True Nature


Our minds have a true nature and it is enlightenment and peacefulness. So what happens to us as life continues in its flow? The oceans are calm and clear until they are stirred up by a storm or several storms. So what stirs us up?

 

When we mentally grasp onto things, problems or trials and cling to our wants, desires and worries, we lose our enlightened freedom and healing power. When we do this, we gain stress and exhaustion, suffering and overexcitement. It is as if a storm were sweeping the surface of the ocean.

 

Buddhists call this grasping at self. And we do and the harder we grasp, the more stressed and traumatized we become. Our minds do have the power to be joyful and to blossom into peace and contentment. We, our minds, are what makes the difference. Our minds can heal us or can make us very ill emotionally and physically.

 

Rich and poor alike can suffer from stress caused by external worries. Even millionaires suffer from anger, despair, and depression. They really do not get to enjoy true rest and peace, but they worry about how to keep what they have. They can’t enjoy who and what they are but are living for what they desire. Making money does not enslave us, but giving our lives over to what we are attracted to does.

 

Poor people become trapped by the struggle of life. They struggle to pay bills, keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. These are all important things. Often they can’t even enjoy the little they have for fear of incurring more pain.

 

Mother Teresa told a story about a small boy who was brought to the missionary sisters in Calcutta.  They gave him a piece of bread and he hungrily ate half. He refused to eat any more. The sisters asked him why he wouldn’t eat more and he said because he might not get any more. The sisters assured him he could have more and he quickly ate the other half. This orphan was clinging to that half piece of bread because he understood what starvation felt like and that half slice was all he thought he had between him and starving.

 

We accumulate items for our homes but take little care of our minds and bodies. A Tibetan monk  told a story of a friend of his who was chopping wood and he lost control of one chop and it cut through his new leather shoe. His foot was uninjured and that was good. The monk looked at his friend and expressed his gratitude about his foot and then said that if his friend hadn’t had the shoes on, he would have cut his foot. The monk’s friend looked at the monk and declared that if he hadn’t had on his new shoes, he would have injured his foot but it would have healed. The shoe would not heal.  In a poor country like Tibet, shoe leather is valued.  It is a funny way of looking at things, but we often put material objects before our minds and bodies.

 

Relaxing our hold on self brings us peace of mind, and with peace of mind nothing can harm us. Even if we suffer, the right attitude will help us carry our emotions more lightly. Simply by opening our minds, we can be surprised by our own inner strength.

 

Neurologists are working hard to understand how the mind works and they are making real progress. Letting go of things and the people who are toxic in our lives does make a difference. The difference is being free to discover and enjoy the wonders in the world and in our lives.

 

Meditation does help us with the letting go and it helps us to hold on to love, peace, enlightenment and compassion. There is no one right way of meditation, but it is the act of opening oneself up to experience Divinity that enables us to let go of what is causing us suffering.

 

Along our journey in this life, we can serve others, create organizations which will help others, provide protection, give gifts, say prayers, and pay respect to others and to Mother Earth.

 

“When you speak, speak with ease, relevance, clarity, and pleasantness,

Without desire and hatred,

In gentle tones and at moderate length.

When you look, look with honest and loving eyes, thinking:

‘By depending on this kind person

I will become fully enlightened.’ ”

  —Shantideva

 

“God said to Moses, ‘You saw the moon rise from your chest.

I filled you with Divine light. I am God, Yet, when I got sick,

you never visited me!’

Moses said, ‘Transcendent one, I don’t know what you’re

talking about. Please set me straight.’

God repeated, ‘When I was sick, you never came.’

Moses said, ‘Perfect One, You have no imperfections! I don’t

understand. What are you talking about?’

God said, ‘One of my lovers was ill, and you ignored it.

I am him. His sickness is my sickness. Think it over.’ ”

   —Rumi, from Rumi Wisdom

 

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The suffering of humankind. The storm sweeping the ocean. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

The suffering of humankind. The storm sweeping the ocean. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

 

The peacefulness and beauty of the beach. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

The peacefulness and beauty of the beach. Photograph and copyright by Barbara Mattio 2015

Worth Fighting For


944551_529753340425529_1022251361_nFighting for the world stops a lot of problems that we deal with every day. When we are just looking at our countries or even our communities, the scope to too narrow.  What one country does for its people may be fantastic and yet for their neighbors in a neighboring country, it may cause many trials and tribulations. This is why it is important to think of Mother Earth as what she is; a cohesive planet rotating around the sun like the other planets are doing.

We take that simple knowledge which has worked very well for millions  of years and we have divided Mother Earth. This piece goes to America. This part is Russia, this is Syria. Here is Germany, and Greenland is over here. No not there that is Iceland. Iceland belongs to us…no it is its own country. So as the millenniums and the centuries have passed we have divided and put together parts of Mother Earth over and over. Many great rulers have come and gone. They have done much to destroy Mother Earth with divisions and wars and slavery and jealousy and greed.

There is a flag flying over every inch of our planet and we watch our boundaries closely. Some will never get in and some will never leave. Our planet has a big job. It is what we stand on. It gives us a variety of fuels, and gem stones. Because we aren’t taking care of Mother Earth, there is much harsher weather coming. There are tornadoes, cyclones, hurricanes, blizzards, sandstorms. Is she trying to tell us something? I know we all couldn’t even agree on that. But remember, we human beings are responsible for this planet. She will take care of us if we take care of her. So when you look at a world globe, remember the flags are not the most important part. The most important part is that we have this beautiful planet to use, to enjoy and to love. Don’t forget to do that and Planet Earth will be here rotating on her axis for a very long time.

 

The peace of mind tree.

The peace of mind tree.

Daily Small Miracles


Rainbow after the
Storm

We have seen much tragedy due to Hurricane Sandy. But there are so many stories of miracles also. Images of newborn babies during the storm. Neighbors helping each other with hearts full of love and compassion. People reaching out to others with caring and concern. This is a time when we put aside our own concerns and differences of opinion and reach out. Here people are going around taking trees off of roofs for homeowners to prevent further damage. People who have power are going to shelters to assist the people who were evacuated and are in shelters. We see these types of miracles after disasters. Americans can be very good at putting all else aside an rolled up their sleeves and helping each other.

Each day, small miracles occur and often we miss these tiny events in our lives and in the lives of the people around us. The person who comes through surgery well. The one pound baby that finally gets to go home with their families. The friend who calls at the perfect moment when we need a supportive shoulder.The child who holds the door open for you.

These miracles couples themselves to the random acts of kindness that people perform every minute of every day. The stranger who does something kind. The sudden smile that brightens your life and the unexpected compliment. The person that stops and assists you to put packages into your car.

We touch each other every day with kindness and compassion. These simple acts help people heal from whatever is going on in their lives. They are very important to pass on to someone else. As always, it all begins within ourselves. So be a miracle worker today and put a smile on someone’s face or remind them that they are not alone.

The Miracle of the one single perfect flower. Photo by Barbara Mattio

Butterfly whispering. Photo by Cliff Mattio

The Beauty of Nature Heals Our Hearts and Souls. Asheville, NC. Photo by Barbara Mattio

 

 

 

 

Today, be the wind under someone’s wings. Open your heart and give away love to each other. The Miracle about love is that the more you give away, the more you have. Love is not like a pie. So give your love away today and become part of the miracles that happen around us every day.

A painting done by an Alzheimer’s patient. Photo by Barbara Mattio

Today we need to affirm our lives and what is in our World


Happy Halloween

So much going on. The spiritual energy of the Universe is very intense. We are in a transitional time on our planet. So many things are exploding around us here in America and around the world. There is much hatred and anger abound in the Universe. We need to counter all of this with love and compassion. We have lost souls due to this tremendous storm. Many people are suffering and scared and overwhelmed.

We need to do what we can do by donating to charities that can help in the material sense. We also need to be sending love and protective life to all who have been affected by this terrible storm. We need to use affirmations to keep our thoughts and energy positive. We need to keep ourselves strong and positive to assist others.

Each of us can strengthen ourselves with affirmations. I am giving 10 that I hope will be helpful and calming to ourselves. If they help you, then pass them on to others. On this Halloween night, the night the Pagans of old called the New Year and when the veil is the thinnest between worlds and the ancestors can be nearby and comforting and we can honor them. It is also All Saints Eve. A perfect night to use affirmations for ourselves and the world.

1) No matter what my challenge, I know I am loved.
2) This will pass and I will grow and benefit from it.
3) I will open my heart and allow love to flow out to heal others and Mother Earth.
4) I am the author of my life.
5) No person, place, or thing has any power over me.
6) Beauty arouses me and heals me.
7) I take good loving care of my body and I am where I choose to be and I am beautiful/
8) I know my body is filled with starlight and that I sparkle.
9) My body is amazing. I can relax and let healing take place.
10) I change my life when I change my thinking.

—-Excerpted from Meditations to Heal Your Life
—-Louise L. Hay

Saying these affirmations each day or several times a day will change your thinking and that will change you and how you react to the world. You can create specific affirmations  to fit your specific circumstances. Opening up your heart to the Universe and sending your love out to heal the planet will make that happen. It will start within each of us. So go ahead affirm what you want to be in your life.

 

We are all safe and will be provided what we need most in our lives now and always.