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The Mystery of Thanksgiving

We are quite sure that tomorrow will come, that the most sacred breath will be there, that grace will take shape as the sun falling into the ocean, as the moon in the sky, and as the crystals in the newly fallen snow. That the particles of love will continue to configure as the precious deer that we run into on our morning walk. It is so easy to take for granted that we will be given one more opportunity to touch and hold another, and fill them with our love.

But another part of us knows it is so fragile here, so precarious, so extraordinary – that something is happening that is so very precious, rare, and outrageous – and that it will not be here for much longer. Recognizing this, let us give thanks on this new day by doing whatever we can to help others, by being willing to burn for love, never apologizing for our uniqueness, sensitivity, and vulnerability.

At the end of this life – which is sure to come much, much sooner than we’d like – it is quite unlikely we’ll be asking if we accomplished the tasks on our to-do lists, if we completed some mythical spiritual journey, perfected ourselves, played it safe, or achieved all of our goals. Inside these hearts there may be only one burning question: how well did I love?

Did I pause each day to behold the movement of grace as it has unfolded in each and every radiant here and now moment? Did I look with awe into the miracle sunset and the glory of the stars and give my raw beating heart to this world? Did I risk everything to know the preciousness of what is truly happening here? Was I willing to feel more, care so deeply, let everyone matter, and be utterly devastated at even the possibility of one more sunrise? Was I willing to fall in love, to truly fall in love?

Did I spend my time here in this star of love wisely, with my heart open and available, knowing it could be broken in any moment? Did I dance with the beloved around the moon, wander with her into the desert and into the darkness, play with her in the depths of the oceans, and give everything for just one glimpse of the mysteries of separation and union?

I hope I make it all the way through this sweetest of ever thanksgiving days, but if for some reason I do not, this would have been enough. I have been given so much more than enough.

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Photographer unknown

Living Wisdom with His Holiness the Dalai Lama

When you are in the presence of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, you are in the presence of compassion itself. But how many of us will have the opportunity to personally experience the man known as The Ocean of Wisdom?

Now, Living Wisdom gives you the chance to immerse yourself in the grace of His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama, and to receive the transformative power of his teachings in your own home.

Creating a Mindful Society – a free video event

Dear friends, we are happy to share with you a free stream from Creating a Mindful Society, a very special event that took place a few years ago in New York City.

Mindfulness is a simple yet profound practice that changes lives. If you’re committed to mindful living, eager to learn more about its growing influence across all facets of society, or only beginning to discover the transformative power of mindfulness, register now to begin Creating a Mindful Society. It’s totally free and accessible at your convenience.

This pioneering event in New York City featured keynote presentations by four outstanding leaders in the mindfulness field—Jon Kabat-ZinnRichard J. Davidson, Janice Marturano, and US Congressman Tim Ryan—plus a rich program of dialogue and practice sessions. Now available, the streaming on-demand edition of this historic conference explores all the proven, practical ways that mindfulness can transform our lives from the inside out—and help reshape society, from health, work, and family to education, leadership, and policy.

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Wake Up San Francisco! – March 28, 2015

Dear friends, we are excited to let you all know about Wake Up San Francisco: One Extraordinary Day of Transformation, featuring Adyashanti, Alanis Morissette, Caroline Myss, and many others.

Learn more here!

How can we stay sane, resourceful, and connected to the limitless depths of our being right in the midst of our busy lives? Is such a thing possible? Is spiritual awakening reserved for people who travel to retreats and monasteries, or is it possible that we can touch spiritual awakening and the depths of the human heart right in the midst of the chaos of our lives? Wake Up San Francisco is a one-day event on Saturday, March 28th that immerses participants in the awakening of the human heart. Bringing together spiritual teachers, poets, musicians, yogis, psychological researchers, healers, and lovers of life, Wake Up San Francisco promises to be a day of reflection, new insight, and transformation.

You are warmly invited to join pioneering spiritual teacher Adyashanti and music sensation Alanis Morissette for a one-of-a-kind dialogue about waking up in the midst of everyday life. The author of books including Emptiness Dancing and Falling into Grace, Adyashanti is one of today’s most sought-after teachers, especially when it comes to his rare public appearances. Alanis is most recognized for her album Jagged Little Pill (which still ranks as the number one top-selling debut album for a female artist). The dialogue will be hosted by Sounds True founder, Tami Simon, and will be followed by an intimate concert with Alanis Morissette.

In addition to Adyashanti and Alanis Morissette, presenters at Wake Up San Francisco include:

  • Caroline Myss, New York Times bestselling author and leading voice in the field of energy medicine
  • Mario Martinez, clinical neuropsychologist lecturing worldwide on how cultural beliefs affect health and longevity
  • Sally Kempton, author of Awakening Shakti and Meditation for the Love of It, on the transformative power of kundalini
  • Roger Housden, author of Ten Poems to Change Your Life and Keeping the Faith Without a Religion, on beauty as a portal to awakening
  • Sera Beak, Harvard-trained scholar of comparative world religions and author ofRed Hot and Holy: A Heretic’s Love Story

When we touch a limitless sense of being—vast, open, undivided—and do so in an embodied way, we paradoxically become more uniquely ourselves, more empowered, and on fire to bring forward our unique gifts. We wake up to our courage, to our authenticity, and to contributing to the well-being of others in fresh and meaningful ways. We welcome you to join us at Wake Up San Francisco!

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Wake Up or Bust!

As I write this blog post we’re days away from the 2014 Wake Up Festival, and I’m thinking about all of the things I have to do before heading up to Estes Park for four days of camping and “WUFing” as we like to call it. But I’m also thinking about what my intentions are and why I am excited to be fortunate enough to be able to attend. Having experienced the last two Wake Up Festivals, I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the unique energy field that is created by all of the participants. You can feel it the second you get out of your car on the grounds of the YMCA. It’s as if the coming together of several hundred people with the shared intention of becoming more conscious, present, and authentic generates the perfect environment in which such aspirations can become reality. It’s powerful and infectious. And it needs to be if it’s going to fuel changes that continue long after the conclusion of the Wake Up Festival. After all, it’s one thing to spend a week practicing with others but another matter to live what we learn when we return to our everyday lives.

So as I deal with the details of packing and travel and so on, I hope that I’m able to remember why I’m going in the first place, to go with the flow once I get up there without attachment to programs and agendas, and to stay present with the beautiful people and surroundings. And if I’m lucky, the energy of transformation that all of us create will indeed support positive developments for each of us as we move toward the end of another year.

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Share Good Karma! – free gifts from Sounds True

Dear friends, we wanted to let you know about a new program at Sounds True, called Share Good Karma, which was created so that you could receive free gifts from us – and share them with your friends.

The first two titles featured in the program are a collection of relaxing and healing music, entitled Meditation Music: An Invitation to Still the Mind and Open the Heart; and The Practice of Mindfulness: 6 Guided Practices. Once three of your friends ‘accept’ these free gifts from you, you’ll receive an additional free gift of your choice.

Learn more and get signed up for Share Good Karma!

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