March came in like a Snow Lion but the snow and cold didn’t last for long. A few days after the power was restored we replaced our parkas and toques with raincoats and umbrellas. Today is Spring (Vernal) Equinox and the Sakura (cherry blossoms) are heralding the change of season.
Volunteers make the good things in the world go round. Every act of goodwill creates a strong multiplier effect that everyone benefits from. Finding a volunteer position that will allow you to contribute your energy and skills to worthy causes in your own community means you can make a difference in the lives of others right where you live. Continue reading
Here’s a brief gardening analogy I will use to introduce what I’m about to share with my readers.
If we recognize that positively focused people are like fertilizer and rain that helps us blossom and grow in our own lives. And, we also recognize it’s not wise to pull every weed out of our gardens because they provide vital trace elements for growth, then we can likewise choose to summon up enough empathy to become the sun and fertilizer in the lives of negatively focused people. Granted we may limit our time with them, but everyone we meet is our mirror, and if we want love to be reflected back to us then we need to be the light of love in their world. Continue reading
Nature is the overbearing factor in our behavior but nurture also has a role that cannot be neglected. Early exposure to violence, combined with poverty and abuse can shape our attitudes and behavior in such a way that the damage to the psyche will contribute to the manifestation of violence in thoughts and actions throughout our lives and can result in mental illness. Continue reading
Compassion may be defined as deep awareness of the suffering of another coupled with the desire to relieve it. Our own suffering gives rise to compassion and can result in doing something for another without the expectation of return, often at a personal risk or cost. Without compassion our species would not have survived. Continue reading
Understanding the concept of suffering helps us understand and develop compassion. Suffering usually has a negative connotation yet it is a natural part of living, our cyclic existence, samsara, the cycle of birth and death. Continue reading
I am an admirer of Ani Choying Drolma, also known as Choying Drolma and Ani Choying. She is a Buddhist nun and musician from the Nagi Gompa nunnery in Nepal. Throughout the world Ani Choying is known for her compassion, her lovely smile, and her beautiful voice. Rather than just relying on prayer alone, she is using her voice to fund her school for Nepali orphans. Continue reading
Mantras can be orally chanted, intoned, visualized and/or repeated mentally to oneself. Mantras can also be sung. I love singing. Vocal improvisation and mantras are a part of my practice. In this post I’m sharing two very different versions of the Om Mani Padme Hum mantra and I hoping you will give an ear to both.
Compassion without attachment is possible. Therefore, we need to clarify the distinctions between compassion and attachment. True compassion is not just an emotional response but a firm commitment founded on reason. Therefore, a truly compassionate attitude towards others does not change even if they behave negatively. Genuine compassion is based not on our own projections and expectations, but rather on the needs of the other. – The Compassionate Life, Ch. 2 How to Develop Compassion p. 21 Continue reading
A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty… The true value of a human being is determined primarily by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. … We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive. — Albert Einstein, 1954
I believe we are capable of addressing and solving the poverty created by the class structure, self-interest, individual and corporate greed, conquests and wars and, the inappropriate distribution of resources including water and food that lead to starvation and death all over the planet. However, we may have to become tribal to achieve that.