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!
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.
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.
All parts of creation are linked together and interchange their influences. The balanced rhythm of the universe is rooted in reciprocity.
Man is Soul, and has a body.when he properly places his sense of identity, he leaves behind all compulsive patterns.
God is Harmony; The devotee who attunes himself will never perform any action amiss…After deep prayer and meditation he is in touch with his divine consciousness; there is no greater power than that inward protection.
… Man must satisfy the laws of nature, while not discrediting the define omnipotence. He should say: “Lord, I trust in Thee, and know Thou can help me, but I too will do my best to undo any wrong I have done.”
Quotes taken from Autobiography of a Yogi, pp 182-183, (13th edition, 1998), by Paramahansa Yogananda.
True knowledge of the Divine exists beyond and apart from any need to define.
Life is often daunting. Getting older, facing serious health issues, financial challenges, and relationship struggles are just a few of the things that can create disappointment and fear for us. If these experiences go on long enough, we can begin to lose hope that things will get better and that we will be truly happy.
Several people I deeply admire have spoken in recent weeks of the importance of being a source of living hope in our own lives and, as a result, shining the light of hope in the lives of others. Their comments have caused me to spend time sitting with and focusing on this experience, this emotion, we call hope.
When I was growing up (next Monday will be my 71st birthday), I was taught to put my hope in God. I was taught that God is love. I was also taught that God is this distant being who demands that I make up for having been “born in sin” and earn his approval and love. I think I was only in third grade when I began to realize that I could never be good enough to accomplish that. Underlying that realization was the feeling that putting my hope in a God that difficult to please might not be hope at all.
In the many decades since that time, as I have been on this spiritual journey of learning to be human, I have come to understand that God indeed is love and that the truth is this: I exist and inhabit this human form because a spark of the Divine is the very essence of my being. The Divine within me is the reason I am.
Therefore, the hope that I seek dwells in the very essence of my own being. I need not look outside myself to others even though I am often inspired by others to fan the flame of that divine spark and to live a life of hope. Please do not misunderstand what I just said. We do need one another; we need Divinely-inspired spiritual teachers and guides to instruct us in the use of tools that lead us into communion with the Divine Within. We also must understand that each of us is responsible for our personal journey. Practicing the tools given by our teachers, we find the love, peace, joy, and hope that we seek.
True Happiness is found in the ability to give and receive love.
The ability to give and receive love is a Divine gift. It transcends our humanity and defies definition.
It is cultivated in the recesses of the Soul, requiring silence, awareness, and mindful presence.
When experienced, it changes everything and life becomes a divinely human journey.
May you be so blessed today, dear hearts.