Here's something a little new and different for you, dear Reader. Are you up for a video? I found this video on how to become an empowered (rather than a victimized) empath. With the holidays approaching, you are sure to find yourself in a situation in which you are sitting next to someone who wants to unload all their problems on you. Because you, dearest Reader, just radiate kindness and caring, and you are the perfect dump receptacle. So rather than becoming someone's emotional garbage heap, watch this video on tips of how to protect yourself and remain empowered. You deserve it!
Thursday, November 24, 2022
Saturday, November 19, 2022
Some more quotes to savor:
We must protect the forests for our children, grandchildren and children yet to be born. We must protect the forests for those who can't speak for themselves such as the birds, animals, fish and trees. (Qwatsinas [Hereditary Chief Edward Moody], Nuxalk Nation)
I do not see a delegation for the Four Footed. I see no seat for the Eagles. We forget and we consider ourselves superior. But we are after all a mere part of Creation. And we must consider to understand where we are. And we stand somewhere between the mountain and the ant. Somewhere and only there as part and parcel of the Creation. (Chief Oren Lyons, Oneida, 1977)
Saturday, November 12, 2022
In honor of Indigenous Peoples month in this country, I would like to offer some quotes.
Being Indian is an attitude, a state of mind, a way of being in harmony with all things and all beings. It is allowing the heart to be the distributor of energy on this planet, to allow feelings and sensitivities to determine where energy goes, bringing aliveness up from the Earth and from the Sky, putting it in and giving it out from the heart. (Brooke Medicine Eagle)
The American Indian is of the soil, whether it be the region of forests, plains, pueblos, or mesas. He fits into the landscape, for the hand that fashioned the continent also fashioned the man for his surroundings. He once grew as naturally as the wild sunflowers, he belongs just as the buffalo belonged . . . (Luther Standing Bear, Oglala Sioux Chief)
Saturday, November 5, 2022
Have you seen those commercials where an above-average-looking person is driving a huge, gas-guzzling vehicle over mountain roads or over rocky terrain or in the middle of some wilderness? They look like they are enjoying the experience, connecting with Nature and all that.
And in every single commercial, they have their windows ROLLED UP. So much for connecting with Nature. It looks more like Nature dominance, if you ask me. Not to mention how much damage the car is doing to the countryside or how many carbon emissions it is putting in our atmosphere. And with that attitude apparently selling automobiles, it makes you wonder if humankind realizes how it got into the dire environmental predicament it finds itself in. Duh!
So, in honor of Indigenous Peoples month in this country, I would like to offer some ideas on how we can better relate to our precious Mother Earth. Stay tuned.
Saturday, October 22, 2022
Some more thoughts on freedom:
The enemies of freedom do not argue; they shout and they shoot. (William Ralph Inge)
The really important kind of freedom involves attention, and awareness, and discipline, and effort, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them, over and over, in myriad petty little unsexy ways, every day. (David Foster Wallace)
The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave. (Thomas Jefferson)
Saturday, October 15, 2022
A couple more quotes to chew on:
The most dangerous illusion from which free men suffer it the widely held idea that freedom maintains itself by the mere fact of its being. (Dorothy Thompson)
You never win freedom permanently. You have to win it time after time . . . whether it's union right, civil rights, or equality for women. We have to keep at it and at it. (Millie Jeffrey)
Saturday, October 8, 2022
Here are a couple of pithy quotes to ponder:
Very few people really care about freedom, about liberty, about the truth, very few. Very few people have guts, the kind of guts on which a real democracy has to depend. Without people with that sort of guts a free society dies or cannot be born. (Doris Lessing)
Freedom is not a state; it is an act. It is not some enchanted garden perched high on a distant plateau where we can finally sit down and rest. Freedom is the continuous action we all must take, and each generation must do its part to create an even more fair, more just society. (John Lewis)
Saturday, October 1, 2022
This is the month of cooler weather, trees losing their leaves, and scary holidays. It's a time of transition and change. But is the change something to fear or something to anticipate and prepare for? That's something to ponder.
In our country, we are on the cusp of another election. Some of us receive our ballots early so that we can vote by mail. In this time of decision-making, are we acting out of fear or avoidance, or are we participating in positive action?
It seems that our times are shifting away from the normal and the comfortable. With difficult and complex problems facing our society, the different approaches to solving them can be stark. Is your candidate offering superficial ideas, blaming others (especially minority ethnic groups), or trying to control you with fear-based ideas? Or is your candidate acknowledging that these problems are complex and will need all of us to solve them? Do you feel afraid or empowered when you hear the candidate talk?
So, in this time of decision-making, I would invite you to empower yourself and take action. Vote for those who support positive change that would help the least powerful. Do not vote for those who invoke fear or lies or paranoia. Opt for those who recognize that we are all in this together and we need to work together to protect what we hold most dear: our freedom.
So, if you are called as a citizen to vote, please do. This is important. Do not count on others to do it for you. Every voice counts. Even yours. Even mine. Please vote.
Saturday, September 24, 2022
Saturday, September 17, 2022
Here are some excerpts from The Dalai Lama's Cat.
"The purpose of Buddhism is not to convert people. It is to give them tools so they can create greater happiness."
"Most people think that their only option is to change their circumstances. But these are not the true causes of their unhappiness. It has more to do with the way they think about their circumstances."
"It is the wonderful paradox," he continued, "that the best way to achieve happiness for oneself is to give happiness to others."
"Turns out that it's not so much what you're doing that makes you happy. It's whether or not you're being mindful of what you're doing. The important thing is to be in the direct state, attending to the here and how. Not in the narrative state" -- he spun his index finger beside his temple -- "which means thinking about anything except what you're actually doing."
Words of wisdom, from a fun cat story.
Saturday, September 10, 2022
Last week I was bemoaning the fact that book publishers seem to ignore the category of "spiritual fiction" and how hard it was to find a book in that realm. But be happy, dear reader, because I found a very engaging book, and lucky for me, it is the first in a series. Huzzah!
The book I am talking about is David Michie's book The Dalai Lama's Cat. Since I love animals, this is doubly delightful because this is told from the point of view of a cat. A Himalayan cat, to be precise, who is saved from certain death by the Dalai Lama and is adopted by him. The cat, who goes by many names, has a rich interior life and is eager to understand and apply various Tibetan Buddhist teachings.
And author David Michie is a wonderful teacher. He has written other non-fiction books on Buddhism and mindfulness, and he knows how to interweave these teachings in a compelling story. Although I wish the copy editor had done a bit more thorough job, I still highly recommend this book. Enjoy!
Saturday, September 3, 2022
I was away for a few days and wanted a new book to read, so I did a quick search in the category of "spiritual fiction." I needed a break from some of the heavier reading I had been doing lately, and it sounded appealing. Sadly, book publishers do not seem to offer much in this realm.
It's a pity, really, since people seem hungry to explore spirituality in various forms, and the fictional realm lends itself to delve into how facets of spiritual traditions (or non-traditions) can work in various situations. Not only can the reader experience a different life in a different time and place, but also the character's belief system and how it helps or hinders them.
That's my reasoning, anyway, in why I decided to write The Gemini Bond. I wanted to see how various characters would react when confronted with unusual circumstances and how their belief system might evolve or change.
But book publishers don't seem to see the market for this and the choices were few. However, I was lucky enough to find a book that I have come to enjoy very much. I'll share that with you next week.
Saturday, August 27, 2022
Here are some thoughts to ponder for today:
Some people don't like change, but you need to embrace change if the alternative is disaster. (Elon Musk)
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. (Frederick Douglass)
Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. (Barack Obama)
My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So, let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. (Jack Layton)
Saturday, August 20, 2022
Last week was a call to action, a plea for us to stand up and engage our Masculine energies to help our planet and those living on it.
How can we do this? I can think of a few ways, but I ask you to think about some additional ideas.
Here are some ideas that I have:
- Create a website (if one doesn't already exist) that lists companies on a scale of how they treat their workers, the environment, and their customers. Do they put profit ahead of people? Are they exploiting people in the Third World, paying them pennies a day? Are they using renewable resources? Are they egregious polluters?
- Vote. Vote. Vote. Your voice matters. After you vote, keep in contact with your local, state, and national leaders and let your opinions be heard.
- Do something that helps Mother Earth. Pick up trash. Recycle. Use as little oil-based fuels as possible (bike, take public transportation, or drive EVs instead). Encourage the use of solar or wind power by letting the people who oversee your local utility company know your opinion. Plant a tree. Donate to Earth-protecting charities.
- Keep up the vision that our world can get better. That we, as a species, can evolve. That we can take off the veils of ignorance and greed and power-hunger and grow up.
Saturday, August 13, 2022
Last week I was ranting about how for-profit private prisons, paid for with our tax dollars, are profiting on the "selling" of prisoner labor to local and national businesses. I believe this to be another form of slave labor, and it infuriates me.
I also promised that this was relevant to this blog and begged your patience. So, here it is.
I have said many times that in order to be ready to join with our Twin Soul, we need to first balance the male and female parts of ourselves. So many of us in the New Thought realm prefer to stay safely nestled in the patchouli-scented Land of Om. We like to keep our energy high and unflustered, our mind at peace. I totally understand that and believe that it is an important part of self-care (maybe without the patchouli).
But that is staying solely in the Feminine part of ourselves. We are nurturing ourselves, and perhaps those around us, and contributing to the All with peaceful thoughts, but please look around! More than this is needed right now.
We need to balance that with the active, Masculine part of ourselves. We need to act, people.
Look around. Not only are people being treated as expendable resources, but many, if not most, companies operate on the model of profit first, people second (or last). Our leaders have taken that model as they put their own re-election ahead of legislation that may help people and the planet. Power and greed seem to run this planet right now, and we are reaping the results. The climate is heading toward a catastrophe, and the human species, along with many others, risk extinction. (On my darkest days, I think that perhaps the human race deserves it, after how they have treated this planet and each other). I believe that some of the things we are experiencing right now -- mega storms, record-breaking floods, severe droughts, huge fires, pandemics and so on -- are just the warning signs of what could come.
Action is needed. We need to stand up and call upon the Masculine parts of ourselves. More on this next week.
Saturday, August 6, 2022
Sometimes I read about things that make we want to climb up on the roof and scream with outrage. You, too?
Recently I read about how prison officials are using prisoners to do "volunteer" work for local businesses for a wage far lower than the federal minimum. Some of these business leaders, I had thought previously, were good, upstanding people, involved in the community and serving in various leadership roles. But they are profiting on what is basically slave labor. If the prisoner gets injured, too bad. If they don't want to do the job, they are punished. If they want to better themselves and prepare for life after prison by getting an education, that gets second place. It is infuriating.
When I was a youngster, I remember visiting some relatives in a Southern state. My uncle's house abutted a prison facility. From his back yard, I remember watching through the fence to the fields on the prison property. As I watched, a chain gang -- in their black and white striped prison uniforms, shackled to each other at the ankles -- was led out to work in the fields. I remember at least two prison guards on horseback holding long rifles as they watched the prisoners work under the hot sun. As I looked closer, I remember noticing that nearly every prisoner was African American. Even as a young girl, I recognized this as another form of slavery and it made me mad.
Prisons (in this case, for-profit private prisons) are making money on the very people who need rehabilitation and education, not exploitation and cruelty. Is this who we are as a country? Is this what we truly value? Has greed so corrupted our soul that we see every human as an expendable resource?
Yes, I needed to rant, but it is relevant, if you will bear with me. More on this next week.
Saturday, July 30, 2022
And to complete this month's theme, I offer some more thoughts on what freedom means:
For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. (Nelson Mandela)
Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it. (George Bernard Shaw)
If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. (John F. Kennedy)
Saturday, July 23, 2022
And more thoughts to ponder:
What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or in the holy name of liberty or democracy? (Mahatma Gandhi)
Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves. (Abraham Lincoln)
Saturday, July 16, 2022
Here are some thoughts on freedom:
People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use. (Soren Kierkegaard)
Did you ever wonder if "idealogue" and "idiot" come from the same root word? (Celina Pavan)
Saturday, July 9, 2022
In my part of the world, it is time to vote for governmental leaders. I ran across a quote that I will definitely keep in mind as I mark my ballot.
I fear that in every elected office, members will obtain an influence by noise not sense.
By meanness, not greatness.
By ignorance, not learning.
By contracted hearts, not large souls.
Saturday, July 2, 2022
Saturday, June 25, 2022
Some thoughts for today:
Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures. (John F. Kennedy)
If you don't know the guy on the other side of the world, love him anyway because he's just like you. He has the same dreams, the same hopes and fears. It's one world, pal. We're all neighbors. (Frank Sinatra)
Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding. (Albert Einstein)
Saturday, June 18, 2022
Here are a couple more interesting quotes from the book, The Forty Rules of Love, by Elif Shafak. Enjoy!
East, west, south, or north makes little difference. No matter what your destination, just be sure to make every journey a journey within. If you travel within, you'll travel the whole wide world and beyond.
Patience does not mean to passively endure. It means to be farsighted enough to trust the end result of a process. What does patience mean? It means to look at the thorn and see the rose, to look at the night and see the dawn. Impatience means to be so shortsighted as to not be able to see the outcome. The lovers of God never run out of patience, for they know that time is needed for the crescent moon to become full.
Saturday, June 11, 2022
Last week I was discussing Elif Shafak's brave book, The Forty Rules of Love. It was an interesting exploration of spiritual intimacy in two stories, one set in the thirteen century featuring Shams and Rumi, and the second one set in modern times with a timid housewife and an aspiring author who happened to have penned the first story.
If you are wavering as to whether to explore this book yourself, I'll offer some juicy tidbits:
"Intellect and love are made of different materials," he said. "Intellect ties people in knots and risks nothing, but love dissolves all tangles and risks everything. Intellect is always cautious and advises, 'Beware too much ecstasy,' whereas love says, 'Oh, never mind! Take the plunge!' Intellect does not easily break down, whereas love can effortlessly reduce itself to rubble. But treasures are hidden among ruins. A broken heart hides treasures."
"Loneliness and solitude are two different things. When you are lonely, it is easy to delude yourself into believing that you are on the right path. Solitude is better for us, as it means being alone without feeling lonely. But eventually it is best to find a person, the person who will be your mirror. Remember, only in another person's heart can you truly see yourself and the presence of God within you."
Saturday, June 4, 2022
A while ago I finished a most interesting book, The Forty Rules of Love, by Elif Shafak. I must say it was a brave book by a brave writer because it tackles the relationship of Shams and Rumi while at the same time examining whether a man and woman in modern times can have a similar spiritual intimacy.
The story flip-flops between two stories. The first is the thirteenth century story of Shams' calling to act as a spiritual catalyst in Rumi's life, their eventual meeting and how it turned Rumi's life upside down, to Shams' death and Rumi's grief. The second story involves a modern housewife and mother whose marriage has grown stale, her children nearly grown and needing her less and less, and her increasing involvement with an author of the first tale, The Forty Rules of Love.
I wish I could say that I found the story of Shams and Rumi as portrayed here to be believable, but sometimes I felt like it had too much 21st century sensibilities creeping into the story. The second story was somewhat more believable, although I'm not sure the ending really rang true. It's a little hard to understand how a timid housewife would suddenly cast herself into a whole new life so suddenly like that. Still, the stories were fascinating and stuck with me for quite a while.
I think that the whole genre of spiritual fiction needs to grow as it explores eternal themes in a fictional setting. The author, Ms. Shafak, should be commended for taking the leap and daring to plumb the depths of spiritual exploration.
Saturday, May 28, 2022
I wanted to share one more quote from Anita Moorjani's amazing book, Dying to Be Me. It talks about how she connects with her inner guidance. She contrasts this with being driven to please people and being externally focused. After her near death experience, she learned to be internally focused. One of the interesting things she learned is that her internal world is reflected in her external world.
I found that having an inside-out view means being able to fully trust my inner guidance. It's as though what I feel has an impact on my entire universe. In other words, because I'm at the center of my cosmic web, the Whole is affected by me. So as far as I'm concerned, if I'm happy, the universe is happy. If I love myself, everyone else will love me. If I'm at peace, all of creation is peaceful, and so on. If things seemed challenging, instead of trying to change them physically (which is what I did pre-NDE), I began checking in with my internal world. If I'm stressed, anxious, unhappy, or something similar, I go inward and tend to that first. I sit with myself, walk in nature, or listen to music until I get to a centered place where I feel calm and collected. I noticed that when I do so, my external world also changes, and many of the obstacles just fall away without my actually doing anything.
And she believes that our internal state affects others as well.
When we get in touch with that infinite place within us where we are Whole, then illness can't remain in the body. And because we're all connected, there's no reason why one person's state of wellness can't touch others, elevating them and triggering their recovery. And when we heal others, we also heal ourselves and the planet. There's no separation except in our own minds.
Saturday, May 21, 2022
I'd like to share some highlighted sections from Anita Moorjani's book, Dying to Be Me.
On what she learned about herself during the near death experience:
This was a rather surprising realization for me, because I'd always thought I needed to work at being lovable. I believed that I somehow had to be deserving and worthy of being cared for, so it was incredible to realize this wasn't the case. I'm loved unconditionally, for no other reason than simply because I exist.
On what she was to learn from being ill with cancer:
It was then that I understood that my body is only a reflection of my internal state. If my inner self were aware of its greatness and connection to All-that-is, my body would soon reflect that and heal rapidly.
On our true purpose in life:
If we're all One, all facets of the same Whole, which is unconditional love, then of course who we are is love! I knew that was really the only purpose of life: to be our self, live our truth, and be the love that we are.
Saturday, May 14, 2022
Last week I was raving about Anita Moorjani's book, Dying to Be Me. I found myself highlighting and dog-earing section after section while I was reading. One of the main lessons that she learned from her near-death experience was that we are all part of the One, and are wonderous, luminous beings of love. Given that, one of our main priorities in this life is to acknowledge that and to love ourselves.
Moorjani's upbringing taught her to deny herself and put others first. She found that, after spending her whole life trying to please people and squash her individuality, she was deeply unhappy and did not love or honor herself. She felt that one of the reasons she was given the near death experience (NDE) was to change all that.
Of course, that wasn't all that she received from her NDE. Her body, which was so riddled with cancer that her organs were shutting down, quickly returned to full health and she soon returned home, completely cancer free. She believes that she was given another chance in this life to spread the word about her NDE and what she learned. This books is what resulted. Its message will stay with you a long time.
Saturday, May 7, 2022
Last month I was raving about Anita Moorjani's wonderful book for empaths, Sensitive is the New Strong. I plan to re-read it sometime very soon. Yes, it was that good, with plenty of useful information that goes far beyond the "surround yourself with a white bubble" advice that never really worked for me.
Although she gives part of her story in this book, I wanted to read her first book which details how she nearly died and had a near-death experience. If this interests you, I highly recommend this book, Dying to Be Me. What I most admired about her account is how she found the words to describe in detail what she experienced on the other side.
As her body lay dying, she reports that her spirit was able to travel to see the doctor speaking to her husband down the hallway from her hospital room, she was able to see doctors and nurses working on her body, and she was able to see her brother on an airplane flying to be with her. After that, her spirit went to another place where she met with her father and best friend, both of whom were already deceased.
Her description of that place, and her feelings about her own self, are beautiful and almost poetic. She reiterates again and again that her spirit is part of the One and that it is wonderous beyond all imagining. That is one of the main lessons from her experience there -- that her spirit is far greater, luminous, and magnificent than she ever dreamed. And that is her message to us all -- that we are beautiful, amazing beings of light and love. A fascinating book.
Saturday, April 30, 2022
Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways. (The Dalai Lama)
Not one of us can rest, be happy, be at home, be at peace with ourselves, until we end hatred and division. (John Lewis)
When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace. (Jimi Hendrix)
Saturday, April 23, 2022
I wanted to share a couple more quotes from this fabulous book, Sensitive is the New Strong, by Anita Moorjani.
On how we empaths deplete ourselves:
"I want to stress again a few of the common ways we deplete our life force energy, which may either lead to an illness or prevent our bodies from healing from one: We give of ourselves until we're drained, but we don't know how to receive. We don't know how to recharge our batteries. We feel guilty when we feel happy or do something good for ourselves. We don't believe we're worthy or deserving of positive things. We're stressed out all the time, perhaps by our relationships, our finances, or our jobs. We're lonely or grieving or suffering a trauma of some kind that goes on for a prolonged period of time."
On how to fix that (this is fleshed out much more in the book, another reason to buy it!):
"It's not what you do -- it's what that activity does for you. Everything that nourishes your soul and recharges your light is a spiritual activity."
Moorjani stresses over and over that the key to keep from depleting ourselves is to love ourselves first. That's hard for many empaths, who have spent their lifetime putting others first. But this is crucial, the author argues, and spends a good part of the book showing how we can do that. I can't recommend this book highly enough.
Saturday, April 16, 2022
Last week I was discussing Anita Moorjani's must-have book for empaths, Sensitive Is the New Strong. I'd like to share some snippets of wisdom from the book. Perhaps they will speak to you as well.
On why we are here:
"Empaths are highly advanced souls being incarnated on earth in increasing numbers to shed light into the darkness during this time of transformation."
On the struggles of empaths:
"Our downfall, or our curse, is our inability to distinguish other people's needs and emotions from our own, and our need to make everyone else feel good before we can feel good ourselves. This is what draws us out of our inner sanctity and into other people's dramas, and why it feels like we carry a heavy burden on our shoulders. We also struggle, as we've seen, with trying to fit in to a world that's not geared toward us -- we're six-sensory beings living in a five-sensory world."
On how to keep from being unbalanced by other people's emotions:
"It is not your job to absorb everyone else's energy. It is not your job to rescue people at your expense or convince them of what is possible if they don't believe you. Your only job is to empower yourself, to stay connected to your center, and allow your presence to inspire others so they know what is possible in order to heal, if it's their fate to do so."
Saturday, April 9, 2022
I stumbled upon a book that struck me like a lightning bolt -- a book that I wish I had met years ago. I speak of Anita Moorjani's Sensitive Is the New Strong. What a wealth of understanding and wisdom! I would urge you, if you are an empath, to check this book out.
If you do not know Moorjani's story, she had a four-year battle with cancer, which she almost lost in 2006. Her organs were shutting down and she very nearly died. She had a Near Death Experience. But then after experiencing the unconditional love and wonder and enveloping lightness of the Other Side, she came back to life in this earthly plane. It changed her life. Not only mentally and emotionally, but her cancer-ravaged body spontaneously healed and she recovered fully from the cancer.
Her return to normal life, however, was difficult because she was so fundamentally changed. She learned that she was an empath, and had been a sensitive person all her life. However, those very traits had some dark sides, such as being a people-pleaser and a door mat. She spent most of her life trying to make others happy at the expense of her own happiness.
And she believes that this trait is what caused her to become ill in the first place. So, she had to learn how to be an empath, and embrace all those gifts, but not at the expense of her own happiness. That is what this book teaches -- how to use the powers of the empath without depleting ourselves. Get this book.
Saturday, April 2, 2022
Did you ever wonder about the origin of April Fool's Day? I just happened to be thinking of that and decided to do a bit of research. Here's what I found:
Back in 1582, when Europe decided to switch from the Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar, the new year was officially moved back 4 months. You see, in the old Julian calendar, the new year fell on the spring equinox, around our current April 1st. So when the switch came and the new year was moved back to the dead of winter, the people who still celebrated New Year's in the spring were called fools because they hadn't caught on to the new calendar.
These poor uninformed people became the targets of hoaxes and pranks, such as having paper fish affixed to their backs and called "poisson d'avril," or "April fish," meaning that they were as gullible as an easily caught fish.
Some people think that April Fool's Day is also linked to the pranks played by Mother Nature as she foists unpredictable weather on us poor fools during spring. Who knew?
Saturday, March 26, 2022
And from the master wordsmith on the subject of peace, Martin Luther King, Jr.:
Violence is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love. It destroys community and makes brotherhood impossible. It leaves society in monologue rather than dialogue. Violence ends up defeating itself. It creates bitterness in the survivors and brutality in the destroyers.
We will not build a peaceful world by following a negative path. It is not enough to say we must not wage war. It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but on the positive affirmation of peace. We must see that peace represents a sweeter music, a cosmic melody, that is far superior to the discords of war. Somehow, we must transform the dynamics of the world power struggle from the negative nuclear arms race, which no one can win, to a positive contest to harness humanity's creative genius for the purpose of making peace and prosperity a reality for all the nations of the world. In short, we must shift the arms race into a peace race.
Those who love peace must learn to organize as effectively as those who love war.
If we have a will -- and determination -- to mount such a peace offensive, we will unlock hitherto tightly sealed doors of hope and transform our imminent cosmic elegy into a psalm of creative fulfillment.
Amen and amen.
Saturday, March 19, 2022
More beautiful words to ponder:
In a time of unprecedented challenge and evolutionary transition we must heal the wounds of the past, engage fully in the transformation of present conditions, and create a future of unparalleled dignity and beauty for all beings and for all life on Earth. (James O'Dea)
I was once asked why I don't participate in anti-war demonstrations. I said that I will never do that, but as soon as you have a pro-peace rally, I'll be there. (Mother Teresa)
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. (Margaret Mead)
Saturday, March 12, 2022
More quotes on the subject:
Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)
If you want to end the war then instead of sending guns, send books. Instead of sending tanks, send pens. Instead of sending soldiers, send teachers. (Malala Yousafzai)
I truly believe the only way we can create global peace is through not only educating our minds, but our hearts and our souls. (Malala Yousafzai)
Saturday, March 5, 2022
"Enough, already." That's my contribution to the plethora of quotes about peace and the stupidity of war. But others have been much more eloquent. Let's savor their thoughts and words on this subject:
Take your light and take your love into the world as the only weapons that we need to make this world truly glorious, truly beautiful, and astonish all of life. (Hafsat Abiola)
To replace the old paradigm of war with the new paradigm of waging peace, we must be pioneers who can push the bondaries of human understanding. We must be doctors who can cure the virus of violence. We must be soldiers of peace who can do more than preach to the choir. And we must be artists who will make the world our masterpiece. ( Rev. Paul Chappell)
Peace cannot be kept by force; it can only be achieved by understanding. (Albert Einstein)
Saturday, February 26, 2022
I'd like to offer a few more bits of wisdom from Thich Nhat Hanh's book, The Art of Communicating. Here, he talks about the six mantras of effective and loving communication.
The first mantra is "I am here for you." This sets the tone for deep, compassionate listening.
The second mantra is "I know you are there, and I am very happy." You can use this when you are with someone you love, or even like a little.
The third mantra is "I know you suffer, and that is why I am here for you." This helps diffuse a tense situation and allows the other person to vent while you focus on your breathing and compassionate listening.
The fourth mantra is "I suffer, please help." This is used when you need to vent and have another listen to you with compassion and understanding.
The fifth mantra is "This is a happy moment." This is used when two people are together and are sharing a positive experience.
The sixth mantra is used when someone praises or criticizes you. For example, when they tell you that you are the best at doing something, you think of your many mistakes, and answer, "You are partly right." Or if they criticize you, perhaps unfairly, you think of your successes and answer, "You are partly right." It helps keep your ego in check.
I found myself highlighting and bookmarking many pages in this book. Perhaps you will find it helpful as well. Highly recommended.
Saturday, February 19, 2022
A couple of weeks ago, we were exploring the wonderful book by the recently deceased Buddhist monk and peace warrior, Thich Nhat Hahn, The Art of Communicating. For anyone in a serious relationship, or anyone who wishes to have greater insight into how to communicate better with fellow Earth-dwellers, this book is for you.
Here are a couple of highlights:
"When we say something that nourishes us and uplifts the people around us, we are feeding love and compassion. When we speak and act in a way that causes tension and anger, we are nourishing violence and suffering."
"I define happiness as the capacity to understand and to love, because without understanding and love no happiness could be possible. We don't have enough understanding and love, which is why we suffer so much. That is what we are thirsting for."
Saturday, February 12, 2022
Saturday, February 5, 2022
February is the month for lovers, and I have a book I'd like to recommend for anyone who is in a serious relationship, whether with a lover, a good friend, a co-worker, or a family member. In short, this book has good advice for anyone who does not live full-time in a cave.
What is this book? you ask. It's The Art of Communicating by Thich Nhat Hanh, who passed away January 22, 2022 at the age of 95. He was a Vietnamese Buddhist monk who wrote several books, showing how to put mindfulness practice in various life situations. You may also want to check out some of his other books as well.
It includes wisdom about how to communicate with ourselves (and we so often fail to do so honestly, don't we?), communicating with others, how to practice loving speech, how to communicate mindfully at work, and communicating in difficult situations. Very helpful and practical advice! Highly recommended.
Saturday, January 29, 2022
Last week we were discussing the proper attitude to take when manifesting our desires. We always must keep in mind that we work as co-creators with the Universe and must submit our wills to whatever is best for our spiritual evolution.
That said, I think a lot of instructions for manifesting miss two key points. First, it is important that we always remember that our desires, if manifested, will affect others. I think it is best if our desires will affect them positively and help bring healing and growth to all involved. For example, if you desire to manifest a million dollars, how will that affect your family? Your friends? Your city? The needy ones in your life? It's good to consider those things.
The second things that many manifesting instructions miss is the role of emotions. The Universe, it seems, is attracted to strong emotions. So, as you build the picture of your desires, be sure to involve your emotions. If you desire a new car, what will it feel like to drive it for the first time? How will you feel when you look at it in your driveway? What sort of fun could you have with it carrying your friends around? How deep is your gratitude for it? Hold those positive emotions for at least a minute every time your build your mental image of the desired thing or situation.
At this point in our world, I would hope that we could all spend some time visualizing a better future for others besides ourselves. What would a better city look like? A more just society? A healthier environment? A healed Earth? We need so much positive direction and healing, in so many ways.
Please be a part of that.
Saturday, January 22, 2022
You have probably seen all sorts of ways to manifest things that you desire to see in your life. While I have trouble with the idea that the Universe is a giant gumball machine, giving you whatever you want if you put in the right tokens, I think that you can act as a co-creator with the Universe. Let me explain.
First, we are not totally in charge of our future. To think so is contrary to the notion that life here on Earth is for learning life lessons -- we dwell in Earth School. If we were totally in charge of our life, we would never experience those negative things that help us to grow. We would never get sick or die or experience natural disasters, and so on. That is simply not the case.
Rather, we can step into the role of being a co-creator with the Universe. We put forth our desires and acknowledge that the Universe has the prerogative to allow it to happen -- or not. Humility is key here.
So, as we create a better life, hopefully, for all, let's keep in mind that we are still students of life and remain open to experiencing those things which helps us to grow and evolve as spiritual beings. After all, that is the whole point of being here, isn't it?
Saturday, January 15, 2022
I don't know about you, but 2021 was a really tough year. For me, it was full of stress, grief, difficult changes, and hard choices. You, too? I'm sorry. Let's bid the old year a not-so-fond farewell.
Now, here's the new year, bright and shiny and full of possibilities. Many of the psychics and seers that I've read say that last year was a time of tearing down and eliminating old structures in our lives and societies. This year, they say, will be a time of rebuilding and renewal.
So, what do we do? They suggest that we envision what we want to see in our lives. Picture in your mind what it is that you would like to see. Get all of your senses involved and really build that desired future fully in your mind and hold it for minute or more. Or, if you're a primarily visual person, create a vision board. Or write out a description of what you desire. Do it consistently and hold it deep in your heart with a strong, positive feeling.
Let's create a better year. Let's create a better life for ourselves. Let's create a better, more just society. Let's create a better way to treat out planet. Happy new year.