|From The Hearth
The Hearth Foundation is dedicated to the spiritual growth and well-being of mothers through study, practice and
community building activities. While our core philosophy is very much shaped by Buddhist principles and practices,
we are a non-sectarian organization which draws on all Wisdom traditions to further positive mothering experiences
through spiritual awareness and enlightened actions.
IN THIS MONTH'S ISSUE:
|Copyright (c) 2009 by Hearth Foundation. All articles are the copyright of the particular writers and cannot be reprinted without their expressed
permission. All rights reserved. International copyright laws prohibit reproduction of or distribution of this page by any means whatsoever, electronic or
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Any advice given is for informational purposes only.
|JACQUELINE'S DHARMA TALK
A LETTER TO HEARTH by Jacqueline Kramer
JUNE: MEDITATION - by Destiny Masters
|“To meditate does not mean to fight with a problem.
To meditate means to observe.
Your smile proves it.
It proves that you are being gentle with yourself,
that the sun of awareness is shining in you,
that you have control of your situation.
You are yourself,
and you have acquired some peace.”
~Thich Nhat Hanh
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January: Beginner's Mind
| UPCOMING EVENTS AND CLASSES:
ONLINE BOOK GROUP:
VOLUNTARY SIMPLICITY: With these difficult economic
times, many of us are looking at how we can simplify our
lives and our finances. Voluntary Simplicity by Duane
Elgin, is a book about how one family deliberately
simplified their lives. If you are interested in doing a book
group on this book, with the possibility of other similar
books to follow, please contact Heather via email to
ONLINE CLASSES: Registrations for all classes are
taken year-round. When a class fills up, it begins. To sign
up for any of the classes or with further questions on the
specific classes, please email Heather Thornton.
In addition to announcing upcoming Hearth classes, this
segment of the newsletter will also highlight upcoming
local, national and international events which fit in with the
Mission of the Hearth Foundation, such as spirituality,
meditation, pregnancy and birthing, Buddhism, parenting,
women's issues, ecology, education and homemaking.
These events need to be submitted by you, our readers,
so that others may know of opportunities which will help
us grow as a community and perhaps give us the ability to
meet face-to-face. If you know of any events either within
your community or without, please email them to us so we
may all benefit. To submit events, please email Wendy
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| I personally feel that the right way
to meditate is the way that works for
the individual. With meditation, we
strive to be fully present, fully focused
on what we are doing, whatever it is.
We can meditate while doing. It does
not have to be a situation of total quiet,
specific postures and helpful mantras.
These things are good, of course, but not necessary.
Meditation is more practice to enable ourselves to more
easily be mindful, to concentrate, to pay attention. It
begs that we stay in the moment and if we leave the
moment, we learn to automatically pull ourselves back.
If we meditate while taking a walk, it means we’re
acutely aware of each noise under our feet as they
land on the ground. The color of the blades of grass
beside our path. The sound of the birds, frogs,
squirrels, cars, other people. Every step is done
mindfully with full awareness of their effect. If we’re
doing dishes we’re aware of each bubble from the
soap, the feel of the soap on the dish, the warmth of
the water as it washes the soap away, everything.
When we’re doing something we love or something that
is cathartic for us, we enter the zone of no time or
Embracing the discomforts, the distractions and the
annoyances while meditating is every bit as important
as embracing the tranquility and the zone of no time
Meditation isn’t the “act” of doing or sitting and trying
to focus, forcing our thoughts. Meditation is observing,
intending peace and compassion – both towards
oneself and all other living beings – and becoming
meditative. That is, becoming the mindset that comes
about from the doing and focusing.
| Oftentimes one will ask “How do I meditate? I cannot
clear my mind and make it blank.” Meditation is a very
simple thing. However, our minds are so busy and
cluttered meditation seems impossible. If it is truly so
simple and brings so much peace, tranquility, relief and
joy, why does it feel like such a challenge??
Meditation instructions may differ for different
individuals. Some suggestions to those starting a
practice of meditation may be to focus on the breath.
Breathing in peace, breathing out love, continuing this
over and over to not only share the intention of peace
and love but also to create the habit of focus on things
other than the clutter of our mind.
Of course, as a thought enters, if we think to
ourselves, “Oh no, there’s a thought and now my mind
isn’t empty and I’m not meditating properly. This is
frustrating!” then we’re simply cluttering our mind
more. If we greet the thought, acknowledge it then
allow them to dissolve, releasing that clutter is much
Why then, is meditation such a struggle for many?
Perhaps it’s because when many of us meditate, we
attempt to do it the way someone told us it should be
done. The “right” way. Is there a “right” or a “wrong”
way? Must we sit, cross-legged in silence, repeating a
mantra or sound and escaping? Is that the “right” way