Developing Peace of Mind

Lines from Chapter 1, The Quest for Inner Development, from the book Essence of the Heart Sutra by Tenzin Gyatso, The Fourteenth Dalai Lama:

Our intelligence can help us overcome suffering and find happiness, but our intelligence can also cause problems.

…unhappiness created by human intelligence can only be alleviated by intelligence itself.

To do this, we must come join our intelligence to a warm, open heart. We must bring to our rationality a sense of compassion, of caring for one another, of sharing.

So when positive emotions guide intelligence, it becomes constructive. The warm, compassionate heart is the basis for peace of mind, without which the mind will always be uncomfortable and disturbed.

Only through strengthening these inner good qualities can genuine, lasting peace develop. This is what I mean by spiritual development. I sometimes also describe this as inner disarmament.

In fact, in all levels of our existence…inner disarmament is, above all, what humanity needs.

Therefore, made it begin with me. Namaste

The Art Of Happiness

The title of this blog is also the title of a book by his Holiness the Dalai Lama and Howard C. Cutler, MD.  This book was published in 1998 and I recently returned to read it again. The following paragraph is in the introduction and I am drawn to sharing it with you.

I think that this is the first time I am meeting most of you. But to me, whether it is an old friend or new friend, there’s not much difference anyway, because I always believe we are the same; we are all human beings. Of course, there may be differences in cultural background or way of life, there may be  differences in our faith, or we may be of a different color, but we are human beings, consisting of the human body and the human mind. Our physical structure is the same, and our mind and our emotional nature are also the same. Wherever I meet people, I always have the feeling that I am encountering another human being,  just like myself. I find it is much easier to communicate with others on that level. If we emphasize specific characteristics, like I am Tibetan or I am Buddhist, then there are differences. But those are secondary. If we can leave the differences aside, I think we can easily communicate, exchange  ideas, and share experiences.

These comments were made by the Dalai Lama  as he opened a week-long series in Arizona in 1993.

Here we are, as human beings, 24 years later still not embracing the reality of what he presented to the world in 1993.

My response to what I have just written is to ask myself if I am doing my part. Namaste.

Radiating Love

Love is a powerful energy, a force that creates, renews and restores.

The more you allow Love to rise within you, the more it permeates your being – body, mind, heart.

I believe Love emanates from our very Souls (or Spirits if you prefer). The Divine Spark of Life within is Love Itself in its purest most powerful form.

This Love transcends ego and personal opinion or desire. This Love makes no demands and has no agendas. This Love wants only the highest good for oneself and others.

I recognize this Love’s presence in me when a loved one is suffering and I realize that I do not know what is needed and that I cannot fix the pain & suffering my precious one is experiencing.

What I can do is let the Love that emanates from my Soul rise within me on behalf of those I love. I can send it to them in many ways. I often visualize the person bathed in Love, held in the arms of Love. Sometimes I see them showered in rays of gold & white light. Other times I see them wrapped in an amethyst or rose-colored cloud.

Divine Love knows the way my loved ones must travel to find their peace, to discover True Self and know they are loved. Divine Love has their answers and desires their wholeness. Divine Love is not hindered by wishing things were different or easier.

For my own peace, so that I can radiate this Love to them, I trust the very Source of my own life, peace, and love.

How do I radiate or send this Love? I sit quietly and feel the person I am thinking of in that moment. I am aware my loved one is suffering and the Love within begins to rise. I immerse myself in the love for that person that emanates from my Soul. I am very visual so I rather quickly begin to see them being bathed in the light of Love. I hold that image and breathe softly and deeply for a few minutes.

Simple, yes? Powerful, definitely!

This is your invitation to practice and play with the idea of radiating the Love that flows in and through you to others. 💫💖

Mindful Speaking

One of the sweetest and most powerful gifts of compassion is mindful speech. It must be preceded by mindful listening of course. I find that it also requires that I hear my own thoughts and my own inner voice. How am I speaking to myself? Do I listen to my own pain? Do I speak gently to myself, even when I need to call myself to higher ground? If not, how will I ever give this to another? When someone is talking, am I listening or am I planning what I will say when it is my turn?

We all need to be seen, heard, spoken to, and loved. What we put in, comes out. In other words, what I am seeing, hearing, saying to, and loving in myself will express itself in how I see, hear, speak to, and love others. We’ve heard this all of our lives in one form or another: karma, you reap what you sow, etc. However, have we understood that it begins with what we give to ourselves or have we believed that it is based on what we give others so that they (or someone) will give us what we need?

Tend the inner garden and you will have little work to do “out there” because you will bear ripe, luscious fruit of the soul to share freely and easily with others.

I love this! And most of this at the end I have never said or heard myself (quite like this) before!

What Meditation Is Not

Deepak Chopra, Daily Inspiration 7/08/17,

Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there,  buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.

Turn within, dear hearts. Your peace, love & compassion dwell there.

The Myth of Perfection

In the book of Matthew, chapter 5, there is a verse that says

Therefore, you are to be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.

Deeply committed Christians have used this verse form generations to judge themselves and one another. I was a bible teacher for many years and studied this verse at great length, plumbing the depths of its meaning. What I discovered liberated me and shocked my students into being set free themselves.

The word “perfect” was used in the earliest translations of the originals texts and does not convey the deepest, and most spiritual, meanings of the original word. A truer translation would be “come into fruitful maturity.” A simple example is a fruit tree. Fruit trees have to mature before they can produce, sweet, nourishing, edible fruit. And not all trees produce the same fruit.

Therefore, dear hearts, think on this idea:

Grow up into the Truth of who you are – a spiritual being learning to be human. Mature spiritually, emotionally, and mentally so that your purpose is fulfilled…so that you produce the fruit of your True Self, your Divine Essence: love, compassion, peace…

Trust Is Not A Gift

I raised my children before computers and cell phones. As they began to venture out with friends, spend nights in other people’s homes, etc., I began setting boundaries, telling them to check in with me, and being sure they had change for pay phones. One of them asked me why I didn’t trust them, after all they were my children!

This is when I began to teach them why the virtue of trust and being trusted is so valuable….because it is earned. It is proven by a history of behaviors that have shown others that they would consistently do what they said they were going to do. Now that they would be making many decisions on their own, they needed to show me that they would consistently keep agreements with me and live up to the expectations those agreements created. I also taught them the agreements must be spoken and agreed upon by everyone involved, i.e. each of them and their father and me.

I remember saying to them “I don’t trust you because you exist. I will trust you because you show me that you can be trusted.” Then I reminded them that they grew to trust me because when I said I would do something, I did it.  Over and over again.

Trust is not a gift. It must be earned.

May each of us find ourselves trust-worthy today. Blessings.