Seeds of Joy
Mindful Recognition // 4.18.22
a new + beautiful way to experience Mondays
May I be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.
May [insert someone you love without restraint] be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in themselves.
May [insert someone you have neutral feelings for] be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in themselves.
May [insert someone you struggle with] be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in themselves.
May all beings be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in themselves.
These words, or this prayer, is attributed to Thich Nhat Hanh, and is the fifth line of his Nine Prayers. The seeds of joy and happiness mark the beginning of something, the very kernel, germ, of what’s to come. Recognizing the precipice of joy, the delight before the happiness floods over you, is an effort in mindfulness and a recognition of the very beginning.
As you meditate on these words, start with yourself— the importance of self-loving-kindness is vital. Then, send mettā out to others. Begin with someone you deeply love, with no complications. Move to someone you simply know, with no expectations. Then send these words to someone you struggle with, imagining them with love. Finally, send out these words to the planet.
The Nine Prayers
May I be peaceful, happy, and light in body and spirit.
May I be free from injury. May I live in safety.
May I be free from disturbance, fear, and anxiety.
May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and of love.
May I be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.
May I learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving, and delusion in myself.
May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.
May I be able to live fresh, solid and free.
May I be free from attachment and aversion, but not be indifferent.
So glad you’re here.
Intuitive Tarot Card Reading
Use your intuition to guide you to a specific card below. Choose the card with the crystal on it that calls to you.
At the end of this newsletter, you’ll see the cards flipped over, with a reading for each one. The card that you choose here will have your reading for the week.
Wait to scroll down to the bottom until you’ve chosen your card!
Reading today from Rider-Waite deck.
Card 1: Snowflake obsidian Choose this card if you need some help functioning among chaos.
Card 2: Peach quartz Choose this card if you’re working through some forgiveness issues.
Card 3: Jade Choose this card if you need a little guidance moving to that next step.
Yoga Class Schedule:
Interested in scheduling a private yoga class? Info is here.
Online classes for any and all:
Tuesday: Noon // 1-hour flow
Tuesday: 5:30pm // 45 minutes Yin Yoga - we’ll be doing a heart/lung class this week!
Zoom link to all classes at themobiyogi.com and DM/email Rachel for the password. All times in Eastern.
*Note: there will be no yoga classes the weeks of April 25 and May 2
New Blog: The Slow Experience of Information
I read On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century by Timothy Snyder in the autumn of 2021. It was the perfect, bite-sized anti-tome with exactly the right amount of advice and encouragement of responsibility. In it, Snyder contextualizes the rise of Nazism, fascism, and autocracy by giving the reader concrete ideas on how to participate fully in opposition to tyranny. I’m a good student, so I took each of the twenty lessons to heart and tried to adapt, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, to his suggestions.
Today, as I opened up an actual paper, delivered to our door at 4am this morning, I recommitted to lessons 9 and 11: Be Kind to Our Language and Investigate. In doing so, I am also building a habit of a reminder, a reminder to spend time slowly experiencing information.
“11: Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on the internet is there to harm you. Learn about sites that investigate propaganda campaigns (some of which come from abroad). Take responsibility for what you communicate to others.”
As a child, each morning I’d walk down the driveway to grab The Boston Globe, bringing it back to my dad, who would open it up by his cereal bowl and read. He’d read almost the entire thing (minus the Arts section, which was by my cereal bowl), ingesting the news of the day, the full opinions of others, the historical pieces, and the movie times along with his Quaker Oat Bran. It was slow, informative, gave us tools for real conversation, and gave him a lot to think about. What my father was modeling for me was the importance of grappling with new ideas and taking time to learn.
Snyder argues that by scrolling through Twitter for the latest headlines, or by purely accessing the media digitally, we are in effect filtering out information we don’t want to read, information we didn’t know existed, and reading only partial blurbs while feeling like we know it all. It’s easy to scroll away or past and to assume you got the picture. He also reminds us that, while many “breaking news” articles are fine to read in the moment, investigative journalism (work that takes months, years to produce) will not survive if people don’t take the time to purchase it. How many of us use our friend’s subscription to the Times, or only read the free articles, essentially assuming that the work these writers, thinkers, photographers produce are not worth our pennies.
For a time, I wanted to live a “zero-waste” life. No trash, no plastic, no carbon footprint. The thought of a truck delivering a paper to my door left me guilt-ridden. Accessing the news on my phone felt like an easy and small way to combat the climate crisis. But, as I’m learning about slow consumerism, which is thoughtful and deliberate, I’m also reevaluating my ideas of what combating climate change looks like. It looks like being informed. It looks like taking time to wonder, question, learn, and take action. It looks like supporting organizations that facilitate these investigations. It looks like challenging tyranny.
“9: Be Kind to Our Language. Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying. Make an effort to separate yourself from the internet. Read books.”
As I write my Monday Mettā newsletters, I think of language often. Part of mettā meditation is the awareness and mindfulness of specifically using language to be kind. The words we use matter, especially when we are trying to cultivate a practice of self-compassion and loving-kindness towards others.
Most of the internet (I give exception for my Substack newsletter 😉) is repetitive, quick, regurgitated. Perhaps without realizing, we say and read the same words over and over again on the platforms we choose to interact with. If I only followed Katherine May, but had never read her books Wintering or The Electricity of Every Living Thing, I’d be getting .5% of her wit and insight. And then I would be missing out on my own wit and insight, the stuff that comes from reading fully, completely, and consciously.
While all information is at our fingertips, considering that information requires critical thinking and processing. This is learned. As a middle school teacher, I constantly asked my students to slow down, to read twice, to consider their thinking as they were taking in new information. This was the opposite of how they were interacting with information outside of my classroom, and, like any important skill, was challenging. In yoga, I am always asking my students to reflect–how does their body feel? What awareness can they bring to their movements, their breathing, their mind. How can we slow down enough to become mindful?
Today I spent time with articles about a gondolier, fiddle-head flowers, the essence of poetry, leaking luxury apartment buildings, and of course, the big stories: Covid, Ukraine, and tyranny. I got to travel and spend time in corners of my brain that allowed me to slowly process and filter what I was reading. I was able to actually enjoy the news, put it down for a bit when it got too heavy, and discuss it. And instead of looking at the glowing light of my phone, I looked up from the paper to see the light all around me.
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Thank you thank you!
Much love and gratitude,
PS- I love hearing about the cards you pick and your related experiences! Please email me or comment below to let me know what comes up from your card reading this week! 🔮
Your Tarot Reading, Revealed!
Card 1: Snowflake obsidian // The World
Congratulations! This card indicates that no matter how chaotic you may feel, you are nearing its end. You are getting closer to a more whole, functional, centered time. It might be enough to know that you are almost all the way through, but if you’d like more guidance, take time to reflect on what you’ve just experienced. Whether you’ve been feeling off for a few days or a few years, reflecting on and acknowledging your personal achievements during this time is important for moving forward. (And when I say “personal achievements,” I don’t mean degrees, a raise, a new job. Those are the outcomes of the tiny, daily, intensely personal actions you cultivated during your chaotic times. Focus on those!)
Card 2: Peach quartz // Queen of Cups
Boundaries, emotional separation, and space are important as you work to forgive. The Queen of Cups is a highly intuitive, compassionate figure, but this doesn’t mean she takes people’s shit. She doesn’t absorb, she integrates and reflects. Your journey to forgiveness might be smoother if you follow her strength and wisdom. Pay close attention to how you feel about the concept of forgiveness and the person/people/self you are working to forgive. When you pay attention, you’ll find clarity and guidance about how to proceed. Don’t just do or say to people please or because you think it’s “right.” What’s right is your connection to yourself and what is healthiest for you.
Card 3: Jade // Two of Swords
Your next step will take some balance, some trust, and a decision. The figure here is blindfolded, indicating you must listen to your gut/intuition with this next step. Yes, you can weigh the pros and cons (and I do mean weigh them, not list them) or you can follow the good advice of this TedEd video about critical thinking, but at the end of it all, you must cultivate trust in what you sense is the best next step. Advice I often give is that you must sit quietly and listen to the answer your heart/mind gives when you ask it a question. This takes practice! Start with a decision small in nature (coffee or tea this morning?) and work up from there.