Awakin.org

Waking up to Wisdom
In Stillness and Community

Previous Comments By 'susan.bradley606'

Creative Living, by Elizabeth Gilbert

FaceBook  On May 31, 2016 Susan B. wrote:

Elizabeth, I am inspired by your writing... I've had a desire to live around the world, to work and live in different communities.  My life has been quite mainstream as a single mom focused on children and family and providing.  My daughters are grown and on their way in their lives now... still I couldn't figure out how to make this live/work idea come to life for myself... then I lost my job and, to coin a business term, a forcing function occurred in the need to find a new job. I began to spread my net of out reach for a new job, as well as my networking and some educational efforts, to include opportunities abroad... I also allowed myself to dream more about the possibilities, what it might look like, how it might feel to actually live and work in another country... low and behold, I was recruited for a job in China - I accepted!  And my exciting journey to live and work in other communities has begun! 

 

What Is Your Storyteller Doing?, by Mary O'Malley

FaceBook  On Jul 22, 2014 Susan wrote:

 ...sometimes the purest among us, our children, are nothing more than sleepy and crabby when waking.  Separate yourself and your own issues from your sweet baby girl. Recognize your sensitivity in possibly needing more sleep and truly nothing more.  I know little of your situation but caution, that keeping things simple is always best.

 

What Is Your Storyteller Doing?, by Mary O'Malley

FaceBook  On Jul 21, 2014 Susan Bradley wrote:

 Awe, hugs to you, and what a lovely salutation Conrad always used, "Kind and loving regards"; beautiful!

 

Renaissance, by Thich Nhat Hanh

FaceBook  On Aug 10, 2012 Susan xo wrote:
Mornings are indeed a symphony for ne! I love this writing.of Thich Nhat Hanh because.I closely relate to its meaning and sentiment. For the whole.of.my life as ling as I can remember this time of day.has been magical for me, the quiet comimg of the new day, beginning as the birds and critters wake to greet the rising.sun. then as the sky lightened and brightened as darkeness reverse to welcome a new beginning. Physically and metaphorically this time has represented a blossoming of newness of.promise and potential that is a gift that belongs to me! Mostly I try to approach this time with awareness of the subtlies of the burgeoning day and equally with my interaction with family, neighbors, colleagues and friends as the days journey begins. As Thich has written, all the delicious fruit belongs to me... my day, my experience in this day this moment is a reflection of me, a reflection of my thoughts, my loving nature, my hope for this new day!
 

Before You Know What Kindness Really Is, by Naomi Shihab Nye

FaceBook  On Apr 23, 2011 susan wrote:

Ohmygoodness, I await the delivery of the weekly iJourney read with delightful anticipation! *giggle  With each delivery I am encouraged to think beyond myself and I am sweetly reminded of how beauty-full life is and can be with learning and living.  This weeks iJourney read, I am reminded of the engagement received at the Wednesday gatherings, the peaceful quiet of the Mehta family home and sharing of thoughts and feelings and ideas. I felt those same blessings here the last couple visits to this iJourney post reading the thoughts and feelings of those that have shared here... I found the poem and poet to be as Pavi stated, "gentle and sharp at the same time" and reading through Katherine's and Manisha's experiences and then Somik's wisdom and connection to "The Mahabharata", I am beautifully nudged to open my heart further and my mind more to Ms. Nye's message. Kindness, indeed awareness, can come with the experiences of a heavy load or the weight of responsibility.  These experiences can give way to understanding.  When the understanding is shared with another in empathy it becomes kindness.  This is how it is for me, too,  though additionally I would share that at best it is also in practicing kindness, or simple goodness for this matter, that the behavior will become habit and a part of my very person and further a part of my identity and my way of be-ing or the way that I am; I am kind. I have deep and incredible gratitude for the many kindnesses shared with me, my family and those I love.  Though I am sure that there are many I have forgotten, there are so very many acts of kindness I summon to my thoughts and whilst doing so I give thanks and a prayer for these kindness givers.  Those that share a kindness with me inspire me to reciprocate within my world, and I do.  Kindness feels g  See full.

Ohmygoodness, I await the delivery of the weekly iJourney read with delightful anticipation! *giggle  With each delivery I am encouraged to think beyond myself and I am sweetly reminded of how beauty-full life is and can be with learning and living.  This weeks iJourney read, I am reminded of the engagement received at the Wednesday gatherings, the peaceful quiet of the Mehta family home and sharing of thoughts and feelings and ideas.

I felt those same blessings here the last couple visits to this iJourney post reading the thoughts and feelings of those that have shared here... I found the poem and poet to be as Pavi stated, "gentle and sharp at the same time" and reading through Katherine's and Manisha's experiences and then Somik's wisdom and connection to "The Mahabharata", I am beautifully nudged to open my heart further and my mind more to Ms. Nye's message.

Kindness, indeed awareness, can come with the experiences of a heavy load or the weight of responsibility.  These experiences can give way to understanding.  When the understanding is shared with another in empathy it becomes kindness.  This is how it is for me, too,  though additionally I would share that at best it is also in practicing kindness, or simple goodness for this matter, that the behavior will become habit and a part of my very person and further a part of my identity and my way of be-ing or the way that I am; I am kind.

I have deep and incredible gratitude for the many kindnesses shared with me, my family and those I love.  Though I am sure that there are many I have forgotten, there are so very many acts of kindness I summon to my thoughts and whilst doing so I give thanks and a prayer for these kindness givers.  Those that share a kindness with me inspire me to reciprocate within my world, and I do.  Kindness feels good.

So my thoughts on kindness are that in practicing kindness I become kind,  in recieving kindness I am energized to share kindness, and the gift of kindness and being kind increase my quotient of gratitude in living and loving. 

It's all good-ness!  xo

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Mighty in Contradiction: Love Powerfully, by Patty De Llosa

FaceBook  On Nov 2, 2010 susan wrote:

 The power of love!  So enjoy the reference to Jimi Hendrix I think of many song lyrics, "All You Need Is Love", "The Power of Love"... to name a few more. *giggle

Mostly I have reflected on the power of Love that resonates with in me 'still' from many people that have crossed my path that I haven't seen in some time and with people that I've not met though correspond with or think of regularly through prayer and meditation.

It is this power of love that makes such wonderful things possible... believing and allowing it to manifest!

Thank you Pancho for that piece of you with in me always, thank you Mehta family for your loving example of service and support in all you do, thank you Dadhich for your loving reach, thank you Jay and Dani, Thank you Maddie n' Ellie for your love, Linda and Sadie, Rosli for your love of teaching & your students, so very many more!  

... Ohsomany examples of the power of love!

 

Disturb Me, Please!, by Margaret Wheatley

FaceBook  On Oct 29, 2009 susan bradley wrote:

I missed this week and the gathering of like hearted people at the Mehta Family home.  This disturbed me, and my usually staid and predictable goings on in life!  As is true to Margaret Wheatley's passage though, the difference even in my activitiy this week has caused me to be out of my comfort zone adn recognize the value that the gathering in peaceful repose with 20-60 people and the habitual nature of sitting quietly has in my life.

This morning I've watched the sun rise over the desert in Las Vegas, Nevada.  Absolutely beautiful how the soft pink pallet of light reflects on the hills surrounding the city.  I thought of Ms. Wheatley's writing and agree that it is our differences that are beautiful, thought provoking, sometimes uncomfortable, for me always attractive and essential to individual and group growth.  A friend of mine use to say to me that it is our differences that make us who we are and also keep things interesting!

There is something more to this stopping and listening and recognizing the discomfort that Margaret writes about ... it is intuition as well, our gut feeling, our inner compass.  The wisdom comes to us in recognizing the what and why we are uncomfortable.  This allows us to learn more about ourselves and each other.  I return to the words of so many in our Wednesday circle - understanding and compassion for ourselves and others.

 

I Am Interested In My Mind, by Paul Fleischman

FaceBook  On Oct 25, 2009 susan bradley wrote:

Why I Sit…

 

Seeking peace

Of mind

Within my heart

 

In search of connections

With you

Within the world

 

A quest for

Understanding and

Compassion

 

Mindful equanimity

Discovering quietness

Sitting peacefully

 

10/2009 SB

 

 

I Am Interested In My Mind, by Paul Fleischman

FaceBook  On Oct 25, 2009 susan bradley wrote:

  I am interested in my mind.”, this statement conjured up so very many things the days before our weekly gathering and even still today several days following. Then reading the passage from “Why I Sit” by Paul Fleishman, brought to mind many more things about nature, about our human nature, about meditating, about why we as individuals do any number of many things we do and also about taking care of our bodies and our hearts and minds by being present with ourselves as well as with others. As is the usual case, the nature of the Wednesday evening gatherings at the Mehta Family Home, this coming together of mindful, thoughtful and heart felt individuals was as colorful and profound as Mr. Fleishman’s eloquent prose. As the mic rounded the room, people spoke of why they choose to meditate: for clarity, for peace in their hearts and minds, to recharge, to connect with their inner self, to connect with nature, to learn more about themselves and to better understand themselves and others. Others spoke about our very natures as individuals and as a species and comparing ourselves to the snow goose that innately knows it must migrate with the change of season. The comparison came with the fact that as humans we have choice. The choice to find quiet within that in practice allows us to be better connected with ourselves and with each other and with the world around us. The choice of inward reflection affording us the internal resources to assess situations with better clarity, to be able to have compassion and understanding of ourselves and others, and to find the joy in our connections and in our everyday. A common thought this evening was that as humans we are born with this ability to find quiet within and to understand and have compassion and understanding for ourselves and others. Several people shared stories of their children and of themselves as younger people and the how naturally we seemed to do these things but as life become  See full.

 

I am interested in my mind.”, this statement conjured up so very many things the days before our weekly gathering and even still today several days following. Then reading the passage from “Why I Sit” by Paul Fleishman, brought to mind many more things about nature, about our human nature, about meditating, about why we as individuals do any number of many things we do and also about taking care of our bodies and our hearts and minds by being present with ourselves as well as with others. As is the usual case, the nature of the Wednesday evening gatherings at the Mehta Family Home, this coming together of mindful, thoughtful and heart felt individuals was as colorful and profound as Mr. Fleishman’s eloquent prose.

As the mic rounded the room, people spoke of why they choose to meditate: for clarity, for peace in their hearts and minds, to recharge, to connect with their inner self, to connect with nature, to learn more about themselves and to better understand themselves and others.

Others spoke about our very natures as individuals and as a species and comparing ourselves to the snow goose that innately knows it must migrate with the change of season. The comparison came with the fact that as humans we have choice. The choice to find quiet within that in practice allows us to be better connected with ourselves and with each other and with the world around us. The choice of inward reflection affording us the internal resources to assess situations with better clarity, to be able to have compassion and understanding of ourselves and others, and to find the joy in our connections and in our everyday.

A common thought this evening was that as humans we are born with this ability to find quiet within and to understand and have compassion and understanding for ourselves and others. Several people shared stories of their children and of themselves as younger people and the how naturally we seemed to do these things but as life becomes more full or we become more involved in living we loose touch with this ability.

For me discovering meditation and recognizing my desire for seeking quiet within , is a gift from Maddie, my oldest daughter. Maddie introduced me to meditation when she was 8 years old (she’s now 14!) as she was enjoying doing this in class with her second grade teacher Mrs. Gillies. Maddie invited me to create a sacred space in our home and to sit with her and meditate. At 8 my daughter was where I desire to be right this minute in my 40‘s! I learn so many things from Maddie that I, as my friends shared this evening, practiced and “knew” when I was a kid. I feel blessed in so many ways, mostly that one of my most favorite people, who I’ve thought I would be teaching about life and living, wonderfully teaches me every day about loving, acceptance, understanding and compassion.

I sit to nurture myself and to recharge this mind and body of mine because I am also interested in this mind of mine.

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If You Really Pay Attention, by Paula Underwood

FaceBook  On Sep 27, 2009 susan bradley wrote:

This weeks passage and gathering was as enjoyable and impactful as always, though I noticed that the e-responses on the site here were much more than usual!  A very interesting and topic of interest to many! If I Really Pay Attention... I found myself changing the word my to I all week as I reflected on this passage.  The change became powerful for me in my every interaction with customers, coworkers, friends, family and especially my lovely daughters! This Wednesday evening in the Mehta Family home, there was great energy around this topic.  Some interesting threads of thought exchanged are as follows: How we are "heard" by another and what another person's perspective is on what we say.  The gent sitting next to me this evening hit it right on the head with this observation.  What he actually said was that it is never too late to reflect upon what someone says and really understand what you heard.  He shared that his coworker in a remote office misheard and misread his intent when he was visiting the local office and requesting assistance on a project.  At first he didn't get it at all, but later, upon reflection he totally understood where this person was coming from and why they reacted the way they did to him and his request.  Such a powerful recognition.  If we can slow down and listen more effectively at the moment, wow, what clarity, understanding and harmony we might be able to contribute to in an exchange. Another sharing was that when we concentrate on the words a person is saying we loose the message and actually the physical experience of listening is limited.  Sharing furhter around the room it came to be said that listening is observing, hearing, having compassion and understanding, and feeling with our hearts the other individual. A couple of people shared experiential exercises they participated in regarding "listening" activities.  From corporate training events, to uni  See full.

This weeks passage and gathering was as enjoyable and impactful as always, though I noticed that the e-responses on the site here were much more than usual!  A very interesting and topic of interest to many!

If I Really Pay Attention... I found myself changing the word my to I all week as I reflected on this passage.  The change became powerful for me in my every interaction with customers, coworkers, friends, family and especially my lovely daughters!

This Wednesday evening in the Mehta Family home, there was great energy around this topic.  Some interesting threads of thought exchanged are as follows:

How we are "heard" by another and what another person's perspective is on what we say.  The gent sitting next to me this evening hit it right on the head with this observation.  What he actually said was that it is never too late to reflect upon what someone says and really understand what you heard.  He shared that his coworker in a remote office misheard and misread his intent when he was visiting the local office and requesting assistance on a project.  At first he didn't get it at all, but later, upon reflection he totally understood where this person was coming from and why they reacted the way they did to him and his request.  Such a powerful recognition.  If we can slow down and listen more effectively at the moment, wow, what clarity, understanding and harmony we might be able to contribute to in an exchange.

Another sharing was that when we concentrate on the words a person is saying we loose the message and actually the physical experience of listening is limited.  Sharing furhter around the room it came to be said that listening is observing, hearing, having compassion and understanding, and feeling with our hearts the other individual.

A couple of people shared experiential exercises they participated in regarding "listening" activities.  From corporate training events, to university studies, to non profit organization team building exercises.  The information discovered was the same; communication takes at least 2 of us, it requires being "present" with the other person andi n the intereaction, this allows "feeling" the other person by observation, energy, physical expression and curiously the 'words" though valuable and important were not neccessarily the key componanat to listening! Really!!

For me, "If I Really Pay Attention" to my daughters as they share with me about their most recent test scores, or the upcoming class project, or student activity at school, I will hear thier desire to achieve, to make and build good relationships, the anxiety that comes with being a teenager, and perhaps I will realize that sometimes the simple act of listening, giving a smile, a high five, a huge hug and kiss, being available to take and pick up, is really all these lovely women need at the moment... just lending an ear and reaching understanding.

 

 

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Maintaining Vision, While Focusing, by Ajahn Thanasanti

FaceBook  On Sep 17, 2009 susan bradley wrote:

balance   the measure of time given to a task at hand or the need to be fulfilled or a desire held deep within   giving equal measure to each learning to be comfortable with incremental gain   a fullness of pleasure observing a wholeness of self   sb 6/20/09      See full.

balance

 

the measure of time given to a task at hand

or the need to be fulfilled

or a desire held deep within

 

giving equal measure to each

learning to be comfortable

with incremental gain

 

a fullness of pleasure

observing a wholeness of self

 

sb 6/20/09

 

 

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Maintaining Vision, While Focusing, by Ajahn Thanasanti

FaceBook  On Sep 17, 2009 susan bradley wrote:

I had the pleasure of sharing another Wednesday evening in the company of like hearted people in the Mehta Family home in the south bay! I’m humbled again and again at the mindfulness of this community, the true consideration that many give to the thought for the week. Perhaps the best part is the joy and laughter that we share too, about the thoughts especially with Thoi, Bhoutik and even Pancho! This passage makes me think of the vision the Mehta family first had 12+ years ago with the first meditation evening hosted in their home. Did they believe the group would continue these many years later, be in practice around the world, and having touched so many peoples lives? Or do they simply focus on the week in which the Wednesday falls. Preparing the lesson, choosing the food menue… Interesting how the author simplified the processes of vision and focus to a housekeeping chore- sweeping the floor; something we all can relate too, in one fashion or another. The repetitiveness of sweeping, the necessity of the act, and the strategy of the focus on the task. The analogy is able to be used in regards to so many different things in our lives from our jobs and the companies we work for, to our personal lives and families , mates, children and parents and all we do each day in this circle of people. The process transfers to a students plan for education whether it be for secondary education or post secondary education; the need for a vision or a goal and for focus on the achievement of this goal. This Wednesday evening the number in attendance allowed for a bit longer sharing when passing the mic though the input and the thoughtful nature of the group was par for our weekly gathering. Several different analysis of the ideas of “focus” and “vision” were shared in ways that we all could understand from the perspective of a software engineer and the constant bigger picture of applications running in the background and the immediate us  See full.

I had the pleasure of sharing another Wednesday evening in the company of like hearted people in the Mehta Family home in the south bay! I’m humbled again and again at the mindfulness of this community, the true consideration that many give to the thought for the week. Perhaps the best part is the joy and laughter that we share too, about the thoughts especially with Thoi, Bhoutik and even Pancho!

This passage makes me think of the vision the Mehta family first had 12+ years ago with the first meditation evening hosted in their home. Did they believe the group would continue these many years later, be in practice around the world, and having touched so many peoples lives? Or do they simply focus on the week in which the Wednesday falls. Preparing the lesson, choosing the food menue…

Interesting how the author simplified the processes of vision and focus to a housekeeping chore- sweeping the floor; something we all can relate too, in one fashion or another. The repetitiveness of sweeping, the necessity of the act, and the strategy of the focus on the task. The analogy is able to be used in regards to so many different things in our lives from our jobs and the companies we work for, to our personal lives and families , mates, children and parents and all we do each day in this circle of people. The process transfers to a students plan for education whether it be for secondary education or post secondary education; the need for a vision or a goal and for focus on the achievement of this goal.

This Wednesday evening the number in attendance allowed for a bit longer sharing when passing the mic though the input and the thoughtful nature of the group was par for our weekly gathering. Several different analysis of the ideas of “focus” and “vision” were shared in ways that we all could understand from the perspective of a software engineer and the constant bigger picture of applications running in the background and the immediate use application in the foreground, to focus & vision compared to a volume button of a radio; all interesting and thought provoking.

Our community welcomed newcomers and returning members alike… I’ve been very focused lately on a particular project of importance, and when I step back and gain perspective of my vision again, I am able to breath a sigh in the realization, that the tasks are doable and that my vision remains reasonable and attainable.

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Plan of Life, by Nicole Grasset

FaceBook  On Sep 14, 2009 susan bradley wrote:

Thank you to the the Mehta Family for your home and the delicious meals you prepare for us, for your loving nature and the opportunity to sit in meditative repose within community. _______________________________ Giving what we can, Taking what we need…   Giving to and serving others, for the common good The common good of family and community The common good that keeps things moving positively forward For the good of the whole, for the good of it all   When we serve others we feed parts of ourselves, too Our desire to be of help to others, the community, our family Our need to feel needed and wanted And our desire to be fulfilled   The truth is, we need service, too Each needing the love and attention of the other Needing to be cared for and attended to We need to recharge with the service of another   To accept the care and giving from another Prepares us to be able to be of service to others, again...     sb7/09/2009  See full.

Thank you to the the Mehta Family for your home and the delicious meals you prepare for us, for your loving nature and the opportunity to sit in meditative repose within community.

_______________________________

Giving what we can, Taking what we need…
 
Giving to and serving others, for the common good
The common good of family and community
The common good that keeps things moving positively forward
For the good of the whole, for the good of it all
 
When we serve others we feed parts of ourselves, too
Our desire to be of help to others, the community, our family
Our need to feel needed and wanted
And our desire to be fulfilled
 
The truth is, we need service, too
Each needing the love and attention of the other
Needing to be cared for and attended to
We need to recharge with the service of another
 
To accept the care and giving from another
Prepares us to be able to be of service to others, again...
 
 
sb7/09/2009

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Plan of Life, by Nicole Grasset

FaceBook  On Sep 14, 2009 susan bradley wrote:

  The question that was posed this Wednesday evening as the mic passed through the community at the Mehta house, was how is your life plan from age 20 progressing for you from then to the present day? In other words is your life as you planned? Interestingly from the youngest to the oldest among those that chose to reflect in this manner on Niccole Grassete's writing, the resounding answer was no and even more that it didn't matter that the plan was not met! The reality is that life is a working plan! The recurring message, attitude and desired behavior of so many in our community is to live in the moment, to be present in this moment with who you are with and with what you are doing. As the mic continued to move around the room this evening, most shared they liked the idea of some sort of plan something forward thinking, though they desired to not be chained to the "plan" but rather to be accepting of the changes that might occur with the “plan“. There were a number of our community returning, those that had been unable to attend for weeks or even months, Susan from England joined too, having been wanting to attend a Wednesday evening for so very long and finally being able to! As these several weeks and many weekly reflections have passed behind us, this week's lesson was equally as poignant as so many before, though perhaps this week for many, acceptance that life is truly every changing and that it's alright to go with the flow and still have a plan a road map of sorts, well it seemed a healthy recognition for us.   Several other thoughts came up as well, such as Rumi's poetic thought, "May the beauty we love be what we do." Is it like Rumi writes or like Cheryl Crow sings, “It's not having what you want, It's wanting what you've got.” The consensus for sure was that small acts of love and kindness were just as important as the larger acts such as eradicating polio in a portion of the world! That e  See full.


 

The question that was posed this Wednesday evening as the mic passed through the community at the Mehta house, was how is your life plan from age 20 progressing for you from then to the present day? In other words is your life as you planned?

Interestingly from the youngest to the oldest among those that chose to reflect in this manner on Niccole Grassete's writing, the resounding answer was no and even more that it didn't matter that the plan was not met!

The reality is that life is a working plan!

The recurring message, attitude and desired behavior of so many in our community is to live in the moment, to be present in this moment with who you are with and with what you are doing. As the mic continued to move around the room this evening, most shared they liked the idea of some sort of plan something forward thinking, though they desired to not be chained to the "plan" but rather to be accepting of the changes that might occur with the “plan“.

There were a number of our community returning, those that had been unable to attend for weeks or even months, Susan from England joined too, having been wanting to attend a Wednesday evening for so very long and finally being able to!

As these several weeks and many weekly reflections have passed behind us, this week's lesson was equally as poignant as so many before, though perhaps this week for many, acceptance that life is truly every changing and that it's alright to go with the flow and still have a plan a road map of sorts, well it seemed a healthy recognition for us.

 

Several other thoughts came up as well, such as Rumi's poetic thought, "May the beauty we love be what we do." Is it like Rumi writes or like Cheryl Crow sings, “It's not having what you want, It's wanting what you've got.”

The consensus for sure was that small acts of love and kindness were just as important as the larger acts such as eradicating polio in a portion of the world! That each of us, in our small acts of kindness ,can change the world, our little worlds, and have an impact on those we love and the stranger we pass on the street with a kind gesture, word, and even with the sweetest smile. \:-D

 

 

 

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Underneath All Victories and Defeats, by Gangaji

FaceBook  On Sep 3, 2009 susan bradley wrote:

Hump day, mid week, Wednesday arrives and it is time for the weekly gathering in the Mehta Family home.  Truth be told the community created here is on going beyond the weekly evening gatherings that have occurred for the past 12+ years.  We arrive and enter the meditation setting in silence.  We are physically coming together once again and the ripple affect of this community is far reaching up north and south, east and west on the San Francisco Peninsula, across the United States and internationally via physical connection, electronic medium and phone.  After meditation and the reading of the weekly inspiration, and during the serving of the shared meal, the connectiveness, familiarity and love is evident among those attending for the first, second or gazillionth time! This particular Wednesday we - me single mom from the San Francisco bay area,  Kaz visiting professor from Japan, and Eva student on break from school in New Mexico - carpool to the midweek gathering of our community.   The drive is host to a  pleasant exchange that curiously, though not by design, is related to the reading for the week.  We speak about academic writing, about job interviews, about public speaking, about meditative dance, about confidence and self esteem and ironically the underlying thread ties back to the idea of being present in the moment and allowing for a quiet reflection and acceptance of self and clarity of choice.    The three of us share our struggles and our growing in the recent weeks with self acceptance and love.  Just as the author writes about  being, “free of the should’s and must have’s” as part of achieving “natural fulfillment“.  I don’t know that any of us is “there” in terms of fulfillment, though we are on our way by being aware of and practicing the acceptance of self as we are and where we are at this moment in our individual lives and ta  See full.

Hump day, mid week, Wednesday arrives and it is time for the weekly gathering in the Mehta Family home.  Truth be told the community created here is on going beyond the weekly evening gatherings that have occurred for the past 12+ years.  We arrive and enter the meditation setting in silence.  We are physically coming together once again and the ripple affect of this community is far reaching up north and south, east and west on the San Francisco Peninsula, across the United States and internationally via physical connection, electronic medium and phone.  After meditation and the reading of the weekly inspiration, and during the serving of the shared meal, the connectiveness, familiarity and love is evident among those attending for the first, second or gazillionth time!

This particular Wednesday we - me single mom from the San Francisco bay area,  Kaz visiting professor from Japan, and Eva student on break from school in New Mexico - carpool to the midweek gathering of our community.   The drive is host to a  pleasant exchange that curiously, though not by design, is related to the reading for the week.  We speak about academic writing, about job interviews, about public speaking, about meditative dance, about confidence and self esteem and ironically the underlying thread ties back to the idea of being present in the moment and allowing for a quiet reflection and acceptance of self and clarity of choice. 
 
The three of us share our struggles and our growing in the recent weeks with self acceptance and love.  Just as the author writes about  being, “free of the should’s and must have’s” as part of achieving “natural fulfillment“.  I don’t know that any of us is “there” in terms of fulfillment, though we are on our way by being aware of and practicing the acceptance of self as we are and where we are at this moment in our individual lives and taking time for quiet nonjudgmental reflection.
 
Following meditation and during our group sharing this evening, I thought about the drive and the conversation we shared.  Simple conversation that it was and then here in communion with 40 other people is the evidence of  the beautiful ripple affect of this Wednesday meditation in the Mehta home.  All of us coming together in loving acceptance, in an environment that allows for plain and simple sharing of thought and feeling, just as the three of us had done in the four door sedan driving down highway 101!
 
Gangaji writes, “When we see how much is wrong or harmful in our thinking and our and others' actions, we can be overwhelmed by the tasks revealed. This overwhelm can result in giving up and reverting to cynicism or in strengthening our resolve to work even harder. To think and do more. “ The conversation on the drive and around the circle, revealed that the power of pausing or stopping, taking time to allow for quiet reflection, and taking time to listen to each other can and does provide for clarity of thought enabling better choice making.  Also for me, this weekly communion of family and friends provides an avenue for practicing this valuable action of meditative quiet that creates a peaceful heart,  brings peace of mind and clarity to our individual and collective thoughts.
 
 
 
 
 

 

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Deciding What You Want to Keep, by Thanissaro Bhikkhu

FaceBook  On Aug 31, 2009 susan bradley wrote:

Amazingly each Wednesday as part of this community of people who've come together to sit quietly together, reflect and than break bread in communion - I find myself humbled by the deep insight of my companions! Intermittantly all week I thought about my "choices".  This thought empowers me and gives me the responsiblity of manging my life - my thoughts, the attic of my mind, the physical house of mine... I find i like "things" figurtively and physically. The beauty of our Wednesday community is that in the most sincere and genuine way these companions of mine assist me on my journey - daily! As we passed the mic and introduced ourselves and shared reflections on the reading and of those in our hearts many themes came to mind and to the group... the notion of the mind body connection and health and aging and of simplifying our thoughts and our belongings in a way that frees up space for fresh new thoughts and behaviors.  I can put this behavior in to action! Another notion that came to mind is the metaphor of a house and our minds and memories being the "attic".  Taken directly from Thanissaro Bhikkhu's writing, the idea of putting away or of hiding things/feelings/experiences in our attics and that periodically it was healthly to take out the old and unused no longer usefull to lighten our psychies for a more open approach to ourselves and others.  This is a practice I can put in to action, too! Another notion was one of clearing space to enable acting out of kindness to another especially in times of frustration or anger or when feeling a need to be blatantly honest with another.  When we free up the space in our minds it allows for a more thoughtful approach to others.   Love this thought, too! As I listen to my companions each Wednesday evening I'm humbled at the insights that are shared and too, by the compassion, love and support that shows in each face as the mic is passed and sharing conti  See full.

Amazingly each Wednesday as part of this community of people who've come together to sit quietly together, reflect and than break bread in communion - I find myself humbled by the deep insight of my companions!

Intermittantly all week I thought about my "choices".  This thought empowers me and gives me the responsiblity of manging my life - my thoughts, the attic of my mind, the physical house of mine... I find i like "things" figurtively and physically.

The beauty of our Wednesday community is that in the most sincere and genuine way these companions of mine assist me on my journey - daily!

As we passed the mic and introduced ourselves and shared reflections on the reading and of those in our hearts many themes came to mind and to the group... the notion of the mind body connection and health and aging and of simplifying our thoughts and our belongings in a way that frees up space for fresh new thoughts and behaviors.  I can put this behavior in to action!

Another notion that came to mind is the metaphor of a house and our minds and memories being the "attic".  Taken directly from Thanissaro Bhikkhu's writing, the idea of putting away or of hiding things/feelings/experiences in our attics and that periodically it was healthly to take out the old and unused no longer usefull to lighten our psychies for a more open approach to ourselves and others.  This is a practice I can put in to action, too!

Another notion was one of clearing space to enable acting out of kindness to another especially in times of frustration or anger or when feeling a need to be blatantly honest with another.  When we free up the space in our minds it allows for a more thoughtful approach to others.   Love this thought, too!

As I listen to my companions each Wednesday evening I'm humbled at the insights that are shared and too, by the compassion, love and support that shows in each face as the mic is passed and sharing continues.  Even first time visitors share openly their feelings and needs in this respectful environment.

Even as the week moves closer to the next Wednesday, I find myself still reflecting on the lessons, the insights I gain each week about my companions and myself... thank you!

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One Legitimate Use of Power, by Keshavan Nair

FaceBook  On Aug 17, 2009 Susan Bradley wrote:

Leadership as service, being part of a team as service, part of a friendship as service, participating in family as service… putting ourselves equally with another in context of relationship!  I get this thought, this ideal!  This ideal of service in leadership, in relationships overall,  resonates with me in the most delicious way! In my work the very best bosses or leaders I’ve worked for made me feel that they were there for me!  And the other members of our team felt the same way.  Our productivity was always high, commitment was foremost as was loyalty because we all felt the respect, trust, commitment from our leader - service! In my best and most successful friendships the mutual giving and nurturing, the service to each other, has been the “why” our relationships continue… We are equals, giving to each other because of the love we feel for one another - service. My family circle works so successfully because of service to each other and the whole.  My vegan daughter often prepares our family meals.  This loving act ensures that all items are vegan, but more Maddie is serving her sister and I out of love!  Not to mention that her cooking is pretty darn good!  The passage also has me reflecting on difficult or currently relationships that are not very successful. The missing element is “service” as much as the struggle for power.  I recognize that I cannot change anyone else, or cause anyone to behave in a particular way.  What I can do is begin the change with myself by finding compassion and understanding for the other(s) in these difficult relationships and also to be of service to them and the group.  The eternal optimist I am, tells me that this gentle loving approach might afford the change in our relationship that brings about a change in the overall attitude and intent of the other(s). Service Giving , doing and meeting another, there Where  See full.

Leadership as service, being part of a team as service, part of a friendship as service, participating in family as service… putting ourselves equally with another in context of relationship!  I get this thought, this ideal!  This ideal of service in leadership, in relationships overall,  resonates with me in the most delicious way!

In my work the very best bosses or leaders I’ve worked for made me feel that they were there for me!  And the other members of our team felt the same way.  Our productivity was always high, commitment was foremost as was loyalty because we all felt the respect, trust, commitment from our leader - service!

In my best and most successful friendships the mutual giving and nurturing, the service to each other, has been the “why” our relationships continue… We are equals, giving to each other because of the love we feel for one another - service.

My family circle works so successfully because of service to each other and the whole.  My vegan daughter often prepares our family meals.  This loving act ensures that all items are vegan, but more Maddie is serving her sister and I out of love!  Not to mention that her cooking is pretty darn good! 

The passage also has me reflecting on difficult or currently relationships that are not very successful. The missing element is “service” as much as the struggle for power.  I recognize that I cannot change anyone else, or cause anyone to behave in a particular way.  What I can do is begin the change with myself by finding compassion and understanding for the other(s) in these difficult relationships and also to be of service to them and the group.  The eternal optimist I am, tells me that this gentle loving approach might afford the change in our relationship that brings about a change in the overall attitude and intent of the other(s).


Service

Giving , doing and meeting another, there
Where they are at on their journey

Sharing compassion and understanding with another, where
We find ourselves together at this moment in time

Replacing expectation with the richness of giving, for another
Bringing about a change in self that ripples out to another, and another, and another…

Sb 8/17/2009


 

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Letter to A Friend in A Hurry, by Pierre Pradervand

FaceBook  On Aug 13, 2009 susan Bradley wrote:

 

Just in Time...
 
Just in time
Finding you
Finding me
Finding joy
 
Just in time
Uncovering truth
Discovering passion
Experiencing joy
 
Just in time
Fullness in life
For goodness sake
For all we are to become
 
8/13/2009 sb
 
 

Letter to A Friend in A Hurry, by Pierre Pradervand

FaceBook  On Aug 13, 2009 Susan Bradley wrote:

  Time to waste, time to give, time to go, time to kill, not enough time, where’d the time go, wish I had more time, just in time… Reflecting during the week on this inspiration of “time” it was interesting to hear and to read that time is a topic that everyone is talking about; these statements about time were repeated over and over and over.   Our Wednesday evening reflection brought many valuable statements about the topic to my thoughts.   It is our choice about how we use our time. This brought home the point that we possess time and can have a healthy attachment to time in a way that we may allow ourselves to control where we choose to use our time. Even in our work and our families and relationships, we choose how, with whom, doing what and where we are any moment; we are the champions of our time!   Time is limited; it is renewed “like the water in a stream” but we never have time again. Wow this one really rang true as a reminder that at the moment our present time is indeed a “present” a gift to us and others. Using our time to connect and be aware of other needs and desires is a good thing.   An important element of time is the being present not necessarily the “speed” at which we engage in our day but rather that we fully engage in each moment.   Each of us individually has a rate at which we move through life. One shared a story of Gandhi walking very quickly and a comment someone made to him about rushing and Gandhi replied that rushing would be an act of violence and that he was simply walking quickly! Someone else shared the quiet repose of a visiting guest from India on a walk down Castro Street in Mountain View, Ca and the single thing this guest noticed was the enormous and beautiful tree in a hustling, bustling area of this city – not the numerous ethnic restaurants or the number of people, but rather the beauty of n  See full.

 

Time to waste, time to give, time to go, time to kill, not enough time, where’d the time go, wish I had more time, just in time… Reflecting during the week on this inspiration of “time” it was interesting to hear and to read that time is a topic that everyone is talking about; these statements about time were repeated over and over and over.
 
Our Wednesday evening reflection brought many valuable statements about the topic to my thoughts.
 
It is our choice about how we use our time. This brought home the point that we possess time and can have a healthy attachment to time in a way that we may allow ourselves to control where we choose to use our time. Even in our work and our families and relationships, we choose how, with whom, doing what and where we are any moment; we are the champions of our time!
 
Time is limited; it is renewed “like the water in a stream” but we never have time again. Wow this one really rang true as a reminder that at the moment our present time is indeed a “present” a gift to us and others. Using our time to connect and be aware of other needs and desires is a good thing.
 
An important element of time is the being present not necessarily the “speed” at which we engage in our day but rather that we fully engage in each moment.   Each of us individually has a rate at which we move through life. One shared a story of Gandhi walking very quickly and a comment someone made to him about rushing and Gandhi replied that rushing would be an act of violence and that he was simply walking quickly! Someone else shared the quiet repose of a visiting guest from India on a walk down Castro Street in Mountain View, Ca and the single thing this guest noticed was the enormous and beautiful tree in a hustling, bustling area of this city – not the numerous ethnic restaurants or the number of people, but rather the beauty of nature. Yet another compared timing to a dance with partners and if the partners are not in sync, things could go awry quickly!
 
This huddle of sorts and sharing of thoughts after our meditation and reading always, truly always, give me the pleasure of stretching my thoughts through the gifts of others perceptions and experiences. Showing me that there is indeed more than one way to experience, or see, or do any one thing. And the discussions continue in to the evening following our quiet meal together, we work on projects such as preparing envelopes for mailing Smile Cards around the world, rolling Wisdom Scrolls to share bits of inspiration, and then the small intimate interactions that happen in the Mehta Family home. 
 
Krishnapram, a new acquaintance, said to me last evening, that what God really wants us to do with our time is to find happiness and joy and laughter with ourselves and each other that this brings us closer to him. As the night came to a close for me I enjoyed hearing much laughter and talking around this happy home.
 

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What You Have Given Your Mind to Do, by Michael Singer

FaceBook  On Aug 6, 2009 Susan Bradley wrote:

Driving to the weekly gathering there was traffic which would cause me to arrive late and my mind was so full - the events of the day and week were pressing on my mind.  All week I reflected on the inspirational reading and on how busy my mind is mothering two teenage girls, with my work, with my family and with all that I desire in my life.  I have a full, busy, active mind!  I arrived to our wonderfully quiet gathering space, to the warm smell of incense and the meditation had already begun; I'd missed the symbolic ringing of the bell. I peeked around the corner in to the mediation area and found an available cushion on the floor, sat, began to take comfortable breaths and to settle in next to my neighbors. But my mind would not quiet.  I continued to have thoughts of the day, of the week, of relationships.  I began to think of "love".  My mind continued to be active and loud and I giggled as I "thought" so much. Just then a very cold blast of air hit the small of my back!  My cushion sat right in front of the vent in the room!  I giggled loudly inside and felt like a child in church who just could not settle down! I realized I'm new at this mediation that I need to learn the fundamentals, but where to begin.  I realized the difficult relationships just required my love; but how to love these difficult people?   Then the ringing of the bell signaling the end of our hour of “quiet” and our evening guides read the weekly inspiration aloud and our sharing began.  In this moment as I sat and listened, I felt that God is great, the Universe is great and that I am given everything I ask for and need… and, all my questions during my "quiet" time were answered! How can I love these difficult people? Compassion and understanding, my compassion and understanding of them!  And the icing on the cake, another reminded me to accept peo  See full.

Driving to the weekly gathering there was traffic which would cause me to arrive late and my mind was so full - the events of the day and week were pressing on my mind.  All week I reflected on the inspirational reading and on how busy my mind is mothering two teenage girls, with my work, with my family and with all that I desire in my life.  I have a full, busy, active mind! 

I arrived to our wonderfully quiet gathering space, to the warm smell of incense and the meditation had already begun; I'd missed the symbolic ringing of the bell. I peeked around the corner in to the mediation area and found an available cushion on the floor, sat, began to take comfortable breaths and to settle in next to my neighbors.

But my mind would not quiet. 

I continued to have thoughts of the day, of the week, of relationships.  I began to think of "love".  My mind continued to be active and loud and I giggled as I "thought" so much. Just then a very cold blast of air hit the small of my back!  My cushion sat right in front of the vent in the room!  I giggled loudly inside and felt like a child in church who just could not settle down!

I realized I'm new at this mediation that I need to learn the fundamentals, but where to begin.  I realized the difficult relationships just required my love; but how to love these difficult people?  

Then the ringing of the bell signaling the end of our hour of “quiet” and our evening guides read the weekly inspiration aloud and our sharing began.  In this moment as I sat and listened, I felt that God is great, the Universe is great and that I am given everything I ask for and need… and, all my questions during my "quiet" time were answered!

How can I love these difficult people? Compassion and understanding, my compassion and understanding of them!  And the icing on the cake, another reminded me to accept people where they're at in that moment, be present with them, compassionate and understanding of them. 

How to meditate?  Nudged by the sharing of another, Michael Singer's writing of the weekly inspiration just so happens to be a simple instruction on how to meditate!  Ohmygoodness, answers!

It is the whole of this experience, the daily reflection on the inspirational reading, the gathering with community in quiet meditation, the sharing of individual thoughts; I can learn, with practice, to find quiet and step back from my beautiful active mind. This is my gift from God and the Universe – a new found community in the generosity of a family opening their hearts & home and preparing space & nourishment for me.

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Like The Sun Shining, by Tenzin Palmo

FaceBook  On Aug 2, 2009 Susan Bradley wrote:

Since 2006 I have been on an new life journey that brought me back to the bay area and to come to be introduced to Charity Focus... Ms. Palmo's writing reminds me of so very much in my life, and our Wednesday gathering and sharing inspires me. After Pavi read the reading  aloud on Wednesday evening one of the attendees spoke about our attachments in love as representing lessons we still have to learn, another spoke about holding on to memories and people and things and needing to learn the lessons of letting go, others spoke about loss of loved ones by death or distance and letting go or celebrating their lives... I found I could relate to all of those thoughts and behaviors and feelings. More for me though, I found myself realizing the lessons of love I learn each day from my daughters that are 12 and 14.  Since my oldest daughter, Madeline, was 7 years old she has asked me to meditate with her, to create a sacred space in our home and to sit quietly together.  I'm just now finding the ability to allow myself to slow down, to stop and sit in quiet with myself!  Madeline has always had a quietness inside her and has loved and forgiven easily! My youngest daughter, Eleanor, is the most gregarious and loving person I think I've ever met.  Eleanor makes a friend wherever she goes and has the courage to stand for the underdog in any situation.  She is not the quiet one, but her energy and character propel her to engage with people and to love them for who they are and where they're at in life. These two incredible young women teach me daily about loving, letting things go, forgiveness, sitting quietiy, and also a good deal about having plain ole fashioned funnn and enjoying life!  I'm blessed with two incredible teachers living right beside me in example of living and loving well.  And to think I thought I would be the one teaching them about life! ;-) With love & gratitude, Susan  See full.

Since 2006 I have been on an new life journey that brought me back to the bay area and to come to be introduced to Charity Focus... Ms. Palmo's writing reminds me of so very much in my life, and our Wednesday gathering and sharing inspires me.

After Pavi read the reading  aloud on Wednesday evening one of the attendees spoke about our attachments in love as representing lessons we still have to learn, another spoke about holding on to memories and people and things and needing to learn the lessons of letting go, others spoke about loss of loved ones by death or distance and letting go or celebrating their lives... I found I could relate to all of those thoughts and behaviors and feelings.

More for me though, I found myself realizing the lessons of love I learn each day from my daughters that are 12 and 14. 

Since my oldest daughter, Madeline, was 7 years old she has asked me to meditate with her, to create a sacred space in our home and to sit quietly together.  I'm just now finding the ability to allow myself to slow down, to stop and sit in quiet with myself!  Madeline has always had a quietness inside her and has loved and forgiven easily!

My youngest daughter, Eleanor, is the most gregarious and loving person I think I've ever met.  Eleanor makes a friend wherever she goes and has the courage to stand for the underdog in any situation.  She is not the quiet one, but her energy and character propel her to engage with people and to love them for who they are and where they're at in life.

These two incredible young women teach me daily about loving, letting things go, forgiveness, sitting quietiy, and also a good deal about having plain ole fashioned funnn and enjoying life!  I'm blessed with two incredible teachers living right beside me in example of living and loving well.  And to think I thought I would be the one teaching them about life! ;-)

With love & gratitude,

Susan

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The Endurance to Observe, by Paul Fleischman

FaceBook  On Jul 7, 2009 susan bradley wrote:

Mr. Fleishman... I read and now reread your post... I'm inspired to truly sit and listen to the quiet, to me, to the outside... the theme of death stopped me at the first, then in rereading I'm understanding the idea...

I've a need to listen, to stop and listen and to hear. 

I appreciate the humility in your statement , "There is little I have heard from others ... that I have not seen in myself as I sit."  We're all so much the same, it's good and ok to love ourself as we appreciate and love and listen to someone else.

Thanks for a well written thought and a well stated discipline and practice... I'm inspired!

Susan