What Ahimsa (Do No Harm) Doesn’t Mean

As many of you know, Ahimsa or Do No Violence/Harm is a fundamental principle of yoga and meditation. This morning I am feeling a different aspect of this divine legacy.

In order to live my Truth so that I am not harming myself, I will at times make decisions that upset other people. It isn’t my desire to do that and yet it can happen. I may be told that I have hurt another and that person may truly feel hurt or angry with me. My response must come from love and compassion rather than defensive righteousness and yet I must remain true to my path, my guidance. I must also allow the other person their feelings.

There are times when my tender understanding can ease another’s suffering though I may not be able to alleviate the source of it. When the reaction of another is frustration and anger because I am behaving in a way that they cannot relate to or that they cannot control, it is not helpful for me to plead my case or try to make that person feel better. I must honor their journey and allow them to experience their own discomfort. Most often this is what stimulates us to expand our understanding and to grow.

Compassion does not require me to take responsibility for another person’s journey. It does require me to be faithful to mine with an awareness of the sensitivity or suffering of another so that I do so with wisdom and understanding. Divine Love will allow me to be frustrated and to suffer when I am beating my head against a wall of my own making. It is my responsibility to become willing to see that wall and then be willing to tear it down. I must allow others to do the same.

The only spiritual journey I am able to walk is my own. Wisdom and understanding call me to follow the teachings and guidance of the Masters so that my journey shows compassion for myself and others. If I try too hard to help another person feel better, I may be interfering with Divine Grace in their life.

Live with awareness and love today, dear hearts.

No Need For Fear

What is there to be Afraid of?

Pure light is what we are made of.

 

I sit listening to a cd written, performed and recorded by my Soul-brother, Gary Lynn Floyd. It is from a song titled “Pure Light,” from his cd titled “my 88 keys, Vol. 1, unplugged.”

I have nothing to add that would enhance those two lines.

Thank you for reading this. I love you for doing so! Blessings.

Listening To The Rain

It rained all night. We need this and I love the sound – have my whole life. As I sat in the moments just before dawn, meditating, I let myself think of all the ways nature touches my mind and heart. This morning I kept imagining the dark night sky. When I lived in Vegas the darkness was only true if there was a power outage. Artificial light drowned out all but the brightest of stars. Here in Southern California, the night sky is a tapestry of twinkling designs. Then I began to envision blue skies and all types of clouds. When my son was very little, his favorites were the “big puffy clouds.” I still smile when I see those and am filled with gratitude for what my two children taught me through their brand new eyes.

Darkness and Light. Two sides of our human, earthly world. Two halves of each day, though not always a true “half” as we move through space around the sun. Do you ever stop and realize the entire planet is in motion? So many things to consider in our earthly existence.

What if there were no darkness?

Would we live in caves or underground to escape heat and cold or to sleep deeply enough to dream and restore our bodies and minds? Would there have been a need for fire, and eventually electricity, if we had never faced true darkness? Would men have sailed the oceans without the stars to guide them? Where would our dreams of other worlds and other realities have come from without those lights in the night sky? At times we would still have seen the moon but never its luminosity.

As many of you know, black and white photography is a favorite of mine because it clarifies the lines and edges of what I am seeing. When I am confronted with what many see as darkness in the world, I realize that I am also being confronted by the remaining shadows within myself. I also see my own sharp edges. I may also be reminded of times in my own life when my behaviors were closer to darkness than light; times when my own fear caused me to cling to dying belief systems and defend them righteously. Even though the change was not dramatic in most ways, I have not always been where I am today.

Light softens the darkness just as Divine Love, Grace, softened my heart and mind. I know that if I abide in and live from the Truth of Who I Am it will soften the darkness of my present world and allow others to see and hear more clearly. It will show me my place when action is needed. It will grant me wisdom when others need lifting up. It will bring someone to me when I need the lifting. Light softens the darkness and allows those who are ready to see and hear more clearly that still, quiet voice within that leads us to the Love and Light of Truth.

The darkness emphasizes the light, dear hearts. So let’s shine for all that we are worth! Let’s laugh and love more than ever! Let’s keep respecting ourselves and each other. Let’s stand up for those who have spent their lives fighting for the right to be. Let’s love and protect our planet and support those dedicated to saving it.

Light travels the universe. Light expands. Light softens the darkness and uses it to emphasize its own brightness. Let there be light! 🌞

 

 

Strangers Are Wonderful Too

As I waited to board the plane, I decided to find a seat in the first five rows. It was a short flight so a middle seat would be fine. They called the flight and, as I boarded, I reminded myself to look for that seat near the front. I found it in the fourth row and settled in between two young women. Once we took off, the young woman in the aisle seat cordially began a conversation. Before too long, the one to the left joined us.

The topic of conversation turned to fear of flying when we felt the plane respond to air currents over the mountains. Both women shared a fear of flying. One had learned to deal with it quite calmly; the other was only beginning to fly after a frightening experience. As women are prone to do, we had quite a lengthy discussion. What impressed me was that these two women, less than half my age and I am almost 71, were so open and honest with themselves and with us. One said, “Please don’t share exact details. I do very well now but details can still trigger me.” The other responded, “Of course! What do you do to help yourself because I am getting anxious right now?”

I sat back and listened as one gave useful and compassionate responses to the other. As the conversation slowed, I offered my insights on using breath to calm the body and mind. I also suggested that regular, simple meditation techniques are effective. Further details are not important.

As the plane landed and we prepared to disembark, we all thanked one another for an interesting and fun time together. We had shared our fears, our desires to be more balanced and ultimately our laughter and encouragement. We all agreed that it seemed like a twenty-minute flight rather than an hour.

My discussion with one of the women continued at baggage claim. Why am I not surprised that our bags were side by side!

I left the terminal smiling. What a wonderful experience! Strangers discovered common experience and spent an hour compassionately supporting one another in powerful ways. Openness of mind and heart, whether sharing or responding, made the trip easier for one as she  gave another real hope for her future travels. Though I do not have a fear of flying, it isn’t as fun as it used to be so I do avoid at times. This trip made me want to go again!

When you lead with an open heart, you aren’t really strangers after all. Love and peace abound. I will smile every time I think of those two lovely, open-hearted young women. May they be abundantly blessed. As may each of you.

All There Is

ALL  THAT THERE IS…

exists in this moment

comes from the Creator

is who I am

is who you are

is filled with infinite possibilities

is truth manifesting

is love unfolding

even when it doesn’t feel like it

so…

how I experience All That There Is

depends upon

the level of my awareness or consciousness

what I believe about the nature and purpose of life

how consistent my spiritual practice is

my being open and mindful

being in community with like-minded people

letting it be easy

having fun

loving myself and others

remembering that ALL THAT THERE IS

is eternal

transcends time and space

includes, but is not limited by, what is happening in this lifetime

is LOVE ITSELF

is THE DIVINE SEEN AND UNSEEN

May we all unfold into the art of letting it be easy. Peace.

Synchronicity

I love when stuff like this happens:

I set my intention for today – “Today I live my Truth in Grace.”

Then I went to the Chopra Center web site and read the Daily Inspiration – “My future depends mostly upon myself.”  Paul Roberson

 

These two thoughts have a beautiful synchronicity in my mind because I believe this moment gives birth to the next. Fulfilling my intention for today directly affects my tomorrows.

Love and Peace.

A Human Tendency

Have you ever noticed how your mind has a tendency to go to the one thing in your life that worries you or makes you sad? Everything else can be wonderful but you get hung up on that one thing? Welcome to the human race.

So, if it is part of human nature at times to dwell on what makes me sad, then I am given the opportunity to lean into and live from my spiritual nature.

It is a spiritual practice to return over and over again to what I believe is true. The emotion of the moment that creates my discomfort becomes the u-turn sign that points me within. When I turn within, I connect with the Divine, the Source of all life, all love, all peace and contentment. Now I am able to experience contentment even as I acknowledge sadness, worry, fear, etc. I can even have fun!

It is a practice and practicing means to do something over and over until it becomes natural to you. Remember that, even when it becomes natural to you, there will always be the need for consistent use of the practice to maintain your peace and contentment.

Love All Ways.

Daily Habits for Peace

I am passing this on from Deepak Chopra’s website http://chopra.com

7 Days a Week: Daily Habits for Peace

The balance of peace in the world can seem overwhelming, as if huge forces outside your controller in charge. But you can take a different perspective by setting a goal for yourself of creating peace all around you. The worlds wisdom traditions teach that the source of violence, war, discontent, rebellion, and unrest lies inside each of us.  When you become a unit of peace and consciousness, exemplifying the quality known as Ahimsa (harmlessness) in Yoga, you have added a unique way to bring in the world to a state of peace.

Develop your pease consciousness by focusing on a different have it every day of the week.

Monday: Habit #1-Being Calm and Centered 

Peace is the natural state of the mind at its deepest level. Non-peace begins in small ways, when you are worried, restless, distracted, uneasy, or dissatisfied. Today be mindful of those signals from your inner world. When you feel them, take a moment to return to your calm space. Either meditating or simply sitting in a quiet space with eyes closed and taking easy, deep breath’s, works very well. Today’s habit is learning how to act upon early signals that peach isn’t there inside.

Tuesday: Habit #2-Non-participation

To be a unit of peace consciousness, don’t participate in the opposite attitude, which magnifies the reasons to be unpeaceful. Today, avoid conversations that include gossip, blame, backbiting, and discussions of how terrible the world is. You don’t have to be a Pollyanna, acting as if everything is already perfect. Simply focus on not participating when you can feel that the situation is turning toward anger, resentment, envy, and hostility in any form.

Wednesday: Habit #3-Taking No Side

Peace consciousness wants peace to be equally shared by everyone. This isn’t possible if you take sides, judge against others, or indulge in us-versus-them thinking. Today, be aware of everyone’s right to have peace. When you find yourself reacting with a knee-jerk response against a certain person, group, faith, ethnicity, or belief system, remind your self that you can hold a different viewpoint while still wishing peace for all concerned.

Thursday: Habit #4-The Intention of Peace 

Peace consciousness becomes more powerful as it deepens. One way to deepen your awareness is to put an intention out to the universe, which really means connecting with your higher self. Today, anytime you witness or confront a situation that needs a peaceful resolution, ask inside that the way to peace be opened for everyone. Sit quietly with this intention for a few moments, letting your heart go out to those not at peace.

Friday: Habit #5-Commune in Peace

When people of peace get together, they magnify their consciousness. Today, find a way to commune with someone else who wants peace. This can be through sitting with a child and absorbing his or her innocence, or discussing the topic of peace with the sympathetic person. You might consider joining a group that is working at any level of peace, such as preventing violence or helping troubled teens. Feel the warmth of sharing your peace with others.

Saturday: Habit #6-Selfless Service

Peace consciousness wants to be of service. It does little good to be at peace passively and isolation. Today, allow someone else to feel the peave you have found by being of service. Let yourself experience the kindness, goodwill, and compassion you can bring to a troubled situation. Your service can be as modest as visiting the elderly or as active as joining a community outreach project. Your aim is to give and receive at the level of peace that benefits both people at the same time.

Sunday: Habit #7-The Soul’s Peace

At the deepest level, there is infinite peach. Undisturbed by the play of opposites and the clash of darkness versus light. From the soul’s perspective, there is only pure Being. Today, take time to meditate on your true nature as unbounded love, compassion, reverence for life, and unity with the divine presence. See the light expanding from your heart in all directions.  Let simply being here be enough.

Soak up the beauty of Nature and realize that you are an indispensable part of the journey to enlightenment that lies ahead for everyone who steps onto the path. Just as there is only one state of pure Being, there is only one peace, which blesses every person equally.

Namaste

NAMASTE is  most often understood as a greeting, much like aloha. The deeper meaning can be expressed in a number of ways. The one that has brought the most understanding to me is based on being one with the Divine, with All That Is:

 When I am truly one with myself and you are truly one with yourself, then we are truly one.

From my personal experience I know that, when I am disrupted  or fractured within myself, it is impossible for me to know true oneness and peace with another.

It always comes back to the same thing, doesn’t it? What I desire to experience in my life, when I actually experience in my life, must begin with me.

The election is over. No matter what side of the fence – or has it become the wall? – I was on or you were on, what happens next and what unfolds in the days to come depends on  each of us letting “it begin with me.”

Aum Shanti Hum. I Am Peace Itself.