Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Patio of the Mind

If you sweep the patio in November after leaves have fallen, you wouldn't expect it to stay clean forever. The patio is like the mind. Mindfulness meditation practice can feel like sweeping the mind and clearing away the thoughts strewn about making a big mess.
---- Have you swept lately?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Drum

"Another gift of the drum, in learning to play it and appreciate it, is that it brings you peace. When you play the drum, you take your frustrations out on the drum itself, instead of on people. The energy you put into drumming is the kind of energy that will change your mood. When you are drumming, you really forget yourself, and probably certain aggravations too, things that might trouble the mind. You may even find solutions to problems while you are playing. You may become resigned to certain  things that may otherwise be bothersome. Drumming helps you reestablish your faith in yourself and your abilities. Drumming just does so much for you, especially if you are enjoying what you are playing. You become tuned in to so many positive ideas that you forget the negative. Drumming can be the beginning of a healing process for what is troubling your soul. You can learn to say "Look, things will change if I can just learn to exercise some patience and forebearance."

-- Babatunde Olatunji
from The Beat of My Drum, an autobiography

Babatunde Olatunji

"One of the most enduring gifts for anyone who plays the drums is the realization that drums are powerful instruments for unity, for bringing peopleof all levels, of all cultures, together through their equal contributions. No one person's contribution is greater than anyone else's. The drum is the great equalizer. When you play your part, and I play my part, it means the kind of collaborationt hat allows your light to shine as well as mine, because we both stay in rhythm and the whole effect is powerful."

"The important thing is not to play for anyone's satisfaction but your own. You are the one that has to feel good, to feel happy, to be in a good mood. Then you can inspire others. You have to feel good about yourself first."

--- Babatunde Olatunji
from The Beat of My Drum, his autobiography

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Mastering Our Anger

We need to master our own anger before we can help others do the same. When the flames of anger flare up, we tend to lash out at those who have watered our seeds of anger. It is like finding our house on fire, and instead of putting out the flames, chasing those we think started it. Arguing with others only waters the seeds of anger in us. When anger rises, return to yourself and use the energy of mindfulness to embrace, soothe, and illuminate it. Do not think you will feel better if you can make the other person suffer, too.

–Thich Nhat Hanh, from Teachings on Love (Parallax Press)

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Be Happy Now

You Can Be Happy Right Now

Many of us think that happiness is not possible in the present moment. Most of us believe that there are a few more conditions that need to be met before we can be happy. This is why we are sucked into the future and are not capable of being present in the here and now. This is why we step over many of the wonders of life.

–Thich Nhat Hanh, from Be Where You Are (Parallax Press)