Tag Archives: spiritual

The 52: Lesson Twenty Two — Through Kindness You Are Lighter and Happier

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butterflyblueskySilent film star Charlie Chaplin was, in his era, a huge presence.  Funny, controversial, outspoken, and a film genius, he made waves wherever he went.  And he said this:

We think too much and feel too little.  More than machinery, we need humanity.

More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.

He had seen nothing in terms of machinery and technology as we do today.  Imagine what he would say today.

LESSON TWENTY TWO

LOVING KINDNESS

Now, perhaps more than at any time in the past, we MUST behave with kindness and gentleness. And this again brings us to using everything we have, all our senses, our minds, our bodies, our thoughts, and especially our loving hearts to acting with kindness under ALL circumstances, most importantly with ourselves.  Kindness grows from within.  It reaches out to others and reflects back on us.  It soothes us to know that we can extend love, forgiveness and kindness inwardly, not relying on others to do it for us.  Kindness can become a habit; a natural way to respond in any event or situation.  It surrounds us with a presence that merges us with the Divine Presence, that knows only Love and Grace.

Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness.  Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.

This is a quote from Scott Adams, the creator of the Dilbert comic strip. I think it is very appropriate to consider.  As many have written words about the simplicity of creating “small” acts of kindness, few speak of the ripples.  Of course, even the tiniest act brings benefit to the receiver and the giver, yet it goes beyond.  It moves into the consciousness of all of us, even as we may not have full awareness of this.  Each act, in a profound way, changes the world and the hearts and minds of all of us.

If you think about it, extending loving kindness is so easy. Think about these questions:

  • How hard is it to give a smile to someone you encounter during your day? It might be someone you pass on the street or even your own spouse or children.
  • Is it really so hard to open a door for another person or to motion a car driver waiting to enter a lane to go before you?
  • Is there someone you might call or email, just to say a few kind words?
  • How about greeting those you see on a routine basis, like the checkout person at the store or the doorman in your apartment building or the neighbor walking the dog?
  • If there is someone you know whose life has reached a place where they have few friends — perhaps because they are old, without family, and most of their friends have passed on or someone who has made decisions that led to addiction or have, without any act on their own, been “downsized” in their job — maybe you could reach out to them, with kindness and non-judgment.
  • Or, if all of this seems like too much, do you have a spare moment to send some thoughts of loving kindness to others?  Thoughts!  Just think love and send it forth.  Many of us believe that there is great power in such a small act.
  • Now do the same for yourself — in forgiveness, kindness, love.  Let the healing commence!

I am very enthusiastic about this kind of simple practice.  In fact, I so believe in it, that I promise you that you will feel lighter and happier as soon as you begin.  Give it a try.

I hope it becomes a habit!  Watch yourself soar like the blue butterfly, right into the Light of Love!

With love and namaste, Deanne

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

The 52: Lesson Twenty — Love is Like a River

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butterflyblueskyLove is like a river.  Continuously flowing and leading into the welcoming ocean of love.  This metaphor is often used, in lyrics, in poetry and in spiritual writings to describe the never-ending, always flowing, and continuous love that is there to embrace each and everyone of us.

Many rivers flow into the same ocean, just as many souls (seemingly separate) reach the ocean, only to see that they are all the same, glistening brightly together.  They are the embodiment of love — from start to finish and then into eternity.

YOU flow on that river of life.  YOU reach the ocean. YOU do not need to wait to reach the ocean to know this Truth.  You can be conscious, awake and in full realization that you are now just as you always have been.  YOU are LOVE.

LESSON TWENTY

LOVE IS LIKE A RIVER

There is a gospel group we have come to enjoy over the years. My husband and I have listened to so many of their songs, we can repeat the lyrics from memory.   The music of the Gaither Vocal Band is exuberant, uplifting, and healing.  When the music starts, in seconds our toes are tapping, our hands are clapping , and our spirit is soaring, even at times when we are confronting issues like grief, loss or sadness.

Love is like a river, running and a rolling

Rolling from the lazy stream, drumming through the mountains,

Moving through the valley. over everything in between,

Rushing and a flooding, til all of a sudden it’s washing all over me.

Love is like a river, running and a rolling,

Rolling to the deep blue sea.

With due respect to the GaitherVocal Band, I hope I have gotten these lyrics right.  But, nonetheless, they express the mighty force of love, ever flowing.  If it hasn’t already, it will be washing all over you sooner or later.  Be ready to joyfully bathe in the experience.  You will be carried on the current, buoyed by the ecstatic nature of endless and unconditional love.  The best part of all is this:  When it finally hits you that you have always been both the recipient as well as the source of this love, your heart will sing!

Unfortunately, many of us spend more time listing the reasons we are not loveable, not worthy, not good enough.  Instead, do this:

  • Right now, make a little list, in your mind or on paper, of some of the loving qualities you have.  They can be big or small.  Maybe you showed kindness and love to someone lately, or opened the door for someone to pass through, or volunteered your time for a cause, or simply smiled at someone who looked like they needed it.
  • Think of specific times in your life when you have felt love in your heart – for another person, an animal, a plant in your garden, a small child you pass on the street.
  • Think of how you felt when love was extended to you
  • See yourself as a fountain of love that can flow from you, then send it forth.  In your mind, see that love entering into another human heart.

You see, YOU yourself are the river of love, if you put your attention on it.  BE that river and let it flow.  Imagine how many hearts will be opening when they see that love coming.  Don’t hold back.  It is an endless stream.  Let it wash over everything in its path.

My heart is sending love to you right now.  Are you getting it?

With love and namaste, Deanne

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

The 52: How About Embracing Non-Violence?

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butterflyblueskyMahatma Gandhi is one of the persons most associated with practicing  nonviolence.  Against enormous odds, he led his Indian nation towards self determination.  He wrote:

We may never be strong enough to be entirely nonviolent in thought, word, and deed.

                                     But we must keep nonviolence as our goal and make strong progress towards it.

Yes, the Yoga Sutras ask us to follow the course of nonviolence in thought, word, and deed.  It is a tall order and one we must observe vigilantly.  Before my morning meditations, I made a habit of “running through” all of the ethical practices recommended in yoga.  Ahimsa was my first stop.  It was a big stop for me; too often I found myself noticing my lack of success.  It has taken years to be softer and kinder in my behavior, towards others and myself, to feel that I have made some progress.  But, in a flash of hurt or anger or seeing injustice, I can dive back into this most clever trick of the ego.  Luckily being nonviolent means showing forgiveness as well.

Several readers of my last post on this subject have wondered at the idea that the world could be changed by nonviolence and if this is just a vacuous thought — one impossible to imagine.  I am surely not original in this hope, but I am also objective.  There is a certain innocence — maybe even a childlike dream — in wishing for this.  Many spiritual beliefs speak of that child’s hopeful mind and what it conjures.  Of course, the child is still innocent, then something changes .  The duality of Self and ego emerges, “maturity” begins, and we “give up childish things.”  More is the pity in this.

Be the change you wish to see in the world.

Mahatma Gandhi

It is, after all, our projection of the world that we experience.  It is the dream of maya, illusion.  We can dream nonviolence and see what happens.

It’s up to you!

With love and namaste, Deanne

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

The 52: Are You Lighter and Happier Because of Eternal Love?

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Eternal life and love!  Who are you kidding?  Do you really think this is true?

Well, yes.  My answer is, ” I do.”  Because I have direct, personal evidence.

Did you take some time to contemplate what eternal love and life actually means?  Or is the thought of such a thing just over the top for you?  Fora long time, it was for me! 

There were times in my life when I would have thought it such so much “poppy cock” and fantasy.  Come on, we die, life ends, that’s it.  Deal with it!  (Oh, I can even hear my old myself saying things like that.) 

Or, try this, when we die, we go into the void.  There is nothing there.  Just darkness.  But we do continue, in a way, because our bodies deteriorate and nourish the plants and soil.  Here;s another one:  Our lives don’t really end. We continue to exist in the minds and memories of our families and friends and to those whose lives we touched.  We aren’t actually there, but they remember us and maybe we changed their lives in some way in the remembering.

Those sound pretty good to a lot of us.  But what if the truth goes way beyond this.  What if our spirits continue to exist right along with everyone else?  There is a lot of evidence to suggest this is true.  Take a look at near death experiences.  Here’s one: Proof of Heaven, by Dr Eben Alexander, a book by a neurosurgeon who experienced a near death experience himself.  A number one best seller on The New York Times list. Or here’s another, a book that compiled reports of after death communications called Hello From Heaven by Bill Guggenheim and Judy Guggenheim.  Or look at the websites that keep track of these reports.

Okay, you are free to discount all of this.  But wait just a minute.  Did you actually contemplate what your life now would be like if you knew you would not die , but, instead, just transition into another state.  What happens then to all the fear and anxiety we attach to death? And what if that other state was full of love and bliss and you would be totally happy and healed.  Then what?  Just asking…

And in the asking, I really would like to know what you think.

So, for now, remember this — It ain’t over even you think it will be over.  Wow!

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thughts, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Twelve – Looking Forward to Looking Back?

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See the butterfly soaring toward the light?  Are you soaring?  Are you experiencing a metamorphosis? Are you lighter and happier, more loving, than you were when you began reading these lessons?  Lighter and happier and more loving — that was my intention in writing this course in spiritual transformation.

Have you found that some lessons “spoke” to you more than others?  Maybe you like to use your mind to plant affirmations.  Or perhaps the body and breath is your primary vehicle for change so using action is best for you.  Or you might see silence and meditation, letting your mind rest, as a form that appeals to you.  If you are uplifted by the word “love” and feel joy in even saying or thinking that word, then lessons on love would appeal to you.  I would hope they all have a resonance for you.  They do for me!  I say that anything and everything that can bring light, joy, happiness and love into my life — well, I’ll take!

At the very beginning, I promised that these weekly lessons would be simple, yet profound.  From the responses I have received, those are two words that are most often repeated.  Simple, yet profound!

This lesson is for reviewing and resting.  If some of the lessons moved you more than others or seemed to bear fruit — you felt lighter and happier because you tried something new or revisited something you tried in the past — then return to those now.  Make them your focal point.

But what if you read them, found them interesting or boring, worthwhile or worthless, it really does not matter.  All is unfolding with perfection.  The light is still there, beaming within you.  YOU are still, as you always were, the loving spirit with the flame in your heart.

You know by now that Rumi is one of my favorite, enlightened poets.  His writings are so full of truth and love that my heart soars with every word.  He said:

Come to the orchard in spring.

There is light and wine and sweethearts in the pomegranate flowers.

If you do not come, these do not matter.

If you do come, these do not matter.

Well, what do you think of that?  All that matters is that you love yourself and flow with the purity that is in your heart.  That is my wish for you.

With love and namaste, Deanne

 For more thoughts, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Eleven – A Practical Method to Love Yourself More

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butterflyblueskyThe measure of love is to love without measure.

Saint Augustine

To love without measure.  Think of it.  No yardstick.  No beginning or end of love.  It is always there, and you need do nothing to be worthy of it.  It is a given in the spiritual world.  You can count on love.  You can take it to the bank.

If this is true, then why do we have so much difficulty in accepting and believing  it?  Why do we seem to be constantly on a search for love?  Why do we feel incomplete, thinking we are without it, even when it is already there, within us?  Love comes with us.  It’s part of the fact of being alive.  But. somehow we have been lead to believe that we have to earn it, that we are unworthy of it, that there is something wrong with us.

In our very first lesson, I asked you to repeat this affirmation – “I love myself completely NOW. ” It was to be stated at all times and under all conditions.  Even when we feel ashamed, angry, fearful, and in situations where we might think that love has abandoned us — especially at those times — we are to say it and let it sink in.

We MUST believe in love.  It is paramount that we know that we are forever loved.  It is crucial that we let go of all doubt in this matter.  Love is the essence of life and the spiritual world.  Love = God.

Now for a way to use your physical body to enhance that love.

LESSON ELEVEN

TO LOVE AND ACCEPT YOURSELF

Some years ago, I took a course from Henry Grayson, Ph.D.  He is an extraordinary teacher, clinical psychologist, analyst, spiritual healer, meditator, and energy worker, was an ordained minister, and the author of several books, the latest being Use Your Body to Heal Your Mind.  He taught an extended course and from him I learned to fine tune the methods of muscle testing (kinesiology) as a means of measuring levels of  trauma and ego driven unrest in the body and mind and for the discernment of truth.  While we learned about tapping and “touch and breathe” (as used in EFT, emotional freedom technique), and many other modalities for healing, one that has resonated for my students and is easily accessible to anyone is what I call the heart massage.  It is a means of massaging the chest at the heart center and where the thymus gland is located.  So it soothes and draws power in the heart center and stimulates the thymus which in turn increases immune response and healing energy.

There are those times when we feel angry, guilty, upset –a range of emotions — that seem to be steering us away from loving ourselves.  We would say that it is the voice of the ego, that which conveys negative messages thwarting our remembering the love that is ever-present.  You can pretty much count on this — anything not supportive and loving is probably emanating from the ego.  When this occurs, we engage the heart massage.  Here is how to do it:

  • Find a comfortable, preferably private space.  I recommend that you sit down though you could surely do this standing as well.
  • Open your hand so that the palm will be able to be in contact when you begin.
  • Place your hand at the collar bones, palm open.  Begin to move your hand in a clockwise direction, circling on your chest.
  • As you do this, say these words: I deeply love and accept myself even if…
  • To end this statement, you will add to it words that express the ego’s message or whatever seems to be blocking the love that is within you.  For example:  Let’s say someone has said something insulting and hurtful to you and it has disturbed you and made you angry.  You might say the phrase above and add — even if I feel like a fool for feeling bad about those words   Even if I hate that person for hurting me so deeply.  Even if I wanted to retaliate and say something hurtful back.  Even if I felt I could not control my anger.  Even if I fear that people think bad things about me.  Even if — and you run through whatever you feel that is negative, on all levels.
  • When you have exhausted all the feelings, you say I deeply love and accept myself under all circumstances (or no matter what).  Now you stop.  You should feel relief and feel comforted.  You should have released at least some of the negativity.
  • Remember that each time you do this when you are disturbed, you must speak the exact words and all of them.  Each sentence must begin with I deeply love and accept myself.  You are planting this in your mind and heart.

I hope you will try this powerful method.  It works.  So many of my students and friends use it.  If you have questions about it, I am here to help.

More than anything, I want you to value who you are and the love that is already there within you.  The more love the better. Let me know what you think.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: A Lighter, Happier YOU — Just Lighten Up!

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butterflybluesky“Hey, just lighten up!”  Has anyone ever said that to you?  Maybe you were taking yourself or something around you way too seriously?  Perhaps you needed to take a break and see the humor or silliness in your response? Or perhaps you needed to step back and get a proper perspective. It happens to all of us.  Sometimes we think life is just so serious.

I think the best spiritual teachers have a great sense of humor.  They can laugh at themselves and the world around them.   Someone made this observation about the Dalai Lama:  He said that one of the things he most liked about the Dalai Lama was the way he could “crack himself up,” laughing in an infectious way that made everyone laugh around him.  I once viewed a video of a famous guru.  The entire video showed him laughing at one situation and another.  As we watched, we could not help but be uplifted by the laughter.

The world could use some lightening up!  Don’t you think there is an emphasis on doom and gloom?  And on petty disputes? The spiritual world could use some lightening too.  Many of us get trapped in the idea that the spiritual path must be a serious endeavor.  In fact, in some circles, there seems to be an epidemic of spiritual arrogance.  We get it, we may say.  Pity those not on the path.  Those poor beings who don’ meditate or eat the right foods or read the right books or do the right kind of yoga.  To this, I say, “Lighten up!  Give us all a break!”    After all, aren’t we one?  Aren’t we all reflections of one another? 

There is a song called “Put on A Happy Face.”  I love the lyric that reminds us to “spread sunshine all over the place.”  Not a bad idea!  Want to give it a try? 

You will be happier, more joyous, and have a lot more fun, if you just lighten up and spread sunshine!  Try this:

  • Think, in advance, of something you know you will be doing today.  Imagine a way to make it a happy occasion, a bright spot, even if it is no more than greeting someone in a brief moment.  Then make it happen.
  • Think of something or some time that was really funny to you.  Imagine looking at yourself at that time.  Can you feel yourself growing lighter?
  • Maybe you can remember a joke you heard.  Could it still make you laugh?  Then go ahead, laugh. 

Laughter helps to release negative energy in your body, increase healing and positive hormones and, the result is, you will be healthier and happier.  It’s an easy form of “health insurance.”

So, as the old cliché goes:  IS EVERYBODY HAPPY?  I am, just writing about it.  How about you?

Next week, we return to a main theme of this course  — LOVE.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, check out www.deannemincer.com and at facebook.

The 52: Lesson Nine – Why Meditate: Some Thoughts

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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: Lesson Nine — Did You Meditate Today?

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Meditation is not a means to an end

It is both the means and the end.

                              Krishnamurti

Krishnamurti was an Indian-born scholar and philosopher, a writer whose work embraced no particular religion, but one who had profound wisdom in the spiritual realm. He stressed that world change could not occur through some exterior entity — be it religious, social, or political.  Change had to emerge from within.  While he never allowed himself to be described as a guru, a spiritual teacher who engages with a following, he was nonetheless, the voice of Truth to many.

Meditation, then, is both a practice, as something we do, to reach an end, (some would say spiritual enlightenment and waking up), and yet meditation is the end itself. Not to get too complicated — we just do it.

In the lexicon of spiritual activities, meditation ranks at the top.  In classic yoga, meditation (dhyana, in Sanskrit), is the seventh of the eight limbs.  If we thought of them as rungs, only samadhi, the superconscious state, would rank above it.  As I tell my students, I can help to teach the other limbs of yoga, like breathing and posture, but this state, described in many ways as realization or oneness with the Supreme,  is not teachable, it comes to us by Grace. So you might as well just relax and meditate and see what happens.

Here’s an idea:

  • After you meditate, try writing down your experience.  How did it feel?  How did you feel before and after?  Was the mind especially active?  Are you more calm?  More anything?
  • Over time, you will see patterns forming. These will help you.  For example, you might find morning meditation more pleasant and useful than evening.  You might adjust you time to sit in meditation.  It’s your own personal preference.
  • Not meditating at all?  Maybe you will write a few words or think of why you have made this choice.  Remember, no one is judging!  No one!  Not ever! (Wasn’t that the point of the last lesson?)

Let’s stay in touch on the subject of meditation.  If you already meditate, I will be interested in what you think of these posts.  We can all learn together.

Just be lighter and happier whatever you are doing and wherever you are right now.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more thoughts, go to www.deannemincer.com

The 52: Lesson Nine — Breathe and Meditate. Try It!

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Meditate:  Interrupt those fifty thousand daily thoughts.

This was the title of a blog post I wrote last year.  It is worth repeating.  Can you imagine that your mind is rambling away with that many thoughts a day?  What are we thinking?  How could we have so much chatter going on, just filling up our minds (and emotions and feelings too, by the way)?  Wouldn’t it be nice to take a break from all that blabber, most of which is repetitive and non-productive?  Well, you are in luck, you can take that break.  It is all within your power.  It is called meditation, and it could be the most important activity you will ever encounter in your life.

At the beginning of these weekly lessons comprising “The 52,” I promised I would offer you practices that would be simple and include reflections on the body, mind, breath,senses, and the loving spirit within each of us.  I hope you have realized that spending even a little time on any one of these lessons can have surprising results.  If you experimented with being quiet and stop “doing,” you may have felt your life make some subtle shift.  Keep at it!

LESSON NINE

BREATH AND MEDITATION

Here are some words to ponder, written by the renowned medical doctor and gifted spiritual writer and teacher, Deepak Chopra:

Meditation is not at all a way of making your mind be quiet;

rather it is a way of entering into the quiet that’ s already there,

buried under the fifty thousand thoughts an average person has every day.

What a relief!  The quiet is already there.  It is just waiting for you to slow down enough to notice.  And in that silent retreat, when you step out of the world for a bit of time, miraculous adventure awaits you. If you already meditate, you know this.  Good for you!

Meditation is, by the way, not some difficult or mysterious thing.  Millions of people meditate every day.  It does not require miraculous skills or even deep spiritual wisdom, yet it is life changing.

Here is the plan:

  • Choose a time, usually first thing in the morning, just before dinner, or at bedtime.  Make it known to anyone around you that this is to be YOUR time.  No interruption.  No TV.  No phones or IPads.
  • Choose a place to sit where you are not slumped over but with your back straight. If you are in a chair, place your feet flat on the floor. In yoga, we would say, with the head, neck, and trunk  in alignment.  Rest your hands on your thighs or fold them together in front of you. Have your thumb and first finger be in contact.  This keeps the energy within.
  • Close your eyes and pay attention to calming the muscles in your neck, shoulders, and lower back.  Imagine a stream of warming light moving down your body. Softening…
  • Now pay attention to your breath.  Feel the rising and falling, evenly inhaling and exhaling through your nose.  If the breath seems restless or agitated, try to imagine and feel it becoming smooth.
  • Keep focusing on the breath or on any comforting sound, like so ham or om, or any mantra you have used.  Now let the breath and the sound join together in a seamless path drawing you into silence.
  • Continue this for at least five minutes, once or twice a day.  Don’t be discouraged if you miss or your mind wonders (it almost certainly will).  Avoid feeling impatient or judging. Expand the time if you are comfortable doing so.
  • Just be.  Nothing to do.  Nothing to improve. Just be.

Remember, there is no such as a “bad” meditation, but each one may feel a little different from the others.  Just go with it.  Try this and see what happens.  There will be more encouragement in a few days.

Of course, in the meantime you are loving yourself completely NOW –as you meditate — and in every single thing you do.

With love and namaste, Deanne

For more, go to www.deannemincer.com