peace

5 surprising reasons you should meditate with your animals

So you’ve bought your meditation cushion and chosen your favorite meditation position. You’ve contemplated and picked your mantra or visualization. You’ve found a quiet time of day to practice. You’re ready to start meditating, right? Maybe not. What if you were missing the most important thing that could improve your practice quickly and easily? …

These quotes will bring peace to your day

In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. nominated Buddhist monk and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize. In his letter to the committee, Dr. King wrote: “I do not personally know of anyone more worthy of this prize than this gentle monk from Vietnam. He is an Apostle of Peace and Nonviolence.” Though he did not win, Nhat Hanh continues to work tirelessly for peace and enlightenment.

Now 89, Nhat Hanh, who lives in the south of France and travels internationally for speaking engagements, offers regular retreats at Plum Village, the largest Buddhist monastery in Europe. A bestselling author, he’s published more than 100 books. Following are just a few of his most inspiring, life-changing quotes …

6 easy ways to make the holidays more mindful

With the holidays now upon us, many of us are beginning to feel the stress of this time of year. So how can we make the holidays more mindful? How can we get back to truly enjoying this time of year? I plan to approach this holiday season with a more mindful mindset than in years past. So along with baking holiday cookies, sipping tea by the fire and wrapping gifts, I plan to add these five reminders to my holiday to-do list …

The secrets to living a heartful life

How can we live a more heartful and fulfilling life? Is it even possible? I believe that it is. But only if we protect ourselves (and our hearts) from life’s inevitable stresses. Think of it as building an armor of sorts—against impatience, anger, short-sidedness, judgmental thinking, grudges and other negative emotions. If that sounds compelling, it is! To get started, you must learn to embrace the four dimensions of heartful living. They are as follows …

The surprisingly easy way to benefit your animal’s health

From Gregorian monks and Tibetan Buddhist monks, to Hindu priests and even Native American shamans and medicine men—the ancient practice of chanting has historically been a universal way for spiritual seekers to create a peaceful space and achieve therapeutic healing. And it still is today.

Chanting is a wonderful way to “consciously breathe”—to unite our breath with sound in a way that is very healing for our emotional selves. Research has shown that chanting lowers blood pressure, and even just listening to chanting can help reduce our stress by calming our nervous system. Chanting also creates an inner feeling of well-being that radiates outward—meaning our animals can feel it, too …

These spiritual lessons from animals make every day better

I’ve said before that animals are our greatest teachers. My beloved dog Dakota was my first animal Reiki teacher. And the animals I’ve worked with over the years have taught me so much about compassion and even guidance on meditation. But the other day, as I caught sight of my dog Mystic napping contentedly in her little dog bed, I realized the animals teach us other important lessons, too. Do any of these spiritual lessons from animals sound familiar to you? …

A simple meditation for those affected by war

On this Memorial Day, I am thankful to live in the place I find most beautiful in the world: Northern California. I am grateful for the men and women who gave their lives so that I can live in a peaceful place. I also want to honor the many animals who have died serving in war. When I was in London, I was so touched by the beautiful Animals in War Memorial in Hyde Park. The movie War Horse was also a very moving look at the history of horses who helped humans in World War I. I invite you to join me in this special meditation today which is offered for peace and healing to all the animals (and people) who have been affected by war in this world. Blessings to those who have lost their lives, and may peace heal the hearts of those living with war each and every day. May the peace which we create today in our hearts radiate out and help to heal the world …