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.

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?


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.






if you've ever wanted to experience yoga, India-style

If you”re a yogi and have been to India…

or, you”ve ever pondered going to India…

or, you”re simply interested in experiencing the Indian yoga culture…

chances are classes with Jayasharee and Narasimhan will cross your path at some point.

Wherever you are on your yoga journey, my dear friend and yoga teacher, Lisa Schrempp has made it possible for you to take classes with these wonderful teachers, right here in Tucson.

Bisbee getting a little frisky with Lisa... Both wearing the bindhi's (red dots) I placed on their foreheads to celebrate the week-long Indian food cooking class we'd just completed.

Lisa and Yoga Flow are hosting a 3-day workshop with Master Teachers Jayashree and Narasimhan over Labor Day weekend.  Here”s a rundown of the schedule. For more, click here or visit their Facebook page.

Friday, August 31, 5:30 – 8:00. The Goal of Yoga… exploring Yoga Sutras 1st chapter, along with a 45 minute asana practice. ($35/$30 early reg)

Saturday, September 1, 1:00-4:30.
 Yoga Stories of casino online Enlightenment… chanting, storytelling, philosophy, along with a 60 minute asana practice. ($45/$40 early reg)

Sunday, September 2, 1:00 – 5:00. 
Bring Your Yoga Home… Indian cooking class, how to set up a home altar and meditation class. ($85/$75 early reg). THIS ONE”S AT MY HOUSE …. IT”S ALREADY FULL, BUT WE”LL SQUEEZE A FEW MORE IN!

When I went to India, I took a meditation class from Narasimhan that simplified the process so much that it”s been an “almost” daily practice for me ever since.  He had such a way of taking the complicated-ness out of yoga and meditation. Many of my friends have taken Jayashree”s sanskrit, cooking and chanting classes… Both offer a chance to learn from teachers actually living the yoga culture of India.

If you have any questions, just let me know. Take care and I hope to see you there.

The cure-all yoga pose

If you’re thinking about trying yoga, or love it but don’t always have time to get to class. You can do a lot of healing in just 10 minutes with this one pose.

Photo via: Your Yoga Place 

Lying on your back with “legs-up-the-wall” is a magic yoga cure-all. It’s recommended when you:

  • can’t sleep
  • have tight hips and hamstrings
  • feel a cold coming on
  • have jetlag
  • have a headache
  • have PMS
  • need a different perspective or some color in your cheeks

There’s nothing like a good night’s sleep to improve all aspects of your health, including digestion, cravings, energy and libido! And, there’s nothing better than legs-up-the-wall to set the stage for a sound sleep.

Give yourself 10 minutes before bed (or anytime throughout the day when you’re feeling overwhelmed… just lock the office door if you’re at work, you may get a few strange looks 😉  Add a lavender eye pillow or place a towel over your eyes and you’ll slip into heaven that much quicker.

Here’s Yoga Journal’s how-to on this amazing pose, along with modifications. They show it with a bolster, but I prefer it without one. Just do what feels best to you.

I like to get into position and turn my focus to softening my eyes, my brow and jaw. I also soften my shoulders, placing them gently on the floor. You’ll be surprised to notice how they stay hunched up, even when you’re laying down – you have to make a conscious effort to soften them.

One more thing – a regular routine of inversions (and legs-up-the wall is an excellent one) will do more to make your skin glow than any amount of cosmetics.

I told you it’s magic!

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