practicing presence. 10 tips from Thich.

With things like pain-bodies to deal with, I thought our half-way point through A New Earth could use some extra enlightened advice.

So, I scrolled through my saved episodes of Oprah”s Super Soul Sunday and found a precious episode with a master of presence, Thich Nhat Hanh, Zen Buddhist Monk.


 Here”s a 3-minute clip of him describing the act of “deep listening,” summarized below…

  • Mindfulness (aka peace, presence) is to cultivate understanding and compassion.
  • Mindful breathing can help us recognize the feeling, the situation, (the pain-body) and not be overwhelmed by fear or anxiety.
  • Practice “deep listening” when someone provokes you.
  • Listen with only one purpose, to help him to empty his heart. (I love this one.)
  • If  you remember that you are helping him to suffer less, then online casino even if he says things full of wrong perceptions and bitterness, you are What they promised and what we hoped for was a universal system that would genuinely adapt to people”s changes … but it”s been a year now and yet still the problems are increasing not decreasing. still capable of listening with compassion, because you know that listening like this, you give him a chance to suffer less.
  • If you want to help correct his perception, wait for another time. For now, just listen, help him suffer less. This will bring compassion and healing.
  • Let him vent, purge. Resist the urge to give advice, react, or take what he’s saying personally.
  • Know that when you are angry you are not lucid, you might do wrong things.
  • That is why compassion is a much better energy. Compassion is very strong, no matter what the conflict  or who is involved – friends, family, co-workers, countries.


p.s. Thich or “Thay” as students call him, is also a master of mindful eating. I”m sure he”d be all over the 10-Day Food Day Challenge that Lilly”s Table is hosting! Check it out, join and win a year of free menus from Chef Lilly.

a-ha’s from A New Earth Chapter 4 tele-chat

Chapter 4 suggests that most of us go through life playing roles and, just like roles played out on the big screen, they have nothing to do with the real-ness of the one playing them. That sounds like a lot of work, so why in the world would we do that?

photo/poster via Karen at notsalmon. love her!

Eckhart says we do this because of one unconscious assumption, one underlying thought that,

 I am not enough.

We’ve learned that our ego thrives on separation… feeling inferior/superior, making right/wrong…its rigid structure is designed to keep us believing we’re never enough.

So, we make up stories around whatever function we’re facing – as an adult, a parent, a spouse, an employee… and try to live out our version, or our family’s version, or our society’s version of whatever we think that should be.

No wonder we’re exhausted!

The problem is that when we completely identify with a role, we confuse a pattern of behavior with who we are – and we think actors are strange when they do this.

Eckhart congratulates this confusion…when people start wondering, “If I’m not that, then who am I?”

“If you can be absolutely comfortable with not knowing who you are, then what’s left is who you are – the Being behind the human – a field of pure potentiality, rather than something that is already defined.”

Now thats a big a-ha!

Check out this article, Get Unstuck, Unleash Your Potential” on the magic that can happen when we accept what we don’t know, stop acting out the life we think we should be living and let our real-ness shine through. And, join us for Chapter 5’s tele-chat on Tuesday, 10/16…


practicing presence. like the piano.

Practicing presence is kind of like practicing the piano. It’s best to take baby steps, start with the easy stuff and squeeze in short sessions throughout the day. Five to ten minutes of scales or a few measures of a song are all you need to do.

You’re after muscle memory, so repetition is key. It might even better than those 1-hour sessions you never seem to have time for.

 photo via Pinterest

So, how can you create glimpses of presence throughout your day?

  • Tune everything out and tune in to your breath. Just for one minute spurts. Notice it without judgment. Do you need to online casino deepen it or even it out?
  • Scan your body. Breathe into the tightest areas. Notice it as resistance. Soften into it. Set your alarm to remember to do it.
  • Create space in your day to do what you need to do. You know how much better it feels when your schedule flows, when you allow for the unexpected.

Before you know it, you’ll play like a pro.

You”ll find yourself pausing before reacting, taking note of what’s really happening around you, without judgment. When resistance arises, you’ll naturally soften, letting annoyances flow through you.  You’ll take action that feels right to you, without anxiety or fueling anyone’s ego.

How would you go about practicing presence?


10 Day Food Day Challenge. Eat Real Food.

If you’re like me, you don’t need to be convinced why you should “eat real food,” you just need help figuring out what to make … then, make time to prepare it.

So, in the spirit of freshening your mindset, ending the year “A New You,” and in honor of National Food Day (Oct 24th),

why don’t we take the Lilly’s Table 10-Day Food Day Challenge together? 

All you have to do Ensuring the Validity, Veracity, and Volatility of Big best file recovery High volume, high variety, and high velocity are the essential characteristics of big data. is sign up here, and you’ll receive 10 days of educational mails, tasty recipes and a chance to win 1 year of menus from Lilly. It starts October 16th, but you can join any time…

This just might be the catalyst for creating online casinos a routine around planning, shopping for and preparing more real food for you and your family.

p.s. I met Lilly during last year’s Food Day festivities she led in Tucson. I signed up for her weekly online menu service (just $12/month) and have discovered some of my favorite recipes. They are always simple, tasty and have few ingredients. Her weekly emails offer great tips on how to work with seasonal produce and her site even prepares your grocery list!

practicing presence. four agreements.

In our chat about A New Earth, we’re learning that the anti-dote to ego is stillness, presence, acceptance… a magical space of neutrality and non-judgment where we have time to pause and ponder before reacting…

Sounds great. Until someone blatantly hurts your feelings…

Then what? Are you supposed to just sit back and let that happen?

Turns out this magical place is not a destination, it’s more of a journey, a forever one that’s going to take a lot of practice. Fortunately, things like yoga, meditation, running, hiking… anything that cultivates pointed concentration can help create this mindful, “thought-less,” magical space.

I’ve also adopted “The Four Agreements” as kind of a mantra when my mind starts getting the best of me, especially when other egos are involved:

1. Don’t take anything personally.

Remember, our egos are built the same way – focused on the past, stories, conditioned thoughts, beliefs and patterns. Trust me, whatever they said, probably has nothing to do with you. They have enough going on up there without taking on your stories as well.

2. Don’t make assumptions.

You have no idea what’s causing their reaction… At best, you can be compassionate, knowing they’re struggling with their stories, just as you struggle with your own.

3. Be impeccable with your word.

Especially what you say to yourself…

4. Always do your best.

Keep in mind this is a lifelong practice … perfection is not probable, maybe not even possible.


More on these here, including a link to an interview Ellen DeGeneres did with don Miguel Luiz, author of The Four Agreements for “O” magazine.






a-ha's from A New Earth Chapter 3 tele-chat

Chapter 2 showed us that while “what” our ego obsesses about is unique to each one of us – it operates the same.  It thrives on separation, complaining, resentments, being superior, inferior, right or wrong. Understanding this same-ness shifts perspective, causing healthier, more neutral mindset and reactions.

Here are a few a-ha”s from our chat about Chapter 3:

I didn’t think I complained very much, but I”m realizing that even if I’m not saying it out loud, or projecting it at others, there’s a lot of complaining going on in my head, especially about myself.

I’m watching people in a different way now, with less judgment, less assumptions. My reactions are slower, more thoughtful…

I”m becoming more compassionate when someone hurts my feelings. I don”t have to condone what they”re doing… having a deeper understanding of Other hair test for drugs used in addiction treatment, like naltrexone and acamprosate, are specifically designed to reduce cravings and prevent relapse rather than relieving withdrawal symptoms. where they”re coming from helps me not take it as personal or let it affect my day.


When it comes to my children, worry and fixing are innate. But, I”m starting to see that the act of worry doesn’t fix anything. As teenagers surrounded by teenage egos, they need me to be grounded, rested, able to listen. I online casino australia can”t do that when I”m exhausted and depleted from no sleep and nervous eating.

The idea of “what you resist, persists” makes more sense to me now. The ego makes a battle out of everything. It”s what makes us eat foods we “know” are bad for us.  If you do as Eckhart suggests and mindfully, slowly, enjoy the chips, there”s no resistance for the ego to stand upon and chances are, you won”t eat as much …


Sign in here to join us for Chapter 4 and end the year well on your way to A New You!

a-ha's from A New Earth chapter 2 tele-chat

This week”s tele-chat was all about ego… it”s content, structure, what makes it make us crazy.  Here are a few of the a-ha”s:


I”m seeing that presence and stillness aren”t about peace and butterflies. It”s a more neutral place of acceptance and awareness … and that seems easier than trying to be “happy” all the time.

In focusing more on what I”m saying to myself and what feelings accompany those thoughts, I”ve been able to stand back and watch it roll by. It has lightened my mood along with my energy….”

People live like the present is an enemy… constantly waiting for the next thing, or to get out of whatever online pokies situation they’re in…traffic, lines, jobs, relationships. Whenever you find yourself waiting, try “being” with it instead.

I would love to go back in time and help my kids not be so quick to walk by beauty without even recognizing it, as we all grow to do. I don’t think I’d tell them “this is ‘called’ a tree, as Eckhart suggests – that might get some strange looks. Instead, I might ask them what they like about the tree, or have them touch the tree, just to encourage a depth beyond labels or names.

from pg 45 – “How do you let go of attachment with things? Don’t even try. It’s impossible. Attachment to things drops away by itself when you no longer seek to find yourself in them. In the meantime, just be aware of your attachment to things.”


Check out Chapter 1 a-ha”s and End the Year a New You by signing up here for our free chat

practicing presence. shimmer and shine.

Chapter 2 shone a big bright light on what makes the ego thrive … things, looks, abilities that make it better than others. It loves to compare, judge, always searching for places it thinks it will shine.

One of the hardest things for it to accept is aging.

Our ego encourages us to do anything we can to preserve our youth, despite the fact that no matter what we do, our bodies are going to change. They’re even going to stop one day.

But, we’ve all seen people in their 80’s and 90’s who say that inside, they have the same child-like wonder, passion, and zest they’ve always had. They sparkle.

The source of that sparkle is stillness.

It’s a place free of ego, comparison, judgment and wanting… It’s a perpetual state of acceptance of all that life has to offer, each and every moment, the gifts and the lessons.

If you find yourself not believing that, tap into your inner body.

Feel the aliveness inside you.  Eckhart suggests starting with your hand… just feel it tingle.

Or, do this yoga pose 
while listening to this song

A beautiful reminder by Shawn Mullins that

“we were born to shimmer,
we were born to shine,
we were born to radiate”

Sign up here to join our A New Earth tele-chats every Tuesday nights and end the year A sparkly New You.


a-ha’s from A New Earth Chapter 1 tele-chat

I asked “A New You with A New Earth” tele-chat-ters to share an a-ha from Chapter 1 during this week’s call.  I was touched by their genuine desire to become more present… and toasted them with a snapshot of skinny margaritas from Dr. Weil’s True Food Kitchen.


(I hope you’ll join Chapter 2’s chat on Tuesday, 9/25. If you’re intrigued, but can’t make it, sign up anyway for the call-in info and links to previous call recordings. You’re welcome to jump in for any chapter.)

Here are a few of those a-ha’s:

The idea of practicing acceptance vs trying to figure out why something is happening is comforting to me…”

I realized that no matter who you are, what situation you’re in, you’re always going to have to ground yourself so you can grow…”

The more you make your thoughts or beliefs into your identity, the more cut off you are from the spiritual dimension within yourself… This resonates with me as a mother, trying to figure out what role religion will play in our family.”

Before I had my son, my workaholic tendencies were always future focused. Pregnancy forces you to slow down. Having the child made me want to slow down. I see how present he is and I’ve been trying to be more present for him. This book confirms I’m on the right path.”

You do not become good by trying to be good, but by letting the goodness within you emerge… from pg 13 reminded me of Michelle Obama saying, ‘Being President doesn’t change who you are, it reveals who you are.’ This theme reminds me that trying to be good is more external. Allowing goodness to emerge taps into an internal quality. Our actions reveal who we are.”

I started the book as part of a weight loss program in 2010. Even though I didn’t finish it, I caught a glimpse of what it was like to live more in the present. I felt in touch with everything around me in a whole new way. Over time though, that sensation left me, like a tire with a slow leak you’re not aware of. I’m excited about this workshop because I want that back.”

Growth is a blessing, but it’s also a process.

It’s helpful to have a space where you can share your a-ha’s and feel supported. We’re all in this together. I hope this workshop can be that space for you.


p.s. Part of the process is “practicing” presence… here’s a suggestion or two.

Practice presence. Notice moments.

After reading Chapter 1 of A New Earth, it seems that this “New You” we’re after is going to have something to do with becoming present, still, aware – whichever term you prefer.

It’s going to depend on our ability to create space between the craziness in our head and the stillness at our core. Eckhart says that just by recognizing, or “awakening” to the notion that we can become aware of our thoughts is progress.

The goal is to cumulate more of this “space” in our day. When we have that space we give ourselves perspective and more time to form reactions. We create a more graceful way of getting through the day than analyzing and worrying, which is exhausting and unproductive.

Finding ways to create more space, to become more present is important. It’s not hard, it’s just going to take some practice.


Eckhart suggests starting with nature because stillness requires us to “be” with something without labeling, naming, or judging it. It’s easier to do that with a flower than our friends or family who have just as much craziness going on in their head as we do.

If contemplating a flower isn’t connecting with you, try keeping an eye out for moments.

I took a photography class which became less about the camera than cultivating an eye for moments. It doesn’t matter how fancy the camera is, or how much experience or knowledge is behind the camera – it’s always the heart behind it that captures the best shots. Those are the shots that stop us. And in that moment, that tiny space, we’re connected, by stillness.


Practice noticing more moments and watch how this spills over into your life. 

p.s. If you feel like capturing them on camera, post them on Instagram (I’m at deneseb) or Facebook. Share what’s in your heart.

End the year A New You by joining our chapter by chapter Tuesday night tele-chats on the book Oprah and Eckhart made famous, “A New Earth.” Join anytime, it’s free. Just sign up here for call-in info.

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