Peace Is Every Step

“Breathing and smiling together — that is peace education…. Peace is available in every moment, in every breath, in every step.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, in the closing paragraph of his book Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life, originally published in 1991.

 

Dear reader,

Have you read any books by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh? If so, I welcome you to share your experiences in the comments below… If not, perhaps you will be inspired by this post to check him out… Here is a link to some of his 100 books: Plum Village Key Books.

For many years I had Nhat Hanh’s book Peace Is Every Step on my shelf, and from time to time I read a few random parts… But this Summer I was inspired to read it cover to cover, and now I have read it at least three times! It is so very good that I took eight pages of notes and now I am studying those notes daily. I highly recommend this book! In this post I will share a few of my favorite parts…

The book is organized into three parts, and I found the second part to be the most helpful because it is primarily about working with feelings. This is the best book I have ever read about how to skillfully work with difficult emotions. Nhat Hanh points out that our feelings are parts of us; that they are not separate from us. So he says, “Instead of acting as if we can dispose of parts of ourselves, we should learn the art of transformation.” He then goes on to explain, step by step, how to transform the energies of anger, fear, depression, anxiety, and so on. If this section of the book was taught in all of our schools and workplaces, the world would become happier, healthier, and more peaceful within one generation!

One of my very favorite parts is called “Nourishing Healthy Seeds” in which Nhat Hanh writes, “Consciousness exists on two levels: as seeds and as manifestations of these seeds. Suppose we have a seed of anger in us. When conditions are favorable, that seed may manifest as a zone of energy called anger. It is burning, and it makes us suffer a lot. It is very difficult for us to be joyful at the moment the seed of anger manifests.”

He continues, “Every time a seed has an occasion to manifest itself, it produces new seeds of the same kind. If we are angry for five minutes, new seeds of anger are produced and deposited in the soil of our unconscious mind during those five minutes. That is why we have to be careful in selecting the kind of life we lead and the emotions we express. When I smile, the seeds of smiling and joy have come up. As long as they manifest, new seeds of smiling and joy are planted.”

I believe this is a very important book. I want to give a copy to everyone I know! Have you read this book already? If so, what was your favorite part?

One last quote that really resonates with me:
“We all have the seeds of love and compassion in our minds, and we can develop these fine and wonderful sources of energy.”

May All Beings Know Peace, Love, and Compassion!

With great love and gratitude,
Teja

 

Photo of lone dandelion at sunset by Natalia Luchanko on Unsplash.

 

Become the Master of Your Emotions by Focusing on Witness Consciousness

Some people are afraid of their emotions. Are you afraid of your emotions?

When people are afraid of their emotions, it is typically because they fear that the feelings will be too big for them to handle. They fear that the emotions will overwhelm them.

Focusing on Witness Consciousness can help you to become the master of your emotions. If a feeling arises that feels scary, say to yourself, “I am the Witness who is watching this emotion pass through my system.” You are not the emotion, but rather, the emotion is an energy that is passing through you.

I hope this post is helpful to you or to someone you love.

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

 

image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech

 

 

Are You the Witness Today?

Every moment we have a choice: get caught up in what’s happening, OR be the Witness of what’s happening.

Getting caught up can look like anxiety, fear, anger, shame, guilt, grief, jealousy, disappointment.

Being the Witness can look like Peace, Patience, Understanding, Acceptance, Gratitude, Compassion, Love, Happiness.

Are you the Witness today?

 

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Parts Work for Difficult Emotions

Are you in regular communication with all of the different parts of yourself? Did you know that talking with your different parts can help you to navigate difficult emotions?

Parts Work means just what it says: working with your parts!

Parts Work is an effective technique for working with grief, anger, anxiety, fear, shame, jealousy, and any other difficult emotion. You pretty much just have conversations with all the different parts of you. So, you say, “Hey, angry part of myself, what’s going on? Why are you so angry?” And then you listen to the response before recognizing that the angry part is just one part of your wholeness. You then dialogue with a more positive, happy part to see how they are doing. I mean, why is that part still feeling so happy even though the other part is so angry?

Isn’t it so interesting and fascinating to examine how complex we are as feeling beings?

Parts Work helps to develop your strong inner coach, the one who can rally your parts into teams that support each other to work it all out. Parts Work also increases your Self-Love, because it helps you to understand all of your parts and to have compassion for them.

Have you experienced the healing benefits of working with your parts? Or are you new to this practice? Please share in the comments below, down where it says “Leave a Reply.”

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Image from Public Domain Pictures

Guided Imagery Exercise for Difficult Emotions

Are you dealing with any anxiety, fear, anger, or grief? If yes, this guided imagery exercise will help you to ride the waves of those difficult emotions until they shift or dissolve.

Sit or lie down in a quiet spot. Take a few relaxing breaths, and then begin. First, tune in and notice where you feel the emotion in your body. Second, ask yourself what that emotion feels like, looks like, and sounds like. What color is it? What texture? Is it heavy or light? What shape is it? Does it make a sound? And third, using your imagination, create a healing antidote, and notice what it feels like, looks like, and sounds like.

For example, let’s say you are feeling some anger passing through your system, and when you tune in, you feel it in your gut. It feels gripping, and you notice that it looks like heavy black tar with spikes. The shape reminds you of a panther’s head. There is a growling sound, as if it might jump out and bite you. So now create a healing antidote to this angry cat in your gut. You might imagine a warm glistening white light entering your belly and surrounding the black tar. This white light is soft and dreamy like floating clouds, yet it carries a strong healing energy. It settles down over the black image, and as it does so, you might notice that the black tar begins to shrink. Bathed in the healing energy of the white light, the anger begins to fade.

This exercise can be done repeatedly until the difficult emotion shifts or dissolves altogether. After you try this out, please come back here and share your experiences in the comments below, down where it says “Leave a Reply.”

To illustrate this exercise further, here is another example. I made up the first example, but the following one comes from my life. I am carrying a grief in my heart that is so deep I often wonder if it will ever heal. Recently while lying on the Amethyst Crystal Biomat, this guided imagery arose:

The grief in my heart is like sharp heavy stones covered with thick mud… and now a bright orange radiant light is entering my heart… it is like warm, smooth, orange stones… and fragrant orange flowers… and sparkling orange jewels… and glittering orange stars… and it is shining and glowing so bright like a warm healing fire… and day by day it is taking over my heart, so that little by little those sharp, heavy, muddy stones are falling out of my heart, down into the earth… down into the hot ball of iron at the center of the earth, where they are exploding and burning up in the hot iron… and, more and more I am healing in the radiant orange light that is spreading in my heart and throughout my whole being… and it is radiating out to all the beings in all the realms…. 

Can you feel it?

 

 

Image credit: NASA/ESA/Andrew C. Fabian