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The final question that was asked by Sharon (@AwakeningTrue) at the end of Friday’s Zoom meeting was: what are some things that you really love doing or would like to do? A lot of answers came forth and every answer gave a glimpse into the folks giving the answers.

The answers ranged from “I’m going to to take an improv class” to “I love laughing and infusing laughter into life” to “I love giving hugs” to “I love creating special hand-made gifts for people” to “I love drinking tea and reading” to “I love eating dark chocolate squares” and more. The question made me reflect on my own amateur activities outside of my professional work as an engineer.

I am a rank amateur at walking in nature in every season. I walk for the love of walking, and I bring back photos as visual memories of my walks. On last check, my phone tells me that I have 9486 photos tagged “Fall” from the past seven years – 4022 from “Rocky River Reservation” alone. Yikes. That’s a lot of photos and a lot of standing around, isn’t it?! I am also a lover of simply sitting and watching and wondering, weeding and planting, walking the dog, making and drinking tea, dabbling in poetry on twitter, and writing my weekly blog posts.

Over the past three years, I have become a lover of waking up early and starting my day with meditation. This practice has slowly taught me that inward focus on the heart creates the counter current to all the violence, vitriol, anger, acrimony, divisiveness, despair, disrespect and hate that seems to be endemic in the world. How does the heart do this?

Our heart-focus helps us to put a spotlight on the beauty, the goodness, the lightness and the positive traits of the ones that we are often the quickest to criticize, condemn and complain about. The heart helps us remember that our beloveds are so because of their good qualities and because they often do much more good in the world than otherwise.

It is when the heart reminds us of that sweet fragrance of theirs, we can release anger and open the door to forgiveness. We awaken to the realization that we are not spiritual amateurs any longer. We realize that being an amateur actually serves us well — for the root of that word is amore — a lover of life.

What are some things that you are an amateur at?

Kumud

P.S. Join us amateurs for our weekly twitter chat on Sunday, November 3rd at 9amET in #SpiritChat ~ share your love of… Namaste – @AjmaniK