Just For Today … Focus on Personal Connection

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Nurture kindness through personal connection.  Try to bring awareness to those moments of disconnectedness. Or, alternately, why not designate an hour of your day to go ‘hands free’ instead?

Years ago, we didn’t have to try so hard to stay connected. People lived in neighborhoods, and there weren’t many strangers that didn’t ultimately become friends. We watched over one another with relationships built upon a foundation of shared interdependence, ensuring plenty of kindness to go around. Sadly though, through our own scientific progress, we now live in an age of ‘connected disconnection.’ Even the most basic of needs are provided by faceless entities. But, at what cost?

“We are all so much together, but we are all dying of loneliness.”  — Albert Schweitzer

 

This is how nurturing kindness through personal connection looks … how ’bout it?

Spiritual Alchemy ~ Understanding Blame

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When we blame others for the things that happen to us, we are mistaken.

Most of us don’t believe that for a minute. But it is the truth.

Things happen. Some of them are accidents. Some of them are designed by the Divine to help us learn something about ourselves and others. Some of the are actually designed by us to help us learn something we want to learn. Some are caused by people in the grip of pain, wild emotions, drugs, mental problems or psychological disorders. Some are random acts of cruelty and evil.

What’s important to our spiritual health is not what happens to us but how we react to what happens. The event that happened did hurt us. Our reactions to that event continue to hurt us every day of our lives. We can’t stop what happened. We can stop our reactions to what happened. We do that through the simple process of understanding why we blame somebody or something else for our pain. We make a list of what happened and our current understanding of why we blame anybody or anything for what happened. We can learn to understand the evil deed they did was not them and the evil deed we did was not us.

We blame them, us or it because they, me or it did it.

We heal ourselves by understanding the other person was out of control and couldn’t stop before they hurt us. They were physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically or spiritually out of control. We heal ourselves by understanding we were out of control when it happened and that’s all there is to it. We heal ourselves by understanding the thing was out of control when it hurt us and that’s all there is to it.

What we need to do is accomplish this aspect of our spiritual alchemy is to the best of our ability at this time. Healing always follows such an effort in Journaling.  So, break out the laptop, PC or book journal and go through this self-examination process:

  • List and understand what you blame your father for doing to you

  • List and understand what you blame your mother for doing to you

  • List and understand what you blame your child or children, brother or brothers, sister or sister, aunts, uncles and cousins for doing to you

  • List and understand what you blame your grandparents, great uncles, great aunts, nieces, nephews and all your other ancestors for doing to you

  • List and understand what you blame your friends, fellow students and fellow employees for doing to you

  • List and understand what you blame your enemies and antagonists for doing to you

  • List and understand what you blame all other persons whatsoever for doing to you

  • List and understand what you blame yourself, your mind, body, attitudes, beliefs, intentions, health and actions for doing to you

1. List and understand what you blame your father for doing to you

For our purposes the term father refers to the male person who contributed most to your childhood. This may be your biological father, a step-father or other male figure. It may include other men or be a combination of several men. If this is the case, you may want to do this task for each of them.

Your father, whether he is currently dead or alive, is a human being complete with strengths and weaknesses. He is a product of his environment and his heredity. He is a product of the prejudices and biases of his own parents and the society in which he grew up. He was and still is imperfect and he made and may still be making many mistakes.

Your father loves you and he wants the very best for you and he always has. He always did the best he could do in everything he did based on who and what he was at the time. He never intended to harm you, but he did intend to protect and teach you as best he could based on who and what he was at the time. He was imperfect and he made mistakes.

Your task is to sit quietly, become comfortable, take a few deep breaths and write down everything you remember you blame your father for. List the things he said and did that made you feel badly and explain these feelings.

Make certain your list is as complete as it can be for now. This may take you several days. So be it. Write as long as thoughts and ideas arise and as long as you’re comfortable. Take a break when you need to take a break. The intent of this part of the task is to recall as many details as you can comfortably recall about the things for which you blame your father. Write them all down together with a description of your feelings at the time.

When you’re done try to understand what mental, emotional, psychological or spiritual illness caused him to act in this way. Yes, he may have been the cause of your pain, but you don’t need to hang onto that forever. You can let it go and that choice is yours and yours alone. When finished, go to step two.

2. List and understand what you blame your mother for doing to you

For our purposes the term mother refers to the woman who contributed most to your childhood. This may be your biological mother, a stepmother or other female figure. It may include other women or be a combination of several women. If this is the case, you may want to do this task for each of them.

Your mother, whether she is currently dead or alive, is a human being complete with strengths and weaknesses. She is a product of her environment and her heredity. She is a product of the prejudices and biases of her own parents and the society in which she grew up. She was and still is imperfect and she made and may still be making many mistakes.

Your mother loves you and she wants the very best for you and she always has. She always did the best she could do in everything she did based on who and what she was at the time. She never intended to harm you, but she did intend to protect and teach you as best she could based on who and what she was at the time. She was imperfect and she made mistakes.

Your task is to sit quietly, become comfortable, take a few deep breaths and write down everything you remember you blame your father for. List the things she said and did that made you feel badly and explain these feelings.

Make certain your list is as complete as it can be for now. This may take you several days. So be it. Write as long as thoughts and ideas arise and as long as you’re comfortable. Take a break when you need to take a break. The intent of this part of the task is to recall as many details as you can comfortably recall about the things for which you blame your father. Write them all down together with a description of your feelings at the time.

When you’re done try to understand what mental, emotional, psychological or spiritual illness caused her to act in this way. Yes, she may have been the cause of your pain, but you don’t need to hang onto that forever. You can let it go and that choice is yours and yours alone. When finished, go to step three.

3. List and understand what you blame any of your children, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles and cousins for doing to you

Use the same technique you used for your mother and father and consider as many of these people as possible. Write it all down and open yourself to accepting each person as doing the best he or she could do at the time. When finished, go to step four.

4. List and understand what you blame your grandparents, great uncles, great aunts, nieces, nephews and all your other ancestors for doing to you

Use the same technique you used for your mother and father and consider as many of these people as possible. Write it all down and open yourself to accepting each person as doing the best he or she could do at the time. When finished, go to step five.

5. List and understand what you blame your friends, fellow students and fellow employees for doing to you

Use the same technique you used for your mother and father and consider as many of these people as possible. Write it all down and open yourself to accepting each person as doing the best he or she could do at the time. When finished, go to step six.

6.List and understand what you blame your enemies and antagonists for doing to you

Use the same technique you used for your mother and father and consider as many of these people as possible. Write it all down and open yourself to accepting each person as doing the best he or she could do at the time. When finished, go to step seven.

7. List and understand what you blame all other persons whatsoever for doing to you

Use the same technique you used for your mother and father and consider as many of these people as possible. Write it all down and open yourself to accepting each person as doing the best he or she could do at the time. When finished, go to step eight.

8. List and understand what you blame yourself, your mind, body, attitudes, beliefs, intentions, health and actions for doing to you.

We’ve intentionally saved the most difficult task for last. Having gone through this process for others makes it easier for us to go through it for ourselves. But go through it we must if we really intend to become the person we want to become. Go through it we must if we wish to advance spiritually in this lifetime. Go through it we must to continue our advancement in The Sanctuarium.

When you’re finished journaling on each of these eight relationships, decide how you want to handle all the paperwork you’ve generated. You may save or destroy it at your option. If you save it, you can use it later. The Sanctuarium will never ask you for your private papers. We will trust you when you say you’ve completed the task and wish to proceed.

The Lost Art of Writing Letters

Love-Notes-Are-Always-In-Style

What is it about the written word that makes a letter so special? For one thing, nobody writes anymore; it truly is a lost art. In this day and age of emailing and texting, people don’t spend the time and effort necessary to generate a handwritten note. It’s a rare occurrence to find one in the mailbox.

But taking the time to pen a handwritten letter to someone communicates so much more than just the words on the page. It shows that we value them and, because of this, we took time out of our busy, over-scheduled lives to put pen to page and tell them truly how we feel (not what Hallmark says we should feel — anyone else think greeting cards never say the right thing?).

Who in our own lives could use a personal note from us? Let’s think about whom we could connect to in this way and then make the time to write to them this week.

 

 

Daily Words of the Buddha ~ June 26, 2014

happy facesSace labhetha nipakaṃ sahāyaṃ
saddhiṃ caraṃ sādhuvihāridhīraṃ,
abhibhuyya sabbāni parissayāni,
careyya tenattamano satīmā.

If for company you find a wise and prudent friend
who leads a good life,
you should, overcoming all impediments,
keep their company joyously and mindfully.

Dhammapada 23.328

The Dhammapada: The Buddha’s Path of Wisdom,
translated from the Pali by Acharya Buddharakkhita

Wabi Sabi Love ~ How To Love Your Imperfect Partner Perfectly

Arielle Ford woke up one year into her whirlwind marriage and realised something … Relationships are hard … But …

… we can learn to love our imperfect relationships, not despite the annoyances, but also because of them.

Sick of your partner not picking up his socks? Of always having to fix her car? Of listening to his lame jokes?

In this downright amazing Awesomeness Fest talk, best-selling author Arielle Ford shares the ancient Japanese aesthetic “Wabi Sabi” and how you can apply it to your relationship to turn what drives you nuts into a reminder of love.

Learn how to treasure the cracks, the flaws, the imperfections in the people that you love …

 

 

From This Day Forward, Be More Loving … but how?

Our ability to experience love has nothing to do with getting love from someone else. We don’t need to be good enough or gorgeous enough in order to make love a dominant part of our daily experience. We are the only person who is responsible for how much love we experience in our lives.

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So … take some time out today … each day … and get to know yourself a little better.  You might think you know everything about yourself, but chances are there are a lot of things about yourself that you have ignored or overlooked because they weren’t “important”.  Listen, and ask yourself how you are really feeling.  Get out some nice paper and a nice pen and share these real feelings, as if you were writing to a best friend.  Take this time to listen to yourself, and get used to the feeling.  Ask yourself:  what things are important to you that you are neglecting right now?

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Take action to show love to yourself by honoring something that is important to you, even if someone else might not approve or think you deserve what it is that’s important to you.

As you go through the day, stop to remind yourself that you deserve respect and admiration, just for no other reason than that you deserve love. Let your heart open, and enjoy the feeling. This feeling can become a constant companion, and it becomes something we can share with the world around us.