Getting There

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

~~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Hello all 🙂

I was talking with some folks over the weekend about the paths we walk…how we think the path we are on will lead to a certain place, but part of the journey is accepting when it wanders into other areas.  Staying on the path and getting there aren’t necessarily the same thing, but probably all part of the same path.  It reminded me of the wonderful poem by David Wagoner, so I thought I’d post it.  We’ve all earned this ” worn-down, hard, incredible sight  Called Here and Now…”  I hope this finds you enjoying it.  Have a great day!

Getting There

You take a final step and, look, suddenly
You’re there. You’ve arrived
At the one place all your drudgery was aimed for:
This common ground
Where you stretch out, pressing your cheek to sandstone.

What did you want
To be? You’ll remember soon. You feel like tinder
Under a burning glass,
A luminous point of change. The sky is pulsing
Against the cracked horizon,
Holding it firm till the arrival of stars
In time with your heartbeats.
Like wind etching rock, you’ve made a lasting impression
On the self you were
By having come all this way through all this welter
Under your own power,
Though your traces on a map would make an unpromising
Meandering lifeline.

What have you learned so far? You’ll find out later,
Telling it haltingly
Like a dream, that lost traveler’s dream
Under the last hill
Where through the night you’ll take your time out of mind
To unburden yourself
Of elements along elementary paths
By the break of morning.

You’ve earned this worn-down, hard, incredible sight
Called Here and Now.
Now, what you make of it means everything,
Means starting over:
The life in your hands is neither here nor there
But getting there,
So you’re standing again and breathing, beginning another
Journey without regret
Forever, being your own unpeaceable kingdom,
The end of endings.

~ David Wagoner ~

(In Broken Country)

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Compassion and Empathy

Hello all 😉   I saw this TED talk today and wanted to pass it along.  Powerful stuff.

Have a great weekend!

Posted in Events and Education, Grief, Healing, Spirituality or Religion | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Basics of Buddhism Class

Hello all 🙂

FYI on Bridget teaching a Buddhism Basics Class.  She also leads an Insight Meditation group on Sunday nights.

Enjoy!

 

Basics of Buddhism

Sunday, October 16, 2011, 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM

Masterpeace Studios, 176 Crestwood Plaza, Crestwood, MO

This workshop provides an overview of the core teachings of the Buddha as they relate to the practice of Insight Meditation.  A great introduction for those new to the Buddha’s teachings and an opportunity for experienced practitioners to deepen their practice.

Teacher:  Bridget Rolens (Community Dharma Leader and Co-leader for St. Louis Insight Meditation)

To register: please send your name, phone number & e-mail address and a non-refundable $25 administrative fee to: Bridget Rolens, 4229 Botanical Avenue – 2W, St. Louis, MO 63110. (Checks payable to Bridget Rolens).

Please register by October 12.

** Please bring a bag lunch **

Teacher compensation by donation.

Questions? Contact Bridget 314-369-1391 or bridget@pathwaystomindfulness.com

P a t h w a y s  t o  M i n d f u l n e s s

 

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Love is all there is…

Someone sent this to me this a while back and I loved it, so I thought I’d pass it along.  As I recall, Marlene Soul of the Sohl Connection in KC sent this.  It’s a nice reminder today.

Peace 🙂

 

To resist change is futile – it just causes more heartache.  Embrace  what you have, leave the rest and move on.

Love is all there is.

The only way to deal with reality is to face it.

The only way to face reality is to accept it.

The only way to accept reality is to embrace it.

Then you can let it go.

POWER emerges when it’s not constrained by the past.

GRAB your POWER and then CHANGE your reality.

“If you are faced with a challenge, refuse to be panic stricken.  Life has not ended for you.  Life flows on.  Declare for yourself: I accept the reality of this situation but not it’s permanence.”  Eric  Butterworth

Posted in Grief, Healing, Ponderings, Spirituality or Religion, Thought or Quote O' the Day | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Whole Hearted Courage

Courage is the power to let go of the familiar…

~~Raymond Lundquist

Hello all 🙂 Blogger Slacker returns…

I took this pic a few months ago in a remote place called Cathedral Canyon, in The Middle Of Nowhere, Missouri. To reach this place, you have to leave all that is familiar, drive 2 hours from a major city, then hike even further into the more-middle-of-nowhere. I must say~~ it was totally worth it. The pic doesn’t do it justice. I spent a few days in that part of the world, totally off the grid and reconnecting with myself. It was lovely in a million different ways. During that time, I pondered why it is that I often have to leave all that is familiar on the outside to reconnect to what I love that is familiar on the inside. But that is another blog post for another day.

I was thinking today about all of the tragedy and environmental disasters we’ve had in the last year, reflecting on the impermanence of everything we think is familiar, all we hold dear. The funny thing is that as things change or become unfamiliar, the human tendency is to engage in our familiar patterns that often don’t serve us….old patterns of shutting up or down, lashing out or in, running away instead of running toward the change. Yet there is so much change happening all the time and that’s what we call life. When we like the changes we say things are going well, when we don’t like the changes we say they aren’t. But that’s familiar too. I think it takes real courage to go with all the flows of life, to swim through what might feel like a tsunami with an open heart. I’m amazed by how many people are able to do just that and I’m grateful when I can do it myself.

This is a time of deep prayer for some…fasting, prayer and reflection. This is a time of loss and horror for others…unprecedented, horrible loss on a scale I can’t even begin to comprehend. This is a time of joy for others…birth, new jobs, new homes, dreams coming true. This is a time of death and illness for others and on and on the list of changes goes. No matter what the circumstance, it takes courage to face it and walk through it with an open mind and heart. And in the middle of it all, in the middle of all the magic and all the tragic, we all crave connection with others. I have come to believe with my whole heart that the only way I can have a connection with you is if I have a connection with myself first. And, at least for myself, I feel most connected in a helpful way to myself if I feel connected to the Divine and all of the ways in which God moves within.

All of this made me think of Brene Brown and her work. Brene has done some very interesting research in the fields of courage, compassion, shame and how to live with a whole heart. She speaks of the original meaning of the word “courage,” meaning to tell the story of who you are with your whole heart. Her research is very interesting and beautiful, I’ll post a clip at the end of one of her TED talks. It’s well worth the 20 minutes or so it takes to watch.

As you ponder courage and living life with a whole heart…If you are so inclined, please remember those for whom this is a hard or tragic time. If you are further inclined, perhaps you could hold yourself and others in the gentle and loving space of a whole heart, or at least hold the aspiration that you can do so, for yourself and others. We are all we’ve got, sweet friends. And I think it’s important to remember we are all enough. YOU are enough. Yes, you. May you go forth with that knowing and the courage of a whole heart of peace and kindness toward yourself and others.

With that, I leave you with Dr. Brene Brown, her bio and video.

 Brené Brown, Ph.D., LMSW is a research professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work. She has spent the past ten years studying vulnerability, courage, authenticity, and shame. Brené spent the first five years of her decade-long study focusing on shame and empathy, and is now using that work to explore a concept that she calls Wholeheartedness. She poses the questions:

How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to recognize that we are enough – that we are worthy of love, belonging, and joy?

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Stop the Junk Mail!

“Americans spend 8 months of their lives dealing with junk mail.” …. Stat from the World Watch Institute

You must be the change you wish to see in the world…   ~~~Gandhi

Hello all!  There is a lot going on in the world right now and I could focus on any number of things, but today I am thinking about our friends experiencing such crazy and destructive weather.  I have family in some of the hardest hit areas of southeast MO.  It is very sad and stressful there.  They are already experiencing flooding, the Army Corps of Engineers is talking about blowing a hole in a major levee and it’s raining again now.  The above pic was taken a few months ago in that part of the world, a glorious and beautiful but rugged and wild part of the state.  I’m sure it’s now flooded, along with the near-by St. Francois River.  We wish all the folks there and further south some dry days and send some big hugs.  If you are so inclined, perhaps you could also consider sending your own prayers or happy thoughts as well.

I don’t at all want to politicize this blog, but I do want to pass along some basic info on a  small thing that is actually a really big thing.  A lot of you may not know that Blessings Enterprises is a Certified Green Business, accredited though Green America.  It was a major commitment I made when I started this business and each year I renew the accreditation.  We can all make a difference for other people and the planet, even with small actions.  Words and choices matter.

I think that in times of great crisis or environmental disaster, such as we are experiencing now, it’s easy to fall into a defeated mindset and think there isn’t much that one person can do.  I beg to differ…in addition to prayer or the Red Cross, in addition to lending a hand or volunteering with clean up, there are individual things you can do as well.  As odd as it may sound, one of the things you can do is sign up to stop your junk mail. It takes about ten minutes and makes a huge difference for the environment.  Some stats tell us that over a million trees a year are cut down each year in the Brazilian rain forest just to make direct mail catalogs.  You didn’t get to choose to opt in to all the junk mail that comes to your house, but you can choose to opt out!

Here are a few stats from websites I like and I included the links.  You can also go to this link and find several other links as well, from opting out of Val-Pac to other direct mail and marketing sites.  They have a lot of cool info on their site.  What follows is a cut/paste from several other sites, I tried to consolidate them into a usable format.

Hoping this finds all of you warm and safe and dry.  Thanks for what you all do for people and the planet.  Have a great day 🙂

Stop the Junk Mail Monster!

More than 41.5 billion pieces of mail advertisements were produced and distributed in the U.S in 2005, according to the Worldwatch Institute. It took more than 100 million trees to create all this bulk mail – that’s the equivalent of deforesting all of Rocky Mountain National Park every four months. Even though most junk mail can be recycled, 5.8 million tons of catalogs and other direct mailings ended up as trash in landfills or incinerators in 2005. And all this comes at a cost to our climate as well: The production and disposal of junk mail consumes more energy than 3 million cars.

Each of us will spend an average of eight months of our lives dealing with junk mail. It’s time to reclaim our resources, our time and our mailboxes by stopping junk mail early and often by following these ten easy steps:

1. Remove your name

2. Know the magic words

3. 1-800-NO-THANKS

4. End credit card solicitations

5. Stop junk promo products

6. Catalogs, charities & contests

7. Cover your tracks with all the direct marketers

8. Dial out of unwanted phone books

9. Enlist the help of experts

10. Support legislative action against junk mail.

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