Tag Archives: Meditation

Daniel speaks: The cottonwood seed and my first coaching call…

Did the giant cottonwood tree intend to get that big, or was it just open and willing?

Outside our home, up against the levy, next to the Kaw River, is a huge population of giant cottonwood trees. And now is the time of the year that it is literally snowing cottonwood seeds.

It is a meditation all by itself to sit and just watch them float, and drift, and lazily meander to the ground. There is literally no effort in their journey. They could travel for miles before they come to their final resting place in the warm embrace of the Earth. They don’t care. They are just happy to BE.

Yet, just like the great Buddha said, inside that seed is the giant cottonwood. It is already a reality. So what makes the difference?  What determines whether one particular seed will fall at just the right spot on the earth, be covered by the exact right amount of soil, be exposed to the right amount of water and light to germinate, sprout, grow, and become that giant cottonwood?

I think the very first ingredient for the future manifestation of the cottonwood tree is the carefree nature of the  seed. It first has to let go, and just float. Let the wind and the pull of the Mother carry it where it needs to go. Without that innate, total freedom, it would never land where it needs to.

I just did the very first coaching call of my new life coaching career, and it went extremely well. Thinking back on that session,  my mind goes to the mighty cottonwood tree.

Those seeds are like our many dreams, visions, intentions, aspirations – that which we are called upon to BE. Our beingness is within the seeds of all we dream to become. We have many potential outcomes and realities, all happening under the magnificent sky of our souls.

That which we allow to unfold is far more magnificent than anything we could ever plan to achieve. Yes, we have our visions, our clearly stated intentions, our aspirations, our goals… and we release them… and…



then what?

The journey between releasing the seed and witnessing the cottonwood is the subject of many thousands of books and seminars, classes, courses, teaching, techniques…

and most of it is a mystery.

A mystery of letting-go, action without strain, witnessing, meditating, flowing, acting on hunches, synchronicity, miracles, people coming together at the right place and the right time.

In closing, I would say that one ingredient in allowing the seeds of our intentions to become the cottonwoods of our reality — better than air — more nourishing than sunlight — more refreshing that water — more magical than luck…

is love.

After we envision them, release them, watch them dance and float to the ground with a smile on our faces, we need to find where they land…



and pour our greatest love into them.

Posted by: Daniel (originally from his blog Behind the Greenhouse)


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Filed under Order & Balance, Peace, River Living, Simplicity, Thoughts & Insights

Home Sweet Ashram

When we first moved here last Summer, Daniel and I felt such harmony that we described our home as a little ashram. It felt more like a retreat style home- a place of privacy, affording peace and quiet. You ask, a small house crammed with seven souls can have even one moment of peace and quiet? Yes, definitely. Something about our little slice of heaven prompts us all into a deeper state of calmness and contentment. During the seven months we’ve been here, we have forgotten or taken this for granted. This doesn’t mean we don’t have periods of chaos and excessive noise. We do, just far fewer than we used to.

This morning, after the kids left for school, Daniel came to me with an idea. He asked if I’d be in support of having designated quiet periods. Periods in which every person in the home was required to practice silence. Intentional periods of silence? That sounded brilliant to me. After all, we require them on long road trips and the kids are very good at it. Believe me, ten to fifteen minutes of pure silence is heavenly on the nervous system when you’re all crammed in a car!

We realize there would be exceptions, of course. Amelie, being two years old, would be making all the noise she desires. The rest of us would be expected to witness the vocalizations, smile at her, knod and gesture, but without speaking. For anyone who has ever practiced silence, either at a weekend retreat or just a few hours, you understand the peace, insight and deep awareness that comes from the practice. Our kids have experienced this in smaller doses during travel, and Daniel is suggesting we try it in our home on a regular basis. Both children and adults in our culture are bombarded with stimuli and haven’t learned how to appreciate or even bear silence. We become addicted and restless. If our kids learn to practice and appreciate silence, they will be more likely to embrace meditation and have a more peaceful mindset as adults. Plus, there is nothing more sacred than shows of affection that are made completely without words; through eyes and physical touch alone. Words minimize feeling, no matter how descriptive and rich they are. To experience that with our kids will be a great gift.

Liam, having autism and not fully understanding the practice of silence, would be exempt from the practice as well. We’d actually schedule the silence during times he isn’t home. He goes on several outings, and spends some weekends at his dad’s in Kansas City, so we’d have a lot of opportunities for real, pure silence. This would mean engaging in quiet activities, too. No noisy devices, no music, keyboards, or headphones. Just silence, the way it was meant to be heard and experienced. Maybe we’ll have one silent family dinner night… now that would be a beautiful experience! We always call this home our little ashram, and these periods will reinforce the feeling. Does it have to be hours of silence? No, definitely not. I’m proposing a minimum of 30 minutes based on Sky and Prasad’s ages, but we can do two to three periods a day of we want to. This idea is going on our list of discussions to have at our next family meeting, and I’m very excited about it.


Filed under Home, Kids, Order & Balance, Peace, Simplicity, Thoughts & Insights