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10 Steps January 16, 2010

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10 Steps to Mindfulness
“Smile, breathe and go slowly.” – Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist monk

The idea of being mindful – being present, being more conscious of life as it happens – may seem contradictory to those who are used to sacrificing living for pursuing their goals … but cultivating mindfulness will help you achieve your goals and enjoy life more. In fact, you’re more productive when you’re mindful.

But more importantly, being present is undoubtedly the only way to enjoy life to the fullest. By being mindful, you enjoy your food more, you enjoy friends and family more, you enjoy anything you’re doing more. Anything. Even things you might think are drudgery or boring, such as housework, can be amazing if you are truly present. Try it – wash dishes or sweep or cook, and remain fully present. It takes practice, but it’s incredible.

Life in the Present: A 10-Step Approach

1. Do one thing at a time. Single-task, don’t multi-task. When you’re pouring water, just pour water. When you’re eating, just eat. When you’re bathing, just bathe. Don’t try to knock off a few tasks while eating or bathing or driving. Zen proverb: “When walking, walk. When eating, eat.”

2. Do it slowly and deliberately. You can do one task at a time, but also rush that task. Instead, take your time, and move slowly. Make your actions deliberate, not rushed and random. It takes practice, but it helps you focus on the task.

3. Do less. If you do less, you can do those things more slowly, more completely and with more concentration. If you fill your day with tasks, you will be rushing from one thing to the next without stopping to think about what you do. But you’re busy and you can’t possibly do less, right? You can. I’ve done it, and so have many busy people. It’s a matter of figuring out what’s important, and letting go of what’s not.

4. Put space between things. Related to the “Do less” rule, but it’s a way of managing your schedule so that you always have time to complete each task. Don’t schedule things close together – instead, leave room between things on your schedule. That gives you a more relaxed schedule, and leaves space in case one task takes longer than you planned.

5. Spend at least 5 minutes each day doing nothing. Just sit in silence. Become aware of your thoughts. Focus on your breathing. Notice the world around you. Become comfortable with the silence and stillness. It’ll do you a world of good – and just takes 5 minutes!

6. Stop worrying about the future – focus on the present. Become more aware of your thinking – are you constantly worrying about the future? Learn to recognize when you’re doing this, and then practice bringing yourself back to the present. Just focus on what you’re doing, right now. Enjoy the present moment.

7. When you’re talking to someone, be present. How many of us have spent time with someone but have been thinking about what we need to do in the future? Or thinking about what we want to say next, instead of really listening to that person? Instead, focus on being present, on really listening, on really enjoying your time with that person.

8. Eat slowly and savor your food. Food can be crammed down our throats in a rush, but where’s the joy in that? Savor each bite, slowly, and really get the most out of your food. Interestingly, you’ll eat less this way, and digest your food better as well.

9. Live slowly and savor your life. Just as you would savor your food by eating it more slowly, do everything this way – slow down and savor each and every moment. Tune into the sights and sounds and awaken your senses to the world around you.

10. Make cleaning and cooking become meditation. Cooking and cleaning are often seen as drudgery, but actually they are both great ways to practice mindfulness, and can be great rituals performed each day. If cooking and cleaning seem like boring chores to you, try doing them as a form of meditation. Put your entire mind into those tasks, concentrate, and do them slowly and completely. It could change your entire day (as well as leave you with a cleaner house).

Keep practicing. When you get frustrated, just take a deep breath. When you ask yourself, “What should I do now, Self?” The answer is, “keep practicing.”

“When you drive around the city and come to a red light or a stop sign, you can just sit back and make use of these twenty or thirty seconds to relax – to breathe in, breathe out, and enjoy arriving in the present moment. There are many things like that we can do.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
Source URL: http://www.thirdage.com/time-well-spent/10-steps-to-mindfulness
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* Zen master: Vietnam paid mobs to evict followers (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
* Marc Lesser: Beyond the Work-Life Balance (huffingtonpost.com)
* Followers of Thich Nhat Hanh Buddhist Monks Hide Out in Vietnam (grantlawrence.blogspot.com)
* Mindfulness training busts stress (cnn.com)
* Zen master accuses Vietnam of evicting his followers (guardian.co.uk)


Promises Of The Father June 27, 2009

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Promises Of The Father
Dr. Zachary Tims, Jr.
In Acts 1:1-4, Jesus lovingly encouraged His disciples before He ascended into heaven. “…And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father…”

God is a covenant keeping God. He will keep his promises and the assurance of his Word over your life forever. When Jesus spoke these words to His disciples, it was time for Him to go to the Father in Heaven and be seated at the right side of His throne (Hebrews 1:3).

Jesus told them in John 14:18, “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” His divine preparation for the future of the church relied on instilling confidence and assurance in these disciples. Although the Holy Spirit had not yet come, Jesus wanted to let them know they would not go on without His help. He would be with them always.

Jesus, couldn’t be everywhere at all times when he was on this earth. He took on human character which had finite limitations. But the promise of the Father, through the Holy Spirit, made Christ able to minister to us everywhere. He is making intercession for the saints of God while we are at work, to our children while they are in school, covering the lives of our spouses on the other side of town, even our mothers and brothers in far away states.

Yes, He is everywhere and ever making intercession from heaven’s vantage point. What does this mean for the church today? It simply means that God has your BACK!

It means that the Fatherhood of God covers and keeps us protected under His divine plan for our lives. As Jesus Christ has ascended into Heaven and sat down at the right hand of the Father, He is still working on our behalf, praying for us and helping us. He sees the adversities, the trials of life, and how the devil is attacking us.

We don’t have to quit, give up, or fall short of the glory because by faith, we can stand the heat and we don’t buckle under the pressure or throw in the towel by backsliding. Sometimes it feels like God is not there and we feel forsaken. Remember that God was there with the three Hebrew boys in the fiery furnace. Although he wasn’t revealed until the heat was at its highest, God will also be the fourth Man in our fiery furnaces of affliction.

We cannot live by feelings, therefore we must live by faith.

A good parent starts to prepare dinner for their children when anticipating a time when they will be hungry. Yes, we can believe God is in the kitchen getting things together. He has our best interest in mind. He won’t let the enemy destroy us, no matter what it seems like, or how distressed our situation may get. He won’t hide from you like some people do when you are going through. People will leave you but not Jesus Christ. He will not leave you comfortless.

In closing, how do we know Jesus is praying for us? We should not be alive today. We deserved to go to hell for our sins. We shouldn’t have made it this far. Through all His sacrifice and suffering on our behalf, He gave us the saving grace to be saved, sanctified and set free. Just keep your faith alive, read the promises in the Bible, mark them out for your personal affirmations and declare them over your life daily.

As you keep moving forward and pressing your way, God has your back. No matter what season of life you are in now, the key is to wait, because God will not leave you alone.

“But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew [their] strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; [and] they shall walk, and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31.

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Nine Ways to Find Peace of Mind June 22, 2009

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By Susan Jeffers, Ph.D.

We are an anxious nation…in fact, we are an anxious world. There is no question that uncertainty seems to have increased dramatically in the last few years. We worry about terrorism. We worry about war. We worry about losing our jobs. We worry about the dangers confronting our children. And on and on and on.

This worry is understandable, given the state of the world at the present time, but there is no question in my mind that, with the right tools…

All of us can rise above any situation that life hands us. All of us can live a fulfilling life in the middle of the turmoil.

All of us can find a sense of peace and purpose.

In my newest book, Embracing Uncertainty, I provide the tools that I have found most effective in helping us see the world in a more life-affirming and powerful way.

Learn how to find peace of mind.

Un-Set Your Heart

Un-setting your heart means letting go of your picture of how you want it all to be. It means letting go of trying to control things over which you have no control. One of the prime causes of our suffering is our wanting things to be different than they are. Yes, we all want a peaceful world instead of a world filled with weapons of mass destruction.

Yes, we all want health instead of illness. Yes, we all want healthy, happy children instead of children who break our hearts. But sometimes life doesn’t hand us what we want. And when we un-set our hearts from our needing it all to be a certain way, we can breathe a sigh of relief and open the door to a more powerful way of living.

Create a Wondering Life Instead of a Hoping Life

It helps us un-set our hearts when we replace the words “I hope” with the words “I wonder.” Let me demonstrate. Instead of “I hope the war ends quickly,” make it “I wonder if the war will end quickly.” Instead of “I hope the stock market goes up,” make it “I wonder if the stock market will go up.” Instead of “I hope I keep my job,” make it “I wonder if I’ll keep my job.” Notice the relief in this simple shift.

Even with difficult situations in our lives, substituting “I wonder” for “I hope” keeps our hopes from being dashed and opens up the possibility of our learning and growing from whatever happens.

Choose the Path of Trust

When you fully understand that you have little control of the external world, you then have two choices: you can choose to see yourself as a “poor-me” victim at the mercy of circumstances or you can choose to develop the trust that, no matter what happens in your life or in the world, you will have the inner strength to create something good from it all. Hopefully you will choose the latter! (more…)

June 3, 2009

Posted by luckyrooster in faith, healing, health, love, prayer, spiritual, well.
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Mark 16:17-18 “And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name . . . they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.”

James 5:16 says “that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Isaiah 40:31 “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary, and they shall walk and not faint.”

Psalm 34:19 “Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.”

Great Happiness June 1, 2009

Posted by luckyrooster in faith, god, happiness, love, peace, prayer, spiritual.
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Great Is Our Happiness
Great is, O King,
our happiness
in thy kingdom,
thou, our king.
We dance before thee,
our king,
by the strength
of thy kingdom.
May our feet
be made strong;
let us dance before thee,
Give ye praise,
all angels,
to him above
who is worthy of praise.

Prayer May 29, 2009

Posted by luckyrooster in jesus, love, peace, prayer, spiritual.
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Love Power May 28, 2009

Posted by luckyrooster in black, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., love, prayer, spiritual.
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Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Morning Devotional May 27, 2009

Posted by luckyrooster in devotional, faith, jesus, love, prayer.
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The Wisdom / Riches Connection
Pastor Andre Butler

I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgment: That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance; and I will fill their treasures. — Proverbs 8:17-21

In the Scripture above, the wisdom of God is speaking. In this context, the wisdom of God is very simply the Word of God–the Word that you find written in the Bible, and the Word that He may speak to your spirit. God is teaching you here that where you find wisdom you will find riches. There is a wisdom/riches connection.

Wisdom and riches are like Batman and Robin–where you see one, you see the other. But the riches that come with this type of wisdom are not the types of riches that you see in the world today. The world is seeing that their riches are uncertain riches, but the Bible teaches that the wisdom of God will produce durable riches in your life.

This means that even when the economy is down, you will still have your riches and when it is up, you will still have your riches. You can be an individual that does not have to participate in the world’s economy because you operate on the Word economy. As members of the Body of Christ, we can see increase, even in times of economic recession.

You see in verse 20 above that God’s wisdom leads us in the way of righteousness. Notice that there is one way to righteousness. All of the other religions in the world are not just different ways up the mountain, as many would have you believe. No, there is only one way to righteousness, and the verse above says that God’s wisdom leads you in that way so that you can inherit substance.

Now, wisdom leads in the way for reasons other than just that, but here God is emphasizing the inheritance of substance. God is saying that He has given you His Word so that you, as His child, can inherit substance and have full treasures. Now, today you don’t have “treasures” so to speak, but you do have a bank account. God has given you His wisdom so that He can fill up your bank accounts. He didn’t just say put something in it–He said fill it! The point is, God wants to fill your treasures.

You can see very clearly from Proverbs that God’s will for you is that you operate in divine wealth. His will is that you don’t just have enough, but that you have more than enough, so much so that you don’t have room enough to receive it (see Malachi 3:10).

You should have so much substance that it will cause the world to look at you and want to know how you received it, and want to know the God that gave it to you!

Jesus May 26, 2009

Posted by luckyrooster in jesus, love, peace.
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What’s Goin’ On May 25, 2009

Posted by luckyrooster in black, god, jesus, love, marvin gaye, music, peace, spiritual.
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