New Ways of Knowing

HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO YOU AND YOURS!

My wish for you is PEACE of mind, JOY of heart, HEALTH of body, GRATITUDE for blessings, KINDNESS both given and received, INSPIRATION that fuels CREATIVITY, and GRACE—the immediate presence of Spirit.

I auto-scheduled this holiday greeting to publish today because I’m currently at the New Ways of Knowing: Meditation and Writing Retreat in California.

I’ve turned off comments as I won’t be able to respond, and look forward to being back online next Tuesday.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Sankalpa

Rather than make New Year’s resolutions, each year I select a single word to focus on in the upcoming year. In 2017 my focus word is Sankalpa—a Sanskrit word that means determination; a practical step to harness willpower. With this resolve I’m going to plant, cultivate, and and nurture three seeds:

HOPE — optimism, joyful expectation

GRACE — the immediate presence of spirit, be the change

PEACE — reconciliation, unity

My practical and idealogical steps to ensure a good harvest include exercising intentional kindness. To build up, not tear down. To unite, not divide. To accept, not merely tolerate. To be better informed. To be transparent and vulnerable, not guarded and closed. And to actively listen, not passively hear what people with opposing viewpoints have to share.

Do you have a focus word this year?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

America the Beautiful

Recently I said to Kathy over on Lake Superior Spirit, “Isn’t it grand to be grateful, to be appreciative of the things we sometimes take for granted? Just the other day on a bike ride I was thinking about the many freedoms I enjoy and I started singing out loud.”

In thinking about my comment—and also being grateful for the 1,100 photographs that were retrieved after my hard drive died—I thought I’d pull some of the photographs to support the song I was singing:

Oh beautiful for spacious skies

For amber waves of grain

For purple mountain majesties

Above the fruited plain

America, America

Grace has been shed on thee

Crown thy good with peoplehood

From sea to shining sea

In order of the lyrics, the locations where the photos were taken are listed as follows:

Spacious skies – Mackinack Island, Michigan
Amber waves of grain – Owasso, Oklahoma
Purple mountain magesties – Mount St. Helens, Oregon
Above the fruited plains – Capron, Illinois
America, America – Belgium, Wisconsin
Grace has been shed on thee – Poplar Grove, Illinois
Crown thy good with peoplehood – Wrigley Field (Chicago, IL)
From sea to shining sea – Cardiff by the sea, California

What was the last song you sang out loud out of sheer joy or gratitude?

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               – Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved 

Divine Grace

Bidden or Unbidden by Laurie Buchanan

Bidden or Unbidden by Laurie Buchanan

University of Life  – Divine Grace Course Description

“There but for the grace of God go I.” I have a difficult time with this familiar phrase. In my experience, it’s usually said by someone when they observe a person in an unfortunate circumstance. To me, those words mean, “I’m somehow special—elect—and don’t have to encounter that type of thing.” As if God imparts some people with a healthy dose of favor and leaves others to flounder.

Grace. We all have it. We’ve all been endowed with this innate gift. But what is it? Some say that it’s compassion or divine love; others say it’s the protection of God. I define it as the immediate presence of Spirit. One of my clients offers this definition, “Grace is the breath of God.”

The famous Latin writing, “Bidden or unbidden, God is present,” means that God is everywhere—not just with a select few—but with everyone in equal measure in the University of Life. We’re all here to gain understanding. Most of us learn by making mistakes. Some of us are taking basic courses; while others are in accelerated programs. Regardless of the level of difficulty, the classrooms have an ever-changing terrain. Having a strong and secure internal foothold—divine grace—helps us to stay the course.

If love is an act of compassion, then grace is divinity in action. The next time we see a person and think, “There but for the grace of God go I,” let’s put our divinity into action instead and be the immediate presence of Spirit for that individual; giving them a smile, a word of encouragement, or lending them a hand. Grace not given is grace lost.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               ~ Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.

University of Life

University of Life by Laurie Buchanan

University of Life by Laurie Buchanan

I am currently attending the University of Life. Each class I complete takes me a little closer to graduation. At some point I will have gained all of the necessary wisdom from this coursework and return home. Right now I’m carrying a full class load with:

Mindfulness – (prerequisite, Touching Life Deeply)
Being Still – 301
Letting Go – (remedial course)
Divine Grace (no cost, freely bestowed)
Living Meditation (prerequisite, Insight)
Gratitude (elective)

Over the next few days I’ll share the course descriptions, but right now I’ve got to go; I’m studying for finals.

Listen with your heart,

Laurie Buchanan

Whatever you are not changing, you are choosing.”
               ~ Laurie Buchanan

www.HolEssence.com
Copyright © 2010 Laurie Buchanan — All Rights Reserved.