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!

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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…

Suffering Brings Happiness?

Good morning! Here I am with another quote from Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, The Art of Communication. The title of this blog is also the title of one section…though I added the question mark. The chapter answers my question of course and the passage below is a beautiful summary of his teaching.

Please breathe this in and be willing to sit with what he is saying. What we breathe into and embrace diminishes our resistance and makes life easier, more gentle and loving.

We all should learn to embrace our own suffering, to listen to it deeply, and to have a deep look into its nature. In doing so, we allow the energy of love and compassion to be born. When the energy of compassion is born, right away we suffer less, when we have compassion for ourselves, we can more easily understand the suffering of another person and of the world. Then our communication with others will be based on the desire to understand rather than the desire to prove ourselves right or make ourselves feel better.

I also believe that this level of understanding allows me to support others as they deal with their suffering. That support may at times be material but, most of the time, it is most powerful if I support another in their journey of embracing and understanding their suffering so that they develop compassion for themselves. This allows them to expand more fully into True Self, transcending definitions and expectations of what life “should” be.

Be blessed today, dear hearts, for you are loved.

Divine Love

It is said that love covers a multitude of sins. There are many ways to look at what this means.

For me, a few immediate meanings come to mind. One is that, when I love someone, I recognize and accept the way they move through life. It may not be my way, it may appear difficult or unreasonable to me but I love the person and I accept them as they are.

The much deeper meaning, for me, is that I love myself enough to recognize that I often fall short of being the human being I would like to be (to fall short of a goal is the actual meaning of the word “sin”). When I am not yet as whole, loving, and compassionate as I desire to be, Divine Love steps in and loves me and others.

Divine Love transcends my humanity, my circumstances, my frailties. Divine Love covers it all and finds Its own expression in and through me, in spite of it all. Oh yeah 🕊🙏🏻📿💖

An Intention

Trusted teachers have both taught and reminded me over the years to set an intention at the beginning of each day.  Intention is a powerful energy that guides  our thoughts and actions throughout the day, reminding us of the truth of who we are. Below are a few examples of intentions I have found to be supportive of my journey.

 

 I live from the Peace of my Soul.

I Am All That I Am

I manifest the love And compassion of the Divine.

I am Peace Itself.

I Am Love Itself.

I am One with All That Is.

I like to write my intention for the day on a small whiteboard in my kitchen. Seeing it helps me to live in the moment and to be aware of my thoughts and my behavior. Few days pass that fail to bring me opportunities to live my intention fully. Sometimes the circumstance affirms the truth of my intention; other times my intention guides me into higher awareness of my own patterns. This awareness elicits either gratitude or the desire to shift what I am thinking or doing.

May your intentions be clear, true, and powerful. Namaste. Peace dear hearts.