Tag Archives: happiness

See Clearly in Prayer

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, February 17, 2017

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See Clearly in Prayer

What a timely reading tonight. The idea that meditation can be seen as a step-by-step procedure makes a lot of sense.

First, concentrate on the breath. Breathe, in and out, Slow down the breath, and relax. The teacher Thich Nhat Hanh assures us if the breath slows and deepens, then we are ready to begin soothing our mind and body.

This does not happen to me all the time, or even most of the time, but I will say that some of the time this calming and soothing happens to me. I do feel more peaceful and relaxed. Then, the idea of seeing clearly is much more possible.

Seeing clearly is so important to dealing fairly with others. (It doesn’t matter “who” the other is.) I want to deal fairly with others. (Most of the time.) Then, as the Buddhist teacher tells his readers, true happiness is within our reach. For certain.

Dear God, thank You for this step-by-step way of breathing, of taking in oxygen in a way that calms my nerves and soothes body and soul. May it continue!

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

Joy and Happiness in Prayer?

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Monday, February 6, 2017

 

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Joy and Happiness in Prayer?

What an outrageous thought—feeling joy and happiness while praying. Or…is it?

Not according to the author of How to Sit, Buddhist monk and meditation teacher Thich Nhat Hanh. The way he talks about it, feeling joy and happiness is a natural outgrowth of regularly practicing meditation and prayer.

All I know is I am able to tap into calmness and (even) serenity sometimes when I pray and meditate, now. Sure, I still have regular bouts with fear and anxiety. I can’t imagine a single person who does not. Welcome to the human condition. However, I am able to calm down that fear and anxiety, and more often than not relax into calmness, slowed breathing, and legitimate peace of mind. Really. Really and truly.

Now, going the next step and feeling joy and happiness, on a regular basis? Not so much.

As How to Sit says, relaxing and calming the body is a wonderful thing to do. Except, he connects being relaxed and calm with experiencing joy and happiness. [1] This is a challenging next step for me to do.

As this page mentions, “Countless people bounce around like yo-yos in their busy lives and never have the chance to taste this joy.” [2] However, I can take heart in the fact that I don’t have hours each day to sit in prayer and meditation, since “a few moments of sitting and conscious breathing can bring great happiness.”

Contentment? Peace? Certainly. I’ve experienced it. But, happiness and joy? I guess I’ll have to keep practicing until I do. That’s okay. I have a great love for these practices. So awesome! I guess there is always something more to learn. Again, that is perfectly okay.

Dear Lord, gracious God, thanks for bringing this reading to my attention. Thanks to our author, and much appreciation for his offer of support and encouragement. Thank you! And, go, us!

 

 

 

@chaplaineliza

 

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my companion blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.  #PursuePEACE. My Facebook page, Pursuing Peace – Thanks! And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

[1] How to Sit, Thich Nhat Hanh. (Berkeley, California: Parallax Press, 2014), 51.

[2] Ibid.

PEACE is Helping Keep My Spouse Happy (Repost)

This repost is especially for the Facebook community group, Pursuing Peace. Bless all my readers, and give each of them a peaceful night–with spouses, children, siblings, all over.

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, February 20, 2016

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PEACE is Helping Keep My Spouse Happy

When I considered today’s definition, the first thing I thought of was the old saying, “Happy wife, happy life.”

Today’s definition of PEACE comes from Carl Hanson, who said “PEACE is helping keep my spouse happy.”

Carl and his spouse Irene are members of St. Luke’s Christian Community Church in Morton Grove. They are a loving, caring couple, deeply devoted to one another and to their two dogs (both from rescue).

One telling comment Carl made to me? “If my spouse is happy, our home is happy.” To cap that off, he wrote it out on a piece of paper, and added a smiley face at the bottom of the sheet.

I reflected deeply on both the definition that Carl gave, as well as his comment, above. How do I apply that in my life? My life with my husband? What do I do for my husband, anyhow? Do I make him happy? How? Can I make certain he is content and serene? All good questions.

What I can do each day? Since I am not the most diligent housekeeper, I can make sure I pick up several items in the apartment, each day. I can try to be certain that the kitchen sink is clear of dishes at the end of the day…

Dear Lord, thank You for Carl’s reminder to me, and to many, about the benefits of keeping our spouses happy. I ask You to draw Carl and Irene closer together, give them peace, happiness, and contentment. Thank You for loving us and wishing to make a big difference in each life You touch. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE is Helping Keep My Spouse Happy #matterofprayer #PursuePEACE  http://wp.me/p43g3i-se

PEACE – Happiness with Your Life (Repost)

Today’s post is really a repost from February, especially for the Facebook group Pursuing Peace. This post is from a wonderful human being, Teri. (Thanks for your personal definition!)

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, February 19, 2016

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PEACE – Happiness with Your Life

Today’s definition comes from a woman I can only describe as bubbly. Effervescent. Excited about life and living. Therefore, I can hardly be surprised by her personal definition of PEACE.

Teri Collins’s definition of PEACE is happiness with your life.

Happiness can be fleeting. Yet, as I think of Teri, I can see how she connects peace and happiness so closely. Yes, life is a challenge sometimes. Yes, life can hand you lemons sometimes. However, if a person has an underlying happiness in their life, the bumps and challenges on the road through life are navigable.

Dr. Teri Collins, Ph.D., works with young people. She is engaging as well as engaged in the lives of the youth she is with. She also seems to have boundless energy. Teri is the Executive Director of the Maine Community Youth Assistance Foundation (MYCAF), a nonprofit organization that connects youth with families and the community. She gets involved in young people’s lives in a variety of helping-ways, including mental, emotional and psychological health, and alcohol and drug awareness and prevention.

Thank God there are a number of different definitions of peace. I appreciate knowing many different viewpoints. I want to encourage other people to continue this conversation! God willing, many people of different ages and from different areas will share their personal definitions of PEACE.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

 

PEACE: Happiness and Being Safe

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Friday, March 25, 2016

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PEACE: Happiness and Being Safe

Today I continue to post personal definitions of PEACE. Thanks, Oakton Community College, for allowing me to come in to the space next to the cafeteria and set up a space. And, I am grateful to the Oakton Christian Fellowship for sitting by me and providing a welcome.

Today, I am posting a heartfelt definition from Liz: “PEACE is having a world full of happiness and everyone being safe. Having kids be able to live their full life.”

Liz truly meant what she said. I asked her to elaborate on her definition. She said, “Everyone should be able to be happy. I am afraid of wars, fighting, and people not able to eat three meals a day. PEACE in our world has everyone able to be happy and not fight. Children especially have to go really far to get water, and sometimes any available water is dirty. So many children are in difficult situations. Many children don’t get to go to school in large parts of the world.”

Liz is touched by this heartbreaking truth especially because she wants to become a preschool teacher and director.

What you say you want a safe, happy place, Liz, I understand. Children are our future. God bless them.

@chaplaineliza

(Reminder: I will be posting more from the young people at St. Viator’s High School next week, after Easter. Have a great Spring Break and a joyful Holy Week and Easter celebration!)

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza  And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE is Helping Keep My Spouse Happy

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Saturday, February 20, 2016

IMG_0157

PEACE is Helping Keep My Spouse Happy

When I considered today’s definition, the first thing I thought of was the old saying, “Happy wife, happy life.”

Today’s definition of PEACE comes from Carl Hanson, who said “PEACE is helping keep my spouse happy.”

Carl and his spouse Irene are members of St. Luke’s Christian Community Church in Morton Grove. They are a loving, caring couple, deeply devoted to one another and to their two dogs (both from rescue).

One telling comment Carl made to me? “If my spouse is happy, our home is happy.” To cap that off, he wrote it out on a piece of paper, and added a smiley face at the bottom of the sheet.

I reflected deeply on both the definition that Carl gave, as well as his comment, above. How do I apply that in my life? My life with my husband? What do I do for my husband, anyhow? Do I make him happy? How? Can I make certain he is content and serene? All good questions.

What I can do each day? Since I am not the most diligent housekeeper, I can make sure I pick up several items in the apartment, each day. I can try to be certain that the kitchen sink is clear of dishes at the end of the day…

Dear Lord, thank You for Carl’s reminder to me, and to many, about the benefits of keeping our spouses happy. I ask You to draw Carl and Irene closer together, give them peace, happiness, and contentment. Thank You for loving us and wishing to make a big difference in each life You touch. Amen.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er

PEACE is Serenity and Calmness

Matterofprayer: A Year of Everyday Prayers – Thursday, February 18, 2016

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PEACE is Serenity and Calmness

Today’s definition makes sense. Deep-down sense.

As I talked with the person who gave me this definition, she was cleaning up after the fellowship time at St. Luke’s Christian Community Church. She told me—in so many words—what she thought the definition of PEACE is. “I think that’s a wonderful definition! Could you write it down on a piece of paper? I would very much like to take a photo of you with that definition,” I said.

At first hesitant, she agreed. (And as she straightened her jacket, she told me she didn’t take very good photos. Which I disagree with!)

Carol Metler’s definition: PEACE is Serenity and Calmness.

How much more straight-forward could a definition be? Certainly serenity figures into peaceful living. Lack of drama and trauma. And, serenity implies an inner calmness. Carol added, “Even happiness enters into peacefulness. People who are happy are often peaceful.”

Sadly, many individuals are neither happy nor peaceful. Their lives are not serene and calm, either. Family units have disruption and disagreements aplenty. I have seen extended families living with a lot of difficulties; not only in terms of physical and medical needs, but even more extensive are the emotional and psychological difficulties. Lots to pray about.

A lack of PEACE can be divisive and devastating to relationships. Thank you to Carol for this excellent definition. (And, Carol looks happy and serene in her photo!)

I pray that all of our relationships may be touched with peace, serenity and calmness. Dear Lord, in Your mercy, hear all of our prayers.

@chaplaineliza

Like what you read? Disagree? Share your thoughts with your loved ones and continue the conversation.

Why not visit my sister blogs, “the best of” A Year of Being Kind.   @chaplaineliza And, read my sermons from Pastor, Preacher Pray-er