Calm Down

There's a meme floating around that says how telling someone to calm down has never in the history of the planet actually helped anyone to calm down.

It's meant as a joke, but like most jokes, there's a kernel of truth to be found.

If you could just "be calm" – you'd probably already be calm, right? 

Isn't that true for most situations when someone tells you to "be" something different?

Be This, Be That

Be mindful. Be aware. Be thankful. We are constantly admonished to be a multitude of things, but it's difficult, if not impossible, to become a state-of-being on command.

Furthermore, once someone starts barking at you to be one thing or another, it's not uncommon to have the reaction, "Don't tell me what to do!"

So, what to do?

Do we just will ourselves to be something? That doesn't seem terribly effective either.

Perhaps we can support ourselves on the path of becoming if we take an action that leads us in the direction of what we desire.

To Be, Take An Action

For example, instead of saying "Calm down" or telling ourselves "Don't be upset" – how about if we say, "Breathe."

Focus on the breath. Slow it down. Take a long breath in through the nose, hold for just a second and then, slowly release it out of the mouth.

Just breathe. It's an action.

We often advise our medical patients to focus on their breathing when they are undergoing a procedure. We find that saying to them, "Don't be nervous," when faced with a fearful or painful procedure is not helpful. Furthermore, it dismisses their feelings of being nervous. Instead, we focus on the breath, in and out, to help get them through the procedure.

The action of focusing on the breath helps to decrease the grip of fear or pain.

Take An Action With TRT® 

There are many dimensions inside of us. We have the inherent, wonderful ability to move past one way of being into another state-of-being.

We don't have to let outer circumstances toss us about like choppy waves on the ocean, as if we were not in charge of our own being.

The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) accesses universal energy. When TRT® is applied to the dynamic energies of our being, it helps to bring balance to our thoughts and emotions. Use of TRT® promotes rebalancing of energies that are out of alignment that we're not even aware of. How liberating!

We don't have to pick apart every little thing, analyze it or talk about it – we can relax in the healing energy that is accessed by TRT®.

Moving in the direction of wholeness is found in the simplicity of TRT® hands-on – Radiant Touch®. You take an action, apply your hands-on (right in the moment or for extended times of meditation) and then, let the healing energy walk you home.

The next time someone tells you to "be something" – take a breath and apply your TRT® hands-on. Of even greater importance, when you tell yourself to be something... do the same thing.

The wholeness that is already within you is ready to shine. 

 

Prayer And Meditation

Do you pray? Do you meditate? Maybe you do both.

What is prayer and meditation?

You can find a meme for everything nowadays, and prayer and meditation are defined in this one.

We Like To Define Things

As humans, we have a need to explain and define things. It makes us feel more comfortable to think we know what things are. It makes us feel a little more safe when we think we understand something. It even gives us a little illusion of being in control.

Now, most of us would admit that, in truth, we're not in control of anything, but that's easier said than believed. So, off we go with our definitions clutched tightly to our chest.

Then again, perhaps we are, indeed, talking and listening as we pray and meditate. This idea captures the duality of the breath in and out and an exchange of giving and receiving.

Here, we have a statue of St. Francis sitting on a hill that overlooks the valley of Assisi in Italy where he often came to be in prayer and meditation.

Prayer And Meditation Are A Circle

Where does the beginning of a prayer become a meditation and when does a mediation start to slip into a prayer? I would propose that they co-exist in a circle. Without a beginning or an end, we constantly meet ourselves at the start of a prayer and at the end of a meditation session.

As he sits outside on the steps in Assisi, a Franciscan monk lifts a prayer to the heavens.

Expand The Light Within

With use of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®),  you access whole, universal energy that illuminates your prayers and meditations. With TRT®, you bring expanding light to each breath, every time you pray, every time you sit in meditation.

With our ongoing use of TRT®, we move in the direction of our lives actually becoming the prayer or meditation, whatever we are doing.

Better Than A Hallelujah

Sometimes when we pray and meditate, we find ourselves facing aching tears, sorrow and anguish. In these moments, we fear our prayers are not heard. Perhaps our meditations are not "holy enough" to be considered worthy. 

Have courage, and know you are held within a great light in both the good times and the bad. Your tears and your laughter are all a melody within the heart of the universe. 

Amy Grant captures this in her heart-expanding song: Better Than A Hallelujah.

 

To Have Or Not To Have Is The Question

Time For Spring Cleaning

It's spring and that means it's time for spring cleaning and decluttering. Time to downsize, to get the cobwebs out of our closets and cupboards.

It's about finding the right balance between having things and not having things.

Some things we need.

Some things we need every day, while other things, we need once in awhile.

Some things sit in our closets and we don't need them at all, but for some reason they keep sitting there.

Below: items to be donated.

Moving Is A Great Time To Declutter

Often in the past, when I've been faced with a move, I've been too busy with work, a million appointments and rushing off to the next assignment to be able to have enough time to sort through things.

Sometimes I toss things out in a fit of "oh my god, I have too much stuff" and too eagerly let go of things only to find that I regret it and need it later. Other times, I simply shake my head and think, "oh well, just pack it and move it" – with the plan that I'll deal with it later.

Later Is Now

Well, here it is. Later is now.

For this next step in my life, I actually have some time to calmly (for the most part) contemplate items and consider if they serve a function. I'm using function as the strongest criteria for keeping something. However, I'm still keeping quite enough items for their sentimental value.

The debate consists of determining if their sentimental value is strong enough to keep them despite their lack of functionality. It's all about finding balance.

Time To Declutter

Even if you're not moving, you may still feel inclined to tidy up. One source of inspiration is Marie Kondo, the Japanese guru of decluttering.

Kondo advocates that an important aspect of letting go is to acknowledge an item and say thank you for their energy in your life. Then you accept that it's now time to say goodbye to it.

She holds that it's more in balance to honor things that have been in your life, even as you say goodbye, instead of tossing them with disdain.

It is to be touched, thanked and ceremonially sent on its way towards a better life elsewhere, where it can discover a more appreciative owner.
— Marie Kondo

Japanese Style

Having lived in Japan, I can certainly attest to the organization and tidiness of the Japanese culture. I've never had such beautifully wrapped packages of simple items I purchased from the department store. I almost hated to unwrap them once I got home. 

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) – you have a wonderful opportunity to use TRT® hands-on with the objects in your life. You can also apply hands-on in your heart center or in several head positions to clarify if they go into the discard or keep pile.

Placing a hand in Front Position #1 and/or #3 can also help with those pangs of loss we might experience. While it can be liberating to let go of things, it can also have a sense of loss associated with it.

If you haven’t communed with your socks lately, thanked your shoes for their hard work or bowed (at least mentally) to your home in appreciation, maybe it’s time to consider doing so.

Spring is the perfect time to look around your home to see how you might tidy up and reorganize.

Do you feel inspired to spring clean and declutter now that spring has sprung? 

 

Breathe In, Breathe Out

Your Breath Holds A Key

One in-breath alone is enough to set you free – from your regrets about the past, your worries about the future, and your projects in the present.
In that state of freedom, you will make better decisions.
Next time you have to make a decision, be sure to breathe in and out first.
— Thich Nhat Hanh
 

We breathe. All day, all night.

Gratefully we don't have to think about it. If it required our conscious thought, we'd all be dead by now, having let it lapse at least somewhere during a day of activity. Never mind trying to consciously breathe while we sleep.

Our breath can just simply be there, or we can choose to shine our awareness on it. Within our breath is a key to our awakening, a deeper awareness.

Precious Breath

Our breath is precious. It's the first thing that connects us to this earth at our birth. We can be born, but without the invisible cord of our breath that ties us to this earth, we won't be able to stay. 

When I first started working in Labor and Delivery, I felt sad when the newborns cried. That is, until I realized how deeply healthy it was when their lungs filled with air and they announced their entrance onto this planet. A delivery that remained in frightening silence dropped my heart to the floor as we scrambled to save a little one.

I learned to love the cry of a newborn infant. Hearing it I knew, at least for that moment, all was right with the world.

Remember To Breathe

As our lives march on, sometimes our breathing becomes shallow and tight. Sometimes we hold our breath.

I often tell my patients to breathe while I am performing a medical procedure. 

"Breathe, don't hold your breath."

Breathing helps us move through the discomfort and carries us through the procedure.

For students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), use your TRT® hands-on in Front Position #1, over the lungs as you breathe, bringing balance and centering to the breath.

It's also beneficial to apply our hands-on over the solar plexus, as this is where we might clutch and tighten up when we are stressed or anxious. A tightened solar plexus interferes with our breath.

Take even a small amount of time to do TRT® hands-on and breathe with awareness when you're about to make a decision or choice. The greater clarity accessed with TRT® helps to illuminate a choice that is supportive for us.

Breathe in, breathe out – with awareness. Follow your breath.

Let the breath set you free.

 

 

When You Are Meditative The Whole Day

Consciousness Is A Continuum 

Meditation cannot be a fragmented thing.

It should be a continuous effort. Every moment one has to be alert, aware and meditative. But the mind has played a trick. You meditate in the morning and then you put it aside. Or you pray in the temple and then forget it.

Then you come back to the world, completely unmeditative, unconscious, as if walking in a hypnotic sleep. This fragmented effort won’t do much.

Consciousness is a continuum. It is like a river, flowing constantly. If you are meditative the whole day, every moment of it – and only when you are meditative the whole day – the flowering will come to you.
— Osho
 

Does this happen to you? You meditate in the morning, then you jump up to get ready for work and off you run into your busy day.

The next time you connect to mindfulness or meditation is in the evening when you get home.

Oops. What happened during the rest of the day?

Meditation Throughout The Day

In the beginning of our journey, it's not uncommon that we "pop in and out" of a deeper awareness. It can be a challenge to bring the awareness from our meditations into our minute-to-minute lives that are stuffed full of outer activities.

Even if our goal is to have less busy-ness, sometimes we don't have a choice. Work demands gobble up our days and time-consuming obligations take us further away from our own center point.

Whenever you remember, bring yourself back to the awareness. Don't beat yourself up over forgetting. It's okay. It's part of the path in our personal growth.

Expanding Your Awareness

Once you have studied The Radiance Technique® (TRT®), you are able to use TRT® hands-on throughout your day. TRT® enhances your dedicated meditations and also benefits and expands your awareness throughout your busy days.

You can integrate mindfulness into your daily life, such as when you get ready for work, while you are at work, watching tv at home, whatever you may be doing. It's effortless with the use of your TRT® hands-on, for example, with just one hand placed in a position in the midst of talking, walking or in a meeting.

Integrating TRT® into your daily life doesn't make more work for you. It doesn't require extra effort. It's easy to blend your TRT® hands-on into daily activities; TRT® makes it simple to bring increased awareness to all you do.

The more you practice, the less separation there is.

Allowing you to expand your knowingness of wholeness and to be in touch with the continuum of consciousness.

 

 

Imperfections As Part Of The Path

Imperfections And Acceptance On The Path

 
We must be willing to be completely ordinary people...,
which means accepting ourselves as we are without trying to become greater, purer, more spiritual, more insightful.
If we can accept our imperfections as they are, quite ordinarily, then we can use them as part of the path.
But if we try to get rid of our imperfections, then they will be enemies, obstacles on the road to our self-improvement.
— Chögyam Trungpa
 

From the book The Myth of Freedom by Chögyam Trungpa.

Does the line “willing to be completely ordinary” make you cringe even just a little bit?

Competition In Everything

Being ordinary isn’t what we’re taught in our society. Competition reigns supreme in our outer world and that means you’ve got to be greater, better – no matter which game you're playing.

Run faster, leap higher, stay up later, have more projects than the other guy, and yes, shine brighter, be more enlightened, than your meditating neighbor. You'll find competition even in the "game" of meditation.

Naturally, we are all growing and striving to be the most authentic that we can be — and yes, we want to lessen or even eliminate our faults.

But, the first step is the acceptance of who we are?

Well, how could we begin without it?

Finding Acceptance Within Ourselves

On days when you are being particularly hard on yourself, the above quote is a nice reminder to be more gentle. Students of The Radiance Technique® (TRT®) can support themselves on the path with ongoing use of TRT® hands-on (Radiant Touch®).

Use of TRT® supports us to be the observer. It’s like turning up the lights in a darkened room. With increased light, we’re able to see more clearly.

TRT® hands-on helps us to relax into a deeper awareness of ourselves, gently and lovingly.

 

Freedom On The Path

The fact that Chögym Trungpa chose the title The “Myth” of Freedom is a bit daring, don’t you think?

Isn’t that the dream of all meditators — to be free? Free from it all? And yet, many of our teachers remind us that the path of meditation is not an escape.

There’s no escape from ourselves.

What is freedom? Where is it? Is it inside or outside of us?

Open portals are all around us.

Step through the gateways that you find in your meditations.