In Honor We Hold Ourselves

868be8e27122c1683a068bd950546df1As we look at this statement we understand that it’s about holding all life as sacred.  We love the earth, the creatures, and being outside in nature.  We see the value in preserving life on earth and we try to honor others who are think differently than we do.  Perhaps the challenge of this statement is accepting and honoring ourselves as who we are.

“The primary task of spirit is in discovering and knowing the value in yourselves.”
 Maha Amma Ilowan

Within earth energy, all things serve a purpose.  Think about mosquitoes, while they may not be valuable to you, they are valuable to birds, frogs, lizards, snakes, and other insects. All life is intertwined.  Everything has a place and a purpose. Everyone matters.  We can observe the pain and suffering when certain people or entities are singled out as unimportant.  It’s easy to want to get rid of something or someone who seems threatening to us.  But that is not the way of Compassion.

When we look at a tapestry or even a piece of cloth we can see that every thread has a purpose.  When some threads are missing it creates a hole in the fabric. We all have a purpose for being here and we don’t necessarily have to know our purpose for our contribution to be relevant to others.  Bees, birds, cats, dogs, and multiple other animals don’t know their purpose but their contribution is relevant.

Beings always matter.  When someone dies, they leave a space – a hole in the tapestry of the lives of friends and family, but they may also leave a hole in the lives of people they didn’t even know.  Your life, as you are, who you are, where you are, has value no matter what your life looks like. There is a perception in our culture that one person’s worth and contribution matters more than another’s. This is capitalism – where one’s value is measured by productivity, possessions, power, and prestige.  In capitalistic machine-mind consciousness, a machine can be created to do a human task.  The machine replaces the human or animal who is then cast out and left to starve.

“Life is a privilege that has been gifted to you as a human being in order to create love, compassion, generosity, and kindness.
Maha Amma Ilowan

Consuming KidsWe are taught to be good consumers and the more we consume, the more value we have. We are taught that if we have more things, we will be happier.  If we believe those lies a problem arises which creates a tendency to compare and contrast what we have – and don’t have – with what other people have and don’t have. We might think that what others have is better than what we have. Sometimes we even want to change places with another because that person seems to be and have everything we want. There is a line in a song that says “Desire is the fire of creation.” But desire can also be the suffering of grasping the fiery wheel of samsara.

Consider: “Is a squirrel greater than a tree? In size, yes. Yet, each holds a fullness of being and purpose that is neither greater than, nor less than. A tree and a squirrel understand what they are and each finds a way to share their gifts.”

Reflect: “You have a responsibility to the earth, family, community, and life itself.  Be the greatest YOU that you are capable of being.  Share your skills and talents. You are here to use yourself up in service to Life.”

Contemplate: Some people think that having a role is binding, a limitation, but to have a role means we are of value to ourselves.  If we know our role we can be a gift to those around us and contribute to the whole. Example: Being a mother or father to small children is a role.  If we refuse to offer that role and make it a special gift, we create pain and suffering that can last for generations. To give to others is not only important to life, but to our soul.”

In this culture, we think that being busy, over-obligated and stressed brings value to our lives.  But if we serve only our task list, constantly run errands, keep so busy that we don’t have any time, or live life according to the dictates of electronic devices, how is this creating value?”

DNA-Sequencing-Is-As-Beneficial-And-HelpfulTruly we are ONE essence with all other life. Science tells us that we share 95% of the same DNA with all other life forms. This means we belong together. Our spirit’s purpose is to create a life to share with Life.  We must learn to celebrate interdependence instead of independence.

 

“We were brought here to give, love, and share. This is all that really matters.”

What If…?

What if there is nothing wrong with me?  What if there is nothing wrong with you?

apocalypse-statue-of-libertyIn this very difficult and scary time when the world we thought we knew seems to be disintegrating it becomes important to ground and center in spiritual truth.  No, I am not advocating a head in the sand, ignore the pain, and pretend everything is happening for the best attitude.  I’m suggesting that we reinforce our relationship with our humanity, with our inner goodness, with our strength of character.  I am suggesting we remember and ground ourselves in the benefactor qualities of the human race.

Because we can imagine and act on our imagination humans have created many amazing, beautiful, and positive things in this world.  We have also created, through imagination and action, genocide, poverty, destruction, hatred, bigotry, and war.  As we know the beginning of both heaven and hell reside in the use of our own mind.  It resides in the way we think and speak of others and the way we think and speak about ourselves.  As we become overwhelmed by hearing and seeing the dark side of human behavior let us also look for and listen to the good in our young people, in the actions of our brothers and sisters around the globe.  Let us remember that hard times call for heroic action.  The heroes of old are calling your name.  Many children, women, and men are listening and responding in protection, compassion, and a renewed sense of purpose.  Protecting all of life we nurture and defend what is precious.

hand-846092_1280-2-custom-1Here are some things to consider as you cultivate the hero within you:

*You are living your life the best you know how and attempting to get better every day.

*You make mistakes, like everyone else, which allows you to gain wisdom.

*You’re unique, whether you’re introverted or extroverted, practical or a dreamer, technical or artistic, book smart or street smart…however you are…you are the only person just like you on the planet.

*If you do what you enjoy and don’t harm other beings, you’re living a beautiful life.

*You will never become someone because you already are someone.

*If someone hurt, you…you didn’t deserve it…no one does…and it didn’t happen because of karma.

*It’s OK to feel your emotions and respond to them.  If you need to improve the way you respond; well everyone could use some improvement in that area.

Chaos, confusion, darkness, fear, anger, grief…these are all perfectly understandable emotions in this time of upheaval and potential destruction of the values we were taught was the American Way.  The Buddha once said, being with what is we can respond (not react) to what is.  We respond by knowing who and what we love- the Earth, the animals, the children, compassion, generosity, and fearlessness.  We respond by maintaining the knowledge of our inner goodness and working to create a world we can proudly leave to our children.

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And if, like the Jedi, many of us are destroyed, then like the Jedi we will rise again and defeat the darkness of hatred, greed, and anger.  The Force is with us!  We are unstoppable!

What Now?

Delusions are inexhaustible.  I vow to end them.

challengesAs we awake from our distorted view of what it means to be a proud American it’s important to renew our faith in a Dream that Really Works.  Our leaders are calling for unity but have yet to define a true vision that could bring unity.  Unity can’t happen when some people are left out.  Unity can’t happen when civil rights are only for those holding the majority view of religion, ethnicity, gender identity, and country of origin.  The Constitution, we were taught, was written for everyone.  Although historically quite a few people were left out of that equation- African Americans, Native Americans, women, slaves, Asians, and anyone else considered less than or unimportant in the white, male dominated eighteenth century.  But it doesn’t have to stay that way!

A Dream that Really Works must take into consideration the very stuff that allows Life to Thrive.  The first step is providing all beings, not just human beings, with those things: Clean air, pure fresh water, an abundance of untainted food, a safe secure home, the ability to follow one’s true calling, the ability to be well and cared for in childhood, in sickness, in old age, and in death. And the ability to be free from unnecessary suffering; such as torture, beatings, name calling, profiling, bullying, unjust imprisonment, abandonment, and starvation.

With eyes wide open we can see that almost none of these basic life needs are being met for All People, let alone all beings- not here in the United States anyway.  If we actually want to unite in common cause this is the Dream we could attempt to implement.  This vision requires the decency of kindness, compassion, and a generosity of spirit unparalleled during any other time of history.  Perhaps it’s time for a new history…a history that doesn’t create pain and suffering for its citizens, that doesn’t marginalize people…a history that allows the word human to mean humane.

GoldenRuleThroughout time great beings have given us the formula for this dream.  Do, say, behave with others only in a way you would be willing to experience personally.  The earliest record of the existence of this blueprint for humane behavior was in ancient Egypt 1650 b.c.e.

 Empathy.  Walk a mile in another’s place. If our governmental leaders Really want to be a the leaders of all the people it would be a step in the right direction if they practiced the Golden Rule and then guided us on a journey so that all beings have what it takes to thrive.

We have a mountain of evil to remove from the consciousness of the world.  This mountain is created from enemy consciousness, misogyny, gender discrimination, white supremacy, greed, violence, and destruction of the Earth.  Prayer is the only force capable of crumbling that mountain.  Prayer first for compassion and empathy in Our Hearts. Then, Prayer to awaken compassion and empathy in All hearts.  If we have faith in the power of prayer, even if it is as tiny as a mustard seed, we can move that mountain!

Above all remember: WHEN THE WORLD IS TOO HARD TO STAND-

KNEEL AND PRAY FOR AWAKENING!

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Spirit’s Plan For Us

9ff62d1c0d6f7e33e4a09489d59de107There’s a plan for us in this life devised by soul before we were born.  We are here to implement that plan to make a contribution within the world that only we can make.  We chose to be born in a certain family hoping we could make a contribution to that family.  The other places we set our destiny into motion are: Community, Friends, Companions, our Nation, our Earth, and the Sacred.  We are not here to be self-fulfilled but spirit-filled, love-filled, and joy-full creators of something original and new.

We are workers of the Light for the Divine Sacred Way of love, joy, and peace.  We can start by choosing a portion of that divine inheritance (love, joy, peace) that comes naturally to us.  Our task is to be a preparer of the way, a pioneer, an innovator, a creator of something that was once thought to be impossible.

Life only works if we have a plan.  The path of Spirit only works if we have a plan.  Nothing is gained by waiting for the perfect opportunity.  We must be fully engaged in both life and the path of Spirit.  It doesn’t matter whether we are happy if we don’t create opportunities to share that happiness with as many other beings as possible.

selfish-manThe path of life is definitely about us.  What we want and don’t want, what we think should happen and what we think should never happen to us.  The plan of Spirit means we are creating as much good for other beings as we have created for ourselves and our families.  Meaningful work means generating an attitude of service.  Without true heart service all work is meaningless.

Humans are not meant to be alone.  Rampant psychological problems come from being alone.  We need community.  We are herd animals and need a place to belong.  We may long to find ourselves, but the only self we will find is through our connections with others.  By the age of seven most people have created a lifetime of core beliefs.  From that time forward there is only the same mental, emotional, and habituated inner roads to travel.  But maybe everything in our minds is not a precious memory.  Maybe some of those thoughts are erroneous.  Maybe some of our emotions are stones weighing us down.

20150824_092516People used to sift flour to get out the stones.  We need to sift our lives to get rid of the stones.  Humans only consciously remember about 10% of their lives.  The rest has gone into brain storage, somewhere.  Review the last two weeks.  If they were ordinary, we remember very little of what happened.  Most of the time the events of our lives are not important enough to remember.  To remember who we truly are as spirit beings requires effort, daily, hourly, minute-to-minute effort.  This is why we cultivate a life of meditation, prayer, and study in order to remember something worthwhile and beautiful!

What are you remembering?  Is it of true value for your soul?

The consciousness of the western world tends to be one of guilt, shame, blame and punishment.  One of the first things we ask when something happens is:  Who did it?  Why did they do it?  What is going to happen to them now?

From childhood we learned that if we don’t lie about things, we will be punished.  We are terrified of making mistakes, to accidentally do something that will bring punishment down upon our heads.  We are so used to expecting punishment that we punish ourselves through cruel, critical inner dialogue.

We need to think of a new plan for our lives.  While we can’t change the western mind consciousness all at once…we can start changing the way we think, what we choose to believe, and what we choose to share.  Restorative justice means everyone is forgiven and allowed to begin again.  f2c793b49f2c477ebc950aaae5f2d847The Beauty Way is restorative justice.  The world above me is restored in beauty, the world below me is restored in beauty, the way before me is restored in beauty, and the way behind me is restored in beauty.  My voice is restored in beautyIt is finished in beauty.

So why remember negative incidents and characteristics about ourselves?  We don’t deserve it.  Let us throw out thinking errors!  Let’s not wait to see what life brings us.  Get a paddle or a motor and drive the boat upstream.  Only dead fish go with the flow.

An affirmative plan is to celebrate ourselves.
It forces us to remember the good.  Freed from guilt and blame it’s easier to make changes from the standpoint of infinite possibilities. Let’s challenge ourselves instead of punishing ourselves.

The path of Spirit is a dance of joy!
Make a daily plan to design a celebration of joy, laughter, love, happiness, and generosity.  Create something memorable that isn’t suffering!
Choose a sacred word of the day and make room in your life to express it.

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Ahimsa

The first law of Ahimsa is non-harm to self.  The second is non-harm to all living creatures.

Non-harm is using Great Spirit’s tools of love, compassion, forgiveness, and kindness to function in everyday life.  The usual reaction to uncomfortable interactions is anger, grief, pain, or fear.  Sometimes we recognize these emotions as symptoms and warning signs but mostly we just react based on those feelings. Rarely are the reactions of fear, anger, grief and pain expressed in a non-harm way.

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The key to a life of non-harm is balance.  Balance is always appropriate. Even love and joy can be overdone and become harmful.  Moderation and common sense are as helpful on the spirit path as they are on the path of life.

Non-harm begins with the self.  What you feel about yourself is what you feel about other entities. What you believe is happening to you is what you perceive as the intent of others. Develop compassion and self-respect for yourself and it will be easier to accept and and respond compassionately to others.

Non-harm is a space of thanksgiving and appreciation for all life. When what we experience from our decisions is a sense of flourishing- comfort, safety, joy, compassion, love, and acceptance we can trust that our decisions are based in Ahimsa.  We know our decisions are harmful when we experience the need for secrecy, resentment, guilt, fear of disapproval, discomfort, and/or shame.

Peace is the active expression of non-harm. When we feel full of life we feel safe. There is no need to react to, with, for, or against the behavior of others.  We become centered in a place of life and have no need for either approval or disapproval.

On the path of spirit we come to understand, and have name for our longings.  We name them love, joy, peace, abundance, and enlightenment.  We know these things are desirable.  We feel it is only right to strive to make them happen.  Sometimes in this striving for what we know as good we may forget that Spirit Truth can only remain Spirit Truth if it is allowed to be true for everyone around us.  Does this mean we must become a martyr to the desires of others? Of course not.  It only means that a true child of Spirit will consider the needs and feelings of others as well as pursue good things for themselves.

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As this new days dawns
May I know the desire to unfold in beauty.
It is my true wish to know love and share that with others.
May I be a light in the world
That will bring peace to all the hours of the day.
Nothing can keep me from my good!

I know that other beings love their life
May I refrain from harming them.
All creatures desire to live, not to die
Therefore I shall cause harm to no other being.
In this way I shall also be free of harm to myself.
I shall look upon all others
With the same love the Great Spirit looks upon all of us.
May this road lead me to enlightenment!