Tag Archives: Dalai Lama

The 52: How Kindness Sends Out Waves of Love

Standard

butterflyblueskyThe 14th Dalai Lama spokes these words:

When we feel love and kindness towards others, it not only makes others feel loved and cared for,

but it helps us also to develop inner happiness and peace.

How simple and easy is this? When The 52 was launched, twenty-two weeks ago, my promise to you was to give varied, yet simple lessons and practices you could follow any day.  The overall goal is to move into a place where we feel lighter and happier, more present and calm.  To soar, like our recurring photo, the blue butterfly, towards the light of inner peace.

Some of our weekly lessons may resonate more fully for you than others.  We humans are so diverse — for one person, calming the body and breath has an immediate result.  For another, repeating an affirmation like “I love myself completely NOW.” will be most effective.  This one, on loving kindness, will guarantee results.  I have already, in the previous lesson this week, offered suggestions you might engage.  Have you tried any or all of them? If you did, you had to feel significant benefit.

This is the best part.  Whether you have made loving kindness a practice or not will never alter the innate core of your being — that you are already a being embraced in the truth of Divine Love.  You may not be aware of it, you may doubt it and scoff at this notion, or you may occasionally feel it, but it does not matter. It is who you are.

So I send this reminder to you.  Be kind and loving to yourself.  Let it spread around you.  It is a gift to yourself and to the world.  What are you waiting for?

I am sending loving kindness to you right now.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more teachings, go to http://www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Nine – Why Meditate: Some Thoughts

Standard

butterflybluesky

The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest

you can give yourself in this life.

Sogyal Rinpoche

These are the words of a Tibetan Buddhist Dzogchen Lama.  He describes meditation as going home and revealing our true heart.  His most prominent writing is a book I value greatly, The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying.  His words resonate with a Truth that transcends any particular path, which is one of the goals of my own work — to show the commonalities between the many spiritual paths.

One of the most renowned and respected Christian writers of this or any era is C. S. Lewis, a favorite of mine.  In England, he was an Oxford don who converted from doubt to devout Christianity.  He even engaged in fantasy works of fiction.  You may know him as the author of The Chronicles of Narnia.  He said:

We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence and private:

and therefore, starved for meditation and true friendship.

And this from The Holy Bible:

Sing unto him, sing psalms upon him,

meditate upon his wondrous works.

Psalms 105:2

Some may see the last quote more as a contemplation rather than meditation but the idea of meditation is frequently mentioned in Christian writings.

Yet meditation is more associated, to many of us, as an Eastern teaching.  It is true that many of Western faith are less familiar with the concept of meditation.  In most cases, meditation is a solitary practice.  Even while I meditated in the company of thousands of others, it was still my meditation.  Its great benefit is the promise of  an authentic experience of God consciousness. one to one, if you will.

So this is the purpose — Divine Consciousness,  Yes, as other benefits, we can experience less stress, being more centered, lower blood pressure and many other healthful results, which are not a small thing.  But meditation can bring about union with a higher power, with Divine Love, with God, with Eternal Life.  Now THAT is something really big!

As we conclude this week on meditation, though we will return to it again soon, do this:

  • Follow the earlier suggestions for meditation.  Now, as you prepare to meditate, ask for guidance and Truth.  Ask for Grace.  ASK!  Let your meditation be encircled with love and kindness.  Then just meditate.  Stop thinking.  See how this feels.
  • Come to a place of acceptance.  Let the meditation just be what it is.  If your mind went off on a grocery list or a bill to be paid or the next action of the day, be accepting.  Okay, that is how it was today.
  • Don’t give yourself a grade. “Well that was a lousy meditation, I might as well give up.”  In truth, just about everyone thinks that at some point.  Let it go.  Just keep meditating in whatever way you can.
  • If you just can’t meditate, for whatever reason, be okay with that too.  Even long time meditators may hit a patch where they have trouble.  Be kind to yourself.  Everything will unfold just right.

Keep me posted!  Everything about these lessons is about reaching out with love.  If this has helped even one person, my heart will sing with joy.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: A Lighter, Happier YOU – Love Makes the World Go ‘Round

Standard
The 52: A Lighter, Happier YOU – Love Makes the World Go ‘Round

butterflybluesky

Love makes the world go ’round.  This song, originally written in the late 1800’s, has been recorded over and over again.  Disperse versions from ballad, rock, and blues. Perry Como, Madonna, Deon Jackson, and many others have found this title captivating enough to record.  It rings true!

Does  “love make the world go ’round?  What do you think? Many people believe that Love = God, while physicists and astronomers might think something other than “love” makes the world go ’round.  They may think we need something that we can scientifically prove with our logical, left brain thinking.  Here’s what Albert Einstein said in a letter to Gandhi:

I am a scientist.  I trace the lines that come from God.

It’s hard to top Einstein.  But what would a spiritual master say?  Yes! Yes would be the resounding answer.  If creation is about eternal love, then that would be the correct answer, esoteric as it may seem.  Love makes the world go ’round.  Love is the creative force.

What would it be like if you saw Love as the motivator and center of the universe?  Would your sense of reality be different?  What if your sole (or should I say “soul”) purpose were to learn to love yourself  and others? This quote is attributed to everyone from the Buddha to the author, Anne Lamott:

Holding onto anger is like drinking poison

and expecting the other person to die.

Certainly, loving others without condition does not turn you into a doormat.  There are means to stand in your own truth and not drink the poison yourself.  Love and forgiveness play a big role here. We know very well that emotions that are negative affect us and weaken us. Why hold onto the something that is damaging?  Hit the switch! Push the love button.  Make your circle of love bigger and more inclusive.

Here is something to try:

  • In a quiet moment, think of someone (past or present) who evokes negative feelings in you.  Try, for a little while, to witness that person in a non-judging way.  Can you or are you too attached to your own ego emotions?  Walk in that person’ s shoes for a little while.
  • Now extend a loving thought to that person.  Hold onto that love and forgiveness.  See how it feels to you.  What do you experience? Can you embrace them in love?  How does it make you feel?
  • Repeat this exercise as often as needed until it feels okay, comfortable to you. 

Mother Teresa said:

If you judge people you have no time to love them.

So let love flow within you and around you. Let it extend into every chapter of your life.  Let it be the antidote to “poison.”  See what it does in your life.  It might feel like a great relief to let love wash away anger and judgment. If something begins to change within you, enjoy it.  Let me know if you like.   I am here to support you.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts, go to www.deannemincer.com

 

Pack Up Your Worries: More Thoughts on Lesson Three

Standard

butterflybluesky

There is an old World War I song that goes like this:

What’s the use of worrying? It never was worthwhile, so

Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile.

I know this little dittie may seem simplistic, but there is something to it.  Worrying NEVER was or is worthwhile.  Taking action does something.  Worrying does nothing. 

How are you doing on the worry front?  I picked this lesson and, almost as soon as it was posted, I was put to the test when some serious issues came to light.  I told you that I am practicing these lessons right along with you, so life is giving me some pretty big opportunities to test myself.  I am currently a fan of the concept of putting worries into a time frame.  The clock is ticking, but I am tucking them away until the allotted time.  Mind you, this does not mean I don’t take action.  Worry and action are not synonyms.

I hope that the suggestions in the introduction to worrying post are helpful.  Please remember that wherever we are on one of the 52 weekly lessons , we must always go back to lesson number one, to love ourselves unconditionally and no matter what.  Our mantra is “I love myself completely NOW,” even if I spent an entire day tense and worried.  We just go from wherever we are.  Love is smiling on us and encircling us, whether we know it consciously or not.

We are all butterflies soaring toward the light — even as the light is soaring inside already.  Sometimes we just forgot it is there!  And you don’t have to feel you are soaring alone.  You never are. 

If I can help, let me know!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts, go to: www.deannemincer.com

Published January, 2013 by Deanne Mincer

 

 

 

A Lighter, Happier YOU in 52: Lesson Three – Worrying

Standard

butterflyblueskyAs we open the third week of “the 52,” I have some new information to share with you.

You see the image of the butterfly in the sky, ascending toward the light.  I have chosen this to accompany our course. Here is how I see it: The light is the light of eternal love. The blue is significant to the higher energies within our being.  And the butterfly — not only is it beautiful and a symbol of eternal life, it signifies metamorphosis. 

As  child, I remember my parents put a caterpillar into a jar with lots of leaves.  Soon it formed a cocoon around its body.  In a short time, a beautiful butterfly emerged.   We watched with wonder as it flew off, in all its beauty.  We too are like this. From one form to another, the beauty of our spirits soar into eternity. 

Let me know what YOU think of the image I’ve chosen.

In the first two lessons, we deeply implanted the thought, “I love myself completely NOW,” then we devoted attention to reducing tension and stress signals in the body. Now we turn to a habit and thought pattern that unseats many of us.  We will spend this week learning to find new ways to address that widespread epidemic called worrying!

LESSON THREE

His Holiness, The Dalai Lama XIV said these wise words:

If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry.  If it’s not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.

We may know that worrying does nothing good for us, yet we do it anyway. I was expert at it for many years.  I found plenty of opportunities for worry —  about the state of the world, about my health and everyone elses, about my past and future, about money, about family and friends.  I was a “worry wart.”  Worst of all, I thought my worrying was helpful to myself and others.  What a mistake that was.  But it was a habit and habits can be broken.

Just knowing that worrying is not beneficial is not enough.  We must find ways to break the pattern. Here are some ideas to try this week.

  • Let all your worries be placed on a schedule.  For example, when a worrisome thought arises, decide to mark it in your mind to go to the time when you will worry.  Here’s an example: Give yourself worry time, on the hour for three minutes.  During those three minutes you can analyze whether you are wasting your time worrying or, go ahead, worry your head off.  Then STOP.  Worry time is over until the next scheduled worry time.  You can choose your own schedule.
  • Put your worries in the worry box.  Literally, find a box (not too big I hope), and whenever a worry comes up, write it down on a piece of paper and slip it into the box.  Then forget it until you have time to open the worry box.  You are not allowed to think about the same worry again unless you open the box.
  • Sort your worries.  If  they have seemed so important for so long, you might not be able to drop them immediately.  Pick the ones you choose to have disappear.  In time, they might all be gone.

At the same time you are doing these exercises on worrying, don’t WORRY about how you are doing them.  Lighten your body through the stress practice you did last week and continue reminding yourself that you love yourself completely NOW, no matter what is happening.  In the next weeks, we will find new and different ways to break patterns of negative thinking.  But don’t WORRY about it now.

Please feel free to pass these lessons onto to others who might benefit.  My mission is to help and make our lives lighter and happier!  And let me know how you are doing!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts, please go to www.deannemincer.com

What I Heard the Dalai Lama Say to Me

Standard

Not to confuse you, I did not have a private audience with the Dalai Lama. Rather, our meeting took place in the company of 3500 others, all of us gathered to see and hear the venerable teacher. While I could plainly see him on the raised platform, huge screens were suspended so that all of us could more clearly watch him as he addressed us on the subject of compassion.

Obtaining tickets to attend this event in Connecticut was quite a feat.  A lottery was held to choose those who might purchase tickets. I had not entered the lottery, but, on the night before his appearance, a friend called and invited me to attend.  Of course, I was thrilled at this twist of fate.  I was meant to go, after all.

The meeting led me to reflect on the role that Buddhism has played in my life.  Ironically, it was Buddhism which brought me back to God.  Having set aside the Christian faith in which I was raised and having parted with a belief in God, a time came when I wanted a greater understanding of faith and spiritual thought.  I found Buddhism to be my answer mainly because it did not include that confusing word, God.  It was within Buddhism that I learned to meditate, to look inward in a different way than pychotherapy addressed and to begin to explore spiritual writings.  It was Buddhism that brought me to the auspicious and ancient teachings of yoga, and to the multi-disciplinary spiritual path I follow today — one that embraces a profound, steadfast belief in God and honors all religious and spiritual beliefs with respect and honor.

Now, here I was,  in the company of  one of the most revered of all contemporary Buddhist teachers.  When the Dalai Lama walked on stage, I did not experience a dynamic shift in energy as I have in the presence of some spiritual masters.  I was not brought to tears nor was I astonished at the brilliance of his words.  It took me days to come to terms with his unique power.  It was in his very human simplicity, in his humility and gentle kindness that his strength was revealed to me.  That we are all one and, in that oneness, we all deserve to experience compassion, both in the giving and receiving.  As one of my yoga teacher friends wrote to me about the Dalai Lama, “He was such a perfect blend of caring, sincerity, and humour. I love the way he cracks himself up.”  He did! He laughed with abandon at his own words.

That, for me, was the essence:  sometimes the greatest lessons emerge, not from a place of mind blowing verbal proclamations or from earth shaking energy, but from gentleness and humor and acceptance.  So human and perfect. And what I heard him say was this:  Be kind. Be humble. Be gentle. Be human.  Be love.  All lessons worth remembering and cherishing.

For more thoughts, go to: www.deannemincer.com and https://deannemincer.wordpress.com

A Simple Act of Kindness

Standard

The simple acts of kindness are far more powerful

than thousands of heads bowing in prayer.

Mahatma Gandhi

I love the idea of simplicity in spiritual pursuits. What a delight to know that you can start from where you are at this very minute.  Right now!  While you are reading these words!  You don’t have to embark on some major change in your life.  Just this small one, and you are on your way.

Everyone wants to feel good and experience joy in everyday life. When embarking on a spiritual path, we may have visions of what this entails.  Maybe we think we will need to sit in meditation for long periods of time.  We may expect going on retreats or to workshops, doing yoga poses or studying and chanting.  Perhaps we will need to pray more or be silent at certain times of the day. All of these are powerful means in themselves.  Yet, it is important to start from where you are now — in the world of interaction with others walking the planet along with you. You can be kind. Right now!

The prolific writer, Henry James, said this:

Three things in human life are important; the first is to be kind;

the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.

Even the smallest gesture of kindness can have a transformational effect on someone else and, in so doing, on you yourself .  How about this:

  • Do something nice and unexpected for a spouse,  a co-worker, your child
  • Send an email to a friend you know who is facing a rough time right now
  • Pick up the phone and call an elderly friend or family member and spread some sunshine into their day
  • Say something kind and uplifting to the person checking you out of the store
  • Offer a warm smile to someone you pass on the street
  • Leave an unexpected note complimenting someone
  • Look in the mirror and say kind and loving words to yourself

Even the smallest act of kindness will resonate, and you will feel good at that moment.  String them all together, and you might feel good all day.

I recently attended an event at which the Dalai Lama spoke.  It was me and 3500 other people, all gathered to hear this venerable Buddhist teacher speak about compassion.  Tickets for this event were not easy to obtain. The night before, just by chance, a friend happened to have an extra ticket and invited me. What impressed me the most was the simplicity, humility, and gentleness of the man.   While he did not utter these words on the day I saw him, here is a quote from His Holiness The Dalai Lama XIV:

My religion is very simple.

My religion is kindness.

What if we all made this our religion?  What a wonderful world it could be!  And you can try it out right now — with a simple act of kindness.

Pass it on!

For more, check out: www.deannemincer.com and https://deannemincer.wordpress.com