Oh my! Can you believe December is here already!

Our theme for this month is Peace and Joy. Let’s cultivate both in our lives this month with practices, meditations, exercises, a little yoga and more. 

I love this short snippet from a book called Zen: Stories of a Modern Zen Master

Om Mani Padme Hum

Zen Master said, “A mantra is a very powerful word. When you chant a mantra, do it softly and gently. Focus your attention on the sound of the mantra. Become absorbed in it.” He continued, “Om Mani Padme Hum (ohm-mahneepahdmayhoom) is a mantra you can chant anytime of the day when you’re not formally meditating. You can chant it while you’re working, when you feel stressed, when you’re cooking, when you’re exercising, when you’re waiting in line. When you’re alone by yourself, you can chant it out loud. Or you can chant it mentally. This mantra means the jewel is within the lotus. Happiness, bliss, joy is within you; not outside

From: Starr, Marie. Zen: Stories of a Modern Zen Master for Bringing Peace into Your Daily Life

Now you may not be one who chants mantras, but the idea is to keep one’s focus all throughout the day. Throughout the day, may everything we do be an act of meditation and contemplation.

By this simple mantra, “jewel within the lotus,” we find that peace and joy is not outside of us in any way. It is there glowing within us. It is ready to expand into our mind and into the world. And so we come to the quiet so that we may do so.

Let this month be a time for quiet reflection, a slowing down of the whirlwind of activities, particularly now that it is the holidays. Take time for yourself every single day. You may say, as I did recently, my schedule doesn’t allow it. I sure learned my lesson, and one that I SHOULD know already! However, when I remembered, and when you do so to,  it creates a resounding peace in the inner sanctuary. Let your sanctuary be lit with devotional candles to your Inner Spirit.


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