Growing up in the tundra of the western Pennsylvania mountains, February 2nd, Groundhog Day, was a legitimate holiday. As a school kid, we so looked forward to the “prognostications” of Punxsutawney Phil. We anxiously awaited, would we have 6 more weeks of winter? Most of the time he did see his shadow-probably because the television lights lit up the gray Pennsylvania winter day. Sadly, it would leave us to trudge through 6 more weeks of boots, mittens, and stepping through crusted-over snow to get the mail from the common bank of mailboxes at the end of my yard. I can still hear the crunch, crunch under my rubber fleece-lined boots.
But on those magic days like today, Phil would not see his shadow, would not return to his borrow, and we could count on an early spring. Now that I live in Florida, (I moved to the happiest place on earth) and it was warm enough for no jacket, I am a bit nostalgic today and this post reflects those sentiments.
It's a thing - On...
This was not the post I intended to write today. Over the weekend, I learned that beloved Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh passed away, and I felt compelled to write this reflection.
My introduction to the teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh was through his book, Peace is Every Step. I remember reading it during a particularly difficult part of my life in 2017.
I think it was my very first book on Mindfulness and it launched a several year journey into my formal study culminating with my Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification in January of 2021. I'm re-reading it now, with fresh eyes.
There are two profound quotes that I often refer to during my busy day. The first started me thinking about what is was that I was doing, which clearly lead me into the Seven Mindful Questions.
1. "We have a tendency to think in terms of doing and not in terms of being. We think that when we are not doing anything, we are wasting our time.
But that is not true. Our time is first of all...
This week I’m at the Winter 340B Coalition Conference in San Diego. It turned out to be a grey (Pittsburgh grey) day and it was raining, so no outdoor California fun for me. I typically don’t do well with hurtling my body across the US. This time is no different. My challenge this week, is to be present in the Pacific Time zone. I typically start grounding myself part of the way to the new destination the night before I fly. It helps me sleep and gets rid of jet lag—try it, it works like a charm.
Friday night, it felt like I could only ground to Kissimmee and Phoenix, the first leg of the trip. I went with it. I grounded into Phoenix, and while waiting for the flight to San Diego, I remembered that I needed to ground into San Diego. This morning it occurred to me that I was still grounded into Phoenix and San Diego. Mountain time and Pacific time.
I have a tool where I extend a connection to the center of the earth by imagining a beam of light, or a...
One of my meditation colleagues sent me an article on listening that was published in the New York Times this week. The link is below and well worth the read. As I read it, I thought about the discussion I had with my son (33- a nursing executive) explaining personal presence. He said, “Mom is that even a thing?” I google personal presence and sent him a definition. (Old Mawm can still teach you something.)
My definition of personal presence is how you show up in the world. Someone can tell if you aren’t paying attention to them or are distracted. Personal presence is a state of mindful awareness of everything that is important and allows you to focus on what matters.
Most meditators have a crisis of confidence and lament, “Am I even doing this right or am I wasting my time?” It’s easy to understand that feeling. If you can concentrate you can meditate and with practice, selective attention begins insidiously to creep into your...