resolve things by going either to the right or the left, calling things right or calling things wrong. It’s the way to develop courage, the way to find out what life is really about. … We discover that as a matter of fact joy and happiness, peace, harmony and being at home with yourself and your world come from sitting still with the moodiness of the energy until it rises, dwells, and passes away.” 

Kindness is Strength

Don’t ever mistake my silence for ignorance, my calmness for acceptance or my kindness for weakness. Compassion and tolerance are not a sign of weakness, but a sign of strength.

~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama

The Perfection of Kindness

  • November 9, 2018
  • Blog
The shila paramita, or perfection of kindness, encompasses all of the teachings on ethics and morality, and all of these teachings can be simplified into one word: kindness. Be kind to yourself. Be kind to others. Be kind to the world. His Holiness the Dalai Lama has often been quoted as saying “My religion is kindness.” He suggests that we contemplate this every morning:
“Every day, think as you wake up: Today, I am fortunate to be alive. I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all of my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve Enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts toward others. I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.” 
In much the same way that we begin our meditation practice by setting an intention and close our practice by offering a dedication, we could begin and end each and every day this way. The more we pay attention to the goodness that we sow in our bodies and hearts and minds, through our actions, words, and thoughts, the more we water those seeds of goodness so they can bloom.

Morning Blessing

Every day, think as you wake up: Today, I am fortunate to be alive. I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all of my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve Enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts toward others. I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.

~ His Holiness the Dalai Lama

Meeting Ourselves with Kindness

The practice of meditation is simple, straightforward, and ordinary. What is more ordinary than sitting down and being yourself? That is the essence of meditation practice. It is simply sitting down, being still, and being aware of your experience. And yet, as we practice, we find that it is not always an easy thing to do!

When we sit down to meditate, we are not stepping out of our lives, but stepping fully into our lives and learning to make friends with ourselves and our experience, as it is. Meditation practice is about relating directly with our present moment experience and learning to peacefully abide with whatever is arising. We do this through mindfulness and awareness, united with gentleness and kindness.

In meditation, we are learning to cultivate and sustain attention in the present moment by placing it purposefully on the experience of the breath in the body. This helps our minds to settle and to become more stable and clear. The ability to pay attention in this way awakens us to our inherent kindness. Meditation connects us with an ever-present and all-accommodating sense of space –there is room for everything. Feeling this space, we can be kind to ourselves.

As we meditate, we become aware of how seductive our thoughts are and how quickly we are drawn out of the present moment, into the past or future, or some other time or place other than now. The practice is to return again and again to the present moment, which allows us to meet ourselves and our experience with kindness.

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