P-Squared: Peace & Productivity

My hiatus in Cardiff by the Sea, CA was both peaceful and productive. 

The peaceful part for me is inherent in just being by the ocean. That, coupled with sunshine, loads of hummingbird activity, and what I call “nesting”—ample time to think, noodle, and simply be.


Thirteen out of the nineteen days were writing days. That’s where the productivity came in. I’m well on my way to completing Iconoclast—book two of the thriller series I’m currently working on.

When was the last time you carved out P-Squared time?

© lauriebuchanan.com

Peace Meditation

I just returned from St. Paul, MN, where I had the pleasure of speaking with the Board of World Citizen (a nonprofit organization for everyone who values a safe and respectful world) about peace.

With that event fresh in my mind, I thought, “This is a great time to share my peace meditation.” 

I use a mala. If you’re not familiar, think of it as a Buddhist rosary. Typically a mala has 108 beads, plus the “Guru” bead (usually a bit larger) to indicate the place to begin and end. 

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My mantra is:
“Peace within. Peace without. Peace in me. Peace in the world.” 

Here’s How It’s Done
Starting at the bead on one side of the “Guru” bead, I hold the mala bead between my thumb and middle finger. While holding that bead I: 

Inhale and mentally say — “Peace within.”
Exhale and mentally say — “Peace without.”
Inhale and mentally say — “Peace in me.”
Exhale and mentally — “Peace in the world.”

With this mantra, each bead takes two full breath cycles. After I finish a bead, I move to the next one.

When I make it all the way around and reach the Guru bead, I know that I’ve completed 108 repetitions. If I’m going to continue, I turn the mala around and go back the way I came. 

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Do you have a peace practice?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Gated Community

I’m all about INclusion as opposed to EXclusion. 

So while we live in a “baby-gated community,” it’s not to keep others out, it’s to keep our big dog, Willa, from wandering freely as she’s inclined to do at this time of year. And to keep Luna, our granddaughter, from joining her.

gated community

I’m about sharing our similarities and celebrating our differences. 

I’m about crossing cultural, language, social, and economic barriers to build community cohesion, understanding, acceptance, and peace. 

I’m about celebrating our shared humanity.

What are you about?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Peace Begins with Me

Enzo is the main character in Garth Stein’s book, The Art of Racing in the Rain. “Enzo knows he is different from other dogs: a philosopher with a nearly human soul (and an obsession with opposable thumbs).”

Enzo (or Ensō, both are correct) is also the name of a Zen circle, a Buddhist symbol that represents infinity, “no-thing.”

For me, that symbol translates to simplicity, minimalism, a meditative state, and enlightenment which I define as “Recognizing that we are all connected, then consciously living that realization—our thoughts, words, and actions an unshakable reflection of that understanding.”

Zen is an enlightened state of mind. It’s also a way of being—living. As we close 2017 and look to writing the pages of a new year, my mantra is “Peace begins with me. Right here. Right now.”

Will you please join me?

Incidentally, The Art of Racing in the Rain is one of my all-time favorite books. If you haven’t read it yet, please carve out time and gift yourself with the opportunity. You’ll be glad you did.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

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

My Cup Runneth Over

When we saw this trailer overflowing with bicycles galore, I thought, Holy cow, that’s a lot of bicycles! I don’t know who owns them or why they have so many, but clearly their “cup runneth over.”

For the rest of the walk I wondered, what do I have a lot of? Certainly nothing tangible in that quantity. But I have a heckofa lot of intangibles to be grateful for: peace, joy, and whole health—body, mind, and spirit. In fact, my cup runneth over!

Does your cup runneth over?

Happy Thanksgiving from our house to yours.

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com