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Shift Your Mind From Crisis Mode to Calm

Modern life seems to offer endless moments of stress. Perhaps you wake up in the morning to the sound of your phone’s alarm blaring, sending a hit of adrenaline through your system. Then, you might get another hit as you scroll through your news feed and learn about the latest global or local disaster. These days, it can feel as if there are threats everywhere, real or imagined, and the body and mind react accordingly in any number of ways. Your heart may speed up or you may feel sweaty, hyperfocused, or simply avoid whatever happens to be unpl...

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Enough Happiness to Go Around

Share Try this. Sometimes when I’m having a hard time feeling sympathetic joy for another person’s good fortune, I ask myself the question: What would I gain from this person’s not getting such and such? And it is quite clear to me that I don’t benefit at all from someone else’s loss. Often, without consciously realizing it, we’re convinced that the good thing someone else got was destined for us but got detoured to them by some hideous, unjust twist of fate. But, of course, we need to look at that assumption. Cultivating sympathetic joy opens ...

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Lovingkindness Meditation for Times of Emotional or Physical Pain

Share Our intuitive wisdom often tells us to let go, to be peaceful, to relinquish efforts to control. But our cultural conditioning and personal history tell us we should hold on to people, pleasure, and distractions in order to be happy. Often we find ourselves in a struggle between our own wisdom and our conditioning about clinging and control. An especially important time to heed our intuition is when we're challenged by emotional or physical pain. This meditation may help you do that. Use one, two, or even three of the lovingkindness phras...

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Meditation on Calling Up Difficult Emotions

Share Sit comfortably or lie down, with your eyes closed or open. Center your attention on the feeling of the breath, wherever it's easiest for you – just normal, natural breath. If it helps, use the mental note in, out, or rising, falling. After a few moments of following your breath, consciously bring to mind a difficult or troubling feeling or situation from the recent or distant past, a scenario that holds intense emotion for you – sadness, fear, shame, or anger. Take a moment to recall fully the situation. Doing that isn't likely to feel c...

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Do a Task Slo-Mo

Share Try this. Restore your attention, or bring it to a new level, by dramatically slowing down whatever you're doing. If you're eating lunch, feel the sensation of the food on your tongue or the pressure of your teeth as you chew, your holding of a fork or spoon, the movement of your arm as you bring the food to your mouth. These specific components of an action maybe invisible as you speed through your day. Try slowing down when you're washing dishes, bringing your awareness to every part of the process – filling the sink with water, squirti...

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Cradling the Breath

Share Try this. Sometimes in my own practice I use the image of holding something very fragile, very precious, as if I had something made of glass in my hand. If I were to grab it too tightly, it would shatter and break, but if I were to get lazy or negligent, my hand would open and the fragile object would fall and break. So I just cradle it, I'm in touch with it, I cherish it. That's the way we can be with each breath. We don't want to grab it too tightly or be too loose; too energized or too relaxed. We meet and cherish this moment, this bre...

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Generating the Mind of Enlightenment

Share The special verses below are recited for the purpose of generating bodhichitta, the wish to free all sentient beings from suffering. When reciting the verses, you should try to recollect your full understanding of compassion and the need for cultivating it. The first verse is a formal taking of refuge. Those of you who are practicing Buddhists, take refuge here. Non-Buddhist religious practitioners – Christians, Jews, Muslims, and others – can take refuge in your own religion’s deity and use that formula as a way of reaffirming your faith...

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Yellow Dog Blues

Share A quest isn't a quest if you can count on its outcome. The journey really is just as significant as the hoped-for goal. This message underlies this delightfully original book which traces a path through seven sites important to what music historians call the "Mississippi Blues Trail" — in so organically inviting a way that readers may not even realize all they are learning. Bo Willie fixes his hound a big breakfast one morning only to discover that: Sometimes life is a mystery. Love is a mountain climb.The blues grabbed me like a shaking ...

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Getting Started with Mindful Movement

What is Mindful Movement?

Mindful movement allows us to check in with our bodies and get moving in a way that can help us lower stress, release stagnant energy, and strengthen our mind-body connection. It’s a great way to practice self-care by incorporating both mental and physical well-being. Oftentimes, when we engage in mindful movement to help our body feel better, our mood is uplifted, too.  What is Mindful Movement? The principles of mindful movement are the same as any other mindfulness practice. We aim to bring our full attention to the present moment to experie...

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How to Recognize Global Human Rights

Spiritual Practice by His Holiness the Dalai Lama Share Notice your natural experience of "I," as in "I want this," "I do not want that."Recognize that it is natural to want happiness and to not want pain. This is valid, and does not require further justification.Based on this natural desire, you have the right to obtain happiness and to get rid of suffering.Just as you have this right, so do others, and in equal measure.Consider the fact that the difference between yourself and others is only that you are just one single person, whereas there ...

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Compassionately Relieving Pain and Lovingly Giving Happiness

Share When you see sentient beings troubled by suffering, you can make the following wish enthusiastically – from the depths of your heart – and with great force of will:This person is suffering very badly, and despite wanting to gain happiness and alleviate suffering, does not know how to give up nonvirtues and adopt virtues. May his or her suffering, as well as its causes, ripen within me. This is called the practice of taking the suffering of others within yourself using the instrument of compassion. From the depths of your heart you can als...

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Watch How You Get Into Trouble

Share Watch the process by which you make a mistake, by imagining a time when you were filled with hatred or lust. Does it not seem that the hated or desired person or thing is extremely substantial, very concrete? But look more closely and you will notice a conflict between appearance and reality. Notice how you: First perceive the object;Then determine if the object is good or bad;Then conclude that the object's goodness or badness exists inherently in the object;Then generate lust or hatred according to whether the object's goodness or badne...

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Arriving at Effortless Generosity

Share Using your chosen spiritual practice, take about fifteen minutes to empty and find a peaceful place within yourself. Now imagine the four qualities of mature compassion – a quiet mind and open heart, presence and radical simplicity – as a quartet of qualities within you. Each quality has a beautiful tone and resonance. First, hear the voice of your quiet mind reminding you that stillness allows you to go deeper than the surface mind of the ego, and helps you loosen the ego’s tight boundaries of control and separation. Now hear the gentle ...

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Jesus, Companion in My Suffering

Share “If the mother of Jesus could speak to us, I’m confident Mary would tell us that the physical discomfort she felt in her aching back and swollen feet from standing for three hours in the hot sun was nothing compared to the interior pain piercing her soul. After she described how each moan of Jesus shattered her heart, she would assure us that she would must rather have had it be herself who bore that pain of crucifixion than her cherished Son. This beloved mother would remind us that the only ‘crime’ her innocent child committed was havin...

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Jesus, Companion in My Suffering

Share This book will be mostly for Christians, because it is structured around the season of Lent, the forty days before Easter. But many of the teachings and practices offered here would benefit people of every religious tradition or of any spiritual practice. Author Joyce Rupp is profiled in our Living Spiritual Teachers Project. We recommend all of her work and have done so for several decades. She is a Roman Catholic religious sister, a retreat leader and conference speaker, and a teacher who infuses her spirituality with transpersonal psyc...

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The Heart in Full Blossom

Share Using your chosen practice take about fifteen minutes to quiet your mind and open your heart. Find a peaceful place within yourself. For a few moments go back to a time in your personal story where you have already practiced this mature compassion that embraces contradictions – when you forgave your parents, confronted the wake-up call in your story, or healed your central image. Remember at those times your heart understood that there were no simplistic truths. Imagine a societal situation where someone has different values than you do. ...

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Divine Partnership

Share Return to your chosen spiritual practice and take about fifteen minutes to quiet your mind and open your heart. Now go back through the sacred gateway of your heart into that place where all suffering meets and joins, like a great ocean. Become aware that in this place of unity the rigid boundaries of your ego that separate people and divide the world no longer exist. Imagine yourself resting in this field of unity. As you rest in this field of unity become aware of how you are disappearing, and a presence – a force of far greater magnitu...

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Noticing

Share Inspiration starts with being attentive and experiencing wonder. From these simple acts, genuine interest can grow and serve as an antidote to the blasé attitudes that people — even, unfortunately, young ones — sometimes slip into. The girl who narrates Noticing starts out as one such disenchanted young person. When an unfamiliar voice remarks about the beautiful day, the girl replies, "It's okay, I guess." She happens to be sitting under a gorgeously gnarled old tree, with a fox, an owl, and two squirrels perched nearby, but she doesn't ...

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The Glass Wing

By Lucca Carlevarini When I was six years old, I traveled to Costa Rica with my family. I made a fantastic discovery! A butterfly with transparent wings. This butterfly was so amazing and eye-opening, my mom and I had never seen anything like it. It really showed me what nature could be. This magnificent insect is called the glasswing butterfly. The reason that their wings are nearly-invisible is that they barely reflect any light. When rays of sunlight strike the exterior of Lepidoptera (the Greek word for “scaled wings” and also the name for ...

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Finding the Personal Link

Share Using your chosen spiritual practice, take about fifteen minutes to quiet your mind and open your heart. As you enter your practice, focus on your connection to the whole. Now feel the hard edges of your ego that separate you from the earth begin to soften. Place your hands on your heart and ask your open heart about your connection with the earth. Take time to reflect, draw, and journal. Let your imagination free-associate moments of particular beauty where you felt connected to the natural world – a sunset, mountain hike, ocean, forest,...

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About TAO of Light

Yoga is a practice for everyone because it meets you exactly where you are in the present moment. From beginner students to advanced yogis and everything in between, Tao of Light Yoga welcomes everybody at all levels of their journey. There is a place for everyone inside our studio and it is our goal to make each and every student feel at home. It is your time on your mat that is important to us. We, at Tao of Light, will create a space that provides modern comfort for an ancient practice. As both a yoga studio and a sangha, we honor the tradition of the practice while respecting the diversity and individual beliefs of our students.

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Phone: 1 800 123 4567

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