While the husband is off on an intensive weekend of Chi Gong (sorry, not for me) I have used his budding spiritual growth to spur me back into my own. I learned Transcendental Meditation during college and practiced for years – until an advanced retreat course caused me to back off. But I never forgot something the man who brought this form of meditation to America, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, said – Meditation is like dipping a cloth in paint and letting it dry in the sun. Each time you meditate, you dip the cloth in the paint again, and it retains more color – or calm.
I keep this on my desktop from Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements:
- Be impeccable with your word
- Don’t take anything personally
- Don’t make assumptions
- Always do your best
This past week, thanks to the amazing library on YouTube, I have been watching Eckhart Tolle and compassion videos. On the subway I’m reading on my iPhone a book on solution-focus brief therapy. Yes, high-tech spiritual delivery. I know there’s something odd about that, and yet…
I scribbled this down from my subway read because I thought it wise to remember. The point is the value of positive emotions and what we focus our mind on, expands:
“Whether you are sitting in your living room, using the bathroom, driving your car, or riding a bus or train, ask yourself, “What is right about my current circumstances?” “What makes me lucky to be here?” “What aspect of my current situation might I view as a gift to be treasured? How does it benefit me or others?” Taking time to think in this manner ignites gratitude. Take a few moments to savor and enjoy this good feeling. Now turn positivity off. Examples of positivity-spoiling questions are “What is wrong here?” “What is bothering me?” “What should be different and better?” “Who is to blame?” Ask yourself these questions, follow the chain of thoughts they produce, and see how quickly positivity plummets.” —( 101 solution focused questions for help with depression, Fredrike Bannink).
It’s actually quite nice to make a concerted effort to have a calm mind, breathe in and out and know in this very moment all is well. Oh, and there is one low-tech practice I’ve started to do each evening that gives me a double dose of joy. It’s writing in a gratitude journal – The five-minute journal – with my oh-i-just-love-them fountain pens.