Tag Archives: mindfulness

Artist Spotlight — Gravity Glue: The Stone Balance Meditations of Michael Grab

Land Art 2018 wall calendar

Land Art is composed primarily of the natural elements available at hand. Materials such as rocks, leaves, and water are the medium, and the terrain is the canvas.

The 2018 edition of the Land Art wall calendar presents the work of stone balance artist Michael Grab. His rock balancing is a meditative practice that flows with passion and patience. Achieving a challenging balance requires contemplation of both mental and physical elements in real time — the now. Encountering his creations inspires a sense of peace and magic — a feeling that anything is possible.

Working with contemplative patience amid the sound of flowing water, Michael Grab achieves impossible stone structures with gravity as his only “glue.” Although steady hands, slow breathing, patience, and problem solving are carefully honed skills essential to his craft, Michael’s work relies more on his ability to still his mind and tune in to the nature of the rocks and his surroundings. “There comes a point when the mind shuts off entirely, like in a deep meditative state.” Michael says. “In a very literal sense it feels like creating a state of union with the environment.”

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Happy Birthday to H. H. the Dalai Lama

Image from our Dalai Lama 2018 wall calendar. Photograph by Rosemary Rawcliffe.

“One of my fundamental beliefs is that not only do we inherently possess the potential or basis for compassion, but also the basic or fundamental human nature is gentleness.” — H. H. the Dalai Lama, from Healing Anger

Previously, in honor of his 80th birthday in 2015, we shared Eight Stanzas for Training the Mind.


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Midweek Mindfulness with Joseph M. Marshall and Jim Yellowhawk — April 12, 2017

Lakota Way 2017 wall calendar by Amber Lotus Publishing

Image by Jim Yellowhawk from our Lakota Way 2017 wall calendar. Click image for more info.

HONOR
For any person, any society, any nation to remain strong, honor must be one of the values to live by. Strength is not only a physical trait but it can also be woven into the spiritual and philosophical threads that bind a person’s character and that of any society or nation as well. There is no true strength without honor. Without honor, there is only force without reason or compassion. Without honor, strength is only a brute weapon, and the consequence is that “might makes right.” Furthermore, honor must be applied to all the many aspects of life, be it friendship or politics, words or deeds, peace or war. Without honor, a warrior is defined only by the weapons in his hand and not by what is truly in his heart as a human being. Without honor, a warrior acts only with the weapons in his hand and not by the values that make him a person first.
— Joseph M. Marshall
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Midweek Mindfulness with Pema Chödrön — February 22, 2017

Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. It’s about befriending who we already are. — Pema Chödrön

Pema Chodron 2017 wall calendar by Amber Lotus Publishing

Image from our Pema Chödrön 2017 wall calendar. Japanese white-eye on blossoming plum tree, Honshu, Japan © Toshiaki Ono.

When people start to meditate or work with any kind of spiritual discipline, they often think that somehow they’re going to improve, which is a sort of subtle aggression against who they really are. It’s a bit like saying, “If I jog, I’ll be a much better person.” “If I could get a nicer house, I’d be a better person.” “If I could meditate and calm down, I’d be a better person.” Or the scenario may be that they find fault with others; they might say, “If it weren’t for my husband, I’d have a perfect marriage.” “If it weren’t for the fact that my boss and I can’t get on, my job would be just great.” And, “If it weren’t for my mind, my meditation would be excellent.” Continue reading

Eight Stanzas for Training the Mind

A Thought From His Holiness The Dalai Lama:

Photograph by Oscar Fernández featured in our Dalai Lama 2017 wall calendar.

Photograph by Oscar Fernández featured in our Dalai Lama 2017 wall calendar.

No matter whom I meet and where I go, I always give the advice to be altruistic, to have a good heart. From the time when I began to think until now, I have been cultivating this attitude of altruism. This is the essence of religion; this is the essence of the Buddhist teaching.

We should take this good heart, this altruism, as the very basis and internal structure of our practice and direct whatever virtuous activities we do toward its increase higher and higher. We should suffuse our minds with it thoroughly and use words or writings as means of reminding ourselves of the practice. Such words are the Eight Stanzas for Training the Mind, written by the Ga-dam-ba Ge-shay Lang-ritang- ba (1054 – 1123); they are very powerful even when practiced only at the level of enthusiastic interest. Continue reading

Random Acts of Kindness Week

It’s that moment when we have become present and offered a kindness – or the intention of kindness –  where there’s a real transformation. — Tara Brach

Image from the Present Moment 2017 wall calendar published in partnership with our friends at Sounds True.

Image from the Present Moment 2017 wall calendar published in partnership with our friends at Sounds True. Photo © Katsiaryna Yudo.

Random Acts of Kindness Week, which will be observed February 12-18, 2017, is an annual opportunity to unite through kindness. Formally recognized in 1995, this seven-day celebration demonstrates that kindness is contagious. It all starts with one act — one smile, one coffee for a stranger, one favor for a friend. It’s an opportunity for participants to leave the world better than they found it and inspire others to do the same. Since inception, the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation estimates that millions of individuals, celebrities, businesses, schools, and partners have participated in these weeklong celebrations. Continue reading

Midweek Mindfulness with Joseph M. Marshall and Jim Yellowhawk — November 9, 2016

Image by Jim Yellowhawk from our Lakota Way 2017 wall calendar. Click image for more info.

Image by Jim Yellowhawk from our Lakota Way 2017 wall calendar. Click image for more info.

COURAGE

Courage is not exclusive to any one person or calling or to any situation or circumstance. In a world that is constantly in motion, each of us has much to face each and every day. From the simple to the complex, from the mundane to the heartstopping, each of us has to live our lives with the strengths and the weaknesses we have. We should not blame our weaknesses or yearn for the strengths we do not have; we should instead use who and what we are, at any given moment in our lives, to enable ourselves to take the next step and the next after that. That is courage. As the world swirls around us, having courage is the only way to move with it and face what it will bring.
Joseph M. Marshall


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