Mindful Bubbles

Like bubbles underwater thoughts rise up from the ocean of our mind. There can be so many bubbles. One thing to realize is that deeper thoughts have something to teach us. There are lessons to be learned when they rise to the surface. We can be out of touch with unconscious thoughts and desires, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t effect our lives. Conscious thoughts may reflect how we see things in everyday life, but so do those deeper thoughts, the ones that rise up from inner depths….and it can be dark down there. That is why it is so important to be mindful when they rise to the surface. There is such a need to be aware and clear of what it is that we want and desire. They will influence the outcome of our endeavors.

Where we put our focus will highly influence the energy of the thoughts that we produce. That is why meditation can be an effective tool in how we channel that focus. Recently, I stumbled across an excellent meditation that is good for visualizing positive outcomes in a given situation. Adding a few minor touches, I would like to share it here with all you valuable readers.

Close your eyes. Focus on a thought.

Let it rise to the surface of your mind’s ocean. 

See it float lightly up to the water’s surface. Then onto a smooth, glasslike surface.

Visualize that thought moving across the water; gliding serenely, yet steadfastly towards a horizon of light.

That thought is moving across an ocean of peace. Skitting to a perfect, harmonious outcome.

Towards a wide open space. A horizon of freedom.

Cultivating focus can truly be a rewarding and enriching practice that can help on the path to self-discovery. When change comes into our lives, its so easy to get caught up in reshaping outer circumstances instead of looking at Self. Sometimes change lies in the way we experience ourselves, in the way we see ourself. Deng Ming-Dao says, “It takes great courage to keep going beyond your limits. You keep doing the same thing, like musicians who make a career of performing the same tune. But no matter what your field of endeavor, you mustn’t do that. Don’t jump out of the same hole twice. You may not be as materially successful, but you will be more successful on a larger level.” Take time to reconnect with your own strength, courage, and happiness in a spirit of kindness and self-compassion. Namaste.

*photo credit belongs to Mark Tipple, http://www.marktipple.com/portfolio#0

*meditation credit http://www.whats-your-sign.com/animal-symbolism-dragonfly.html

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The Art of Grace

 

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Grace 

Falling

into my lap

Grace 

Not Knowing

Anything

About

Anything

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Grace

Keeping

 Me humble

Giving

Strength

To walk

Through Fear

Of being Inadequate

Never Measuring up

Never Being Good enough

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Grace

Letting

All things Be

Transcending

Emotion

and

Petty

thinking

 

Grace 

Revealing

Nothing

Is lost

Along

The way

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 Grace

 opening space

for

compassion

and

kindness

Grace

commanding

the extremes

of the

Universe.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

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Holding the Fear

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The weight of words

Rest heavy

On my head

But I don’t have

To be anything

except

who I AM

Because

Love

holds 

the fear

So that

can 

breathe.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

The Willingness to Look

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Dandelion dreams

Walking home along the path

In step with the wind

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

“Honesty without kindness, humor, and goodheartedness can be just mean. From the very beginning to the very end, pointing to our own hearts to discover what is true isn’t just a matter of honesty but also of compassion and respect for what we see. Learning how to be kind to ourselves, learning how to respect ourselves, is important. The reason why is that, fundamentally, when we look into our own hearts and begin to discover what is confused and what is brilliant, what is bitter and what is sweet, it isn’t just ourselves that we’re discovering. We’re discovering the universe.”

-Pema Chödrön

The Best Teacher: Die Besten Lehrer

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Suffering, loneliness

Are the best guides,

To seek out beauty and joy

Wherever you can find.

One kind word 

Creates a symphony-like sound

Can bring tears of gratitude abound,

One is speechless, overcome with joy,

That is what one kind word can do. 

Some of us who have been deprived

Of gentleness in our early lives

Are aware of the power 

That compassion ca bring forth

And practice it often times.

By Greta Elbogen

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Leiden, Einsamkeit

sind die besten Losten

im Streben nach Schönheit und Freude,

wo immer sie zu finden sind.

Ein freundliches Wort nur

erklingt wie eine Symphonie,

ruft Tränen unendlicher Dankbarkeit hervor.

Man ist sprachlos, von Freude überwältigt.

Was ein freundliches Wort bewirken kann!

Einige von uns, die wir

in unserem früheren Leben

die Güte entbehrten

wissen um die Kraft des Mitgefühls

und üben uns oft darin.

Von Greta Elbogen

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*This post is dedicated to Greta Elbogen, a bright and beautiful firecracker, whom I met at Plum Village in 2013. She has just published a book of poetry called God Plays Hide And Seek (simply wonderful…I had the privilege of hearing her give a reading in Vienna)….this is a poem from her publication

And it is dedicated to Martina Huber who opened up her heart to me in a personal letter inspiring me with fresh purpose at a time when I felt like my words and poetry weren’t going anywhere.

Thank you ladies for the kind words you have shared with me and for bringing joy and renewal to my life. Love and peace to you all.

A Visitor

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Kindness visited

…….in a flurry

Of brown speckled

Rose-tipped feathers

And scarlet cap

Clutching a reed

On a cold, blustery day

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2015

*photo by Phil Winter

https://www.flickr.com/photos/philwinter/8405745964/

Gently and Sacredly

Hong Kong, China, 1998, final print_perugia

On the way to work earlier this week riding the train to the 2nd district of Vienna, an elderly man caught my attention. He wore an attire of black dress pants, a starched white, shirt with a blue-stripped tie and a tweed jacket as he sat by the window. The jacket hung loosely over his shoulders which he adjusted every once in awhile with trembling hands. There was a black winter coat neatly piled beside him on the train seat. A faraway look shone in his eyes through his metal-rimmed glasses.  He glanced in my direction when I entered the train, but looked straight through me.

In both hands he held some wooden beads, while his lips moved silently. The crease between his eyebrows grew deeper as he held the beads with one hand and with the other moved a finger methodically in circular motion over one bead at a time. And then onto the surface of his pointy finger of the opposite hand. Eventually, he put the beads away in the inner pocket of his jacket.

Momentarily he wrung his hands together and then adjusted his jacket once more. He pressed his lips together and took a long, deep breath. Afterwards, lightly placing his hands together at the fingertips holding them in a thoughtful pose.

Right before his stop he stood up and put his arms into his jacket and then donned his elegant winter coat.

It so happened that we were getting off at the same time. He was slightly confused as he stepped onto the platform. He needed a moment or two to orientate himself before disappearing into the shuffle.

It struck me how many people have a heart full of so many different things that we can’t possibly ever know.  We face each day in our fragility and try our best to get through life. Let’s keep our hearts open even in the midst of our vulnerabilities and be compassionate. First to ourselves and then to others. In patience, hold your essence gently and sacredly.

Be blessed this Christmas Day.

© Salem Islas-Madlo 2014

*photo by Steve McCurry, http://stevemccurry.com/galleries/faith-and-prayer