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HW 003:  Finding Stillness

“Be still; stillness reveals the secrets of eternity.” –Lao Tzu

 

Welcome to the 3rd episode of Hooray Weekly!  So glad that you are here!

 

Today, I discuss the importance of stillness in our busy, frenetic and fear-filled world.  If you want to find your Hooray in tough times, it is a necessary component for your days.  Listen in to the podcast for some love, encouragement and a couple of meditation/stillness techniques.  Here are two of the practices I mention in this week’s episode.

2 Easy-Breezy Practices for Stillness

  1.  Passage or Verse Meditation–The mind is a funny thing. It doesn’t like to be quiet and shushed.  So why fight it?  This type of meditation is easy.  Get comfortable in a chair or on the floor with your back erect, shoulders down  and away from your ears, eyes closed, arms relaxed with hands in your lap and take some loving belly breaths.  (I go into detail on the podcast for both these meditation practices, so I’m keeping the words simple and short here, okay?)  Next, think of a piece of Scripture or line of a poem or affirmation.  Spend the next 5 to 30 minutes letting the words of whatever you have chosen to come to you again and again in your mind without effort.  I use the line from Psalms: “Be still, and know that I am God.”  I actually repeat the phrase in my mind 5-10 times, then shorten the phrase to “Be still, and know that I AM…”  Again, I repeat comfortable with plenty of silence between the repetitions.  Then I shorten the phrase again, “Be still and know…”  You get the picture.  Next, “Be still…” (5-10 times with more silence).  Finally, I end with “Be…be…be…”  My mind is soft and gentle since these are words that I know by heart.  There is no forcing to focus my mind or to rid it of unwanted monkey mind.  The unwanted stuff will be there, but with less vehemence.  After moving through the passage, I take some deep breaths, smile inwardly, and come out of the stillness slowly.
  2.  Chanting the Name of God (or your dog for that matter)–This practice is similar to the one above, except that one focuses on the Name of God or a blessing.  Some examples include, Om Shanti Shanti, Heavenly Father (or Mother), Peace, Holy Spirit, Allah, Lord Jesus, Krishna, Illumined One, Great Spirit or Light.  The words are endless.  Just make sure that it is comfortable for you.

And for meditation inspiration, these are the four books I turn to regularly:

Easwaran, Eknath, God Makes the Rivers to Flow: Selections from the Sacred Literature of the World (2009).

Ladinsky, Daniel, Love Poems from God: Twelve Sacred Voices from the East and West (2002).

Mitchell, Stephen (translation), Tao Te Ching (1988).

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (adapted by Moshe Mykoff & S. C. Mizrahi with the Breslov Research Institute), The Gentle Weapon: Prayers for Everyday and Not-So-Everyday Moments (2002).

 

The books are linked to Amazon’s bookstore.  Full Disclosure Alert!  When you purchase books using Hooray Weekly’s link, a tiny pittance of the price comes back to support the podcast.  So thank you very much for any and all your support!

 

 

 

 

 

HW 002: Keep Your Head Down

HW 002: Keep Your Head Down

Welcome to Week 2 of the Hooray Weekly Podcast!

 

Today, I dive into Hooray Weekly for real.  Exciting!  In this first episode of the “Hooray in Tough Times” series, I offer a few crumbs along your spiritual and emotional path toward freedom, hope and love.  I hope that you find nourishment and encouragement in my words.  We’re on this journey together, so let’s go!

 

The podcast link is below.  (As of today, the podcast has been submitted to iTunes, Stitcher and SoundCloud so that you’ll be able to subscribe to the podcast from your favorite podcast directory.  The blog itself will be the place to come to for show notes, which will include a summary of the episode and announcements, as well as links to any resources I mention.  The weekly podcast will always be available here on Hooray Living’s blog.)

 

Remember, “smile and the world smiles with you.”

 

I love you!  Here we gooooooo!

 

_______

 

HW 002: Keep Your Head Down

“I can’t go on, I’ll go on…”  –Samuel Beckett

 

How in the world do you manage through tough times of crisis, despair, anxiety and loss?  In this episode, I encourage you to keep your head down.  Keeping your head down is a way through when worlds seem to be crashing in upon you.  It’s one-foot-in-front-of-the-other work and involves doing what is right in front of you and involves praying in whatever form that is for you.

 

This “keep your head down” strategy is the first of many ways to keep yourself moving through tough times.  Next week, I’ll talk about finding stillness in the midst of the storm.

 

If you’d like to learn more about the teacher/professor/womanist ethicist & theologian, Reverend Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, I mention in the episode, click to find her books here.  Katie Geneva Cannon, PhD, is the Annie Scales Rogers Professor of Christian Ethics, Union Theological Seminary-PSCE in Richmond, VA. The first African American woman ordained in the United Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Cannon focuses her work in the areas of Christian ethics, Womanist theology, and women in religion and society. She has lectured nationally on theological and ethical topics and is the author or editor of numerous articles and seven books including Katie’s Canon: Womanism and the Soul of the Black Community and Black Womanists.

 

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