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lotus Great Teachers: Natalie Goldberg
10 Comments

true-secret-coverNatalie Goldberg has been one of my main “book teachers” since I found Writing Down the Bones in the Waldenbooks of Latham Circle Mall when I was about 16.

 

She introduced me to a world of wild mind and free writing and Zen and spiritual engagement and arty-hippy Taos and living with great presence and freedom.

 

To my burgeoning suburban teen self, this was a huge eye- and mind- and heart-opener. It changed my form.

 

It’s interesting reading her most recent book, The True Secret of Writing: Connecting Life with Language. She has clearly grown, matured, stripped down, and settled over the years, deep in her dual practices of writing and Zen. So have I in my own way, so reading this book feels like Natalie and I are old friends meeting in a different place.

 

Here is a one-page chapter I keep coming back to:

 

“Seven Attitudes of Mindfulness”

 

“Mindfulness means to be aware, awake. To be alive, attentive, receiving as we move through our day. Not brittle, blind, disjointed, out-of-touch, stressed, nervous, excited – or at least aware of these states and even having a bit of compassion for ourselves. This list is a reminder of another way to be in the world – really a relief, a way out of distress.

 

1. Nonjudging
2. Patience
3. Beginner’s mind
4. Trust
5. Nonstriving
6. Accepting
7. Letting go

 

“These seven attributes are the state of mind advantageous for writing, sitting, walking. Also for approaching your employees, your boss, friend, lover, enemy. A way to carry yourself. And we can so easily forget. Put the list on your refrigerator.”

 

I haven’t printed it for the fridge yet, but I think I will. How about you?

 

Warmly,

Alice

 


 

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lotus Do You Feel Powerful?
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IMG_2881

Do you feel powerful?

 

If you are not peaceful, you are not powerful.

 

Think about it (go ahead, I’ll wait).

 

Inner peace is empowering.

 

Invite inner peace, cultivate it, welcome it, radiate it, be it.

 

Whatever your cause, whatever your belief or need, inner peace is the core of real power.

 

May you let your inner peace shine through. May you let that natural peace be your source of strength and potency in the world. 

 

Warmly,

Alice

 


 

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lotus The Temple of You
4 Comments

Image Credit & Appreciation: Tony George via Photo Pin cc

Stack the elements of yourself with a sure mind, using great delicacy and balance, from the robust foundation on up toward the sky.

 

Offer all of yourself to the universe as a stable and elegant structure ready to hold any truth without crumbling.

 

Be ready to share the home of you as refuge to any who need your shelter.

 

Be a temple of strength and compassion.

 

Ring the bell in the tower of you to share the vibration of true nature with any who might overhear it and open their ears and souls to the sound.

 

And shine the light from the top of the lighthouse that is your being as a beacon showing all beings the way home.

 

This is what we build with the system of Reiki, laboring joyfully, even playfully, with gentle openness and perseverance, day by day, brick by brick.

 

We build ourselves in service to ourselves. We build ourselves in service to all. And we know there is no difference.

 

May each of you find shelter when you need refuge. And may you take the steps to build yourself into the robust and beautiful temple that is your true nature revealed.

 

Warmly,

Alice

 


 

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lotus Isn’t Reiki a Bit Out There?
10 Comments
Reiki Pulse's Latest Flyer About Reiki: Click on Image to View a Larger Version

Reiki Pulse’s Latest Flyer About Reiki: Click on Image to View a Larger Version

When people first encounter Reiki, maybe from a friend or a website or flyer, they often can’t wrap their minds around it. It seems a little cuckoo. A little “out there.”

 

It doesn’t help that different Reiki practitioners and schools have different approaches, some of which are somewhat removed from the Japanese origins of the practice.

 

When you take the system of Reiki back as much as possible to its Japanese roots, it’s really not that “out there.” The system of Reiki is a simple meditation and healing practice, no more cuckoo than sister practices from other traditions such as yoga or qigong.

 

The system of Reiki sometimes seems “out there” because it is hard to describe.

 

By its very nature, any spiritual practice is hard to encapsulate in words. These are mystery practices.

 

Engaging directly with the mystery – of life, existence, and what lies beyond existence as we know it – is so worthwhile. But we have to let our brains step out of the driver’s seat to truly explore.

 

So in Reiki, understanding is not necessarily the same as intellectually knowing.

 

Words are fantastic tools for exploration. Our brains are excellent protectors, creative drivers, and life navigators. I don’t advocate abandoning language or intellect. But words can be limiting.

 

It’s true that understanding without words can make us uneasy, since we are so used to being able to place our experiences in nice, neat idea boxes with labels carefully pasted on the outside.

 

But understanding without words is also powerful, without those boxes keeping things contained.

 

Understanding without words is limitless.

 

Do you want to be limited or limitless? There are many right answers, as in any spiritual inquiry. What are yours? Your answers are colored by your own experiences and might be nuanced and even contradictory. Please share your thoughts below if this post sparked something in you.

 

May each of you embrace words for all they offer you. And may you also settle under those words and engage directly with the mystery of being.

 

Warmly,
Alice

Ps. The irony is not lost on me that I have used so many words to explore this concept! You have to start somewhere.

 


 

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lotus Keep It Simple
2 Comments

Love Heart 2

 LOVE.

 

(That is all.)

 


 

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