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life in the bipolarsphere

Mindfulness Monday – Kindness

This is an incredibly thoughtful and well written with well chosen quotes. A departure from Wendy’s usual Mindfulness Monday — but a wonderful version that is a personal essay on kindness.

Picnic with Ants

water scene2“Three things in human life are important:

the first is to be kind;

the second is to be kind;

and the third is to be kind.”

~ Henry James


What does it mean to be kind?  Often kindness is confused with compassion, but there is a difference.  Kindness is simply being friendly to a person whether they are suffering of not.  Compassion is reaching out to someone who is suffering. 

When I read Toni Bernhard’s book, How to Wake Up, (and later an article she wrote about kindness) I was touched by what she calls “friendliness practice”.

She describes it like this, “As I turn the front doorknob to leave my house, I consciously resolve to maintain an attitude of friendliness toward all the strangers I see…If I’m waiting in line, I look at each person around me and silently say to each one: ‘May you enjoy…

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Mindfulness Monday – Birth(day)

Today is Wendy’s birthday — her mindfulness monday focuses on birth. I particularly like the last one by Buddha.
Happy Birthday Wendy! Balloons, presents, respite from pain, and feeling special because it is YOUR day.

Picnic with Ants

silly goose doodle by wendy – silly goose

“May I be easily able to let whatever needs to go, go.

And may whatever wants to come

be radiantly and joyously born.”

~ Tosha Silver

“The purpose of our lives

Is to give birth to the best

Which is within us.”

~ Marianne Williamson

“Every morning we are born again.

What we do today is what matters most.”

~ Buddha

You might be able to tell from the the quotes….Today is my birthday!  I hope you have a wonder filled day, and have a grand un-birthday. (unless of course it is your birthday too, in that case, I hope your celebration is grand!)

Image is “Silly Goose” a silly doodle by me.  It’s one of those doodles that comes from a stray mark on a page in my drawing journal.  Try it, make a swoop on the page and let it be the…

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Tale Weavers #177: ascendance

Tale Weaver 176 trains: multimedia montage

Meaningful Monday: Compassion

Wendy need a break; and I needed the exercise of exploring quotes concerning compassion. Something lacking these days and a rallying cry for change.

Picnic with Ants

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.”

Dalai Lama

“The compassionate mind is the mind that transforms.”

Paul B. Gilbert

“True compassion means not only feeling another’s pain, but also being moved to help relieve it.”

Daniel Coleman


Wendy just needs a break today so rather than her wonderful Mindfulness Monday, I am filling in with some thoughts on compassion.

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Abraham, Martin and John

What the World Needs Now . . .

Mindfulness Monday – Family (Ohana)

My ohana is not based on blood — if it was, well, then . . .
Wonderful quotes and sentiments. Wendy got a chance to spend quality time with her extended family the last few weeks. So good. So proud of her hosting the Father’s Day Feast!

Picnic with Ants


“I don’t care whose DNA had

recombined with whose.

When everything goes to hell,

the people who stand by you

without flinching-

They are your family.”

~Jim Butcher

“That’s what people do who love you.

They put their arms around you

and love you when you’re

not so lovable.”

~Deb Caletti

“You must remember,

family is often born of blood,

but it doesn’t depend on blood.

Nor is it exclusive of friendship.

Family members can be your best friends, you know.

And best friends, whether or not they are related to you,

Can be your family.”

~Trenton Lee Stewart

*photo taken at Wendy and Stuart’s wedding (I’m the one in yellow)

Thank you to all who are members of my Ohana.  I love you.  ( Part of Hawaiian culture, ʻohana means family (in an extended sense of the term, including blood-related, adoptive or intentional). The concept emphasizes that families…

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tale weaver 175 : “what be your happily ever after?”: a Griswoldian tale

Meaningful Monday – Suffering

Wendy;s post is powerful — mindful and meaningful.

Picnic with Ants


“Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching,

and has taught me to understand what your heart used to be.

I have been bent and broken, but

—I hope—

Into a better shape.”

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

“There is the solitude of suffering,

when you go through darkness that is

lonely, intense, and terrible.

Words become powerless to express your pain;

what others hear from your words is

so distant and different from what you are actually suffering.”

John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom

We must look deeply in order to understand

the needs, aspirations, and suffering

of the person we love.

This is the ground of real love”

~ Thich Nhat Hanh

*photo by W. Holcombe.  Baby Opuntia (prickly pear) Cactus.  Please do not use without permission.

I did things a little differently this week, the not all of the quotes would be…

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blood gold

tt 87: Dr. Crescendo’s mind camera

Quote Challenge Two: Choice

mlmm collage 41: buddha-breathing

Mindfulness Monday: to be in the moment*

Quotes regarding the basic principle of mindfulness as I understand it.

Picnic with Ants

“In this moment, there is plenty of time. In this moment, you are precisely as you should be. In this moment, there is infinite possibility.”

Victoria Moran

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.”

Mother Teresa

“Welcome to the present moment. Here. Now. The only moment there ever is.”

Eckhart Tolle

* Wendy is settling into her new life in Tucson and asked me to fill in for her today. When she gets the chance, she’ll post about her adventures.

This week, I’m returning to the simple principal of mindfulness (as Wendy has taught me): be in the moment.

© Lorraine (detail of tile mosaic, Natural History Museum subway station, NYC)

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mlmm tale weaver 172: Miss Underhill, librarian

Quote Challenge One: The Garden Song

Meaningful Monday: Pema Chödrön

Wendy is getting ready to be off on a new adventure, a new stage in her life.
So, for awhile mindfulness Monday shall be meaningful Monday as she is much more mindful than I!

Picnic with Ants

IMG_20180503_125432969 photo by Lorraine

Wendy is too busy with all the wonderous changes in her life to present her usual Mindfulness Monday post at the moment. So, I am stepping in with a guest post for her.

I have always found great wisdom, humour and compassion in the words of  Pema Chödrön. She is member of/teacher at a Shambhala Buddist community – Gampo Abbey – in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia which gives her words a special resonance with me. My paternal roots, and extended chunks of my adult life were spent in the Maritimes. No better spot for meditation, retreat, and restoration. I just returned from the South Shore of Nova Scotia. My first visit “home” in 7 years; a truly transformative experience.

So in honour of Wendy and Nova Scotia, I present Meaningful Monday as a guest host for Wendy’s wonderful Mindfulness Mondays. All quotes are from Pema Chödrön.


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mlmm tale weaver: pure clear full moon

Mindfulness Monday – Pain

So true. I try to own my pain, not have it own me. Wendy’s painting is the sort to calm and contemplate.
Thanks Wendy for sharing this during your busy and stress-ful time.

Picnic with Ants

water scene painting by W. Holcombe 

“Pain can change you,

but that doesn’t mean

it has to be a bad change.

Take that pain and

turn it into wisdom.

~Dalai Lama

“To diminish the suffering of pain,

We need to make a crucial distinction

Between pain of pain,

And the pain we create

By our thoughts about the pain.

Fear, anger, guilt, loneliness and helplessness

Are all mental and emotional responses

That can intensify pain.”

~Howard Cutler

“Pain is not wrong.

reacting to pain as wrong initiates

the trance of unworthiness.

The moment we believe something is wrong,

our world shrinks and

we lose ourselves in the effort

to combat the pain.”

~Tara Brach

*painting by W. Holcombe.  All rights reserved. Please do not use without permission.

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