Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Inhabiting Your Being

The past several days have synchronized in a way that brings many truths to the surface. I ask this question, "What does it mean to inhabit your being?"

I once heard (or read, I can't recall which) about the way most people do not take up their own space. The physical body fills a certain amount of the space in which we exist. The idea is that people shrink, trying not to take up all of that space. Rather they want to shrivel up and remain unseen, unheard, not noticed. Why?

To actually walk down the street taking up all the space in which your body exists changes things. Suddenly we are worthy. We have something to offer. We are affirming our life.

And how about taking up an even bigger space? This is brilliance. Radiance. Confidence.

There are people who have had a profound impact on my life just by being. The way they are in the world exudes gentleness, strength, joy, curiosity, confidence, grace, and precision. To be in their presence is profound. To be in their presence reminds me of how big I can be. It reminds me of my own worthiness, my own gifts, my own spark.

So how do we cultivate this way of being?

We have to embrace our own light. Our own gift. What is your gift to the world? What do you have to offer? We have to trust in our own worthiness. Our own workability. Our ability to shine!

How do you do that? How do you make friends with yourself? Dhyana. You sit with yourself.

From there, it's organic. Once you embrace these things, others will see and feel how you exist.

A friend this week told me of a culture in which it is law for citizens to identify and help cultivate one another's gifts. How wonderful is this! Let us tell each other what we see, how we see each other shine. Let us all water each other's seeds. Let us all shine!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Gratitude Sunday

Today I'm joining Taryn at Wooly Moss Roots for 

 G r a t i t u d e  *  S u n d a y
{Sunday's heartfelt tradition. A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful. A list of gratitudes.} 
      

This week I have been grateful for:
- A gray morning that pushed the vibrancy of the blossoming trees to an extreme beauty.

- Help. From loved ones and strangers alike. I am floored by the generosity of others. (Read about what I'm doing here.)

- A reminder that it's not about what we get, but about what we give. 

- The beauty of community. People coming together to shine and radiate and connect and uplift.

- Produce fresh from the farm. Our household joined a Farm Fresh program that delivers produce from local farms each week, which is perfect for my too busy schedule.

- The courage and will of a man who fled Tibet and brought such profound teachings to the West. This week was 26 years since the death of Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, lineage holder of my tradition. 

- Seeing the magic in the mundane. I am lucky there are so many children in my life to help me with this.

- Feeling anger. This seems bizarre, but I am grateful to be fully human, to be aware of my emotions, to meet situations as they are, without having to gloss them over. I am especially grateful for the ability to give that anger the space it needs to not have to act based on it. 

- Health. I am finally feeling better after over 2 weeks of being sick. I haven't been that sick possibly ever. It's a nice reminder of impermanence, and I'm so grateful to be feeling well again.

What are you grateful for?

Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Art of Sitting, The Practice of Staying, and A Request for Your Help

Some of the most profound teachings are also the simplest: Sit, Stay, Be. We are always trying to escape from and avoid reality. Silence scares us. A day with nothing in the planner gives us great anxiety. So we make lists, stay busy, think we are doing really important things. But we never just stop.

Sitting still is a practice. And not necessarily an easy one. Staying present with our experience is too. When things get uncomfortable we want to leave, physically or mentally.

My meditation practice, which has now been a daily thing for almost 2 years, has taught me so very much about staying and stopping and paying attention. This has opened up for me a heart full of compassion and awareness.

There is a practice called Dath√ľn, which is one month of intensive meditation. You can read all about it here. It's a way to connect and engage in a very deep way, focusing on being present in every activity.

Here's the thing- I'm going to go this summer. It both terrifies and thrills me. I know it will not be easy to sit with myself so much for so long. But I also know what smaller periods of sitting practice have opened up for me, and that's what thrills me. I want to be awake. I want to cultivate awareness and compassion in all I do.

I want to stress that this isn't solely for my own personal benefit. It is my belief that the more I practice, the more I have to offer. I bring these teachings to all the children and families I work with. I offer everything I know and have and experience. I serve to help others have the opportunity to touch awakenment. And I will continue to do this, expanding and offering wherever I can. Imagine, if everyone practiced awareness and compassion, how different our society would be.

This is where you come in: I can't pay for the program on my own. So I'm asking you to help me out. Even $5 or well-wishes make a HUGE difference. If you can help me, I would be profoundly grateful.

Here's the link where you can donate, and there's also more information about me and what exactly I'm doing. If you have questions about it all, please feel free to contact me.

With so much love and gratitude,
Leslie