April 2008

Asparagus Praying at Sunrise

Do you worship? Do you pray? When you think of God what is the image that comes to mind? Do you maintain a spiritual practice?

When I stand on the mountains tops mesmerized by the ocean and watch the sunrise, I know without a shadow of a doubt that there is more to life than I can ever begin to imagine. I feel small and insignificant. And I feel grateful. In the 4 billion years the earth is purported to have been alive, I am but a pinprick, a blip in history. And yet, my life to me is monumental. I live it everyday and I try to maintain this practice of gratitude. Some days however, I feel trapped by my stories, caught up in my ego and mired in an interpretation of my physical reality…

What helps you put your life into perspective? How do you take yourself out of the hustle-bustle to reassess your priorities? Are your values clear to you? Can you have reverence for and celebrate the magnificence of your unique existence?


Do you go to church? Do you consider yourself religious? Spiritual? If you do attend a religious service, how did you decide where to go?

I am lost… and searching for meaning. I’ve studied the physical form. I’ve delved into the intellect and emotions. As a holistic practitioner – promoting body, mind, and spirit connection – I am ready to dance with the divine. I have concepts of spirit, spirituality and a greater context of existence, however I yearn for a practice. More importantly I yearn for a community and the structure of practice shared with others.

Fingers of exploration are reaching out to inquire – how do I locate or create a community where I can share a commitment to spiritual development and practice?

What is your relationship with God? Do you feel you’re part of the interconnected web of life? Do you have a strong sense of community? Do you share deep and meaningful relationships?

How does the weather affect your mood? Last Sunday I enjoyed heaven on Earth. A breathtaking day! Warm, soft air. Brilliant, golden sunshine. I felt expansive. Loving. Inspired! It was rumored to be in the 90’s. This Sunday forecasts a high of 58 degrees. Today – cold, dark and gray and then later bright with a bracing wind. I was glad to be inside warm spa rooms and left work to immediately return home to the depths of my cozy bed. Neither expansive nor inspired.

Sunrise from Cooper Point

A Glorious Sunday

I long for rich, warm, luxurious days. Still, soft air. Long, golden rays. I am powered by blue skies and bright sun. I feel guilty complaining about the weather when I have loved ones still wrapped in ribbons of winter in Oregon and in Maine. I yearn for more – more warmth, more sun, strappy sandals, whispy sundresses, bare skin…

Richard Carlson, author of Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… and its all small stuff, reminded me this evening that whatever I practice most I become. It made me consider how I spend my time. Carlson suggested that I look at my habits. What obvious internal and external habits eat up my time? Where is do I direct my attention? “If you remember what you practice most you will become, you may begin choosing different types of practice.”

How do you spend your time? Is that the kind of person you want to be? What regular habits are not in alignment with your values? What can you do today to begin the practice that will lead you to what and who you want to be?

Have you heard about www.freerice.com?

Build your vocabulary – Feed the World!

Drenched in Holiness

Dear God, Spirit, Divine Mother,
On this day I ask You to grant this request —
May I know who I am and what I am, every moment of every day
May I be a catalyst for light and love
and bring inspiration to those whose eyes I meet
May I have the strength to stand tall in the face of conflict,
and the courage to speak my voice, even when I’m scared
May I have the humility to follow my heart,
and the passion to live my Soul’s desires
May I seek to know the highest truth
and dismiss the gravitational pull of my lower self
May I embrace and love the totality of myself —
my darkness as well as my light
May I be brave enough to hear my heart —
to let it soften so that I may gracefully choose faith over fear
Today is my day to surrender anything that stands between
the sacredness of my humanity and my divinity
May I be drenched in my Holiness
and engulfed by Your love
May all else melt away
And so it is…

~ Debbie Ford

Sambosa Diamond Meditation Center

Have you ever been to a Buddhist religious service? How about a talk on Buddhism? My friend Mike and I were inspired to investigate a small local Buddhist temple Sunday morning. Feeling a little unsure of ourselves and this new experience we arrived early. The gardener a super friendly fellow welcomed us immediately and ushered us inside. We were greeted by a lovely Asian woman and a friendly monk who spoke only enough English to tell us that he didn’t speak any English. They encouraged us to explore until the service began… After a brief wandering we found ourselves the most delicious sunshiny spot on the front deck and chatted casually with the gardener. When the time arrived for the service, we reluctantly left our basking and went inside to claim a spot among the small, mostly Asian gathering. For the next two hours we chanted, prayed, meditated, breathed, prostrated, bowed, and generally worshiped Buddha/God/Divine Spirit. When was the last time you were in a totally foreign environment? Have you ever participated in something in which you knew nothing about? Do you practice divine worship? I was fascinated and had little idea of what was truly going on. It had been suggested that for the Sunday “Dharma” talk there would be a translator. Nope. Regardless, when we left over two hours later, I was a puddle of peace. I went right home for a snack, a sweet nap and later a hike. This is what every Sunday morning should be like!

Do you reserve Sundays as sacred? Do you have a Sunday ritual? Do you worship or attend a religious service? Are you a part of a religious or spiritual community?

Upcoming Sundays that I have available I plan to explore our local spiritual community. First up – The Unitarian Universalist Church of Monterey County

Additional suggestions? Would you like to join me? 🙂

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