Thursday, February 14, 2019

A Poem for Lovers Across Time

     I recently read a lovely poem by Walt Whitman, which talks about how soul can recognize soul, across the limits of gender and the confines of time, even as Twin Souls do.  I hope you enjoy this on Valentine's Day.

To a Stranger

Passing stranger! you do not know how longingly I look upon you.
You must be he I was seeking, or she I was seeking, (it comes to me as of a dream.)
I have somewhere surely lived a life of joy with you,
All is recall'd as we flit by each other, fluid, affectionate, chaste, matured,
You grew up with me, were a boy with me or a girl with me,
I ate with you and slept with you, your body has become not yours only nor left my body mine only.
You give me the pleasure of your eyes, face, flesh, as we pass, you take of my beard, breast, hands, in return,
I am not to speak to you, I am to think of you when I sit alone or wake at night alone,
I am to wait, I do not doubt I am to meet you again,
I am to see to it that I do not lose you.

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)




Saturday, February 9, 2019

Another Wonderful Book

     I picked up a book last week which I think will prove very helpful.  Perhaps you would, too.

     Entitled Real World Mindfulness for Beginners: Navigate Daily Life One Practice at a Time and edited by Brenda Salgado, it features a chapter addressing a different life issue with some simple mindfulness practices to help face that issue.  Some of the topics include:  dealing with anxiety and stress, facing hurt or anger, enduring grief and loss, breaking bad habits or negative behaviors, promoting patience and compassion, and accepting aging and illness.  Each chapter, written by a different mindfulness teacher, is clear and concise and easily applicable in minutes.  A very useful book.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

A Gorgeous Book

     I was recently gifted with a book that has proved to be both inspiring and beautiful.  It is a small book, where I read a page or two before bed, but the stunning photos and the pithy sayings from the Tibetan Buddhist tradition stay with me into the next day.  Perhaps you would enjoy it as well.  It's entitled Offerings: Moments of Mindfulness from the Masters of Tibetan Buddhism (Mini) and features photos from Tibet, northern India, and Nepal.  It shows the grittiness and beauty of everyday life there.  And the quotes come from the Dalai Lama, Pema Chodron, Chogyam Trungpa, Jack Kornfield, Milarepa, and many others.  Gift yourself with this book.


Saturday, January 26, 2019

A Few More Wonderful Quotes

     Some more great quotes:
The true test of faith is how we treat those who can do nothing for us in return.  (Dillon Burroughs)
The time has come to worship with our lives as with our lips, in the streets as in the sanctuaries.  (Maurice Davis) 
Because we all share a wish for happiness and an identical need for love, it is possible to feel that anyone we meet, in whatever circumstances, is a brother or sister.  We do not need to become religious; nor do we need to believe in an ideology.  I believe that at every level of society the key to a happier and more successful world is the growth of compassion.  (The Dalai Lama)
(image courtesy of pixabay.com)

 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

A Couple of Great Quotes

     This last week was the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.  In honor of his life, I'd like to share a quote from him:
Many people fear nothing more terribly than to take a position which stands out sharply and clearly from the prevailing opinion.  The tendency of most is to adopt a view that is so ambiguous that it will include everything and so popular that it will include everybody.  Not a few men who cherish lofty and noble ideas hide them under a bushel for fear of being called different.
     And since Martin Luther King, Jr. modeled much of his philosophy on those of Mahatma Gandhi, I'll share one from Gandhi as well:
Those who believe religion and politics aren't connected don't understand either.
(image courtesy of pixabay.com)

Saturday, January 12, 2019

An Old Motto for New Times? Part 2

     Class is back in session, and I've been seeing your hands wave all week.  Have a seat and let's continue our discussion.

     Last week I was promoting the idea of adopting "E Pluribus Unum" as a motto for everyone because I think that the next step in our earthly evolution is learning to recognize that we are all one.  Each contributes to the whole.  Each deserves respect.  Each has unique gifts and viewpoints which makes the whole stronger.

     But, you ask, what about the other motto, "In God We Trust"?  Are you throwing out God in this equation?

     Not at all.  I believe in God and talk to Her every day.  But when we say, "In God We Trust," some may argue:  "Whose God?" or "Which religious tradition?"  Is it the God with white skin and a long, white beard?  Or the one that exists inside every cloud and under every rock?  Is it the God whose Name cannot be named?  Or is it the one that lives within our ancestors?  Religions often promote a tribalism which has not proved beneficial through our history.

     My second issue with "In God We Trust" is that it can be disempowering.  It can make one feel as if we are handing God all our problems and saying, "Here.  Fix it."  That is, in my opinion, a form of magical thinking.

     The motto "E Pluribus Unum" recognizes, I believe, the contribution we each can make toward fixing our world problems.  And there are many.

     A sub-motto to "E Pluribus Unum" might be:  "Get to work."

(photo courtesy of pixabay.com)

Saturday, January 5, 2019

An Old Motto for New Times?

     Sit right down, class, for today's history lesson.  Make yourself comfortable.

     Many years ago, when my country was young, the founders created a Great Seal and adopted the motto "E Pluribus Unum" in 1782. What does that phrase mean?  It means, in Latin, "out of the many, one."  They recognized, even then, that honoring our diversity and respecting everyone's contribution to our nation made us stronger.

     Then what happened?  Let me tell you.

     Back in the 1950s, during the Red scare and the start of the Cold War, our country decided to set ourselves apart from communism and its atheism and adopted an official motto, "In God We Trust."  By order of President Eisenhower in 1956, this new motto replaced "E Pluribus Unum," which had never been made the official motto by law.

     I think that, during these difficult times, we need to go back to "E Pluribus Unum."  And we need to make it the motto for every person everywhere.  Why?  Because if we recognize and honor the contribution of every person and every tradition and every ethnicity, we become stronger.  The opposite -- to push away others who are different -- creates ill-will on both sides, and this creates instability and chaos.  We need to open our hearts and minds and honor the best of what everyone has to offer.

     I honor you.  We honor each other.  From many, we can be one.

(image courtesy of pixabay.com)