The Burden Basket

Jamie Sams is one of my favorite Native American teachers. Her books have brought me numerous insights over the years. Today I would like to share from a chapter she wrote about Burden Baskets in her book, Sacred Path Cards.

Native American women were never asked to bear a burden heavier than their Burden Baskets could handle. When the Burden Basket  was not in use, it hung outside the home for another reason. Native American etiquette is very different from other cultures and demanded that custom being honored by all Tribal members.

It is obvious that the flap of a Tipi, Karen, or Wigwam  cannot be knocked on like a door. To receive permission to enter the Sacred Space of any Native American home, whether Hogan, Tipi, Longhouse, Cliff Dwelling, or Earth Hut,  it was necessary to scratch lightly upon the door. Since every dwelling was the Sacred Space  of the family, if there was no answer, entry was not permitted at that time. The family could be eating a meal, having a Family Council, or just wanting some privacy. The decision was always honored. No feelings were hurt because the idea of Sacred Space  was understood. Give permission to enter was granted, the Burden Basket was the reminder to the guest to leave his or her personal complaints or problems in the Burden Basket before entering another person’s Sacred Space.  The customer was honored, or the visitor was barred from entering that dwelling ever again.

To be in the present moment and to be willing to be a welcome guest requires strength of character… The internal strength necessary to keep our own counsel and bear our own burdens without inflicting them upon others,

To have compassion for the burdens of others, and yet not take those burdens on as our own, requires a strong heart. Great sensitivity is necessary for impeccable timing in knowing when and how to speak to others. Personal Balance brings the self-reliance we need to be in present time.

Today I am inviting you to consider one of the areas you might examine, clarify, and be willing to develop a deeper compassion for yourself and others.  This is an invitation to experience that depth of inner strength that brings you into a place of abiding in and living from the truth of who you are.

Love and Peace all ways.

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What Meditation Is Not

Deepak Chopra, Daily Inspiration 7/08/17, Chopra.com

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…

Enlightenment Is A Journey

Like Life, Enlightenment is a journey rather than the destination.

Do I consider myself an enlightened being? Yes….in certain areas and ways of life, I get it…I have experienced true enlightenment. In other areas, I still don’t quite get it…my journey of enlightenment is not complete. If it were, I would definitely handle some things way better than I do after all of these years.

So I journey on, staying open and receptive to higher learning, higher understanding, deeper wisdom, love, and compassion. I am learning to let the journey be its own fulfillment. To think I have “arrived” is to set myself up for disappointment and a sense of futility. That does not sound like fun to me!

May your journey, and mine, be gentle today. Peace.

Today’s Intention

Each morning I take a few moments to write down an intention for the day. I record my daily intention in a small notebook. Flipping through it from time to time brings me to a place of gratitude and peace.

An intention opens the mind and heart; it sets the tone for my day.

This is my intention today:

I live from the Truth of Who I Am…a spiritual being currently having a human experience.

I love this one and set it often:

I live from the Peace of my Soul.

What is your intention today?

What Am I Doing?

Are you content with the state of your life, your family, your world, our world? If not, I invite you to think on these things:

What am I doing to enhance peace in my own heart and mind?

What am I doing to create peace within my family? Am I expressing love and understanding? Am I owning my “stuff” rather than behaving defensively?

Do I contribute to peace in my world (family, friends, work, church)?

What am I doing to find peace with those around me who may look, feel, think differently than I do.

I was thinking about the Golden Rule the other day. When I was growing up, all of us, no matter what church we attended, were taught this simple truth:

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

As I walked and thought about this, I realized that this is something worth exploring. It feels powerful to me to evaluate what I am experiencing in light of what I am thinking and doing rather than focusing on what someone else is not doing or might be thinking.

If I want anything in life to be better, the best first step is to look at my part in the situation or relationship. Am I honestly doing my part? Am I showing up? Am I?

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 🕊🙏🏻📿💖