Posts Tagged ‘compassion’

Please Call Me by My True Names

December 9, 2011

Thich Nhat Hanh

A friend told me this poem was instrumental in forgiving and healing a traumatic childhood issue. It is powerful indeed. Thich Nhat Hanh‘s message must be considered before we condemn those who have harmed us.

Here is Thich Nhat Hanh’s introduction to his poem:

I have a poem for you. This poem is about three of us. The first is a twelve-year-old girl, one of the boat people crossing the Gulf of Siam. She was raped by a sea pirate, and after that she threw herself into the sea. The second person is the sea pirate, who was born in a remote village in Thailand. And the third person is (more…)

Live as the Means, Not as the End

December 5, 2011

What does living a life of service look like? I haven’t found a better description than this one by former Secretary-General of the United Nations Dag Hammarskjold.

You are not the oil, you are not the air—merely the point of combustion, the flash-point where the light is born. You are merely the lens in the beam. You can only receive, give, and possess the light as a lens does.

If you seek yourself, “your rights,” you prevent the oil and air from meeting in the flame, you rob the lens of its transparency. Sanctity—either to be the Light, or to be self-effaced in the Light, so that it may be born, self-effaced so that it may be focused or spread wider.

You will know Life and be acknowledged by it according to your degree of (more…)

Days Away

December 1, 2011

We often read of family members or friends who have been in conflict for years only to reconcile their differences when one of them is days away from leaving this world. So the question is, if we can forgive and heal at the end of life, why can’t we forgive and heal right now, today?

Imagine your final moments with someone whom you have clashed with for years. Would you remain hiding behind a brick wall of resentment with clenched fists and clenched heart, or would you step out into (more…)

Love Is for People Who Know Who They Are

October 29, 2011

Your search for a romantic partner will move closer to fruition once you direct your search within.

Those who go searching for love only find their own lovelessness. But the loveless never find love; only the loving find love, and they never have to search for it.
D. H. Lawrence

You cannot fully and confidently give your heart to another until you (more…)

Are You Dying of Thirst?

October 18, 2011

Are you unhappy with what you have or with where you are  in life, and feel like you deserve better because you played by the rules and did everything right? Well, if you’re referring to the unwritten rules that required you to work hard, buy a home, raise a family and build your retirement account, it’s unfortunately time for a reality check. While those activities are undeniably worth striving for, the “rules” that supported them have been rendered irrelevant by societal and financial upheaval. What are the new rules? There are none.

Here’s the good news: It was never about social status, job security and financial security to begin with. It was never about your intended results, it was always about (more…)

Suffering Leads to Empathy

September 21, 2011

None of us can escape suffering. Yet the moment you embrace your vulnerability, you widen your vision and expand your awareness of the entire spectrum of human experience.

Is suffering really necessary? Yes and no. If you had not suffered as you have, there would be no depth to you, no humility, no compassion.
Eckhart Tolle

In this way, suffering forces you to humbly acknowledge that (more…)

Almost Home

July 8, 2011

I loved this poignant and powerful  song the first time I heard it. I love the quality of Craig Morgan‘s voice and the lyrics are expertly crafted. It’s an excellent reminder that every human being, no matter how down and out, has a story and is worthy of respect. Whatever someone’s choices are today, they (more…)

Of What Value Is Your Love for God?

January 22, 2011

Reading this inspiring anecdote in Finding the Joy Within You, a collection of talks given by Sri Daya Mata, the longtime president of Self-Realization Fellowship, was an excellent reminder of the power of reframing and the importance of practicing what you preach.

Some years ago, shortly after becoming president, I spoke at a function at one of our Self-Realization Fellowship temples. During the banquet that preceded my talk, a woman I had never seen before was seated near me. She was not a Self-Realization member, but had decided it was her duty to be the critic of our society and its administration.

All evening my mind had been absorbed in the joyous love of Divine Mother. Suddenly, though, this person caught my eye. It was an absolute shock to see what was in her gaze. I realized, “This person hates (more…)

A Rich and Wonderful Reward!

September 30, 2010

In an earlier post about trying to resist yielding to my ego in social situations, I wrote:

It’s helpful to remind myself that the person I’m talking to is as much a child of God as I am. Focusing on their inner divinity snaps me out of my self-absorbed mindset and naturally produces feelings of empathy, compassion, and love.

While waiting for a routine blood draw today in a medical office, I decided to swat my ego away, take the initiative and transform the way I interact with people. Here was my two-part plan:

1) Go to my heart, so I could come from a loving place instead of from an intellectual point of view.
2) Silently say to the person in front of me, “Look how (more…)

Serving Through Love, Loving Through Service

September 26, 2010

During a break in a healing workshop yesterday, I gave a shoulder rub and face massage to a friend of mine. As I was working on her, I imagined I was applying healing energy and loving intention to her spirit during the darkest moments of her life. She had lost her husband under tragic circumstances at the hands of a corrupt political regime in her homeland, then later moved to America where she worked tirelessly to learn English and support her child, living in a state of perpetual anxiety and fear for the first few years. I cannot even begin to comprehend the magnitude of the hardships she endured. But what I could do was offer a bit of loving kindness for a few minutes.

We can all do this. In fact, we do this all the time. When we (more…)

Do Not Delay Your Transformation

July 20, 2010

The greater your self-awareness and self-knowledge, the greater your empathy for others.

Each of us really understands in others only those feelings he is capable of producing himself.
Andre Gide

Your capacity to hold (more…)

What Is Good, What Is Right, What Is Helpful

June 11, 2010

The more grounded and peaceful you become, the easier it will be to distinguish your intuition from your ego.

Spiritual truth, then, is universally true and without variation through time or place. It always brings peace, harmony, accord, love, compassion, and mercy. Truth can be identified by these qualities. All else is the invention of the ego.
Dr. David R. Hawkins

Let your guard down and your ego will (more…)

Love Your Imperfections

May 21, 2010

If you lean more toward self-loathing than self-love, consider how you feel about your friends. You love them even though they, like you, are imperfect, have hurt others, and regret past actions. If you can unconditionally love your friends despite their flaws, you can learn to extend the same kindness toward yourself.

You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

Love your flaws, your insecurities, your negative thoughts and feelings, and one day soon you may (more…)

Grandmother and King

May 1, 2010

Lao Tzu

One of the most gratifying benefits of walking a spiritual path is that you find yourself changing in unexpected and wonderful ways. For instance, the more you consciously practice kindness, compassion and other soul qualities, the more you unconsciously embody these qualities and simply become them. This quote by Lao Tzu, the father of Taoism, perfectly expresses this happy phenomenon:

If you don’t realize the source,
You stumble in confusion and sorrow.
When you realize where you come from,
you (more…)

Whom Shall You Bless With Your Kindness?

December 18, 2009

When you begin appreciating every moment, you naturally begin appreciating others more. You recognize the fragility of life on this earth and vow that you will not leave any words unspoken with those you love.

If you had an hour to live and could only make one phone call, who would you call, what would you say, and why are you waiting?
Stephen Levine

As your heart expands, so does your capacity for joy, empathy, patience, and respect for others. Every step toward enlightenment deepens your appreciation for the unique gifts that every individual brings to the world.

A grateful heart is a giving heart. As (more…)

You Are Weeping For That Which Has Been Your Delight

October 27, 2009

stone-statue-of-grieving-womanGrief, whether for the loss of a relationship, a loved one, or our health, is a necessary bridge between life as we knew it and the “new normal.” Yet, immersed in sorrow, we fear that we may never again drink deeply of the cup of life.

Grief is often tinged with regret. We dream of traveling back to happier times and making the most of second chances. Spare yourself such anguish; beginning today, make the most of your first chances.

When we lose one we love, our bitterest tears are called forth by the memory of hours when we loved not enough.
Maurice Maeterlinck

Our own suffering can give us insight into (more…)