Take a Break From Stress: Managing Stress – Mental Practices

Meeting #9: April 28, 2020

Theme: We are members of Homo sapiens: “Wise Man,” or put another way, “man who knows.”  We like to know things, and now we live in a time when so little can be known.  Will there be a vaccine?  When?  If I get sick, what will happen?  What about my loved ones; are they well?  Living with unknowns takes a toll on us.  In those times of distress it is helpful to go back to the known, back to the parts of our lives that bring us the feeling of safety.  Not as an escape, but as a restoration so we there is a return to strength and wholeness.

Today’s Quotes:

Carefully watch your THOUGHTS, for they become your WORDS. Manage and watch your WORDS, for they will become your ACTIONS. Consider and judge your ACTIONS, for they have become your HABITS. Acknowledge and watch your HABITS, for they shall become your VALUES. Understand and embrace your VALUES, for they become YOUR DESTINY.

Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

The Hindi word “Mahatma” means “Great Soul.”

“In Louisville, at the corner of Fourth and Walnut, in the center of the shopping district, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even though we were total strangers. It was like waking from a dream of separateness, of spurious self-isolation in a special world. . . .

Then it was as if I suddenly saw the secret beauty of their hearts, the depths of their hearts where neither sin nor desire nor self-knowledge can reach, the core of their reality, the person that each one is in God’s eyes. If only they could all see themselves as they really are. If only we could see each other that way all the time. There would be no more war, no more hatred, no more cruelty, no more greed. . . . I suppose the big problem is that we would fall down and worship each other. But this cannot be seen, only believed and ‘understood’ by a peculiar gift.”

— Thomas Merton, from “Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander”

Gently Guided Meditation: Mindful Breath and Body

Video Recording of Meeting:



Meeting #10: April 30, 2020

Theme:  This is a time of “unknowing.”  How we “see” this time will create the meaning of this time.  See with clarity.  Trust.  Keep moving forward.  Resist the temptation to make it personal; it may feel that way, but it isn’t.

Today’s Quotes:

“You have been telling the people that this is the Eleventh Hour, now you must go back and tell the people that this is the Hour. And there are things to be considered: Where are you living?  What are you doing?  What are you relationships?  Where is your water?  Know your garden.  It is time to speak your Truth.  Create your community.  Be good to each other.  And do not look outside yourself for the leader.

Then he clasped his hands together, smiled, and said,  ‘This could be a good time!  There is a river flowing now very fast.  It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid.  They will try to hold on to the shore.  They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly.  Know the river has its destination.  The elders say we must  let go of the shore,  Push off into the middle of the river,  Keep our eyes open, and our  heads above the water.  And I say, see who is in there with you and celebrate.  At this time in history, we are to take nothing personally.  Least of all, ourselves.  For the  moment that we do, our spiritual growth and journey comes to a halt.  The time of the lone wolf is over.  Gather yourselves!  Banish the word ‘struggle’ from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that we do now  must be done in a sacred manner and in  celebration. We are the ones we have been  waiting for’.”

— Hopi Elders

Bad Things Happen.

Nothing Is Permanent.

It’s Not About You Anyway.

— Melissa Blacker, Mindfulness Teacher & Zen Roshi

Gently Guided Meditation: Mindful Breath and Body, with two “one minute stress reliever” exercises embedded

One Minute Stress Relievers

Video Recording of Meeting: