Taking time to de-stress and welcome love into my being during a study break 🙏🏻// “Lord I come to tell you I love you, to tell you I need you, to tell you there’s no better place for me than in your arms, to tell you I’m sorry for running in circles…you’re the only one who brings me peace” ☝🏻

Effective Communication: Being Present

‘Our habits of speech can pull us away from being present. Sometimes we just talk to just talk, for no particular reason. When we are nervous, we may try to soothe that sensation by chattering. Speech is only one form of communication and a rather limited one at that. Sometimes we act as though it were the only arrow in our quiver: we pull it out whenever we do not know what else to do. But we could expand our repertoire of effective communication. Working with speech also includes learning to work with silence. Being aware of the power of silence makes it possible to consciously choose when to speak and when not to speak, what to say and what not to say, rather than just blurting out whatever pops into our head.

When we control our speech, it becomes a support for being present rather than an obstacle to it. Mindless talk distances us from our immediate experience and depletes our ability to stay with what is happening. Presence is about staying with the circumstances we are facing and not wiggling out. This does not mean that we just resign ourselves to putting up with whatever comes our way. It simply means that we do so from a point of engagement rather than from a conceptual and experiential distance.

- Judith L. Lief, Making Friends with Death: A Buddhist Guide to Encountering Mortality.

If you desire to be an advanced Yoga practitioner, please observe the Eight Limbs of Yoga as stated by Maharishi Patanjali, within the Yoga Sutras. Below is the Eight Limbed Path.

1. Yama: Moral Codes
2. Niyama: Observances
3. Asana: Postures
4. Pranayama: Yogic Breathing
5. Pratyahara: Preparation to increase mental power
6. Dharana: Mental Concentration
7. Dhyana: Devotion to God (The Divine)
8. Samadhi: Union with God (The Divine)

Please note that the third limb (asana) is just one of eight. While physical mastery is important, it is just a part of the whole. Physical mastery, without moral guidance, can become an egotistical pursuit. When the ego is allowed to run wild, it has no need to pursue mental, emotional, or spiritual growth.

Therefore, the sum of all eight limbs is Yoga, but asana alone is just a physical exercise. If Yoga were just a matter of performing splits and standing on one hand for medals, we would leave it to the Olympic gymnasts.

For the “advanced Yogi,” the practice requires a lifetime of study. There is more to be learned about Yoga than one lifetime will allow for. The advanced Yoga practitioner is, in fact, a student for life.

The natural world is full of all kinds of sounds and rhythms. There are melodious tunes as well as annoying sounds. Inappropriate words are often the source of afflictions which is why in Buddhism we are asked to “speak less and recite the Buddha’s name more”. Do not lie, do not speak negatively, do not say hurtful words, do not speak threatening words. When interacting with others, “right speech” is spiritual practice. To praise others is a kind of generosity.

– Venerable Fazhao

Dropping Distraction | Tricycle

“So you’re building awareness and you’ve examined your causes. If you haven’t yet, take a few minutes to walk around your office or house—or better yet, get outside—and contemplate these things for a few minutes. This article can wait. 

Now there are further, concrete steps you can take to rid yourself of digital distractions and focus on what you want or need to do. Consider taking one or more of these actions: 

  1.  Close as many browser tabs as you can. Bookmark some if you like, or save them with a “read later” service like Instapaper or Pocket. Let the others go. 
  2. Block your favorite distractions for a few hours. Games, social media, news sites. You don’t really need to go to them that often. 
  3. Write down the times you’re going to check email and other messages. Want to process email for 20 minutes at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 4 p.m.? Write that down. Stick to it. 
  4. Get away. Go outside for a walk. Ride your bike. Go for a run. Take the kids to the park. 
  5. Find a place with no WiFi, or turn off your router. 
  6. Delete social media accounts and any distracting apps on your phone—whatever you tend to turn to when you want a bump of distraction. 

Of course, there are other things you can do. Go on a retreat. Practice mindfulness in bits throughout the day. Take a day off from looking at any screens. The possibilities are endless.”

(via Dropping Distraction | Tricycle)

Feelings, whether of compassion or irritation, should be welcomed, recognized, and treated on an absolutely equal basis; because both are ourselves. The tangerine I am eating is me. The mustard greens I am planting are me. I plant with all my heart and mind. I clean this teapot with the kind of attention I would have were I giving the baby Buddha or Jesus a bath. Nothing should be treated more carefully than anything else. In mindfulness, compassion, irritation, mustard green plant, and teapot are all sacred.
—  Thich Nhat Hanh
Life tips

Don’t procrastinate ANYTHING.

Wake up earlier every morning.

Exercise or go for a walk every morning. Watch the sun rise.

Make your bed every morning.

Keep your bedroom organised and clean.

Do every piece of work like you’ve no choice but to get the highest grade.

Every time you eat you are either fighting or feeding disease.

Music. All the time.

If you don’t enjoy it, don’t do it. And don’t pretend to enjoy it.

Don’t bitch. At all.

Don’t pass up something that you know you’d enjoy.

Stop arguments before they get worse.

Dress however you like.

Don’t leave the house ‘til you feel photoshoot ready.

Make gratitude lists every day. Or in your head.

Meditate when you can. It DOES help.

Remember people are just people and there is never EVER any need to be nervous or anxious.

Fake confidence.

Always save at least a small amount of any payment you get- either into a savings account or to put away.

Sell the clothes you never wear- someone might be looking for that exact item of clothing.

Believe you can do anything, because you can.

Treat people exactly how you want to be treated.

Nobody is above you.

Read your books.

If you’re stuck, think about the advice you would give to a friend in your situation.

Instant calmer: Breathe in through your nose for 7 seconds. Hold for 4 seconds. Exhale through your mouth for 8 seconds.