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Category Archives: Mindful Life

If you have built castles in the air,

“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.” ~ Henry David Thoreau         Artist~Catrin Welz-Stein
Text & image source: Moonlight Serenade https://web.facebook.com/Moonlight-Serenade-228504310532112/

Source: If you have built castles in the air,

We need images for our imaginations, but it is equally important to give them foundations. In this way, our castles are sustainable.

When we put foundations under our dreams and castles, we do so by being present and mindful. We are aware of the hard work that it takes to build those castles and the building requires the help of others, just as they build their castles with our help.

How Poetry Comes to Me

Much like poetry, living comes to each of us and it blunders along just out of view from us. It is like sitting around a campfire and knowing there is something outside the ring of light the fire casts.

Within the ring of light, there is a warmth, perhaps a certainty. We think we know what is happening next. In truth, the living happens just outside our reach. Wendell Berry describes it as happening, but, once it happens, we cannot be fully describe it.

Gary Snyder wrote about his poetry writing as having to go meet the poetry just outside the range of his campfire. When we are attentive and mindful of each moment and what is just beyond our reach and vision, life dances at the edge of the light, like poetry.

Instead of certain answers, we encounter questions that cannot be fully answered, but help form the conversation and poetry that is our living.

It comes blundering over the

 Boulders at night, it stays

 Frightened outside the

 Range of my campfire

 I go to meet it at the

 Edge of the light

 

The Wisdom of Buddha

If you light a lamp for somebody,  it will also brighten your path. Buddha. It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.

When we show the way for others, we show the way for ourselves.

Source: The Wisdom of Buddha

The Buddha left many thoughts for us to explore and understand in our lives. The link to Lara and Tina‘s post shares several quotes and pictures, underscoring how love and care for others begins with love and care for ourselves.

When we are mindful and attentive to our self, we shine a light for others and we can be mindful and attentive to them.

A Smile Can Make A Difference

Happy Wednesday! Remember to smile, not only for yourself, but to bring happiness to others. Sometimes your joy is the source of your smile, but sometimes your smile can be the source of your joy.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh

Source: A Smile Can Make A Difference

I know it is not Wednesday, but a smile can improve the moment and day of each person we encounter. Our smile might be the only ray of sunshine that enters the day of another person.

Also, smiles raise questions about what we are thinking. I recall several years ago being asked by a principal what I was smiling about. I was not happy with his actions that day, but I reached down inside and found a smile.

Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us that we find the extraordinary in the ordinary. When we are mindful and present in each moment, we can do that and smile in ways that make our lives and those of others better.

 

 

Love is a Magic Ray

Kahlil Gibran wrote many poems that he embedded in The Prophet. I think this poem was an excellent choice for Valentine’s Day, but it reminds us how we can live each of our lives day-to-day; moment-to-moment.

In loving-kindness, we illuminate the world that surrounds us and the path we each walk. Being mindful and present to who and what accompanies each of us is awakening to see the world as a beautiful dream we share.

Love is a magic ray
emitted from the burning core
of the soul
and illuminating
the surrounding earth.

It enables us
to perceive life
as a beautiful dream
between one awakening
and another.

Nothing Can Be Done 2 Days Out of the Year

“There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called Yesterday and the other is called Tomorrow. Today is the right day to Love, Believe, Do and mostly Live.” ~ His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

Source: Nothing Can Be Done 2 Days Out of the Year

This is a wonderful reminder of the essential nature of mindfulness in our lives. To be present, is to accept that we live in one moment at a time. In each ensuing moment, our life is created.

The Real Work

I found it interesting that as I searched for a poem I typed in the words The Real Work by Wendell Berry. As Google anticipated, another search emerged: The Real Work by Gary Snyder. This book of essays emerged from a series of interviews and talks Snyder conducted over several years.

Wendell Berry and Gary Snyder are writers, environmentalists and farmers who live in Kentucky and California respectively. Together, they wrote a book called Distant Neighbours and shared their views about the real work they undertook as writers, environmentalists, and farmers. How each of them understood and wrote about real work echoed the other.

Real work happens not when we find ourselves going through the work aimlessly and mindlessly. It emerges when obstacles arise and we are mindful and attentive in our work. It holds our interest through baffling us and our being unsure of what to do next. As we work thoughtfully and our mind is employed in meaningful acts, our work sings like an impeded stream and makes us whole. It is like we our speaking through our work and its meaning to us.

It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come our real work,

and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.

The mind that is not baffled is not employed.

The impeded stream is the one that sings.

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