Finding our Way, Moment to Moment, to the Stilling of Stress & Growing Peace

This triptych, photographed by me from doorways in Rajasthan, India, is printed on a high-grade linen with oil paint and is in a current Show at Sacred Roots Holistic Gallery in Long Beach.  The Show will be up until mid-October, 2018.


Over 2,600 years ago, the Buddha taught, “Live in joy and love, even among those who hate. Live in joy and health, even among the afflicted. Live in joy and peace, even among the troubled. Look within, be still, free from fear and attachment. Know the sweet joy of the Way.”

So, what exactly is this ‘Way’…and the ‘sweet joy’ that the Buddha is referring to?

The Way is not really an external road or way, but our MIND.  Our mind has many attachments, fears, hindrances & resistances.   We navigate the way of our mind through the practice of MEDITATION, which essentially is learning ways to quiet the mind and steady the heart.   For those less familiar with meditation, please refer to the ‘guided meditations’  on my website as a means for guidance and/or stabilizing your practice.

The Way is about learning to do no harm, or even less harm to ourselves and others.  It is about getting in touch with what is essentially GOOD within ourselves, so that we are better able to bring that goodness to the outside.

In the bigger picture, a PATH is about AWAKENING.  But for many of us, AWAKENING is a big word.  What, specifically are we being invited, via a practice of attending to our mind, to awaken to?

Since the 1st Foundation of Mindfulness is about attending to our breath and body sensations as a means for being more present and embodied, the door to awakening begins in the simple PAUSE – of stepping OUT of habits of mind, and finding the here and now.

Awakening happens when the breath & body let go, and the sense doors open:  light for the eye; sound waves for the ear; taste for the tongue; a sensation for the body; a thought, like a cloud, arising in the mind.

With practice, consciousness becomes a stream that is constant with bare attention to what is arising and passing at EACH of the sense doors, without getting as hijacked by specific desires, aversions, or distractions (and WHEN we do become distracted, there is growing awareness of that being a distraction, rather than something permanent).

Awakening is learning to name and observe our experience and watching its changing nature, moment to moment.   With practice, we are able to recognize:

Joy is like this…
Sorrow is like this…
Pain is like this…
Numbness is like this…

We learn to recognize what is here, and release it with kind awareness.

Awakening becomes a journey toward embodied presence, a wise and open heart, and a growing mutuality to receive what is here, openly and tenderly.

When we can stand at the doorway of our own direct experience and learn to be with our self, just as we are, our heart opens more to growing acceptance, peace, and compassion.  We learn to bring this quality of attention to ourselves and to each other.

We enter each moment, just as it IS, meeting what’s here with kind awareness, curious attention, not clinging, not resisting, while learning to say,

“It’s like this…’

Please follow my blog as I share a guide for walking this Path to awakening.   Let’s bring this Path into focus and walk it together, step by step; moment by moment.

love, karen

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