a way to practice “letting go” in your daily life

In her book, “small bites – mindfulness for everyday use”, Annabelle Zinser teaches us how we are going to let go:

“You can ask yourself, ‘can I truly open myself up to all the changes in this new situation?’  This can help you develop acceptance, equanimity, and curiosity.  Once in an obituary I read a quote from the Sufi master Hazrat.  It has accompanied me ever since: ‘When the roof over your head collapses, you can finally see the sky.’  This quote continues to help me let go and develop an unconditional acceptance toward what is and what will be.  Practicing with the small things helped me to see that I am increasing my ability to rediscover the sky during the difficult times as well. ”

Annabelle suggests that:

“Breathing and walking meditation are also wonderful opportunities to practice letting go.  You need to let go of your in-breath in order to fully experience your out-breath.  And you need to let go of your out-breath in order to fully experience the next in-breath.  you need to complete the step with the left leg in order to to step with the right leg.”

Before my breathing and walking meditation, I think about the things I need to let go just for that moment.  Then I start my breathing and walking meditation.  At the beginning, I experience the breath in & out, and the steps with the left leg and the right leg.  Then, I “let all worries, problems, and plans drift by like clouds in a windy sky” when I breath in.  I “gently give myself a hug and I am willing to let go” when I breath out.  I start to see the sky as the clouds have been being drifted.

 

The gift of the present

American Cartoonist, Bil Keane, once said:

“Yesterday’s the past, tomorrow’s the future, but today is a gift.  That is why it is called the present.”

My friend, be mindful of the gift of every present moment in our life.  Open your hands to receive this gift.  Open your heart to live in every “this moment”.

choosing the way to wake up every morning

In her book, “Small Bites: Mindfulness for Everyday Use”, Annabelle Zinser wrote,

“How did you wake up this morning?  And how did you handle those moments of awakening?  Did you say, ‘How wonderful, it’s the beginning of a new day; I wonder what the day has in store for me.  Can I embrace myself and all other beings who cross my path today with understanding, friendliness, and compassion’?  Or did you say, ‘Oh no, yet another new day.  When I start thinking about the upcoming day, it feels like way too much’?”

In addition to giving thanks to God for the morning, waking up and embracing each morning (and day) with wonder & compassion is the way of awakening.

good reminder, do not give people unlimited access to your lives

In his book, “a life having and doing enough”, Wayne Muller points out and reminds us that: “There are few real, authentic emergencies that require our immediate, life-saving response.  So why is this important?  Because more and more people presume unlimited access to our lives, our homes, our time.  Those who want something from us expect us to give it to them.  They assume that if the have our possible contact information, we should respond…If our time, our privacy, our choice to create our own schedule is neither a right nor even a privilege, soon our own lives are none of our business but rather are the business of anyone who has access to us…”

Are you the one who send a message to your friends or colleagues and expect them to make response instantly?  I have always people that I am not always beside my phone and I won’t able to answer the phone and check my message all the time.  I do not make response immediately does not mean that you are less important.  I do need a break or what I have been doing is equally important and I need to deal with it at first.

Just for today, building instead of destroying

When I am reading “Just for today” (one of the textbooks for the Narcotics Anonymous group) this morning, I am reminded that “Though I may be feeling low, I don’t need to tear someone down to build myself up…The way to build our self-esteem is not to tear others down but to build them up through love and positive concern.  To help us with this, we can ask ourselves if we are contributing to the problem or to the solution.  Today, we can choose to build instead of destroy”.

Today, I choose to build.  What/how about you?  What/how about tomorrow?

Living in the present moment in our daily challenge

In the past hour of waiting for someone coming to the scheduled meeting, I have learned both the difficulty and the benefit of enjoying the present moment. I kept looking around at the beginning, and eventually I told myself, “why bother, just enjoy the time, just be open to whatever it is coming”. Thank God for the time that I really enjoy the coffee and the time to read and reflect.

making choices that are good for all

Ilchi Lee once said, 

“When you make choices, please remember: what is good for you but not good for others won’t be good for you either, eventually; what’s good for you and others but not good for the Earth won’t be good for you or others either, eventually; what’s good for you, others, and the Earth will be good for all.”

People make bad choices all the time.  That is why we have war, violence, pollution and…

Remember, make choices that are good for all.  Otherwise, the choice you make eventually won’t be good for you either.

the power of your love and the problems of this world

Debasish Mridha once said ” Let the power of your love change the world, but never let the problems of this world change the beauty of your love”.  This is a good reminder that the power of our love is greater than the problem of this world.  The problem of this world, hatred, violence, anti-intellectual, exclusiveness, bias, fear…need to be solved and healed by our love.  My friends, together, we have the power to change the world.  The question is if you believe and you are willing to exercise this power, LOVE.

Is there any dust in your heart?

The Chinese Zen Master Huineng once said, “Bodhi really has no tree; nor is clear mirror the stand; nothing’s there initially; so where can the dust motes land?”

The mirror does not really exist.  Although the dust motes keep failing, there is nothing for them land on or cling to, and there is nothing to wipe clean.

If you have peace in your heart, you have no dust that needs to be wipe clean in you no matter how dusty outside of you is.

the power of love and the love of power

Do you know the difference between “the power of love” and “the love of power”?  Do you know the consequence of these two?   William Ewart Gladstone once said, “When the power of love will replace the love of power, then will our world know the blessings of peace”.    Looking at the world today (March 2022), you may know why some parts of the world is not at peace now and how we can have peace.  My friends, choose “LOVE”, “PEACE” will come.

my shelter in times of trouble

My friend is a group leader in NA (Narcotics Anonymous).  He gave me one of their books called “Just for Today”.  I found that this book offers many insightful messages for everyone.

I like to share one of the messages: “I know that faith in my Higher Power will not calm the storms of life, but it will calm my heart.  I will let my faith shelter me in times of trouble”,

Do you have any shelter in times of trouble?  What is it?   For me, my shelter is God.  “God is our shelter and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.  So we will not be afraid…”

Listening with the ear of our heart

I took my car to the auto shop for regular maintenance.    While I was waiting for the service, I opened the book “a life of being, having, and doing enough” by Wayne Muller.  His writing on “listening with the ear of our heart” touched my heart instantly:

“When our attention is bombarded daily, overwhelmed and saturated with the relentless clanging of so much speaking, announcing, sharing, selling, convincing, offering, presenting, discussing, declaring, and demanding – how can ever find sufficient quiet to listen deeply to anything?  When can we fully attend those still, small voices of inner wisdom that reveal to us what is good, necessary, or nourishing?…..prayers of invocation …asking God to “come here, be with us and bless us”…Who are we…to assume God is not here and everywhere already – and worse, that we must call him as we would a family pet, to come?  The more humble, honorable – and accurate – prayer would recognize it is not God who is missing; rather, it is we who need to show up, to open our closed and fearful hearts, to listen with an ear bent toward the divine”.

When I followed the prayer he offered, I prayed with tear.  For a while, I have not been being mindful of God’s presence and I have not been being attentive to God’s voice.  If you are willing, join me to do and experience the following prayer:

“God, I beg you to cleanse our distracted hearts, that we may center ourselves in you, feel you here, guiding us, so we may listen and attend to your wisdom and guidance for us”.

Mother’s living stories

Have you heard about “The Mother’s Living Stories” project?  From 1995-2005, Mothers’ Living Stories,  a San Francisco Bay Area-based nonprofit project, listened to ill mothers and developed services and resources to support them.  Many trained volunteers went to the (especially young) mothers’ home, sat by their side for many hours, and listened to them tell about their lives.  The stories were for the dying mothers’ children.

These mothers would never see their children grow up.  And their children would never be able to ask their mother about her life, about her dreams, her disappointments and her….  They would never have the opportunity to ask: “How should I love?  How do I know what is right?  What di you do when you were my age? …”

The volunteers asked the mothers to tell them everything they would tell their growing children for when they are older, for when they need a mother’s loving words to them what they need to hear.

The volunteers then collected those stories, compiled edited transcripts and put it all in a beautiful box decorated with photos from the mothers’ life, friends, and family.  The stories would be able to be kept safe until the right time, until they are needed, and the children are ready to hear them.

How many of us would have treasured such a gift from a loved one passed too soon?  How many questions would we ask, if we could?

How many of us would feel the need and be ready to ask while our beloved mother (and father) still alive.

It is not too late to spend your time to ask and get to know more about your beloved ones.  It is not too late to seek for their guidance and wisdom.

Definition of Church Planting

I have been discerning and preparing new church initiatives, I got Aubrey Malphurs’ book, “The Nuts and Bolts of Church Planting: A Guide for Starting Any Kind of Church”. In this book, Aubrey Malphurs writes: “I define church planting as an exhausting but exciting venture of faith, the planned process of starting and growing local churches based on Jesus’s promise to build his church and in obedience to his Great Commission”.

Why do we need to plant a new church? We are going to plant and grow a church in obedience to his Great Commission. Since this is an exhausting venture, I need fellow pilgrims. Your prayers and partnership (in many different ways) are invited and appreciated. For the sake of His Kingdom Ministry, let’s follow His way together.

Gender, process or fact?

As a Christian and an Anglican priest (not only because of Christian identity and vocation, but also my passion), I love to reach out to the people in the community. One group of people I have never met personally are transgender. Lately, I start to read a book called “Gender: Your Guide – A GENDER-FRIENDLY PRIMER ON What to Know, What to Say, and What do Do in the New Gender Culture” by Lee Airton.

In this book, Lee Airton writes, “transgender people were assigned a sex and corresponding gender category at birth, but this assignment doesn’t reflect who we are”. In the book, Lee explains how gender works from the perspective of gender as an ongoing, lifelong process.

For me, I am in a lifelong journey/path to be true manhood. I am still learning and becoming a man I was designed by God to be. From this point of view, I experience & see gender as an ongoing, lifelong process.

The most precious valuable gift you can offer

In his book “a life of being have doing enough”, Wayne Muller wrote:

“Perhaps the greatest wealth you possess, the most precious valuable gift you can ever hope to offer any human being, is this one, simple, true things: You. Your Presence. Showing up. Being in the company of another, undistracted, unhurried, with an open heart, gentle hands, and a patient soul. Willing and able to listen, do something or do nothing, willing to be surprised by whatever emerges in the soil of sharing your present, loving company with another human being”.

How often have you offered this gift to others? How often have you received this gift from others? Do you value this the most precious valuable gift?

Beyond the ordinary teachings of forgiveness

I resonate with Derek Lin that “Egoism is something we created for ourselves, so it is something we can dismiss with a simple decision. Without egoism there is nothing bruise, hurt, or wound. Without damages or injuries to the ego, pride, or dignity, there is also nothing to forgive. There is how the sage transcends beyond the ordinary teachings of forgiveness. By recognizing that the true self can never be hurt, and it is only the false projections of the ego that are damaged by criticisms and insults, we bypass the constant striving to forgive others.” (from his book “The Tao of Daily Life”)

In here, Derek Lin is not discussing about right or wrong. Instead, Derek Lin points out to us the ancient way of “protecting” us from hurting by criticisms and insults. “Nothing to forgive” in here means we are not carrying negative feelings with us everywhere. That negativity won’t become a burden to us. This is not about right or wrong and if the person hurt us need to be responsible. What Derek Lin has offered is the ancient way to be free and safe from criticisms, insults and our egoism.