Tips of the Day ~ February 2021
Flowing Into the Gap
Like the first small patch of blue
within an otherwise cloudy sky,
our first glimpse of something beyond
and behind the morass of thinking
can be a revelation.
See if you can notice the gap between
thoughts—and flow into this gap.
Be the vast blue sky
through which gentle or tumultuous
thought-clouds float …
Access deep rest and insight with
a midday power-nap. Here’s how:
Lie down and focus gently on
feelings of relaxation in your body.
Notice, also, moments of external silence
and the inner silence of the gaps
between thoughts. Become aware
of emotional ease, and see the field of
shimmering darkness behind
your eyelids …
Next time someone cuts you off in traffic
or taillights pile up in a jam,
invite the emergence of “road bliss”
rather than “road rage.” Here’s how:
Say “ahh” a few times to relax
your jaw and release the tension
in your neck and shoulders. Now,
put on your favorite music. Smile gently,
and send out thoughts of loving-kindness
to all the drivers around you.
Every now and again, just for fun,
perceive nakedly. What does this mean?
It means appreciating shapes and colors,
scents and sounds and tastes,
without the overlay of mental commentary.
Resist the temptation
to tell elaborate stories about
what you’re seeing, hearing or touching.
Instead, become deeply intimate
with the simple direct sensory experience.
Candle Flame Meditation
Focusing gently on a candle flame
is a beautiful way to calm your mind.
Let your gaze be soft and relaxed,
as you rest attention there.
If you get distracted, no problem—
just come back to being interested
in the flame, how it shines and dances.
Fall in love with its simple beauty.
Notice how you feel.
Commune with a Tree
Stand with your back against the trunk of a tree.
Understand the beautifully symbiotic relationship
that the two of you have:
Your exhalation (of carbon dioxide)
is the tree’s inhalation.
And the tree’s exhalation (of oxygen)
is your inhalation. How amazing!
If so inspired, plant a tree or two,
in honor of this deep connection.
One Arrow or Many?
When someone does something that
harms you, physically or emotionally,
it’s like an arrow that has lodged in your flesh.
When your mind mentally replays the offense,
obsessing over it—this is like shooting yourself
with another arrow, over and over again
in the same place. Is aggravating
the wound in this way
all that intelligent?