Daily Dharma 11/2718

Do any of us REALLY think about the food that we eat?  – the animals that contributed to our meal – the rain – the farmers – Mother Earth ? 

I do – maybe not every day do I say a prayer to all who may have contributed to the meal I am eating, but I try to do that several times a week.   

IMHO it is very important to acknowledge all of those who contributed in whatever way to the food we eat.

Blessings to all.

The entire process of sitting down to eat, reflecting on food and its preparation, and then the eating of it should be a method—one among many—to take us further on the path to enlightenment.

—Venerable Yifa, “Thought for Food


Daily Om 112518

Now this sounds like an intriguing idea – meditating while burning incense.  If I could DO incense, I’d be all over this in a heartbeat. 

But with COPD, the minute one strikes that match and lights that flame to the incense and the wonderful aroma and smoke – did I mention there is smoke with incense!!!!! – starts wafting through the room the lungs here start plugging up, I start to turn interesting colours and then the coughing starts, the eyes water, the throat closes up, the list gets endless.   

So, in the interest of NOT having that happen, I shall continue to meditate – but envision the incense burning.

Incense Meditation


Meditating with incense can offer many benefits; embers become shooting stars, and the silver ribbon of smoke becomes unraveled clouds.

When we focus on incense sticks during meditation, we move into a mystical space that is both physical and spiritual. Like us, the incense stick is earthbound with an ember that burns for only a finite time, but the diaphanous spirit it releases is unbound by time or space. Rather than shutting down our senses to focus on an inner realm, incense involves our senses as we follow whirling smoke upward and outward while we take its scent into us, filling us as we breathe.

The journey starts with a flame, and then a glowing ember releases smoke to rise above us in an ethereal dance. Ashes fall below, purified by the fire. We can use this to imagine negative thoughts being changed from darkness into the beauty of warm gray snowflakes and a scented spun-silver plume, lighter than air. We can watch as our atmosphere is altered to become reminiscent of the heavens and lifts our thoughts: Embers become shooting stars, and the silver ribbon of smoke becomes unraveled clouds. Altered senses may guide our inspired thoughts to travel along new, perhaps undiscovered, pathways.

We can also imagine our physical selves being represented by the incense stick, our inner fire releasing magic into the world. That part of us emanates outward, expanding to mingle with the breath of those around us as we ride the wind to become part of everything. We can also see in the swirling smoke our life’s path, not a straight line but a twirling, meandering ballet that moves us ever onward and upward. We may leave a bit of ourselves behind as we bounce off of our surroundings, working through them, but no matter what we do, we cannot avoid our final destination: oneness with all that is. As spiritual beings enjoying the physical experience of life, incense meditations can help us remember the beauty and wonder of our existence, where heaven and earth, body and spirit, are all available to us in every moment.


Quotes Redux 110918

And while on the topic of quotes – who could forget the words of John of The Cross:


When you looked at me
Your eyes imprinted your grace in me;
For this you loved me ardently;
And thus my eyes deserved
To adore what they behold in you.
. . . And let us go forth to behold ourselves in your beauty.
John of the Cross

Daily Om 110918

What are you doing for your Day of Grace?

I started the day with the usual hour and a half of yoga – focusing on belly breath while I practiced.  Then after I got up and dressed – it was time to feed all the cats.  

Now, I’m raking up the leaves in a neighbor’s garden and using those leaves to mulch mine.  If I enough energy after doing that I shall go to another neighbor’s yard and rake up their pine needles – also to be used in my garden.   

Our Day of Grace is a personal choice.   


Living A Day In Grace


Grace exists in all situations and in every moment, yet all too often we may overlook its presence.

Grace is always with us. It flows like a river through our lives, artfully reminding us that there is magic and power beyond what our eyes can see. At times we catch its subtle beauty, like during chance meetings, near misses, and insights that seem to come from nowhere. Other times we experience grace in all its powerful surety such as when a job or relationship comes to an end. Though we may forget that this is grace at work too, it is indeed influencing our lives, helping us to move forward and take the next step. Grace exists in all situations, in every moment, yet all too often we may overlook its presence.

Imagine how it would feel to live an entire day in grace, to fully appreciate that your day is unfolding in absolute perfection. Whereas usually you might miss the magic in ordinary events and interactions, on this day you would recognize them all as little miracles. Perhaps you could begin with your first deep breaths in the morning, becoming aware that there is an abundant supply of air for you to breathe. Your lungs know just how to carry oxygen to your blood, and your blood knows where to carry it from there. This is grace at work. You might appreciate the brilliant sunshine, the warm summertime rain, or the possibilities for learning that greet you at every turn. You might notice the ease with which you do your job or laugh with a close friend. These things are also grace. Even laying your head down at the end of this day and resting in the stillness of night is grace.

With each opportunity you give yourself to enjoy this current of benevolence, you may discover a deeper peace. Your faith may strengthen and your heart may open. You might begin to wonder if struggle is really all that necessary after all. By living this one day in grace, you might open the door to many more.


Daily Dharma 102918

These days the World is in crisis.  Here in the US it seems that not a day goes by where there is a mass shooting of some kind. 

What we all need is Peace. 

We need a return to people caring for other people despite their race, creed, sexual orientation, colour, etc. 

Wake up People!!!  Be nice to your neighbors.  Be nice to strangers. 

We need more love love love love love.  


“We must join hearts and minds—with each other, with those of other faiths, and with those of a secular orientation—to bring forth the kind of world that corresponds to our deepest moral aspirations.

—Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, “A Call to Conscience

Daily Om 101218

I’m always looked at a glass as being full – not half empty or half full. 

That’s because, in my mind, the glass is always full – of ‘something’ – whether that ‘something’ is half full of a liquid and half full of air, but it’s full of ‘something.’ 

Think about it. 

Ponder on that glass. 

How do YOU perceive your glass?


Starting from Empty


Live your life as if your glass is half-full rather than half-empty, all you need is a change of thought.

We are all familiar with the metaphorical story of two people looking at the same glass and one perceiving it as half-full while the other sees it as half-empty. As much as we’ve heard this, it’s still a valuable exercise to really observe our minds and notice whether we are engaged in half-full or half-empty thinking. People will refer to themselves as being of one type or the other as if it was a permanent characteristic, but we are all capable of shifting into a half-full consciousness if we simply make the effort.

When we look at our lives with half-empty consciousness, we perceive a lack and think that the other half of what we want is missing. We are coming from a position of expectation and entitlement. On the other hand, when we look at our lives as half-full we perceive fullness. It is as if we recognize that our cup could be fully empty and so we are grateful for what we see as bounty–not something we expect or believe we are owed, but a gift. In half-full consciousness, we count our blessings. When we look at our lives we see all the elements that are in place and all the things we do have. This doesn’t necessarily mean we don’t seek more, but we seek from a place of fullness instead of from a place of lack. This fullness draws positive energy into our lives and often attracts more abundance.

If you would like to begin to make the shift into half-full consciousness, try imagining your life as an empty glass. This is your life without all the people you know, the work you do, your home, or your current state of physical well being. This is just an empty, open space waiting to be filled. Once you have that feeling of openness in your mind, begin filling it with all the people, things, and places that make up your life. You may be surprised to find your glass overflowing.

Daily Dharma 102218

Don’t worry     

Be Happy!     

My personal goal each day is to be Happy.   

I set this goal many years ago and despite some moments during the day when I might be a wee bit un-happy, I always remember that my goal is to BE Happy and I quickly recover.  🙂 

Blessings to all.


“Appreciative joy is a natural expression of our best humanity…[it] cheers for the happiness and success of others and celebrates buoyancy, health, and happiness wherever they are encountered.

—Judith Simmer-Brown, “Transforming the Green-Ey’d Monster