Blue Heron Mindfulness
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On snowflakes and breathing
Do you remember the moment when someone told you that no two snowflakes are exactly alike?
When I first heard that, it felt like I had experienced a miracle. The idea that snowflakes were individually shaped seemed impossible, and so I went outside and looked closely as a snowflake fell on my coat.
And then another.
It was true. They weren't the same!
Excited, I ran inside to show my parents of my discovery. I remember my disappointment as the snowflakes melted before my eyes.
If you take even just a few minutes to watch your breathing it will become obvious to you that each breath is like a snowflake: fleeting, unique, and then gone.
Just follow along without judging, thinking, liking or condemning. Instead of demanding that your breathing be a certain way, see how it actually is - each breath different from the last.
As for the breath, so also for every moment of our lives: fleeting, unique, and then gone. We can resist that truth, but if you try to hold your breath the body will soon teach you that you have to let go.
There is so much to learn from snowflakes, or a simple breath!
the practice of letting go
It can be confusing to see attachment as unhealthy. After all, isn't it just an expression of love?
Or could it grow from something else?
What if much of suffering came from attachment and the threads of bondage that come along with it?
Attachment is related to greed, but it is more subtle than that. We can be attached to a relationship, an identity, or a viewpoint.
Letting go is not abandonment. It is the practice of allowing life to happen according to its own natural way. We let go of the illusion that we are in control.
Mindfulness for Musicians:
the art of the present moment
Hearing a great musician is a true lesson in mindfulness. Somehow they seem to have sublimated themselves to the composer's intention while being fully present to infinite possibilities.
Music is the art of being in the "now" - a perfect balance of intention and discovery. Mindfulness training increases the musicians' concentration, helps calm the mind, quiets the inner judges and embraces the act of giving fully.
In the quiet of practice we can see our self-created barriers to creativity, replace routine with curiosity and exchange stage fright for growing confidence.
Finding a Moment of Peace:
living mindfully in work and relationships
Whether you're in traffic, at the office or in your home is there just too much stress, dysfunction, and disappointment? Where can you find relief?
As life unfolds around us it can impact us in unexpected ways. We can feel powerless to change our circumstances, unable to make another person change according to our wishes for them, and disconnected from that love we once felt for those closest to us.
The suffering that feels like it is coming from outside ourselves is actually created within - and the peace we seek is also there. Explore how you might apply a mindful approach to the challenges of life, work and relationships.
beyond habitual behavior
Habits allow us to do things without thinking. When we drive a car or sign our name we're using habitual behavior in a positive way.
So what is it about habit that can be so limiting? Why is it so hard to quit smoking, or get off the internet, or leave a failing relationship? It seems like the same force that helps us drive also makes us unable to address our unwanted habits and addictions..
Reclaiming Freedom explores the roots of habitual behavior. It can patiently offer a way out of the prison of habit back to freedom.
Mindfulness and Emotions:
Emotions are our constantly changing companions. They enrich our world, connect us to others and lend meaning to life. They also lay traps that ensnare us, destroy friendships, and pull us off-center with little warning.
How do we relate to these companions?
Mindfulness allows us to observe emotions without having to act on them. It cuts through the identification with every emotion as being innately "me".
Through mindfulness we can watch emotions arise and pass away, gain patience and equilibrium, and find insights into impermanence - seeing reality as it actually is.
keeping secrets from myself
You might look at your adult life situation as the accumulation of viewpoints, life-experiences, and lessons passed on to you from those who came before. As children we often imitated those unconscious patterns thinking they were our own. What appeared to be making a personal choice can reveal itself to have been the playing out of generations of life patterns we didn't even notice we had inherited.
There is great power in seeing the context of your life in light of those who came before. Freedom isn't rejection of the past. It's awareness of what is possible right here, right now.