• evansph2



Yet again, I am turned to affirm the spiritual practice of sitting meditation. I am reading Connie Zweig’s book “The Inner Work of Age” in which she talks about the importance of being able to embrace both the possibilities and the diminishment of aging. What better way to practice this acceptance than through the daily reminder of sitting meditation? As I sit and observe my own breathing, I get to see how much I resist sitting. How my mind will do almost anything to escape the difficulty of being still. I get to remind myself that there is no more important task than slowing down and finding enjoyment. That there is no more important thing than learning to “let go”. Who am I when I do nothing?


In the book Zweig advises us not to wait to start our spiritual practice until it’s too late. “We need that clear, quiet awareness to center us in the midst of the hits that keep coming with age.”


And so, I recommit to my sitting practice… trying to approach it with the possible joy of stillness rather than as a task I need to check off before I can “start my day”!


Clearing

by Martha Postlewaite Do not try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose. Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life and wait there patiently, until the song that is your life falls into your own cupped hands and you recognize and greet it. Only then will you know how to give yourself to this world so worthy of rescue.



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  • evansph2



Like many, I struggle with my meditation practice. The usual … my mind wanders, I am bored, I WANT SOMETHING from all this effort, I’m too busy and on and on. The common complaints of aspiring meditators! Another wrestle I have is that I never know whether to “let go” of unpleasant thoughts and feelings or to lean into them. A friend recently sent me this link to a guided meditation about dealing with unpleasant feelings. I find it very useful. It is found on an App from Plum village, the center of Thich Nhat Hahn and his teachings which I very much appreciate. I hope you will give a listen and perhaps reboot your own practice using the guidance from Plum Village teachers!


Click HERE to get the link to this meditation.


And here is a poem I wrote related to this;


I set a table

with white cloth,

purple napkins,

a small vase

of orange blossoms,

white plates,

white candles.

I make this table

to welcome

all the guests

inside of me;

the guests I prefer

and the ones I don’t.

The difficult sitting

with the easy.

The hidden alongside

the flashy.

The secret one

talking with the loudmouth.

I smile at the collection,

say grace,

offer tea and homemade cookies.

I sit back to watch

what happens.

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  • evansph2

Updated: May 26


My dear friend and author Janice Fialka offers this guest column today. Janice is a parent, poet, a compelling storyteller, and an award-winning advocate for families and persons with disabilities. You can see more about her books and work by clicking HERE. Janice writes;


For just today, give yourself permission to ask for help! Maybe it’s in the kitchen, or at work, on a nature walk, caring for your children, needing a 5 minute pep talk from a friend. And not just ask for help---but celebrate the “bold” move to invite someone into your life, to share a moment of connection. Whisper or sing out, “Yay me! I asked for help.” For too long, we’ve swallowed the “gotta do it myself” pill. Why? Why do we value independence when we know it really doesn’t exist? My son, Micah who has an intellectual disability has taught me the value of asking for help, not with apology, but with dignity and intention. I have been humbled many times when I have witnessed Micah accomplish something that didn’t seem within his grasp. When I’ve asked him, “Micah, how did you do that?”, I can almost hear his eyes rolling, “Mom, I just asked for help.” Yup!

When we invite support from others --- we are telling them that they are needed, that they matter, that your community would not be the same without them. I want to live in a world where help is asked for and given freely without guilt, pity or scorekeeping. But with a generosity of spirit that comes with the knowledge that we need each other --- that no one is really on their own.

Pick one of these two quotes to whisper to yourself throughout the day. Let the words of wisdom remind you that asking for help is our superpower!

“To hell with bootstraps, for surely we need to swoop in on most days and save each other.”

-L.R. Berger

At the deepest level, there is no giver, there is no gift, and no recipient . . . it is only the universe rearranging itself. –Jon Kabat-Zinn

Or just sing the Beatles song, “Help. I need somebody.” ---- because we do!

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