Tag: Buddhist

More than a few times over the years, yoga students have asked me: How do I bring compassion to myself? I’ve not heard this lately, however. Is it because the answer to the question seems too far out of reach?

Yet, bringing compassion to our own process may be more important than ever; it’s not about being overly optimistic but about realizing the effort is essential. When isn’t it relevant to protect the heart from shrinking into disappointment, frustration, anger, or worse?

There is a time to stand up, of course, to be firm against wrongdoing, and there’s also a time to be still, to seek advice from our own intuition or from respected others. When I observe how how our local deer slip from human dangers of the valley into mountain lion forest territory with a total and alert simplicity, I begin to understand the broad scope of what compassion requires of us.

Compassion comes naturally out of a commitment to something beyond our questioning concerns–by learning to listen and to be fully present. Compassion, in it’s essence, is the action of experiencing a neutral connection to all that exists within and without.

Compassion is not cynical or fearful. Compassion sometimes feels raw, because it also connects us to unknown results and consequences. The personal investigation of when to stretch, when to release, when to stop and when to embrace life beyond the constraints of ego is, surely, a worthwhile practice.

 

Gudrun Mouw (c)
Sept. 15, 2017

The Spiritual Journey

The Meditation Group

 

Eight of us sit, a small group in the heat.
We practice cooling breaths, sip ice water
before silence begins, before a rotating fan reaches
skin. That vast field of the mind stretches at warp speed
through oak after oak, and overheated birds begin
to sing, joining a chant to protect the planet
and bring the forest back to life.

 

Gudrun Mouw (c)

A Poem Journal Entry The Spiritual Journey

 

When I am liberated by silence…
My whole life becomes a prayer.

—Thomas Merton

 

I still see that light shining around
any object; and I still feel that current,
sometimes so strong I may not
have feet on the ground.

And that space inside grows larger,
like a scary no beginning, no end;
vibrating, vibrating until the silence
is no longer silent.

 

 

Gudrun Mouw (c)
July 4, 2017

A Poem

Swami Sivananda recommended that courage is a good quality to meditate on during the month of March. For me, this has turned out to be difficult to implement.

First of all, there is the task of examining fears regarding the state of the world, regarding the experience of pain, regarding the aging process, regarding traveling loved ones, and so on. However, when fear becomes chronic, I also know that anxiety and other disorders are not far behind. And so it comes down to recognizing the power of choice.

Embracing choice means choosing to acknowledge fear, no doubt, but also transforming the contraction of fear into an expanded awareness where courage can thrive. Now, the month almost over, another storm is expected. Wind rises. Grey clouds stretch out in long lines with hints of light penetrating, and the friend to courage becomes hope.

Gudrun

The Spiritual Journey

1.
I’m on a mission uphill,
downhill, back and forth,
I refuse to fall into myself,

to sink. Cold
may contract
all it wants.

Breath lifts and lifts,
I raise my face to sun
like a prayer.

2.
In that space between rain
after rain, after rain,
I stand on wet grass,

close my eyes, hear happy birds,
see the play of red and gold
behind lids, radiance.

3.
When anger crosses the street
and makes a sharp left,
I am relieved.

I check the slider and two doors;
one was not locked.

I sit by a west window and enjoy
bright afternoon light
almost warm.

………..
Gudrun Mouw (c)
March 1, 2017

A Poem

beverlyhillsbookawardsFrom Ashes Into Light, Gudrun Mouw’s debut novel, just won two awards in the same week! In the 2016 Best Book Awards From Ashes Into Light placed as a finalist in two categories: Fiction: New Age and Fiction: Visionary. In the 5th Annual Beverly Hills Book Awards Ashes won in the same two categories. In fact if you take the win in each category as a separate award, From Ashes Into Light has won four awards, placed as a finalist in two awards, and received the silver award in another. Phew, seven awards altogether! The author asked me to guest write this post because she was just speechless with the acknowledgment.

best_book_award_badge_whiteHowever, winning awards doesn’t always translate into becoming popular. It’s challenging being an author in a genre that is possibly not well understood. Visionary Fiction and New Age Fiction actually have a wide range of titles that qualify in each genre. So you can get a zombie fantasy as well as literary fiction in both categories.

For From Ashes Into Light, I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible. From Ashes Into Light is literary fiction with spiritual, new age (ie. the character believes in reincarnation) and visionary (consciousness-oriented) elements. It’s not exactly mainstream. But anyone interested in Buddhist teachings or spirituality in general should appreciate this well-crafted book.

In fact, the more people find out about these genres the better. Because picture this, you love books about the Dali Lama or this or that Rinpoche, and you love certain self-help books, but you’ve never tried reading fiction that’s spiritual. Now there are many, many options to combine entertainment and spiritual endeavors. Besides From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw, I have read a handful of spiritual fiction that I would recommend.

Spiritual Fiction

From Ashes Into Light by Gudrun Mouw

Mystic Tea by Rea Nolan Martin

The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk

Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd

The Moon Under Her Feet by Clysta Kinstler

Each of these titles explores spirituality in a alternative, entertaining way. And as I immersed myself in these titles, I found myself open to new possibilities in myself, and sometimes feeling a closer connection to the Divine. Give them a try!

rainbowcover44490

Gudrun Mouw should be back to posting her blog sometime in the next two weeks. Stay Tuned. To purchase From Ashes Into Light, go to an online seller, your bookstore to order, or you can call the distributor directly (800-888-4741) to order a copy in paperback or hardcover.

Erika Lunder, publisher

Raincloud Press

 

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