First, let me begin by saying how much gratitude I feel for the creation of this magazine and all of the wonderful bliss bloggers who are contributing to it. We are always looking for new writers and welcoming back the writers who have already contributed to the Finding Your Bliss online magazine, which has been a dream of mine, and to see it actualizing has been nothing short of miraculous. It’s hard work, asking people to write on deadline and editing the pieces, making sure they make it on time, but in the end, it is really always a labour of love.
We are always looking for articles on Fitness, Excercise, Health and Nutrition, Beauty, Fashion, Style at Home, and Design articles and always our go-to fave articles about Meditation, Mindfullness and Yoga. We are also interested in entertainment pieces. If you are interested in contributing, please see our writer’s guidelines page, and then send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The deadline for all articles is Tuesday at 6:00 pm, and if you hand your piece in by then, your article will be published between one to two weeks later!!
There is a name that keeps popping up whenever I post my @theblissminute on videos and inspirational quotes and memes on Instagram, and the name is Thich Nhat Hanh. He is one of best known Zen teachers in the world today and has been teaching mindfulness practice for more than seventy years. His bestselling books include Happiness and Being Peace, but I also love the slim little volume he wrote called How to Relax. In it, there are short meditations on healing, resting, solitude, and unplugging, and they offer the gift of relaxation to anyone who is open to it.
There are beautiful poems on breathing and the breath, and a wonderful description of meditation, which is: “To meditate means to pay full attention to something. It doesn’t mean to run away from life. Instead it’s an oppportunity to look deeply into ourselves and into the situation we’re in.”
Thich Nhat Hanh explains that the first aspect of meditation is just stopping, or shamatha in Sanskrit. We are always runnning, and stopping means to stop “our running, our forgetfulness and our being caught in the past or the future. We come home to the present moment where life is available. Shamatha is also the practice of concentrating, so that we can live deeply each moment of our life and touch the deepest level of our being.”
The second aspect of meditation is looking deeply, called vipashyana in Sanskrit, “in order to see the true nature of things”.
There is a lot about cultivating joy in this book, and as Nhat Hanh explains, “Joy needs to be cultivated and practiced in order to grow.” He also explains that when we meditate with others in a class, for instance, “the collective energy can bring us back to ourselves. This is why it’s so important to practice with others. At first we may worry that we aren’t doing sitting or walking meditation properly, and we may hesitate to practice with others for fear of being judged. But we all know how to sit and how to breathe. That’s all we have to do. After only a few moments of concentrating on our breathing, we can bring peace and calm to our body and mind. The concentration of those around you will also support you as you begin to practice.”
Finally, I would love to leave you with this — a wonderful peaceful breathing exercise he writes about. So he advises his readers to just follow your breath or, as I like to say, to come back to the breath, when you’re stressed or in traffic or feeling anxious, and just say to yourself:
Breathing, in, I know I’m breathing in.
Breathing out, I know I am breathing out.
Nhat Hanh even suggests shortening it as you breathe to:
This little poem can be like a mini-vacation in the middle of your day, except that, as the Zen master explains it, it actually brings you back to your true home, instead of taking you away from it.
We invite you to share your own bliss in this magazine or just spend some time finding some relaxation in your day, and you will be one step closer to finding your bliss!
We’d love to hear from you! Please send us your comments about this article. As well, please send us your suggestions for future articles. And if you’re a writer, please see our writer’s submissions page for details.