Renewal and Taking Care of Yourself

The new year brings us the opportunity to reflect on the past and ponder the future. Our family spent two weeks at Deer Park Monastery with a six-day Holiday Retreat in the middle. The second day of the retreat I was honored when Thay Phap Hai asked me to participate in the planned dharma talk.  We did this talk with our friend Karen Hilsberg.

The Plum Village sangha has a practice called Beginning Anew that we used for the foundation of our talk, since the theme of the retreat was renewal. Rather than focusing on another person, as we typically do with this practice, the focus of attention was ourselves. Karen provided us with four meditations that we explored in the one-hour talk. Please enjoy the talk.

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Four Meditations for Self-Renewal

  1. Flower Watering/Sharing Appreciation. Looking deeply, I see many positive and wholesome qualities in myself such as…
  2. Benign Regrets. Looking deeply, I regret that I have caused myself pain through my thoughts, speech and actions in the following ways…
  3. Hurts and Difficulties. Looking deeply, I can understand my own hurts and difficulties with deep compassion and friendliness toward myself, without blame or criticism as follows…
  4. Challenges and Intentions for the Future. For the future, I anticipate the following challenges and intend to practice mindfully and skillfully in the following ways…

The key here is to be kind and honest with yourself. If you can’t listen here, you can download the talk.

  • vic friesen

    dear Kenley. I went to high school and Bible School and Bible College with your Mom sang in groups with her so knew her pretty well. Also knew your Dad at College. Lost track of her after they got married. Live in Summerland jn B.C. Would love to hear what happened since I lost track of them. Vic.

  • Hi Vic. Nice to hear from you. My dad lives in Fresno, CA (he's lived there since the mid-70's) and is pretty easy to find. If you uses Facebook, he does have an account there. My mom died in 1998 – I wrote a little remembrance last year.

  • Hi Vic. Nice to hear from you. My dad lives in Fresno, CA (he's lived there since the mid-70's) and is pretty easy to find. If you uses Facebook, he does have an account there. My mom died in 1998 – I wrote a little remembrance last year.