Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Lessons in Sand: Separate but One

We perceive the beach as a singularity.  We look out at the dunes and the vast stretches of sand and think of it as one.  Yet, if we put our fingers into the Earth, we see the grains of sand flow through our finger tips.  Similarly, we as humans are separate but one.  We rise and fall together just like dunes on the beach.  Yet, we are separate and individual like grains of sand.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Lessons in Sand: The Inevitability of Change

There is a lesson in sand.  It teaches us the ongoing flow and form of time.  We are like the grains of sand being shifted by forces we do not quite understand.  By accepting this shifting nature of time and reality, we can enjoy the ebb and flow.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Zen Garden 6

“Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing 
and rightdoing there is a field.
I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass
the world is too full to talk about.” 
― Rumi

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Zen Garden 5

“In every outthrust headland, in every curving beach, in every grain of sand there is the story of the earth.” 
― Rachel Carson

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Zen Garden 4

It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out; it's the grain of sand in your shoe. 
--Robert W. Service

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

A Handful of Mindfulness: A Book Review

I recently came across a wonderful book on bringing mindfulness to children.  This book is written by one of my favorite figures in the mindfulness community, Thich Nhat Hanh.  I was lucky enough to spend time at one of his monasteries, Blue Cliff , pictured above.  It was a wonderful experience.  Although it was in January and had freezing temperatures, the experience was peaceful and amazing.

For those of you who are familiar with Thich Nhat Hanh, you know he has many different books.  However, A Handful of Quiet is specifically geared towards giving children a beginning experience of mindfulness.  A Handful of Quiet uses natural images and simple language that children can readily understand.  It is a wonderful and easy way to introduce children to a powerful coping mechanism for feelings and thoughts.

In addition to giving children an introduction into mindfulness, it is also a great tool for families to use together.  By practicing the techniques shared in this book, families can learn to be mindful together.  For busy and over-stressed families, being mindful and meditating together can be a way of refreshing connection as well as learning to regulate emotions effectively.  This book also provides an opportunity for parents to role model for their children ways of dealing with stress and maintaining calm.  Teachers, therapists, counselors, and others who work with children can also use this book in a similar manner.

After using this mindfulness/meditation on a daily basis over time, people can carry with them pictures of the natural images used.  These pictures can become a reminder of the calmness experienced during the meditation.  Therefore, the feeling brought by using this meditation can be brought into many different environments.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Zen Garden 3

Even Castles made of sand, fall into the sea, eventually. 
--Jimi Hendrix

Friday, May 13, 2016

Zen garden 2

To see a world in a grain of sand and heaven in a wild flower Hold infinity in the palms of your hand and eternity in an hour. --William Blake