Thursday, December 03, 2009

The word for peace

May it be peaceful in my house,
May it be peaceful in every house,
In my mind may it be peaceful,
In every mind may it be peaceful,
Where I walk may it be peaceful,
Where everybody walks may it be peaceful,
All around me may it be peaceful,
All around the world may it be peaceful.

I will not stop in my quest for peace. I want serenity for myself. I hope for it for everyone. I begin my peace practice by sending wishes for little moments of peace to everyone who draws breath on this magnificent planet. The more I say these words, the more I encourage my children to say them with me, the more peace we will know and share.

Every day this week, I will adopt a country, learn its word for peace, and send my good wishes to mothers, children, and their families all around the world, praying for peace on earth.
Spain-la paz
Italy-la pace
Brazil-a paz

I send a message of serenity as I chant peace.
I am at peace. The world is at peace.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Put your heart on it

Tune your ear to the heart and all paths lead to happiness.

I make my important decisions by listening to my heart. I start with my intellect to sort out the pros and cons, but in the middle of the night when my mind is reeling with the weight of a decision, it is my heart that leads me to a peaceful place. When it is difficult to sit still and wait for my intuition to guide me,  I remind myself, sim lev which means “Put your heart on it” in Hebrew.

Give every little moment all your heart.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Friend of silence

God is the friend of silence. See how nature—trees, flowers, grass—grows in silence; see the stars, the moon, and the sun, how they move in silence.
—Mother Teresa

In solitude lies the boundless potential for a more fulfilling life. I let silence surround me and I hear more clearly messages of comfort and guidance. I make time to meditate—either sitting still or walking alone—and I notice how much more room I have to grow. When I take a break from the fast pace of my day, I feel like I’ve just had a long talk with a good friend: Me.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Stand on my shoulders

When I feel too tired to cope with one more task, or too depleted to deal with another request for my attention, I recall this uplifting story about a journey to freedom. Two women were traveling by cattle car to their homes, after spending years at Auschwitz concentration camp. Although they barely survived the Nazis' brutal treatment, the war was over, and the two women were hours away from turning the keys to their front doors. When the train stopped for a few moments, one woman noticed a shaft of light near the top of the car wall. She suggested to her friend, "Stand up and look out!" But the friend, felt much too weak, and said she did not have the energy to climb up to the window. The woman stroked her hair and said, “I’m going to sit down and you’re going to stand on my shoulders.” From her friend's shoulders, the weary woman looked through the tiny window at a day so bright and beautiful she thought she had arrived in Paradise. This vignette of a little moment in a dark place creates light for everyone who reads it. The friend's gesture of sacrifice and true compassion has the power to teach and move us across the half century since World War II ended. In these times of utter fatigue or futility, I think of those words, "Stand on my shoulders." I remember how one emotionally and physically depleted woman took care of another. I feel the light, shining through a tiny window into a dark car packed with weary people, and I know that I can make the best of this day. —from an account by Edith P. from the Video Archives for Holocaust Testimonies at Yale * Photo credit: ©2009 Roger Bodian

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Blessing for the Mothers

Anticipate the joy of life as a mother. Flourish with the gifts your children bring. Nurture yourself, too, as you care for your loved ones. Show your children the way of wonder. Voice your thoughts in kindness and clarity. Stand tall for your children, family, and community. Listen deeply with compassion. Envision a good life and a welcoming world. Embrace your children with open, loving arms. Awaken to this day with a grateful heart. May you find the gift of peace in every little moment of motherhood. Many blessings, Andrea

Monday, January 19, 2009

Clean house. Good year.

Clean house. Good year. —Ancient chinese belief As the Lunar New Year begins, Asians all over the world follow a precise set of traditional actions to prepare for an auspicious New Year. The focus is on the home, beginning with the threshold, which is decorated with lucky symbols to welcome visitors. The interior is scrubbed to sparkling and filled with azaleas, cherry, and peach blossoms along with tangerines, pomelos, and oranges (with green leaves and stems still intact to predict friendship and allegiance). Tables overflow with traditional feast foods including the “harmony tray,” which contains eight different sweets to be shared with visitors. Along with a clean house, the Chinese believe their minds must also be clean. Only honeyed thoughts should come out of one’s mouth. Children are not reprimanded or scolded during the celebration period. Dirt, residue, misfortune, negative attitudes, unlucky words, and foul language are swept away before the New Year begins. I begin this New Year refreshed and welcome sweetness and good fortune into my life.