Close

Paddle

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

We need not fear entering fog of the unknown. Every future moment in life brings surprise but it is the present, when it arrives, that reveals what is there. Be here … listening to the water; feeling the early morning chill; listening to the forest on the far shore shrouded in mist. Although we move through strange new places, there is still life and interest in every moment.

Choosing Healing

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

If we want, our lives can be full of suffering: every opportunity is insufficient; every person does not meet our expectations; all of our goals are not being met. But the choice to end our suffering is also within our grasp. See experiences for what they are instead of what we want them to be. Understand people for who they are instead of the stories we write about them. Witness your life for its journey instead of its end.

Pressure

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

To bring anger into our homes is to poison a place of peace and respite. For, if we can not be content and peaceful in the place we call home, where can we? We must learn to drop the angers and frustrations of our day at the door and enter our home expecting peace, not more anger. The other people in our home may not follow suit, but that does not mean we shouldnot be joyful; one person’s anger is less than two people’s anger. Frustration and anger create pressure, not just within us but around us, and the only thing we should expect from pressure is more fire.

Touch

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

What is your impact today? What are you doing right now to bring more joy not just into your life but others’ lives? Do you understand your impact on the Earth? Perhaps we believe that our impact is so small as to be negligible. But when everyone believes that, these negligible amounts become destructive. What we choose to do IS important. The way we choose to treat others and Earth IS important. And the important choice to make is to act with compassion. Listen compassionately. Eat compassionately. Speak compassionately. Treat the Earth with compassion. Treat others with compassion. Leave one person’s day 0.01% better than it was before you came along. Leave the Earth 0.01% better than it was before you came along. If we do this in unison, then the world will change. Do not be discouraged by others who have not understood the power of compassion; act of your own … lead … show others the strength and power of a mindful life.

Silent Forest

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

When the weight of our constructed life is too much to bear, we must turn to our source. Walking silently through the forest and hearing the ground covered in life from seasons past; listening to the wind navigate the treacherous maze of trees; and watching the life that exists without our intervention. This is our home. No amount of money or goods will change that truth: we come from life and we return to life. No clothing can shield us from the reality that we are a part of nature. The earth and we are the same. By reconnecting with it, we can forget our pretense and arrive in a place where the problems of our man-made day do not exist.

More Than We Need

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

What happens when you take from a jar and don’t replenish? The jar eventually becomes empty. It is a lesson of which we are all aware. And yet, by definition, we exhibit insanity. Because we expect the jar always to be full. Because we take each and every day without giving back the same. We demand more from the Earth than we give to it. We demand more from others than we give to them. There is only one endpoint on this path … an empty jar.

Choice of Silence

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

When our lives become too chaotic, we will often blame circumstance because this allows us to remove ourselves from choice. Quite often, however, the chaos of our lives is the result of a series of choices. When there is too much noise in our life, it is important to make a choice to remove ourselves from that noise and refocus. In silence there is reflection and understanding that can not be had when our bodies are bombarded by thoughts and sensations, distracting us from the truth. We do have a choice, to change where we stand; to allow less noise into our lives.

Not Present

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

What is causing us to suffer in this moment, right now? The thought of something yet to happen? The thought of something that has already happened? And yet, what is actually present here with us in this moment that is making us suffer? Usually very little. Thankfully, each moment offers a new chance for joy and happiness because what has happened can not be changed and what will happen can not be known with certainty.

Distance

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

It is important to understand our interactions with others. Some people may have beliefs or lifestyles that are corrosive. Allowing them to get too close can damage our ability to be compassionate. Being a friend does not mean not speaking up about such things. Quite the opposite. A friend should be able to speak honestly and openly with you, without offense. If we feel that we can not speak with someone, who we consider a friend, then perhaps our relationship is not what we believe it is; perhaps they or we are not as open as was thought. By misunderstanding the true nature of our relationships, we can set ourselves up for future disappointment.

Cracks

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

To shy away from our flaws is to avoid an inevitable challenge. We should not feel embarrassed by our failures. To do so is to deny our journey. We also should not denounce an opportunity to become better people by overcoming our shortfalls. To do so is to be satisfied with dissatisfaction. These cracks in our life make us human; they bring character; they define who we are. Let us show them proudly as part of our story … the journey of our life.

Without

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

We want to be understood; we want love; we want to share our lives. And yet these things can not in truth be possible if we do not understand ourself, love ourself, and share with ourselves. This is the essence of silence. To sit with your eyes directed at your own soul, your heart, your animus. To see who you are and what thoughts and feelings pull at you. And to accept, without judgement. So that we can go out into the world without judgment. Because how we treat others is a mirror of how we treat ourselves and vice versa.

Undo

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

Regretting our experience can be painful. Sometimes we look back on our actions and instead of accepting what we have done, we close our minds and project the anger at our past out into the world today. This is not productive. We must see the past for what it is … experience … and accept and move forward with our lives in understanding. To live every day fully, we must be present for the experience of life, not mired in our past failures.

Stars

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

It is difficult to believe, when we look up at the vast heavens, that we have arrived here on their account. We are a part of them as they are a part of us. Made of dust and light. The mysteries whose answers we seek out there in the great beyond can also be solved by pointing our gaze inward. The infinitude of space stretches within us as well and there are wonders and miracles within each of us that have yet to be realized.

Face

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

By creating a habit of looking at other people’s lives and condescending or gossiping or evaluating or judging, we avoid the most necessary observation of all … ourselves. There will be no true understanding of the world outside until we can face ourselves and shed light on our insecurities and feelings. Feeling without knowing why we feel is blind wandering. How can we point our fingers in such blindness? We know neither what we are pointing at nor why we are pointing.

Tumbling Stones

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

We can not know what or how our lives would be under other circumstances. We should not guess. The house we have now we built with the stones given to us from weathering life’s situations. Pieces of other people’s lives tumbled down into ours. And we picked them up and created something new and beautiful. We should not regret this life we have … for even though our stones are different than others, they are ours and ours alone.

Fate of the Lightbringer

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

Choosing a life of loving kindness, we must shed the distress from helping others. Carrying light in a dark world means bringing joy and inspiration in every moment. Do not be discouraged by the negative actions of others. Persevere. Bring compassion to each situation, showing others how a sincerely kind and giving nature can soften even the strongest demeanor.

Bright Sun

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

Step outside. Breathe the air. Is it cool? Is it warm? Feel the light of the sun on your skin, which brings light and life to Earth’s flora and fauna. And that life, Earth, breathes life into you. As you breathe back and forth so your breathe is taken in by the world around you and recycled. We are mixing together, part of a giant stew of life. Ubuntu. We are together. We are one.

Will Nots

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

I hear people say that they can not do something. They can not forgive. They can not let go. They can not understand. In reality, when it comes to emotion, we are empowered. You can almost always assume that, when making a “can not” statement regarding your feelings or emotions, that the statement may as well be a “will not”. To say that we can not put space between us and our feelings to look at them objectively is in opposition to what mindfulness and the scientific study thereof has taught us: that we ARE in control. Objectively then, it sometimes helps to be clear and restate. Instead of “I can not forgive,” we say “I choose not to forgive,” and instead of “I can not let go,” we say “I choose not to let go.” By doing so, we admit our role in continuing our suffering.

Sunrise (mindfulness post for 2/18/17)

Posted on by Matthew Kramer-LaPadula

We wake up every day expecting things. We expect the sun to rise. We expect to have job or see our friends. We expect to breathe and see and touch and feel. And yet, none of these are actually given. They are miraculous each and every day, but because of our expectation, we fail to see the deep and powerful miracle of their continued existence. Moreover, when our job or friends or sight or hearing does disappear, we mourn because we expected otherwise. By not setting these expectations, we can wake each morning with a renewed sense of wonder and joy at the gifts that that day has brought us that were not promised. Each and every day is a miraculous journey in which nothing is guaranteed, despite our expectations.