Snow

Doesn’t happen much around here, so when it snows I enjoy the beauty of it all. It’s simply breathtaking to watch the snow fall so lightly and quietly.

To stand in the falling snow, to walk with only the slightest sound on an otherwise silent day.

To behold the beauty of each snow flake.

It’s a different story on the roads. Cars in ditches and people stranded. People seeking shelter, warmth and food.

So I take in the beauty of the snow and remain mindful of the dangers on the road. Mindful about those needing help, and struggling in the cold.

Snow days are beautiful and they give a reason to slow down, help out, connect and appreciate each other and nature.

Namaste,

Shobhna

Listening

We have a 14 year old Tibetan Parakeet we adopted a couple of years ago.  He came to us injured and couldnt go back to the home he had been living in.  His wing was broken and after his wing healed he needed to regain muscle strength to fly again. We were going to find him a different home but instead we decided he could stay with us.

He has his cage and the gate remains unlocked and he enjoys coming out and going back in as he pleases.  Although he is not learning any new words that we know of, he has a few phrases he uses with us.

One of them is “Can you hear me?”

He keeps asking the question as long as we are in the room and until we respond.

So he gets the response, “Yes Dewey, I can hear you” or some variation of that.  He is usually satisfied with that and starts doing other things. We go through this interaction everyday. He prefers a certain tone of voice and his name in the response. Anything different and we are back to his question.

Listening to someone is a gift to them and if we truly hear them, it is also a gift to ourselves.

Deep listening builds connection and understanding

Listening and being heard can be transformative

 

Namaste,

Shobhna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Walls

When you come upon a wall, throw your hat over it, and then go get your hat. 

Irish proverb

 

There are plenty of unseen walls in our life. We perceive them as we work towards goals.  We perceive them in any form of growth. In an ideal world we encourage each other to reach those goals, we help each other bring down the walls that they or someone else has built. We share our resources, because it reflects shared humanity.

On a personal level surrounding yourself with walls creates isolation. Walls of fear, guilt, shame, poverty, status, pursuit of happiness; you can give the wall any label, and as soon as it starts to limit you in any way its become an isolation wall.

There are those who will help you break down those walls and those who will argue against it, leave you, and insist there is a deeper purpose for that wall.  When its personal work, the effect of shutting people out or letting them in has consequences on many.

On a national level, building actual walls and having people believe, they don’t belong here is chopping at the roots of our shared humanity.  The ripple effects around the world are many. So as Donald Trump continues to insist on building walls, or banning people from entering the U.S., urge your senators to build what truly matters.

Buildings need walls for practical purposes. Humanity needs spaciousness of mind and heart, acceptance, and connections.

 

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin,

or his background, or his religion.

People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate,

they can be taught to love,

for love comes more naturally

to the human heart than its opposite.

Namaste,

Shobhna

 

Giving Thanks

 

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Thank you for reading my blog posts and for being in my blogging community.  

 

May you be safe

May you have mental happiness

May you live with physical ease

May you embrace your whole self

May you know peace 

 

Namaste,

Shobhna

 

 

 

 

Aligning with Nature

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Its that time of the year, and I cant resist marveling at the glorious colors that naturally occur. Soon the branches will be bare, and those too will look beautiful. But for now I am breathing in the beautiful hues of yellow, orange and red

 

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Not edible, but certainly beautiful in its own way.
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More beautiful yet poisonous mushrooms. I suppose not all thing that look wonderful are good for us.
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Did you know that Kiwis are higher in Vitamin C than oranges and even lemons? There are a lot of nutritional benefits of Kiwis. As you eat this vibrant fruit, savor its inner glistening radiating patterns too

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A slice of lemon in hot water can start or end a day beautifully.  It does not replace my coffee or tea intake, but drinking hot water with a slice of lemon has a renewing quality of its own. Hot water with lemon is a sure way to align with nature on any day.

Aligning with nature can bring inner balance and peace. It is from this place of belonging and connection that we can take actions  to bring peace to the world.

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread. Places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul  ~ John Muir

Namaste,

Shobhna


 

 

 

Informed Choice

If you live in the USA, I hope you will  exercise your right and ability to vote in November. Please read/hear all sides of the issues you are voting for and learn about the person you are voting for.  Ask questions if you are unsure of who and what to vote for.  Please make an informed decision, and know that all our  choices matter.  Our voice matters.

I went to my local library last week and there were two women at a table, offering to register people to vote. If a person was already registered to vote, they still engaged each person with an offering of a pamphlet, website to learn about issues and reminding people to vote. I appreciate them for their volunteering and their engaged activism.

In 2003, Thich Nhat Hahn spoke to the members of Congress and highlighted the practice of deep listening as a way to reduce anger and violence, while building compassion.

He also asked people to lobby to their elected officials,  saying “We have to offer them our insight, our compassion. We cannot just afford for them to be surrounded by advisers who do not have that insight, that compassion.

You can read the interview, listen to Thich Nhat Hahn via this link.  Although the interview is about 15 years old it is still so relevant. Perhaps even more relevant today.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/2003/09/19/september-19-2003-thich-nhat-hanh/1843/

Deep listening is difficult, when we disagree with others and their views. Its really not for the faint of heart.   Yet it is exactly at that point of difference when it is most crucial.

In Dalai Lamas words,

If you want others to be happy, practice Compassion.  If you want  to be happy, practice Compassion

Our choices matter. Our voice matters. Our future matters. Our planet matters.

Please vote.

Namaste,

Shobhna

 

 

Contemplating Freedom

Looking into the notion of being free and interdependence.

 

Is it possible to be free

If with every action we impact others

whether today or in years to come

Knowing that those who came before us and

those who come after us

are relying on us and we on them

Is it possible to be free?

 

 

 

 

 

Namaste,

Shobhna