Tending The Verdant Garden Of Your Heart

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Sometimes when I garden, I think of all the life lessons gardening has taught me and my heart overflows with joy. Perhaps I should write one of those books titled: “Everything I need to know about life, I learned in my garden!”

Jokes aside, gardening for me is a sacred conversation with all of life. It intimately connects me with the earth, nature, creatures of all shapes and sizes, and life beyond. It brings me back to my happy space as a co-creator and nurturer.

The act of gardening brings us fully present to ourselves, each moment, and the Presence of the Creator permeating everything around us. The rich diversity of the microcosm we call gardening, is simply a sliver of the abundant cosmos we get to live in and explore. And as we seek to establish balance and participation in a garden, we set in motion a core of harmony that ripples out to bless all sentient life with beauty, sustenance, and vitality.

Gardening gathers us home to Mother Nature and all the lessons she has to share with us. As we tend the diverse aspects of a garden, we also commune with Mother Nature, and in turn she blesses us with nutritious bounty and beauty.

As in all of life, gardens enjoy seasons of growth like spring and loss like fall; there are times of giving as the blooms of summer, and seasons of rest as the seed beneath the snow. All the seasons are ours to experience.

How we experience each changing season, is up to each of us: we alone choose our responses to life, our ability to begin again and grow even after we’ve been pruned back hard.

Gardens are not just happenings. They’re expressions of the gardener’s presence. The more wonderful the garden, the more skilled the gardener. Together, the symbiotic relationship of garden and gardener offers us clear reminders of the principles we need to tend through the seasons of life.

As seasons revolve, periods of death and loss are followed by the rebirth of new life and vitality. Each plant grows, blooms and bears fruit, and then declines as a reminder of the sacred cycle of life and death. When the season of bounty is done, spent plants are recycled by composting them, and room is created for new shoots to emerge from the bountiful earth.

Like all of creation, gardening starts with a vision. It also requires effort and persistence to translate the vision into reality. Choices need to be made: our inner garden grows best when we plant seeds of faith, hope, love, compassion, forgiveness and trust. And then, we need to faithfully tend those seeds as they grow into their full potential.

To effectively cultivate our inner garden, we must care deeply for this life that’s ours and nurture it. We need to identify and remove weeds from our lives so they will not choke out the beauty of the life we’re cultivating. Likewise, we need to differentiate between what’s good and what’s unnecessary, so we can prune back behaviors and actions that interfere with our inner growth and harmony. Pruning, though painful, creates space for what we wish to bring forth.

Gardens are protected by healthy boundaries. When boundaries are defined, the tender plants are protected from predators while beneficial insects are invited to perform their service of pollination.

Gardening is inherently responsive and proactive. It teaches us the importance of spotting pesky invaders or the start of disease right away. Ignoring a few warning signs today can quickly escalate to a disastrous outcome or total crop loss. We need to remain vigilant, eliminate negative thoughts and maintain good emotional hygiene for a balanced life.

And when harm has been done, gardening also teaches us to forgive trespassers – both the intruders who hurt and damage what’s been painstakingly cultivated, and forgiving ourselves when we make mistakes or fail to live up to our own ideals.

Finally, gardening teaches us about the value of community. Plants are drawn to companions that comprise a supportive community. Tomatoes grow well alongside basil or peppers, but don’t thrive next to cabbage or broccoli. This does not make either plant type bad; it merely indicates a harmonic symbiosis which, when honored, results in more optimal outcomes. Likewise, we need the enrichment and support of a harmonious community to reach our full potential.

There’s no garden as prolific as the one that love grew, whether in nature or in our hearts. Love is at the core of all abundance, goodness and bounty. Author Daphne Rose Kingma expressed it this way:

“For it is in loving, as well as in being loved, that we become most truly ourselves. No matter what we do, say, accomplish, or become, it is our capacity to love that ultimately defines us. In the end, nothing we do or say in this lifetime will matter as much as the way we have loved one another.”

Even though the world is full of suffering, it’s also full of empowerment and opportunity. When we stop to reflect on the inner garden we’re tending – our inner being – we see this.

And so, we tend the verdant garden of our hearts so we can transition from fear to faith; from lack to abundance, and from defensiveness to blessing. It takes courage to step away from a busy schedule and to sit, tending our heart and soul. Yet all masters knew how important that is: even Gandhi took one day a week to sit in silence, tending the garden of his heart so he could be the change he sought in the world.

It is in quietude and contemplation that we recognize the stillness of the Creator Presence and our connection to all. That awareness can foster in us compassion for the woundedness of the world, so we commit to the awakening and care of our world.

Centuries ago, the Buddha taught: “To live in joy and love even among those who hate; to live in joy and health, even among the afflicted; to live in joy and peace, even among the troubled; quiet your mind and tend the heart, and free yourself from fears and confusion and attachment, and know the sweet joy of living in the Way.”

What is your bountiful gift to the world that only you can bring? Listen closely, push beyond discomfort to cultivate your seeds of potential, and grow them with love and joy!

About The Author:

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit http://adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

Practical Ways You Can Impact The World Now

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None of us are exempt from the upheaval sweeping around the globe. This time of great shifting and change has been foretold eons ago, and it is called the Great Awakening. It is a period of both chaotic change and great opportunity.

In communities everywhere, growing awareness of injustice acts as a catalyst for people to release pent-up frustration around issues of inequality, greed, suppression, abuse and more. As this energy gathers momentum, it evokes many mixed emotions in others as well: fear, disgust and recoiling, to name a few.

What are we to do with these mixed feelings?

I believe these emotions can be very useful, because it can arouse in us the will to take action.

Evolution and awakening are not armchair hobbies! This is not a time to hide until the storm passes; it is time awakened souls to clear their own energy and hold a clear intention for the unfolding of optimal solutions.

If we truly want a better world, we need to actively tap into the power of intention for the collective outcomes we desire to see. Is that not infinitely more productive than passivity while angry mobs create a post-apocalyptic reality based on their woundedness and pain?

I believe we can do better. We must!

Recent events are exposing many fundamental problems that have festered in societies around the world for a very long time. While you and I may not express our disgust violently, we share a part of the problem, too. Have we not benefited from the very inequality that caused suffering for others? That makes us responsible for finding a solution as well.

It is time for all of us to see the bigger picture. We are called to step into our sovereignty as co-creators of reality in the world around us now, as well as the reality we wish to see moving forward. It is either this, or passively accepting the post-apocalyptic nightmare created by blind egos fueled by greed.

Humanity cannot continue functioning with the enormous disparities that currently prevail. I recently watched an Amazon documentary titled “Human Flow” that touched my heart. It showed how millions of people around the globe, displaced by war, famine and inequalities, are barely surviving in refugee camps without amenities, forgotten by the world. If we wish to survive as a species, we cannot stand idly by or build our own fortunes while others suffer, stripped of everything they had.

Ask yourself this: Are you a part of the problem or part of the solution?

You are inherently part of either the problem or the solution by your inner attitude. And you can help to heal this collective wound without ever marching for change – it starts within your heart.

It is time for all of us to harness our disgust and discomfort into compassionate action; doing our part to recycle the dense energy in the collective by sending it to the Light, and holding onto a clear vision for the emergence of a better world.

As awakened beings, you and I have a pivotal part to play in this unfolding drama. We need to BE the light called for in this world, radiating compassionate Light to others, and holding the energetic intention for unfoldment of a better way forward for all of humanity.

Like a wildfire, the waves of anger and violence will burn themselves out when we do not feed them. We are not to fight fire with fire; we are called to BE the peace we wish to see in the world. As spiritual firefighters, our tools consist of compassionate awareness, clear focus and wise action.

You and I can put out the fires of discontent by sending compassion to areas of conflict, allowing our compassion to quell the fires of the heart raging worldwide. Once these fires of injustice have been acknowledged, the flames will subside and reason will return. Only then can rebuilding begin.

Instead of judging others for the actions they take at their individual level of consciousness, let’s harness our collective emotional response and focus it on more optimal outcomes instead.

There are many different ways in which you can become part of the solution in a suffering world. The point is that when you are an awakened being, you are called on to respond.

The Course in Miracles says that there are only two calls in life: the call for love and the call to love. Which will you choose?

We can do this work in private, with others or in groups online who are holding a collective response for peace. Until we acknowledge the pain of the world and meet it with compassion, there can be no meaningful healing or rebuilding.

If you choose to join other souls in worldwide meditation, then do that. If you choose to do radical forgiveness the way Dr. Hew Len taught, then go right ahead. If you choose to participate on a local level to reach across boundaries of race and class for forgiveness, do that by all means.

We are called to lead by example – reaching across the chasm and building bridges to a new way of being. We are called to stand strong, to keep the faith and hold a clear vision of a compassionate society that leaves nobody out of its embrace.

Hold in mind your vision for a better world; then ask yourself what you can do to help bring that about.

Know that whatever attempts to suppress, diminish and deny human expression and growth, is ultimately destined to fail. Meaningful change will take time, but it is possible. It starts with you and me holding a vision of compassion in which all beings can evolve – for all sentient beings are worthy of the compassion, love and support needed to evolve.

At a soul level, we volunteered to be on the planet for this time. As the Hopi elders reminded us in preparation for this time, we are the ones that we’ve been waiting for. This is the moment to dig deep, to find the love of Who we are, and let our Light shine to point the way thru this darkness.

The light and solutions we seek in the world will only come in response to what all of us do, so please do not turn away or hide in a corner. Step up; participate with other souls who are working individually and collectively to radiate the light of Divine potential in this world.

Allow yourself to be what you were truly born to be in this life – a co-creative being of Light!

About the author:

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://www.adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

Chaotic Life? How to Find Inner Peace Amid Chaos

Chaotic Life? How to Find Inner Peace Amid Chaos

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“Anyone can build a house of wood and bricks, but the Buddha taught that that is not our real home. Our real home is inner peace.” – Ajahn Chah

How can we possibly experience inner peace at a time when humanity and our planet appear to be tumbling deeper into chaos? Can inner peace even co-exist with chaos?

I believe the answer is Yes!

In fact, spiritual practices such as mindfulness and the ancient wisdom teachings show us how to cultivate inner peace in any situation.

The only time we have is the present now; tomorrow is not guaranteed. This present moment, therefore, is the perfect and only time where we can find inner peace. This inner peace, which is also known as equanimity in Buddhism, cannot be found in the outside world. And yet, the potential for inner peace exists in the mind and heart of every individual, so each one of us can learn how to create the inner conditions for experiencing lasting peace within.

One of the perennial wisdom teachings encourages us to view peace as the result of letting go: letting go of clingy attachment as well as letting go of its opposite, which is aversive resistance.

The process of letting go is simple, but not necessarily easy to practice. It requires self-discipline. And so, we tend to shop around for easier ways toward peace, running the risk of getting confused by external voices promising instant bliss and freedom from the human condition.

You see, random information without context leads to overwhelm and confusion. Instead, we need to discern what is truly useful for us at any given time. We also need to distinguish between the loud presence of random information and the gentle presence of inner equanimity, because that is how we liberate the mind. In the presence of equanimity, the mind is not hijacked by attachment or aversion.

Equanimity further grows when we recognize that all things are inherently neutral; it is simply our thinking that bestows meaning on things so we can then either attach to them or resist them. It is not the facts, but the stories about the facts, that hijack our minds into value judgments and rigid positions.

In Buddhist tradition, equanimity is seen as a central quality present in beings who have developed deep inner wisdom and alignment with truth, free from hostility and ego will.

Equanimity relates to inner poise and balance because it rests in a place of non-attachment; centered between attraction and repulsion. It poises in a calm place of neither clinging to nor pushing away from things. Finding that neutral resting place within offers us a higher perspective over issues rather than getting stuck in the egoic interpretation of what’s happening. The more we develop equanimity, then, the more inner peace and spaciousness we experience in life.

Each one of us can develop more equanimity by practicing mindfulness in our lives on a daily basis and using an inner inquiry process to help us unpack emotions as they arise. Here are five steps to help with the process:

1. Set a clear intention to stay mindful

Setting a clear intention reminds us to step out of the ego identification of attachment and aversion; story-making and drama. It is the first step in cultivating true inner awareness.

2. Recognize the triggers

When a trigger arises, we may try to avoid feeling our emotions around it. Instead, we may distract ourselves with shopping or work, or we may attempt to numb our emotions with food or other substances. If we truly want to discharge the impact of the trigger, we absolutely need to become aware and look at it. Sometimes, the simple act of clearly seeing allows our reaction to the trigger to dissolve so we can replace it with equanimity.

3. Become curious

When we feel lost in reactions of anger and frustration to triggers, it is helpful to recognize that there is a desire hidden there, way beneath the frustration or anger. There may be attachment to a wishful outcome, or a craving for safety and security. It can be helpful to ask questions about where the attachment or aversion came from, what it is attempting to accomplish and what needs to be done with it to help us dissolve inner dissonance. We can also investigate the ways in which we distract ourselves to avoid feeling pain or avoid accepting reality.

4. Let go of attachment and aversion

By bringing compassionate awareness to these inner emotions and processes, we can separate out truth from our colored interpretation. Next, we need to ask ourselves if we are willing to let go:

  • Am I willing to let go of control?
  • Am I willing to let go of my attachment or aversion to what showed up in the past or in my present?
  • Am I willing to let go of the way I think things should be?
  • Am I willing to let go of resisting what is?
  • Can I simply let go and allow things to be as they are

5. Embrace peace

Letting go of attachments and aversions offers us the opportunity to return to our innate state of peace. As we let go of these things, we create space for equanimity.

Equanimity is the final result of this deep inquiry process that helps us dissolve inner dissonance, become aware of areas where we are distracting ourselves, and come back into proper alignment with truth and peace within, free from attachment and aversion.

After practicing this inner inquiry, simply bask in the stillness of awareness, allowing the radiant heart and mind spaces to open. Allow life to unfold in its fullness, expanding and contract with each heartbeat of life so you can know the peace of observing all without attachment, and in so doing, find inner peace.

About The Author:

©Copyright Ada Porat. For more information, visit https://adaporat.com. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached.

Creative Power of Love: How We Can Create a Better World Starting Now

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“Bless the poets, the workers for justice, the dancers of ceremony, the singers of heartache, the visionaries, all makers and carriers of fresh meaning — We will all make it through, despite politics and wars, despite failures and misunderstandings. There is only love.” ― Joy Harjo, Conflict Resolution for Holy Beings: Poems

It is by being present to the full triumph and catastrophe of the human experience that we can recalibrate it and shape the course of history instead of being shaped by it. This is the challenge and opportunity of our current times.

We’re living at a historical crossroads of monumental proportions. To choose well, we need to engage courageous thought and nurture fresh perspectives – not polarize others and fear dissent.

We need courage to forge better outcomes from the crucible of these times. And it is necessary to affirm the healing radiance of the human spirit and the unadulterated power unleashed when we remember who we really are – sourced from Divine Love through and through, yet equally human. Of this world and all others everywhere. This power cannot be diminished by tyranny or lies, by manipulation or fear. It is unassailable. Always. And it knows the truth. We know the truth.

The journey forward is long. Courage will be needed, along with a sense of humor and the wisdom to know when to speak up and when to wait for a more propitious time. In a free will Universe, no outcome is assured, so complacency is best avoided. That being said, we need to know our own limits and take care of ourselves first and foremost.

The constraints we face can be a game changer if we let them, revealing hidden truths and endowing each one of us with a deep sense of responsibility for what we choose as our truth, so our finely tuned moral compass can guide us safely past propaganda and mass psychosis. Let’s explore, question and analyze. Let’s come to our own conclusions, instead of receiving belief systems by dictate. And let’s honor the sovereignty of our minds and the right to form our own opinions from external evidence that pass our internal discernment. Only then can we decide as individuals and a collective where we all go from here.

The pressure of impending change is similar to sitting atop a roller coaster as the carriage creeps, ever so slowly, toward the tipping point before gravity intervenes and we’re hurtling down, no holds barred. Such moments are accompanied by both excitement and fear, anticipation and trepidation.

There’s no turning back and we know we’ll soon be going forward so fast there’ll be no stopping, whatever happens. Pressure is closing in from all sides. It is demanding from us courage, audacity and faith as frustration mounts and tempers flare. Only we ourselves know whether we’re motivated by a reliable inner voice or by emotions run ragged by external demands, conflicts and impositions.

We always have a choice and never has it been more vital to choose well. Amid the decay of a world that no longer is functional, we can start seeing new green shoots emerging. We’re just not quite there yet. There is much to be laid to rest first, even as we envision a future based on more equanimity and truth.

We are straddling the old and the new, the past and the future. The tired, worn-out paradigm seems so far removed from what we desire, yet we can’t quite envision what is possible, because we don’t know what we don’t know yet – and so we need to find different ways to span the chasm.

Amidst all the changes and imponderables in our world, we do have the ability to create the reality we desire. We can embark on this courageous journey by staying open to possibilities we can’t yet fathom, because we recognize we cannot create what we are not yet able to conceive. And so, it is essential to stay open to all possibilities, and to remain focused on the ultimate unfolding of the highest good. Even when we may put a partial vision out there because we are unable to imagine more, the Universe understands our intentions and can harness that to create optimal outcomes from the love in our hearts.

At this time, when we do not quite know yet what we could or should create, we can embody and radiate that creative power of love into our lives, our work and our world.

Amid a chaotic world, we can help co-create a better reality by connecting to the Source of Love within. Even when we cannot yet visualize a new world, we can connect with the Divine, all-inclusive love that offers hope and healing for all. When we embody and project that energy of Divine love into the world around us, Spirit can use it to create optimal outcomes for us and our world.

Love is the very fount of all creation. When we embody that state of being and share it with others, it supports creation to continuously unfold without limitation. This process also moves us from isolated identity-awareness to an inclusive space that embraces all of humanity and nature.

Energy that flows from a place of inherent harmony and love, continues to create more of the same. We can and must learn how to transform our own lives into ever more radiant beacons of transformation. The more we heal the shadow within ourselves and our world, the greater our capacity grows for radiating higher consciousness that creates congruent patterns benefiting all.

Everyone can participate in this process – you do not need to be a guru or a saint first to be effective. In a diverse world, not everyone is at the same level of consciousness: each one of us holds different value systems or visions for an optimal world. And yet, we all grasp the core importance of Love, even when it is diluted and tarnished in a materialistic society.

Action that comes from Love transforms because it is inclusive. Actions that emerge from the ego, divide and create conflict. When we gather our courage to engage from a place of Love, our interactions do not polarize but include. When we look for the best in others, they can awaken to that within themselves.

In a world rife with conflict, let’s take on the challenge of diffusing conflict with love. Let gather and radiate the creative power of love to create a better world with more equanimity for all.

©Copyright Ada Porat. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached. For more information, visit https://AdaPorat.com

Falling In Love With Life Again: Share The Blessing

Falling In Love With Life Again: Share The Blessing

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One of the greatest spiritual laws contained within the Law of One is The Law of Blessing.

The concept of blessing is found in all spiritual traditions and can be invoked in many ways. Throughout time, humans have asked for and given blessings. To be blessed by someone is like receiving an immense gift of love.

As spiritual beings, we have the power to bless Mother Earth, all living creatures and all living things, including our food and water. Research has shown that blessing our food and water raises the Life Force energy contained in it, so it acts as a blessing for our physical bodies when we partake of it.

We can only truly bless another when our hearts and souls are filled with love; when we act in unison with All That Is, and our hearts and souls spontaneously overflow with unconditional love.

Author Diana Cooper described it this way in her book, A Little Light on Spiritual Laws: “When you bless someone you are invoking Divine energy to touch them. When this is done with genuine intent, a shaft of Divine Light is transferred into the person you are blessing!”  

And yet, we seem to have forgotten the power of blessing in our lives. We even neglect to bless others, sharing the cosmic flame of Divine love from our hearts with them.

Why do we ignore this precious gift?

I believe we forget about the beautiful gift of blessing whenever we take life for granted – when we ignore the sheer magic of being alive, and allow the drudgery of daily problems to wear us down.

To rekindle the power of blessing in our lives, we need to fall in love with being alive again. We need to let down our guards, open to new experiences with vulnerable hearts and let go of the habitual concerns that weigh us down.

Every morning when we wake up, we are offered an open invitation to fall in love with life, no matter what else may be happening in our lives.

Despite the divisiveness and polarization in our world, I see opportunities for humanity to rise to the challenges of this time and turn them into blessings.

We can adapt to uncertainty by leaning into Spirit, listening deeply, respecting the experiences of others that are different than our own, and accepting the Divine sovereignty of everyone to follow their own path.

We can rise above the triangulation drama of getting stuck in feeling victimized, playing rescuer or passing judgment over others.

We can spend more time in activities and environments that feed our souls and nourish the sense of wonder and reverence in our hearts. And we can return to the blessing way: blessing ourselves, others and all of life around us, thereby fulfilling our higher calling by being instruments of peace and blessing in the world.

Outer conditions that crowd in on our inner harmony actually offer us opportunities to more deeply connect to our Source, our truth and others. Each connection allows us to relax and to flow with life in a state of inner harmony, becoming the very change we wish to see in the outer world.

When we fall in love with our Source, our hearts fill to overflowing with joy, well-being and love. From there, the waters of Life within us can flow forth as blessing into the world.

When we bless our lives and the lives of others, joy, abundance and well-being follows.

Try blessing your plants and garden – then notice how everything grows more abundantly.

Bless your body so it can transform into a sacred temple for your soul.

And when you feel a bit low, request Divine blessing by opening your heart and receiving Divine blessings pouring into you. Let Divine blessing fill you with the frequencies and vibrations of love beyond words. Welcome the precious gift of Divine blessing in this life, so you can be a blessing to all of life.

©Copyright Ada Porat. This article may be freely distributed in whole or in part, provided there is no charge for it and this notice is attached. Ada Porat is an energy kinesiologist & pastoral counselor with extensive international teaching & clinical experience. She uses body/mind/spirit techniques to help clients make optimal life choices. For more information, visit https://AdaPorat.com