Shine the Divine:

Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice

When we see through our hearts, we recognize that every single one of us is infused with creativity. Divine Sparks are embedded in everyone and everything. It's up to us to be courageous, to look and listen deeply, to find the sparks, gather and release them back into the universe, transformed into something new. Join me as we wake up to the sacred-ordinary blessings waiting to greet us each and every day.

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Gratitude and SoulCollage®: Marti Beddoe

This is the first post in a series this week all written by SoulCollage® Facilitators in honor of Seena Frost, creator, midwife and beloved teacher of so many. Seena's new book SoulCollage®Evolving, is available for purchase now! AND Seena will be with us here at Shine the Divine later this week as part of her book release blog tour!

Marti and I are kindred spirits in many ways, but particularly in our shared love for creating SoulCollage® cards in the embrace of silence; our own silence and also group silence. This totally shifts the experience, from lively, friendly, playful chatter (which is a lot of fun and the way most facilitators lead workshops) to one of silent, sacred, velvety comfort in each others presence. It feels very, very different. Both containers are healing for a group, but again, very, very different. I'm so happy to introduce you to this gentle soul, please welcome today's host at Shine the Divine, Marti Beddoe:

SoulCollage® Card by Marti Bedoe

As the end of the year approaches and the season’s many delights and challenges intensify, I invite you to pause for a moment and receive a gift, from my heart to your heart.  I offer this gift to you, dear reader, in appreciation of your SoulEssence, that unique way you express the Divine Spark in your daily life.

The gift is a spiritual practice that helps me remember what is most essential in my life—the mindful cultivation of gratitude, joy, lovingkindness, compassion, and wisdom.  The practice of Okagesamade (oh-caw-kaw-saw-ma-day) often brings tears of joy and wonder, reminding me of my place in Indra’s Net, the Web of Life.  In the ancient Japanese mystical tradition, okagesamade means thank you; because of you this moment exists."

The practice is quite simple and especially useful when I find myself in an unlovely setting or state of mind, the times when I lose sight of what is truly important.  It is best done as an inner ritual, silently.  No one need know what you are doing.

Settle into a comfortable position, tune into your breathing and slow it down some.  Let yourself quiet down, relaxing into the Now of the present moment.  Your intention is to observe the environment, becoming mindful of your connection to the invisible net of The Many, those known and anonymous people and sentient beings who have made it possible for you to experience this specific moment.  You are opening to the realization that this specific moment would not exist without these known and anonymous ones.  You are becoming aware of what native people call “All my relations."

To help you remember all those relations, you might ask the questions below or experiment with your own.  Notice the images that arise in response to your questions. 

  • Who built the buildings/structures around me?
  • Who designed, built, and delivered the furniture I sit upon?
  • Who gathered and delivered the materials for the buildings and furniture?
  • Who built the roads I traveled on to be where I am in this moment?
  • Before that, who pioneered and cared for the land around me?
  • What other sentient beings am I connected to in this moment?
  • Who grew, delivered, cooked and served my last meal?
  • Who invented, built, and delivered the myriad technologies I use?
  • Who cleaned and beautified this environment?
  • Who designed, made, and sold my clothing?
  • Who nurtured, educated and inspired my body, mind and soul?
  • Whose thoughts, words or deeds may have saved my life--physically, emotionally, or spiritually? 
  • Who befriends, encourages and loves me despite my shortcomings?
  • Who gave me life, starting with my parents and including the thousands of love stories before them?

As you connect with the images of The Many who have made it possible for you to be in this specific moment, mentally offer each one a gesture of gratitude and silently say,

“Thank you.  Because of you, this moment exists.”  Regardless of current challenges, it soon becomes apparent how incredibly blessed each of us has been, and is, in our lives. 

As I write this note to you, the sun has interrupted the normal gloom of an Illinois winter day.  I look out and see the pale blue sky, the bare limbs of the red maple, and its skirt of crisp leaves.  I pause and mentally bow deeply to you, dear Seena.  Thanks to you for inspiring me to discover the beautiful depth and wholeness of Life.  Because of you, this precious moment of remembering what is essential in life, this moment of deep gratitude, exists.

May any merit that comes from sharing this practice of Okagesamade go to my teachers in the Kriya Yoga lineage, particularly Swami Pranananda.  Because of her, this moment exists.

This post was offered in gratitude for Seena B. Frost, creator of SoulCollage®.
All my purple love and gratitude,
Marti Beddoe
SoulCollage® Facilitator

To learn more about Marti and services she offers, visit her blog:
Designs for Peace 

SoulCollage® Evolving - 2010 Seena Frost Blog Tour

In case you missed it, below is an interview link of Seena answering questions for my friend Anne Marie who will be guest hosting here later this week.
November 8 - Kaleidosoul - Anne Marie Bennett
 
Today Seena is visiting with Cheryl who you meet tomorrow here on my blog.
Seena's other blog stops are listed below! 
November 17 - HERE Shine the Divine: Creativity IS a Spiritual Practice-Laura Hegfield
November 22 - Listening for the Whisperings - Catherine Anderson 

6 comments:

  1. nice. the questions are really practical in prompting you toward gratitude...nice to meet you...

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  2. To be fully in the present moment is a true gift. Thank you for reminding me that gratitude abounds. Lovely.

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  3. I learned practicing mindfulness some years ago and I really do attribute the abundance of gratefulness that I feel to this practice. Just reading this post makes my heart swell with gratitude. I will have to try this practice of Okagesamade. Thank you for the gift of this post. Blessings. XX

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  4. The questions made me dwell on things that were hitherto not dwelt upon for a long time by me.

    Joy always,
    Susan

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  5. The Many, I especially relate to that today. All the souls gone on, those yet to come, all of us part of The One Great Love, each of us beautiful just the way we are, everybody beautiful and made of little bits of stars.

    Loving these guest posts, Laura.

    xoxo

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