Saturday Morning: Zen Dogs

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“In a series called Zen Dogs, Alex Cearns, a professional pet and wildlife photographer from Australia, photographed pups looking peaceful and calm, their eyes closed.  To capture the animals looking so placid, Cearns counts the number of seconds between blinks. She can take upward of 300 photos of an animal in one hour-long session; she says she usually gets one terrific Zen Dog-worthy shot in the bunch.

Dogs have the power to make people happier and feel less stressed, so it’s not a stretch to imagine you’ve started to look a little more blissed-out yourself just looking at the photos. Cearns believes her project can serve as a gentle and positive reminder to take a break, unwind and contemplate inner peace and presence. Take a moment out of your day to enjoy a collection of these charming shots, and maybe you’ll feel a little bit of what the dogs do.”

Kate Bratskeir, These Photos Of Zen Dogs Will Make You Feel Zen, Too

Don’t miss more of Cearns’ photos here: Zen Dogs


Notes:

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

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Source: chikita banana

Under Pressure?

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I listed my blessings: all those
I love who hold me here.
I looked up at the thick
interlacing of branches above my head
and saw, high up, the bright blue
of air I might breathe, air I could swim to.

—Gregory Orr, “Under Pressure,” in City of Salt


Poem: I Hear It Deep In The Hearts Core. Art: Helena Almedia (mennyfox55)

Lightly child, lightly

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Lightly, lightly, very lightly
A very light wind passes,
And it goes away just as lightly,
And I don’t know what I’m thinking,
Nor do I wish to know.

~ Fernando Pessoa, from section XIII of “The Keeper of Sheep,” A Little Larger Than the Entire Universe: Selected Poems


Credits:

  • Image Source: Mary Parker (via eikadan)
  • Quote Source: the distance between two doors
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Lightly child, lightly

dreaming-piano-lightly
Take the piano teacher, for example. He always says, Relax, relax. But how can you relax while your fingers are rushing over the keys? Yet they have to relax. The singing teacher and the golf pro say exactly the same thing. And in the realm of spiritual exercises we find that the person who teaches mental prayer does too. We have somehow to combine relaxation with activity…

The personal conscious self being a kind of small island in the midst of an enormous area of consciousness — what has to be relaxed is the personal self, the self that tries too hard, that thinks it knows what is what, that uses language. This has to be relaxed in order that the multiple powers at work within the deeper and wider self may come through and function as they should.

In all psychophysical skills we have this curious fact of the law of reversed effort:

the harder we try, the worse we do the thing.

~ Aldous Huxley, The Divine Within


Credits:

  • Image Source: Anka Zhuravleva (via Ishtyaks)
  • Quote Source: Brain Pickings
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Lightly child, lightly

red-balloon-over-manhattan

Knot by knot I untie myself from the past
And let it rise away from me like a balloon.
What a small thing it becomes.
What a bright tweak at the vanishing point, blue on blue.

– Charles Wright, from “Arkansas Traveller” in The Other Side of the River


Credits:

  • Image Source: Michael Surtees (Looking forward from Empire State Building)
  • Poem Source: Lit Verve
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Lightly child, lightly

dive-fly-black-and-white

An absurd lightness
draped itself around him;
all things were possible,
all things were manageable.

~ Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, from Half of a Yellow Sun


Credits:

  • Image Source: Precious Things. Photographer: Samo Vidic. Athlete: Jorge Ferzuli
  • Poem Source: the distance between two doors
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

But your attention is focused, your vision becomes crystal clear

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As soon as the stressful event occurs, it triggers the release of the cascade of hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal hormones — the brain’s stress response. It also triggers the adrenal glands to release epinephrine, or adrenaline, and the sympathetic nerves to squirt out the adrenaline-like chemical norepinephrine all over the body: nerves that wire the heart, and gut, and skin. So, the heart is driven to beat faster, the fine hairs of your skin stand up, you sweat, you may feel nausea or the urge to defecate. But your attention is focused, your vision becomes crystal clear, a surge of power helps you run — these same chemicals released from nerves make blood flow to your muscles, preparing you to sprint.

~ Esther M. Sternberg, The Balance Within: The Science Connecting Health and Emotions

 


Notes:

Lightly child, lightly

I might enjoy being an albatross,

being able to glide for days and

daydream for hundreds of miles along the thermals.

~ Seamus Heaney, Paris Review – The Art of Poetry No. 75


Credits:

  • Image Source: BBC Earth. Poem Source: Schonwieder
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Lightly child, lightly

gif-float-water-swimming

I let it go.
It’s like swimming against the current.
It exhausts you.
After a while, whoever you are,
you just have to let go,
and the river brings you home.

Joanne Harris, Five Quarters of the Orange 


Notes:

  • Credit: Quote – Sweet Senderipity. Image Source: mennyfox55
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”