It's easy to forget that we are all perfect in our own design. Sometimes we muck it up with habits and choices that do not serve us. 

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How To Bring More Compassion Into The World

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A quality much needed in a divided world but not often encountered is compassion. Compassion is a way of connecting the love and self-awareness within yourself to another person. Compassion is more than kindness, then. It’s a natural expression of kindness and understanding when you love yourself. Without a sense of love inside, compassion has no foundation in consciousness.

There is a path to loving compassion, as with any spiritual quality.  The path has a beginning, middle, and end. Let me describe them to give you an idea of how the path unfolds.

Beginning: You see yourself as wanting and needing love, usually more than you are receiving. You may feel insecure about being lovable, and so you love others according to how much they love you or appeal to your sense of romance, sexuality, and compatibility. Relationships involve a constant negotiation between what you want and what your partner wants. The words that apply to love at this stage include passion, attachment, dependency, romance, mutual need, liking, and compatibility. The seed of compassion remains a seed.

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Floating in Kindness

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I have read that patients hear everything that is said or felt in the hospital room even when sedated or unconscious. Anita Moorjani writes of watching and hearing the doctors and nurses and her family members from “above” and seeing the connections between everything as she went through a near-death experience. I have always believed this to be true. Recently, I had my own experience of something similar, though not at the edge of death. I was sedated for a breast cancer operation, and as I came out of sedation after surgery, I had the vivid experience of writing a very detailed letter describing how extraordinarily kind everyone was in the operating and recovery rooms. I lay there feeling it all intensely as I slowly returned to conscious awareness within the “real world.” But I ask you, “What is real here?” There was no doubt in my fully conscious mind that I was remembering what I experienced during surgery and immediately after. I had felt surrounded by Bodhisattvas.*

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The Shocking Truth About Compassion

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An alcoholic demanded to return home from a treatment center. His wife felt that being home where she could take care of him was a good thing even though the staff at the center strongly advised otherwise. Once she had assisted with his return, she did her best, as she had over their years together, to love him with tenderness, encourage him to stop drinking, create distractions, and generally try to make him feel good about himself, or at least better. She appealed to his reason (this didn’t work when he was drunk), and addressed the needs of the most frightened parts of his personality when they were active. For example, he would say, “No one cares for me,” and she would say, “Of course people love you.” He would say “I am washed up,” and she would say, “You have so much to give.” He would say, “I can’t start again,” and she would say, “When the going gets tough the tough get going.”

He feared experiencing the emotional pain that years of drinking no longer masked (which is what the center would have required him to do). His wife feared his rage, mood swings, irrationality, and drinking. Three months after his return home, he drowned in his vomit in bed, too incoherent or weak to prevent his death. There was no compassion in this picture. Neighbors may have thought the wife was compassionate, but what would they think if they realized that her choices assisted his death? Her fears and his fears prevented them from listening to professionals who know about alcoholism.

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See the Good

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Every morning we have a choice: to see the world as full of blessings or full of problems. The polarities of human perception. It is we who apply the labels, the filtering process. And in doing so, we set ourselves up for either contentment or suffering. Often it is a choice between living from the head or the heart. The mind’s function is to look for problems to solve, so it sees them everywhere. The heart’s purpose is to love, so it sees beauty everywhere. It is of course possible for these two to live in balance, but only if the overall perspective is positive. Then the heart can expand its love to include the mind. Within love, the mind relaxes and looks for peace instead of discord. The two work together to bring about human harmony.

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Becoming a Vessel

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“In order for me to become a vessel, to be used, I had to have my attachments broken. You can’t be a true vessel if you’re attached. You have to be emptied out.”—Julia Butterfly Hill


The idea of becoming a vessel, or conduit, for selfless love to flow through you into the world is part of many spiritual teachings. To be of service in this way can become one of the highest aspirations for those on a deeply committed spiritual path. Julia Butterfly Hill, who spent two years living in the branches of a 1500-year-old redwood tree to prevent it from being cut down, has described her own preparation for this dedicated act of service. She let go of all physical attachments in terms of possessions, but then Mother Nature emptied her of everything else in a fierce wind/rain storm that brought her face to face with the possibility of her own death. She was “emptied out” for the task ahead.

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The Meaning of Resurrection Especially in These Times

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First you must realize you are asleep, then you wake up, then you die so you may be born. You cannot be born until you die and you cannot die until you wake up.
  -  
Jungian psychology


There are traditions across the world which celebrate Easter and the joy of Christ being risen. Storytelling is one of the most ancient natural medicines we have for the healing of our hearts and our soul. The Easter story is so powerful yet it deepens who we are in our humanity when we allow the story to be personal for ourselves. How can we allow the Christ consciousness to be born within us? 

During these unpredictable and uncertain times we are living in, we are all called to rise up. We have a profound, once in a lifetime moment to seize this window of a universal time out to quiet the noise in our minds and allow a greater connection of God to be experienced in our lives. 

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Compassion And Connection: Fulfilling Our Divine Purpose!

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As spiritual souls having a human experience, our Divine purpose on earth is to actualize into the best version of ourselves. We do this through service to others. 

Even if you don’t consider yourself a healer, we are all here to support the world’s healing. We do so by focusing on our own alignment. When we personally are aligned with the Universe, we are bringing more harmony to the world and helping to heal the collective whole. 

Compassion refers to the desire to reduce the suffering of others, and we are acting to benefit others consciously. Just as healing the world begins with healing ourselves, compassion for others is easier when we also have compassion for ourselves. We are inextricable from the whole! 

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Compassionate Action: A Radical Approach To Giving Back!

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The other day, I was on one of my rare excursions outside our home at the local grocery store. I was there with my basket of gluten-free bread, eggs, milk (okay, fine, I had a few gluten-free chocolate chip cookies in there, too!). Above the checkout area was a large, handwritten sign lettered in Sharpie that said:

“Please be kind to the staff. They are here to serve you during these trying times.”

At first, I thought, “How nice!” After all, I adore and appreciate any intentional reminder for kindness and love. 

But then it occurred to me that something must have happened to require someone to take the time to write the sign and put it up. Actually, something must have happened more than once. 

How many customers had snapped at the cashiers over the past 12 months? (I actually asked the cashier and she told me a few nasty stories!) 

How many people had sworn at the stock clerks because there was no toilet paper left on the shelves? 

How many complaints, angry voices, and frustrations had been taken out on others?

And suddenly, that sweet sign made me sad because of the hurt and suffering that was behind its creation.  

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Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: Two Forms of Compassion

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What is compassion but drifting in the immensity of life with an open heart? We bump into and pass by so many torn and budding lives along the way. Some are like us, many are not—on the surface, but under it all, we remain the same ounce of spirit carried in skin and bone. One of our jobs, then, is to learn how to relate to the cascade of others that rise and fall around us. The practice of compassion is how we learn that we are each other. And the practice of expression is how the heart knows itself.

Early on in life, there is an initiation into the practice of compassion through the commonality of our experience with others. If I have suffered and healed from a broken heart, then when I witness your heart breaking, I can easily identify with what you’re going through. If you’ve lost your job and come into my life when I’m laid off, we can easily meet in our common struggle through adversity. If I’ve felt betrayed by a friend or loved one and I’m with you when you are betrayed, we can quickly form a bond that will help each other through. This sort of compassion, based on our common experience, is an ongoing apprenticeship that never ends.

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Embodying Light

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“For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it,
if only we’re brave enough to be it.”
—Amanda Gorman

With these words, in her inaugural poem “The Hill We Climb,” Amanda Gorman opened the door wide so that the light could shine in, in all its radiance and power. Her words echoed out from the podium around the world and across the centuries. Standing invisible beside her were immigrants and enslaved people, civil rights activists and suffragists, Parkland students and pacifists, poets and day laborers. All those who have envisioned a freer, more compassionate world and lived and died for it were there in spirit to witness a shift in consciousness becoming visible at last.

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What's In Your Way?

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There was a battle ship out in the waters, and the captain was out on the bridge and observed that he could see lights and there was another ship in the distance, so he said to the signalman “Please send the message that you need to change your course by 20 degrees.” And so they got a reply back immediately, “you change your course by 20 degrees”. So then the captain said to the signalman again, “You tell whoever that they are to move the course... It's a directive by 20 degrees.” And the message came back, “you move by 20 degrees.” Finally, the Captain said, “You tell them that we are a battleship and to move their course by 20 degrees.” And the message came back, “we are a Lighthouse.”

A lighthouse. Immovable. Unshakable. 

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Breathing Peace, Breathing Hope

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A lot of people have felt they couldn’t breathe.”—Van Jones

Last November, when a new President and Vice President were elected in the U.S., many of us cried tears of relief. We felt we could breathe again, even if just for a moment. Not that the huge problems that face this country had been solved, but lighter, more compassionate voices were speaking at the national level. Possibility was appearing once again, where impossibility had ruled. Hope was arising within us, and the distant dream of a peaceful resolution of divisions seemed somehow closer. Now, in the wake of last week’s violent break-in at the Capitol building in Washington, it is even more important to hold onto that dream and to move forward in peace.

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Repairing our Hearts – Healing with the RAIN of Compassion

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Living in a fear-based society fuels the trance of separation and unworthiness. This talk explores how we can bring an engaged compassionate presence to the suffering of this trance—in our inner work, and more broadly, in healing our culture (from the 2020 IMCW 7-day Silent New Year Retreat).

I must have been incredibly simple or drunk or insane to sneak in to my own house and steal money, to climb over the fence and take my own vegetables.  But no more.  I’ve gotten free of that ignorant fist that was pinching and twisting my secret self.

The universe and the light of the stars come through me.  I am the crescent moon put up over the gate to the festival.

Rumi
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The One New Year's Resolution I Hope You Make...And Keep

2021 This one New Year’s resolution can change your life, heal your relationships, create health and well being, and heal our planet.

One of the most important aspects of Inner Bonding is opening to a compassionate intention to learn. I think a lot about love and compassion. Compassion is often more than people think it is.

Compassion does include the standard definition: the ability to feel empathy with another or others who are suffering, to be moved by the suffering and to want to help alleviate it.

 

But compassion is so much more…

It’s my experience that like love, we don’t generate it within ourselves; we open to it. Compassion, like love, peace, joy, grace and true wisdom, are gifts of spirit that we experience when we are open to learning about loving ourselves and others. These gifts are what the universe is. Compassion is a bright, light, loving energy that deeply connects you with yourself, others, animals and the planet.

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Beauty Needs No Explanation 

beauty_will Beauty Needs No Explanation

Beauty
Doesn’t need
An explanation

It is unnecessary
To describe
What is plainly seen

Beauty requires
No proof
Or evaluation

Judging what is genuine
As good or bad
Right or wrong
More or less
Is wasted attention

One’s attention
Could be on
The Beauty
Instead

Beauty does not need
To be interpreted to be validated

Beauty
Doesn’t explain
It just is what it is

Everything in creation is beautiful.

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Kids Have Plenty To Say

group-of-smiling-preschool-students-picture-id1168223108 Kids Have Plenty To Say

As a full-time kid’s musician since 1990, I have the blessing of being with thousands of kids every year.

Kids have never said to me directly
“Teach me something”

But they ALWAYS
Have something urgent
To tell me

Maybe one of the best methods of teaching
Is listening

Acknowledging
What kids have to say.
Seeing them
and their ideas as valuable
Interesting
and inspired

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579 Hits

The Most Precious Possession 

IMG_5664-_20201007-215134_1 The Most Precious Possession

I had just finished a music performance at a preschool in Minneapolis. The children were playing on the playground while I was loading my car. Lucy who is barely three was standing by the chain link fence with her hand reaching out to me. As I walked over to her, she gently said, “Here, this is for you.” “You can take it home.”

What else could I say except “Thank You!” Doing my best to echo the sweet sincerity that the tiny white pebble from the playground was given.

The object had no intrinsic value, but the gift was priceless.
Kings cannot possess riches as precious as the generosity of Lucy’s pebble.

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I don’t care how spiritual you are

family-praying-picture-id498709225 Let’s be kind, and humble

Do you want to know what makes me swoon?

Beautiful, insightful, profound writing.

I recently discovered this essay on Facebook, written by Taylor Rose Godfrey and have gotten her permission to share it with all of you. She really dives deep into the heart of true spirituality.

“I don’t care how spiritual you are. How long you can melt in the sweat lodge. How many peyote journeys that have blown your mind, or how well you can hold crow pose. Honestly. I don’t. I don’t care what planets fall in what houses on your birth chart, how many crystals you have or how vegan your diet is.

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The Power of Despair

iStock-1091233350 “What I am cannot hurt me.” Will Hale

I have selected a few quotes related to The Power of Despair from my One Light, Many Reflections collection. Savor each idea by having three or four breaths between reading each quote to contemplate and expand the meaning to yourself.

“If you are curious how to find pure love, I recommend going to a place within yourself that is so despairing all you want to do is die and then find something you are willing to live for.” Will Hale 12-8-14

“It is easy to die for what you believe in but it takes real courage to live for what you love.” Will Hale 5-24-14

“The emotions of grief come in two tones, the agony of loss and the joy of gratitude, both come from love.” Will Hale 12-15-12

“You can’t really kill yourself, because the part you can kill is not yourself.” Will Hale 12-28-14

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Caretakers of Consciousness

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We have a responsibility, those of us born on Earth at this key transitional moment in the planet’s history. A powerful and sacred responsibility. And that is to hold the dream of a harmonious world and a loving human species in our hearts at all times and to act accordingly: with love, with kindness. To keep our minds clear of fearful thought forms and influences, which are becoming more and more prevalent and strident now. Conspiracy theories of all kinds are beginning to dominate social media, and hatred of “other” is growing. Divisiveness is encroaching on compassion in the human experience. When we separate off into smaller and smaller groups, suspicious of one another, we are falling further and further away from our purpose in being here.

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582 Hits