Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Folding Moments Into Moments

Our practice, like our lives, does not arrive fully unfolded.  
Our work is to practice in such a way that makes sense for our 
particular life but also challenges the stories of ourselves 
that enclose our lives in cycles of habit.  
With clarity, flexibility, and steadiness, yoga teaches 
us how to move responsively through the details of life.  
This is possible in every unfolding of reality.
~Michael Stone

Last night I was doing laundry ('cause that's what you do on Saturday nights when
you're 43). It had been an extremely hot few days, so almost all of the studio towels
had been used and were being washed. When the dryer buzzer went off, I
scooped the load out and it was huge... beyond huge! As I walked the load
into the living room, my arms were full all the way up to my chin.

The mountain of laundry before me looked almost insurmountable. I started with one
towel... breathe in, breathe out, fold. Then another... breathe in, breathe out, fold.
Followed by another towel and then some socks and more socks (who's wearing all
these socks in this weather!?). Breathe in, breathe out, fold. Repeat.

So there I was folding, and it seemed as if I wasn't even making the slightest dent in the
pile. I folded and folded and the pile didn't seem to get any smaller. And so I
surrendered to folding without worrying about finishing, without wanting to be done or to
be off doing something else. Piece by piece, breath by breath, fold by fold I continued
until I came to the end of the pile and realized that I had finished without struggle,
agitation or impatience.

What's more is that all I remembered of the experience was the texture
of the towels, the fresh, clean scent, the softness of the t-shirts, the warmth of the
socks. It made me think that this is mindfulness practice in a nutshell, except instead of
towels and socks, we fold moments into moments. We are present to the texture and
feel of what's happening. We are alive and awake in our life.

Oftentimes, we look at the state of our minds and are shocked at all of the
busyness, the chatter, the years and years of accumulated "mind junk" and it seems too
daunting to sift through, so we don't. Instead, we just keep stuffing ourselves chock full
of noise thinking that at some point it - if we ignore it long enough - will somehow go

But it doesn't.

We have to make a conscious decision to fold one moment at a time, to practice over
and over again until we are living our days without looking at the mountain of work in
front of us. Just taking one thought, one task, one breath at a time until one day we
suddenly realize that we have been intimately connected with our moments and what
we remember about them is their texture, their freshness, their softness and warmth.

What if we just folded one thing at a time? 

Start now...


Allow your body to become still. The posture is relaxed, awake, and dignified. The
hands resting gently. The eyes simply resting the gaze on a fixed point inside (3rd eye,
heart, navel) without thinking too much about what you’re viewing. Settling into this
moment, begin watching the breath.

Become aware of the fact that you’re breathing. Become aware of the movement of the
breath as it flows into and out of the body. Feel the breath as it comes into the body and
as it leaves the body. Simply remain aware of the breath flowing in and flowing out, not
manipulating the breathing in any way. Simply being aware of it and noticing how it

When your mind becomes distracted—and it will become distracted— simply return to
the breath. No commentary. No judgment.

Allow yourself to be with this flow of breath, coming in and going out. Notice the feeling
of the breath as the lungs fill with air on the in-breath and deflate as you breathe out, the
chest expanding and collapsing. Perhaps feeling the breath in the abdomen, rising as
you breathe in and flattening and sinking as you breathe out. Allow your attention to
gently ride on the sensation of each breath, not thinking about breathing, without the
need to comment. Simply watch your breathing.

Allow the breath to naturally breathe itself, not needing to change it in any way, giving
full attention to each breath. Observe the full cycle of each breath, locating the very
beginning of the breath, as it enters the nose or mouth, and following it as it fills the
lungs and expands the chest and the abdomen, then comes to the gap where there is
neither in-breath nor out-breath, before it turns around and makes its journey out of the
body. Simply remain present for the cycle of each breath, being there, letting your
attention gently float on the awareness of your breath.

After a short time, you may notice that the mind wanders off to thoughts of the past,
fantasies, memories, or regrets. Or it may move to anticipation of the future, planning,
wishing, and judging. You may find yourself thinking about what you’ll do after this
exercise, what you have to do at work, things that you have to do.

As soon as you become aware that the attention has moved off the breath, guide it back
to the next breath with a gentle and firm awareness. There’s no need to give yourself a
hard time, saying, “How did I become so distracted?” Simply come back to this breath.
Watching the breath and the arising thoughts without judgment, simply observing. Once
again, bringing the attention to this breath, in this moment. Breathing in with the inbreath,
breathing out with the outbreath. Feeling the movement in your body. The
breath anchoring the attention in this moment.

When the mind wanders, bring your attention back to the breath, knowing that you can
always use the awareness of your breath to refocus your attention, to return to the
present. Whenever you notice that you have drifted from the present—when you
become distracted, preoccupied, or restless—the attention on the breath can be a
powerful anchor to this moment and to this state of awake stillness.

And now, for the time remaining, let go of all particular objects of attention, allowing
yourself to simply be here, simply present. Breath moving, sensations in the body,
sounds, thoughts, all of it coming and going... allow all of it... and drop into being,
into stillness, present with it all, as it unfolds, complete, as you are, whole.

You have to remember one life, one death – this one! To enter fully the day, the
hour, the moment whether it appears as life or death, whether we catch it on the
inbreath or outbreath, requires only a moment, this moment. And along with it all
the mindfulness we can muster, and each stage of our ongoing birth, and the
confident joy of our inherent luminosity. ”
― Stephen Levine

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Garden of The New Year

I spent the last hour of 2010 in silent meditation. The year had been a tough one. John and I had each suffered from serious illnesses that took time and patience to recover from. It had also been a very emotional year for me - a time of looking deeply inward to investigate and come face-to-face with some things that needed to shift and change. So, it was fitting for me last New Year's Eve to end the year in the sweetness of solitude and introspection. In the quiet, waning hours of 2010, I sat in silent meditation and found clarity. In the stillness, I set my intention(s) for 2011. They were simply to love more and to let go.

It's funny, looking back through the days and months of 2011 to see how, as a result of setting these intentions, the universe provided everything I needed and more to manifest them. This doesn't mean that the going was easy. There were times that were downright painful, but each experience brought me a little closer to realizing my vision for the new year.

The "loving more" part of my intention was nurtured easily through connecting more with others, cultivating community, and finding clarity in my practice through time spent with an amazing teacher.  Loving more also had its painful moments when presented with challenging situations that called for cultivating a great deal of compassion - both for myself and for others.

The "letting go" part of my intention arrived slowly, with a lot of introspection, and not at all as I had envisioned, but somehow more beautifully than I could have imagined.  Funny how that happens, isn't it?

The new year is a natural time to think of starting fresh.  I like to think of it as if we've been given a fertile patch of freshly sown earth that's free of weeds, stones, and all the blockages that keep us from living our deepest purpose.  It's there just waiting to provide us with abundance and fullness.  As we unfold into the new year, we cultivate that patch of earth by planting and watering the seeds of our intentions with our awareness, our actions, compassion and mindfulness.  The more we water and nurture our garden, the more we can reap the rewards of its bounty.

Wishing you a fertile and bountiful new year.  

Until next time...

To Students and Friends

Paramhansa Yogananda, Inner Culture, January 1937

The New Year has come to greet you with new hopes, new determination, new will-to-achieve, new activities. In the Temple of the New Year renew your reverence for the unlimited hidden power of God within you. The trails of trials and the yawning chasms of woe have been left behind in the dark night of the past–now you are entering the daylight of a new-born hope of the New Year. Cast off the coil of the decayed thoughts of the past years; be reincarnated into vital living of the New Year.
Every regret for shattered hopes of success must be transformed into the joy of new achievements during the New Year. Old sorrows and disappointments must be buried beneath the sepulcher of the past year. Those dark bandits of discouragement must not remain any longer to steal the wealth of your desire to succeed.
Every day in the New Year must become an altar for the God of new living, new achievements in wisdom, and new joy. Every day in the New Year must bring hope and cheer to yourself and all humanity.
Take all the salvaged treasures of good experiences from the sea of past experience and use them to buy new accomplishments in the New Year. In the garden of the New Year culture the seeds of well-planned new activities until they grow into fragrant flowering plants of diverse successes. Let every day in the New Year become a step upward on the ladder of your Self-Realization. Make every day of the New Year a better day than the previous one for greater effort to succeed in business, family happiness, and increasing the ever-new joy-contact of God in meditation. The old year has gone, but the New Year is full of treasures for you to use.
Bury the bad habit of failure in the tomb of the old year and reincarnate your life energy in the vitality of the New Year. May the New Year spread the example and message of your renewed life and renewed power unto all Creation.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mother Mindfulness

“The child is in me still and sometimes not so still.”  
-Fred Rogers

I recently spent some time with one of my oldest and dearest friends, Claire and her gorgeous baby daughter, Vivienne.  One thing that strikes me as utterly beautiful and amazing is how loving and patient Claire is with her children. I've known her for a long time and it warms my heart to see her blossoming into such an extraordinary mother.

Having grown up with loving yet somewhat impatient parents, I am inspired by Claire's ability to deliver comfort with patience and ease.  Her love and nurturing is beautiful to witness. Though I'm sure at times Claire is not feeling so patient, she rarely lets it show and instead simply allows Vivienne to have her tantrum by holding her calmly, soothingly, and not putting her down until the strong emotion or sensation has dissolved.

Regardless of how much love we received or did not receive as children, regardless of how much older, wiser or more mature we've become, we all have an "inner child" existing somewhere beneath the surface.  Most of the time when a strong emotion passes over us as adults, its roots reach far back to an experience or experiences that we had as children. These seeds that were planted long ago can affect the feeling of not belonging, of not being listened to or heard, a feeling of being afraid, inferior, angry, vulnerable or alone.  These seeds grow into big emotions when, as adults, we are faced with the very same experiences that planted those seeds in the first place (a spouse who isn't hearing your needs, an impatient co-worker who says something to make you feel inferior, etc).  Sensing this, our inner child starts to have a tantrum and often times there is no one there to soothe those strong feelings.

Enter the practice of mindfulness.  Thich Nhat Hanh says that mindfulness can act as a nurturing mother in times of powerful feelings.  He says that we can soothe the strong emotions we encounter by cradling them with mindfulness.  We can go home to ourselves and comfort the little child inside, listen to our child, and respond directly to him/her.

As a part of my practice, whenever I feel a strong reaction to something, I immediately bring my attention to it (instead of pushing it away or suppressing it) and I allow my attention to hold it, like Claire holds a fussy Vivienne.  I acknowledge the presence of anger, sadness, anxiety, remorse, judgement, etc. and let it know that I am there for it, holding it and not abandoning it until it feels soothed and attended to.  Once I do this, the intensity of the emotion begins to subside and I can act from a place of compassion and clarity instead of anger or defensiveness.  It's a very simple but powerful practice!

Practice this today and every day and watch your reactions, your suffering and your misperceptions be transformed.  Do this for yourself, your loved ones and the world.

Until next time...

“The most sophisticated people I know - inside they are all children. ” 

Taking Care of Anger
(from the Plum Village website:

"Thay often compares our anger to a small child, crying out to his mother. When the child cries the mother takes him gently in her arms and listens and observes carefully to find out what is wrong. The loving action of holding her child with her tenderness, already soothes the baby’s suffering. Likewise, we can take our anger in our loving arms and right away we will feel a relief. We don’t need to reject our anger. It is a part of us that needs our love and deep listening just as a baby does.

After the baby has calmed down, the mother can feel if the baby has a fever or needs a change of diaper. When we feel calm and cool, we too can look deeply at our anger and see clearly the conditions allowing our anger to rise.

When we feel angry it is best to refrain from saying or doing anything. We may like to withdraw our attention from the person or situation, which is watering the seed of anger in us. We should take this time to come back to ourselves. We can practice conscious breathing and outdoor walking meditation to calm and refresh our mind and body. After we feel calmer and more relaxed we can begin to look deeply at ourselves and at the person and situation causing anger to arise in us. Often, when we have a difficulty with a particular person, he or she may have a characteristic that reflects a weakness of our own which is difficult to accept. As we grow to love and accept ourselves this will naturally spread to those around us."

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Wanderer, your footsteps are
the road, and nothing more;
wanderer, there is no road,
the road is made by walking.
By walking one makes the road,
and upon glancing behind
one sees the path
that never will be trod again.
Wanderer, there is no road--
Only wakes upon the sea.

-Antonio Machado

I love to take walks.  I suppose it's because, like yoga, walking can be a moving meditation, a way to see where we are resisting life, and a tool to help us to let go of the resisting. As I walked yesterday morning, I was reminded of the beauty of just being: warm sunlight, cool air, the scent of drying leaves, freshly cut grass, the sound of leaf blowers in the distance, hawks calling out high overhead, the scratching sound of squirrels chasing each other around trunks of trees, the soothing sound of gentle breezes moving the tops of trees sending colorful leaves gracefully tumbling to the ground, the way my feet connected with the earth without me having to think about it. Such miracles! We practice walking so that each step quietly unfolds in front of us and so that we can be there to witness that unfolding.  We walk simply to walk and enjoy the miracle of being alive.  We walk to awaken to the conditions of happiness and contentment that exist around us and in us.

Our practice - whether it is walking, breathing, asana, meditation - is a good remedy for our wayward minds and forgetful hearts.  It reminds us to live our lives with our eyes, hearts, and minds open.  It reminds us to really see, experience, and feel without regret or remorse.  Our practice points us towards kindness and love and we endeavor to allow ourselves to unfold into each moment as it arrives. 

I suppose the trick is to trust that the path will unfold with each step taken, not getting stuck where we've been or caught up with where we're headed, just awakening to what is in us and around us NOW.  Practice is creating the art of living beautifully, honestly and with strength and dignity.  If we want to live in peace with ourselves, each other and the earth, we practice dedicating ourselves to walking mindfully through the world.  We can understand this intellectually, we can read about it, hear dharma talks about it, but until we actually practice experiencing it, we cannot know its true meaning. Our life is the practice.

Try it today.  As you walk through your day, be aware of how you're moving, breathing, thinking.  Take the time to pay attention and to become more mindful of the energy you bring to your life and the world.

Until next time...

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle.”
― Thich Nhat Hanh

Walking Meditation 
(in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh)

Wherever we walk, we can practice meditation. This means that we know that we are walking. We walk just for walking. We walk with freedom and solidity, no longer in a hurry. We are present with each step. And when we wish to talk we stop our movement and give our full attention to the other person, to our words and to listening.

Walking in this way should not be a privilege. We should be able to do it in every moment. Look around and see how vast life is, the trees, the white clouds, the limitless sky. Listen to the birds. Feel the fresh breeze. Life is all around and we are alive and healthy and capable of walking in peace. Let us walk as a free person and feel our steps get lighter. Let us enjoy every step we make. Each step is nourishing and healing. As we walk, imprint our gratitude and our love on the earth. We may like to use a mantra as we walk. Taking two or three steps for each in-breath and each out-breath:
Breathing in "I have arrived"; Breathing out "I am home"
Breathing in "In the here"; Breathing out "In the now"Breathing in "I am solid"; Breathing out "I am free"Breathing in "In the ultimate"; Breathing out "I dwell"

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Snap Shot: A Love Story

While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.  
~Dorothea Lange

I've fallen in madly love with photography again.  Photography and I have had a sweet and tender history together that started during my junior year of high school.  It was the summer before junior year that I discovered the thick, dusty albums filled with neatly arranged photographs that my parents had taken in the early 60's during their courtship and travels.  Little square snapshots, anchored onto the album page by small black corner pockets, each one looking like a tiny piece of art.  Warm, saturated colors, thick photography paper… I was hooked!  Once I graduated from high school, however, and entered into the world of college and work, photography and I sadly lost touch.

We rekindled our connection on the campus of USC 11 or so years ago, during a photography course, and were inseparable for a long time, but alas, photography is NOT a cheap date.  Due to the amount of expensive equipment photography required, and how much it cost to buy and process film, we quietly went our separate ways again and haven't seen each other for a long time.  Over the years I've thought about photography and wondered how it was doing.  I guess you could say I was wistful about the lack of photography in my life.

We unexpectedly bumped into each other again recently and discovered that we are now both in very different places than we were when we last saw each other. It seems that photography has matured and has changed a lot (it's now wonderfully digital!).  It has become SO accessible, straightforward and much less complicated.  I too have changed a lot.  I've also become more accessible, straightforward and much less complicated.  The time certainly seems right for us to reconnect and stay together.  It appears that photography has a lot to teach me and I am ready to learn.

The first lesson photography teaches us is how to focus.  Our practice, like taking pictures helps us to see 
ourselves and the world rather than just look at them.  Our focus defines our life.  Our perception is determined by what we choose to focus on.  We can use our ability to focus our attention in a way that causes an empowering shift in our perception… or not. It doesn’t matter whether we are looking at a person, situation, or an experience. We can control what our picture looks like by controlling what we choose to focus on.  On the mat and in life, if you focus intently on the positive aspects of any person, place, or thing, the negative aspects will fade into the background. They will still exist, but they will be outside of your field of concentration, and will have little or no influence on the picture you see.

Photography also teaches us that the light we shine on our subject determines how we see it.  In photographic terms this is called "value", in terms of our practice this is called "self-observation".  If we deem a subject to be very important, we shine a spotlight on it so we can see its every detail.  If something has less importance, we don't shine as much light on it so that it doesn't distract us from what we're gravitating towards.  On our yoga mats we do this breath by breath, taking snapshots of how we are in each posture, each breath, in each moment.

When we practice assigning more value and positive energy to the things in our lives that we have gratitude for, we bring those things into sharp focus.  They become higher on our list of priorities and attract more of our attention.  As a result, the negative details of life will slowly hold less weight.

In photography, as in life or our practice, we need to make choices about what we are willing to expose ourselves to and for how long. Our time is so precious.  Being aware of how we use the time we have available to us is an important practice.  Perhaps THE most important!

If we spend too much time focusing on unimportant activities (overexposing yourself), we end up underexposing ourselves to the really important ones. And sometimes, let's face it, we also need to acknowledge that some things are not worth exposing ourselves to at all.

When we learn to look through the lens of our soul we begin to see with greater focus, clarity and compassion.  We start to distill life and its moments down to the essence of what is important to nourish our spiritual growth and how we can see the world from this new expanded field of awareness.

As you move through the world today, what will your focus be? 

Until next time...

"A great photograph is one that fully expresses what one feels, in the deepest sense, about what is being photographed."  -Ansel Adams

Wednesday, November 2, 2011


"There are very few monsters who warrant the fear we have of them."  
~Andre Gide

One of my favorite teachers, Erich Schiffmann, often uses an analogy during his training workshops that has really stuck with me over the years.  He talks about how we, as spiritual beings, live in "houses" with dirty windows.  He says that our windows to the world have become so dirty and caked with filth that we are unable to clearly see anything that is going on outside ourselves.  

With his typical dry humor, Erich paints a mental picture for us: We're inside our house, very little light is coming through the dirty window, but suddenly we see someone trying to peer in.  But because the window is so dirty, our vision becomes distorted, and from our perspective it appears that a monster is looking in with a grimace.  We recoil in fear… a monster!  EEEEEEK!  

Having dirty windows makes the world seem like little more than a background to our ceaseless thinking; a blurry landscape that passes before our eyes as we focus on - most likely - our wrong perception of things. When we get up the courage to wipe the window clean, we see that in reality there is not a monster outside the window, but some saintly person (Erich used Jesus as an example, but you can insert whoever your idea of a peaceful, friendly, loving person or spiritual teacher may be).  Because our view was so warped, we actually saw this vision of peace as a something ugly and harmful: a monster!  

Erich says our practice gives us the tools of a handy dandy "mental squeegee" and spiritual Windex, and with practice, patience and compassion, we learn to first clean off the lense of the mind, then to keep it clean.

The Buddhists call this "Right View".  Right View supports wisdom, and they believe that the capacity to wake up and understand things as they are (washing our inner windows as it were), is present in each of us.  Thich Nhat Hanh writes: “Our happiness and the happiness of those around us depend on our degree of Right View. Touching reality deeply — knowing what is going on inside and outside of ourselves is the way to liberate ourselves from the suffering that is caused by wrong perceptions. Right View is not an ideology, a system, or even a path. It is the insight we have into the reality of life, a living insight that fills us with understanding, peace, and love.” (The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching, page 51).

Imagine how living in the moment, without constantly evaluating, analyzing and being fearful, would change your perception of yourself and your life. To practice Right View takes courage.  We start by looking deeply at what is causing our windows to get so dirty. This takes patient exploration, asking ourselves the big questions and answering them honestly, such as: "Why does this person bring up anger in me?", "Why does this situation spark fear in me?", or "What makes me resist taking responsibility for ____?".   As perception arises we have to ask ourselves again and again, "Am I  sure?".  Until we see clearly, our wrong perceptions will prevent us from having Right View.  Right View is the big squeegee that clears the window of the mind, heart and spirit and allows us to live more peacefully.

We practice so that we can take back this moment.  Not just to experience it, but also to discover the reality of who we are.  What we begin to see as the windows get cleaned is that we are more than the thoughts and perceptions that bind us.  Until we clean the windows and observe the truest nature of things without opinion, we will not find ourselves as we were meant to be… compassionate, loving and kind. 

Grab your squeegee and a big ol' spray bottle of Windex and I'll see you on the other side of the window :)

Until next time...

"I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person. I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations."
(From The Five Mindfulness Trainings in the tradition of Thich Nhat Hanh)
perception |pərˈsep sh ən|nounthe ability to see, hear, or become aware of something through thesenses the normal limits to human perception.• the state of being or process of becoming aware of something in such a way the perception of pain.• a way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression Hollywood's perception of the tastes of the American public we need to challenge many popular perceptions of old age.• intuitive understanding and insight “He wouldn't have accepted,” said my mother with unusual perception.
Halloween Playlist:The Shankill Butchers-The DecemberistEnter Sandman-The Buddha Lounge Ensemble Rama Lama-Sons and DaughtersHell-Squirrel Nut ZippersDevil's Haircut-BeckLittle Ghost-The White StripesLake of Fire-NirvanaPeople Are Strange-The DoorsI Put A Spell On You-Creedence Clearwater RevivalZombie-The Cranberries25 Minutes To Go-Johnny CashDevil Town-Bright EyesEvil-Howlin' WolfKarma Police-FlunkHouse of The Rising Sun-Cat PowerSkeletons (Acoustic)-Yeah Yeah Yeah'sWitch-BellyInto Dust-Mazzy StarShaman's Fire, Navel-Jonathan Goldman

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Traveling Well

"It is better to travel well than to arrive." 
(attributed to The Buddha)

I've been thinking a lot about journeys lately, having just returned from a very transformative one earlier this month.  But I've also been thinking of the other journeys that we find ourselves traveling throughout the course of our lives, the ones that don't necessarily require cars, trains, or planes. The journey of our soul/spirit.  The journey that we take step-by-step, breath-by-breath, moment-to-moment.

John and I have delightful neighbors, a 90 year old couple named Mr. and Mrs. C.  Last Tuesday, Mrs. C. fell while getting up after a nap and she broke her hip.  She was fine in all respects except for the pain in her hip.  Before the EMT's wheeled her out of her house, she calmly reminded her son to "please make sure you finish the stew", and off she went.  The next day, as doctors were preparing her for surgery to repair the bones, she passed away.  Although Mrs. C. was 90 years old and had led a very long life, the news still came as a shock.  It was so unexpected and sad.

Mrs. C. and her husband had been married for 70 years (yep-70!).  They have five grown children and many grand and great-grandchildren.  Mr. C. is a World War II veteran and a life-long military man.  They've had many, many years of exciting travels, and experiences.  One of the most poignant aspects of this story is how well regarded Mrs. C. was by the many people who knew her.  At her funeral services the words sweet, loving, loyal, calm, and caring, kept coming up again and again by those who stood up to speak about her.  She had a very long and fruitful journey in this life, and by all accounts she traveled well.  She left a lasting legacy of calm abiding to her family and friends.

We get on our mat or meditation cushion so that we can open our eyes, hearts and minds to all of the conditions of happiness available to us in any given moment.  What we begin to awaken to is that our journey through life is what we make it.  We can choose to see the beauty of the scenery around us, or we can create a desolate vision of what's around us.  Ultimately the question is: When the journey ends, will you be able to say that you traveled well? 

Our dedicated practice teaches us how to travel well.  The twists, turns, and straight highways, back roads and trails of our life teach us that no matter what lies in our path, we have the capacity to find and deeply touch peace.  The journey is not always easy, in fact it is sure to be arduous at times, but peace is available with each step, breath and moment.

Take the time to enrich your travels.  

Until next time...

Walking Meditation
by Thich Nhat Hanh

Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk
without thinking of arriving anywhere.
Walk peacefully.
Walk happily.
Our walk is a peace walk.
Our walk is a happiness walk.

Then we learn 
that there is no peace walk;
that peace is the walk;
that there is no happiness walk;
that happiness is the walk.
We walk for ourselves.
We walk for everyone
always hand in hand.

Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and ouch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom under our feet.
Kiss the earth with your feet.
Print on Earth your love and happiness.

Earth will be safe
when we feel in us enough safety.