Zenergistic Flow

Rather than make New Year’s resolutions, each year I select a single word to focus on in the upcoming year. In 2013 it was Peace. Last year it was Serendipity. In 2015 my focus word is Flow.

Not as in “Go with (or against) the flow…”

…but as being a vessel for zenergy that is positive, uplifting, constructive, and healing; a channel for peace, joy, kindness, encouragement, compassion, creativity, and Light.


An enthusiastic proponent of affirmations, this year’s positive supporting statement — I invite the infinite good of the Universe to flow through me — targets how I choose to be in the world.

“Feel it, flow with it, infuse with it, believe it. Time to let the magic begin.” — Trudy Vesotsky

Do you have a focus word this year?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Intersection of Scotland and Zen

With seventy-percent of the earth’s surface covered by water, it’s no wonder the ocean is nature’s most spectacular force.

Colloquially known as Paddy’s Milestone, Ailsa Craig—a beautiful island just off the west coast of Scotland—is where the stones in our pendants were collected. The stones were smoothed by the tumbling waves of the sea, and are now worn by my husband, son, and self.

Scottosh Sea Slate

Symbolism

  • Simplicity
  • Inner peace
  • Strength to weather a storm

Reminder

  • Be calm and patient
  • Be yourself—down-to-earth, non-superficial
  • Flow—move forward with the natural current of life, don’t fight against the tides

In Scotland, it’s traditional to carry a stone from the bottom of a hill to place on a cairn at its top. In such a fashion, cairns grow ever larger. An old Scottish Gaelic blessing is Cuiridh mi clach air do chàrn — “I’ll put a stone on your cairn.”

Do you have a favorite tradition?

Laurie Buchanan

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

The Book — Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience — Life Harmony

© Laurie Buchanan 2014

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Sit Happens!

Daily, I carve out time to sit like a bump on a log, or in my case, a meditation bench which I lovingly refer to as a “Buddha butt.” As a high energy, fast-paced, go get ‘em kind of person, sitting still doesn’t come easy for me.

The slight elevation of a meditation bench affords me the opportunity to stay in a seated position—spine upright—for an extended period of time. And because my rear-end isn’t resting right on top of my calves, ankles, or feet, my legs don’t go to sleep from cutoff circulation. I enter this still and quiet space with one objective — no expectations.

In my experience, the busier I am the more important the practice of stillness becomes. And the benefits of sitting quietly are tremendous:

  • Puts me smack dab in the middle of now
  • Cultivates internal quietness
  • Recharges my personal battery
  • Makes way for clarity and problem solving
  • Accesses my creative voice
  • Accentuates the positive
  • Diminishes energy that’s not serving me well
When was the last time YOU sat still? Click To Tweet

When was the last time you sat still?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

When You’ve Got an Itch…

You’ve heard of the seven year itch, jock itch, swimmer’s itch, and even contagious itch.

Due to a slip on the ice, I’m currently sporting a cast on my right leg. When the doctor finished patting down the last of the wet, fiberglass casting tape, he assured me that it would get rock hard, but due to the nature of the break — a spiral fracture — he added, “Don’t walk on it — no weight, whatsoever.”

He additionally cautioned me to not climb trees, ride my bike, swim, or use the cast as a weapon. And went on to say, “If you have an itch, just knock on the cast and the vibration will take care of it.” Liar!

He concluded, “Do not, under any circumstances, use a hanger or other sharp object to scratch an itch.” Easy for you to say!

I’m confident that somewhere in the dusty annuls of history there’s a long forgotten Confucian quote: “When casted leg itch, chopstick come in handy!”

Much to my immense relief, I’ve been enjoying his Zen wisdom.

What are you just itching to get at?

Laurie Buchanan

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

The Book—Discovering the Seven Selves
The Experience— Life Harmony

© 2013 Laurie Buchanan – All Rights Reserved

Find me on Twitter @HolEssence

Buddhism and Smartphones

I appreciate modern technology; it’s conducive to what I do for a living, enabling me to meet with clients all over the globe via phone, FaceTime, and Skype.

My smartphone allows me to do several things at once if I want. I don’t.

I love that it’s intelligent enough to also accommodate the Buddhist philosophy of doing one thing at a time: talk on the phone, take a photograph or video, make a recording, send a text, listen to music, transfer money to/from my bank, check in at the airport, even read a book or watch a movie.

Do you find that modern technology improves or hinders your lifestyle? Click To Tweet

I appreciate the vivid artwork on my smartphone’s protective cover — it makes me smile every time I see it.

I also appreciate the Zen Temple Bell ringtone that Len purchased for me. It doesn’t startle. Rather, it’s a single, soft, low tone — a gentle reminder to ask myself, “What’s it like to be on the receiving end of me?” before I pick up.

I’m not a Zen monk, but I enjoy being present in everything I do. Thich Nhat Hanh, one of my favorite Zen monks said, “Smile, breathe, and go slowly.” Like single-tasking, that works well with my lifestyle.

“When walking, walk. When eating, eat.” — Zen proverb

By the way, the sassy digital assistant associated with my smartphone recently suggested that I change the spelling of my name from Laurie to Lori, informing me that the latter version is much more popular! No thanks, I’m good.

Do you find that modern technology improves or hinders your lifestyle? Click To Tweet

Do you find that modern technology improves or hinders your lifestyle?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

The Sky is Falling!

You remember Chicken Little, Henny Penny, Foxy Loxy, Turkey Lurkey, and Goosey Loosey. Well…

Monday afternoon I shared with Terrill Welch over at Creative Potager:

Acorns are falling—thump, thump, thump—and the chipmunks are packing their cheeks as fast as they can and “squirreling” them away. Their faces are so fat it looks like we’ve got a mumps epidemic on our hands!

I thought it would be fun to try to capture a photograph of an acorn-laden chipmunk face so I laid down under the oak tree in our front yard—camera at the ready.

Just as I got the feeling that I was being watched, a load of acorns rained down on me. Looking up into the tree, here’s what I saw looking back (click on the photo and it will enlarge):

Look in the dead-center, and slightly to the right

Shortly after that, I received an email notifying me that my friend Jeff Stroud of The Reluctant Blogger, had tagged me in a comment on Facebook. So I toggled over there to view a wonderful 8-minute video clip of Zen Master John Daido Loori, author of Zen Photography. Not quite halfway into the clip he said:

“The moment is where our life takes place. We miss the moment—we miss life.”

Hearing that made me doubly glad that I’d taken the time—the moments—to try to see the world from a chipmunk’s point of view, and was instead rewarded with a raccoon smile.

What was the last moment you truly savored? Click To Tweet

What was the last moment you truly savored?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

S is for Simplicity

I’m drawn to simplicity, efficiency, and order—a place for everything and everything in its place. For me, outer order contributes to inner calm.

I’m drawn to space—the efficiency of physical space.
I’m drawn to clearing clutter—mental and emotional.

IMG_1823

My lifestyle is simple, functional, and full.

I’ve shared with you before that my creative muse is wabi-sabi: a practice where inessentials are trimmed away or eliminated. The intersection where wabi (minimal) and sabi (functional) meet is the platform for my creativity—space and quiet solitude—simplicity.

In over 31 years of marriage, the one bone of contention that Len and I tug back and forth good-naturedly is that I’m a minimalist and he’s a “maximalist.” I throw and he saves.

During a recent discussion, he asked, “Just exactly why is it that you need to have empty space around you?” I answered, “Because it appeals to my zensibilities.” I meant to say sensibilities, but in retrospect, the word I said fits so much better.

It’s more than being content. For me, it’s the enjoyment of very little, with awareness and deep appreciation of how less is truly more.

Are you more of a minimalist or a maximalist? Click To Tweet

Do you remember the television show The Odd Couple? Are you more like Felix Unger—neat as a pin, or more like Oscar Madison—creative disarray? What’s your lifestyle?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Alphabetically Speaking

By now you are aware that my hard drive is in the “Geek Squad Hospital” being “extracted.” There’s no photograph today because EVERY bloomin’ thing (and I do mean EVERYthing) is on that hard drive. I wasn’t going to post today, but as I sat here tapping my foot, I started to think about an up-and-coming set of posts that have been simmering in the back of mind.

In the fall I’d like to go through the alphabet and post ONE topic per letter, for a total of 26 posts. I’ve thought of some topics that might be of interest, but I’d like to know YOUR thoughts as well. I’m gathering this information now so that I can do the writing and photography for each post.

In the following list, if there’s something other than what I’ve suggested — please let me know.

If I’ve provided more than one topic for a letter — please let me know your preference.

If there’s no topic listed for a letter, please provide one (or some)

A – Angels
B – Blessings, Belief, Balance
C – Clairs (clairvoyance, clairaudience, claircognizance, clairsentience)
D – Divinity, Dreams
E – Elements (earth, air, fire, water)
F – Faeries, Feeling, Freedom
G – Grounding
H – Heart
I – Inner Sanctuary
J – Juicing
K – Kirlian Photography, Karma
L – Life Lessons, Labels (as in how we categorize each other)
M – Manifesting
N – Numerology
O – Other Side (as in “Heaven”)
P – Paranormal (phenomenon)
Q – Quiet
R – Radiesthesia (the art & science of the pendulum)
S – Spiritual vs. Religious, Sound
T – Totems (animal, insect, bird, or fish spirit guides)
U – Unity
V – Vitamins
W – Water, Writing
X –
Y – (In a previous post I’ve already talked about Yin-Yang)
Z – Zen

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Inner Ecology

Inner Ecology by Laurie Buchanan

Inner Ecology by Laurie Buchanan

Our physical body systems are interdependent with our emotions, thoughts, and spirit. They operate as a whole. What we think, how we feel, our actions, what we ingest, where we work, the people we associate with, and our environment all have an impact—positive or negative—on our inner ecology.

Inner ecology includes the mind (thinking), emotion (feeling), and spirit (essence).

Do you nurture your inner ecology? Click To Tweet

I believe that when we make the time to explore and nurture our inner landscape—cultivate our inner terrain—some of the many dividends include peace of mind, a healthier physical body (the package we currently reside in), and inner wealth.

We may not have large sums of money, but we are rich beyond compare.

Do you nurture your inner ecology?

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com

Forgiveness

Lighthouse at Peggy's Cove in Nova Scotia by Laurie Buchanan

Lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove in Nova Scotia by Laurie Buchanan

Like the path we walk, giving and receiving forgiveness is a fundamental part of life’s journey. Reminiscent of falling leaves, offenses may scatter the pathway of our heart—the seat of our outlook. This attitude determines the terrain of our path and forgiveness keeps the pathway clear.

It is my perspective that the place to start—the place to launch joy, hope, positive aspirations, and healing begins with forgiveness.  Until that bit of housekeeping has been taken care of, everything else is futile.

 

© TuesdaysWithLaurie.com