How can we begin to heal the world?

healingtheworld How can we begin to heal the world?

If we are to help heal the world, we need to remember that it is a sacred place.

Our actions need to be positive statements, reminders that even in the worst times there is a world worth struggling for. We need to find ways to keep the vision alive, to acknowledge but not get caught in the dark side. To remember that even the worst aspects of suffering are only part of the whole picture. We need to enter lightly.

Entering lightly means not ignoring suffering but treating it gently.

We don’t want to ignore another’s pain, but our becoming depressed or angry about it doesn’t relieve it and may increase it. The delicate balance is in allowing ourselves to feel the pain fully, to be sad or angry or hurt by it, but not be so weighted down by it that we are unable to act to relieve it. It is a matter of ends and means again: to create a caring, loving, peaceful world, we need to act with care and love and peace.

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165 Hits

Mark Nepo's Weekly Reflection: The Range of Our Compassion

dont-worry-im-here-for-you-picture-id926537622 The Range of Our Compassion

Dogs can hear well beyond the range of human hearing. In California, it’s been reported that dogs have heard the beginnings of earthquakes before seismographs could register their initial tremor. In just this way, there are those of us whose ability to feel, see, and hear others is beyond our normal range of compassion. We call them empaths or psychics. And we often discredit them because what they know because is beyond what we can sense.

A central physic of the heart is that the range of our compassion is widened each time we experience suffering or love. Like a mud-filled pipe that is hollowed out by the rain to carry water underground, the force of each experience clears us out. Listening, expressing, and writing are conscious ways to clear ourselves out and to expose and extend the range of what we feel. And so, the artist or poet in us is that deep part of who we are that keeps extending the range of our compassion.

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209 Hits

Compassion Towards All: Moving toward a Plant Based Diet

compassion Compassion Towards All: Moving toward a Plant Based Diet

For most of human history it’s been “normal” to eat non-human animals. This is now changing. We are awakening to the massive suffering of the billions of animals killed each day for food, the horrors of the animal-food industry, and the impact it has on climate change (second only to fossil fuels.) In this short talk Tara shares her personal story of transitioning to a vegan diet, and invites listeners to investigate, without judgment, their own choices in this domain.

NOTE: this short talk was given at a special class on “Loving Life with a Plant-Based Diet.” Tara was joined by guest speakers, Mark Tercek (The Nature Conservatory) and Brenda Sanders (Afro-Vegan Society), and hosted by Jonathan Foust. Full video available at Tara’s Facebook page and soon at IMCW.org. Evening concluded with a wonderful vegan food-tasting donated by Yes! Organic Market.

When the animals come to us,
asking for our help,
will we know what they are saying?
When the plants speak to us
in their delicate, beautiful language,
will we be able to answer them?
When the planet herself
sings to us in our dreams,
will we be able to wake ourselves,
and act?

Gary Lawless

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183 Hits

Let’s Be Ambassadors of Reconciliation

first-spring-flowers-crocus-picture-id506139864 Let’s Be Ambassadors of Reconciliation

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”  — Rumi

The other day, the priest at my church said something that caught my attention. He spoke about becoming what he called an “Ambassador of Reconciliation.”

“Are there individuals you have chosen to walk away from?” he asked. “Are there individuals you have chosen not to walk toward?”

If so, he said, then perhaps you should see yourself as an Ambassador of Reconciliation: a person who can bring reconciliation to a person or a situation that needs healing.

This got me thinking. Where can I bring healing to my life? Where can I be an Ambassador of Reconciliation? Who have I walked away from? Who have I not walked toward?

I am a big believer that we all need healing. I believe we are all walking around wounded, and that those wounds play out in all of our relationships.

Whether we care to admit it or not, sometimes we don’t even know why we are so angry, why we are so hurt, or why we have such a strong reaction to a certain person or situation in our lives.

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137 Hits

How can we cultivate a compassionate heart to find freedom?

compassionateheart How can we cultivate a compassionate heart to find freedom?

We all know our humanity too well.

That is why we put the focus on recognizing the part of us that isn’t stuck in the human-ness. Not to deny our humanity, but rather to bring it into balance through a compassionate heart.

That’s what you offer another person. When I look at some of you, I know you have problems with addiction and sexual obsessions, problems with loneliness and problems with anger, diseases and frigidity. I see the whole sea of stuff and you tell me about it, and I see curriculum after curriculum.

I see a group of beautiful souls on earth, each having its own karmic work to do.

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300 Hits

The Power of "We"

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Human beings came to this planet to learn how to live together in peace. To realize and express the love in their hearts through compassion and kindness. It’s a simple as that. We didn’t come here to accumulate wealth and material possessions while others have nothing. We didn’t come here to distrust and hate everyone who is not an exact carbon copy of our beliefs and physical appearance. We didn’t come here to build walls and wage wars against difference. While those may be the polarities the human species experiences along the way, our final destination is beyond all those divisions and separations. Ultimately, we came here to recognize that “I” alone is incomplete; only in “we” do we find strength and commonality in being alive. Only in loving ourselves and others are we made whole. As the song says: “We are the world…”

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360 Hits

How to Celebrate with Peace

peace-meditation-love_orig How to Celebrate with Peace

My son and I touched down in Anchorage at 3:30 in the morning. I was relieved to see the streets clear of snow; it was an easy drive home. I was looking forward to the feeling of being settled. At home, I lit some candles, exhaled and experienced peace.  

The last few days I had noticed some feelings of stress. The holiday season had arrived. Thanksgiving was just a few days away. I could also feel the pressure of every day matters. I had emails, appointments and family obligations that had piled up over the last week. 

This historically has been a personal struggle of mine. Is it possible to stay connected to peace during the holiday season? This is the time of year that is often depicted as magical. It can be amazingly wonderful; but it can also difficult to stay connected to the most important aspect; love and peace.

The next morning before I started my meditation I recognized how much I enjoy our home. It is filled with good feelings. The energy from our prayers and meditations fill my favorite rooms. The mountains are visible thru the windows. The trees behind me share the energy of protection. I easily slipped into a deep meditation.

My awareness shifted. I was greeted by love, a version of each of us.  The veil evaporated. Everything fell away except the feelings of love, peace and protection. I was home again. There are no limitations of time, size, or quantity.  It is simply recognizing heart and soul. This is where our true self is. 

I say simply... because it is with the gentle shift of awareness that we all fall into peace.

My morning meditation reminded me of my personal need to bring the holiday season back to my heart, my center. It is here that I am able to bring love into my actions that create each day. 


To experience the holidays with joy; I keep my energy focused on my heart. I keep it simple. When I begin to feel scattered or spread too thin, I bring my awareness back to my heart. This is where I need to be, to pull the magic into my holiday experience.  

Write a New Holiday Story..and Still Honor Your Memories

colette Write a New Holiday Story..and Still Honor Your Memories

Dearest you,

Hope you’ve been having a week of balanced self-care after the dunk and immersion in the holiday frenzy. (for my friends in the USA I’m referring to your Thanksgiving Holiday – for the rest of us – we feel ya!)


For many people, it all begins now and it’s like being on a racing freight train fueled with escapism and angst and sugar, yep there is that. For those of you who suffer empathy overload and end up either fatigued and foggy or also confused because extra weight shows up on you overnight from all the stress, try and find ways to detach, go get grounded by walking in nature, and take lots of Himalayan salt baths, and breathe.

Here’s my go-to advice for the whole season.

You can also say NO and say it a lot to manage it all, but there’s a new normal, (or abnormal is the new normal) and we need all the help we can get to remain positive and certain within while the uncertainty on the outside prevails.

While we can tune out temporarily, we can’t ignore what’s happening in the world. I believe humanity is experiencing this for a reason. It’s all a precursor to a more cohesive peaceful world. And the sky is always darkest before dawn.

Call me a hippie-dippie granola grinder Pollyanna but I believe in the soul of humanity and I believe Love is the only answer. And we have a long way to go.

And, It’s also true the world is getting increasingly difficult for sensitives. Who knew watching the news could make you swollen and exhausted? Now the holidays? Oy Vey!

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235 Hits

The Jewel in the Lotus: Cultivating Compassion

pink-lotus-flower-on-a-pond-picture-id580088194 The Jewel in the Lotus: Cultivating Compassion

The compassion that arises from mindful awareness can heal our inner wounds, interpersonal conflict and the suffering in our world. These two talks focus on cultivating self-compassion and compassion for others. They look at the blocks to compassion and accessible powerful practices that awaken the full wisdom and tenderness of our hearts.


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357 Hits

Your Compassionate Heart

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You have one. We all do. It just gets covered over with a protective shell of fear about your own survival. Or it is buried and forgotten in a busy and sometimes frantic daily life. We get lost in our own worries and concerns and forget about the others we share the world with. We lose sight of the fact that everyone else around us is living lives very similar to our own at the most basic level, beginning with birth and ending with death. Yet isn’t life about more than that really? Aren’t we greater than the events of our lives? Isn’t there a thread that ties us together, in spite of our differences?

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428 Hits

What Is It Like Being You?

dogquestion What Is It Like Being You?

Compassion is hard wired in our organism, and can be cultivated. This talk helps us identify the blocks to compassion—our outmoded survival equipment—and using RAIN, offers practical guidance in mindfully attuning to others’ emotional experience and awakening our natural tenderness and care. This talk includes a short introduction to the meditation: The RAIN of Compassion.

Empathy is the ability to feel what other people feel… compassion includes empathy, and it also has the quality of caring and concern that wants to help. Compassion means “to suffer together,” but it is really defined by a quivering of the heart that wants to help…

Compassion is our evolutionary potential. We have a capacity for affiliative care, to tune in to each other and to care about each other. And, really, this capacity is the hope of our world…

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481 Hits

Sure, Honey, but...

Sure, Honey, but... Sure, Honey, but...

“Sure, honey,” my mother used to say. “I appreciate how you feel…” My mother was very empathic – in her way.

 

“Empathy begins with understanding life from another person's perspective. Nobody has an objective experience of reality. It's all through our own individual prisms.” ---Sterling K. Brown

 

Then: “But…”

 

“Sure honey, I appreciate how you feel but,” she would say, “-but, remember, there’s always somebody in the world who’s worse off than you.”

 

Well, it’s true. It’s true for every one of the 7 billion of us (except one person, pray for him). As a kid it was frustrating. It didn’t deal with the problem or my feelings. So, when I (still) hear those words in my mind, I relegate them to the “Cold Comfort” file. When my mother’s mother came to visit and I was crying, she would crouch down to be eye to eye with me and say, “Ohh, you’re crying – we have to get the Crying Towel…where is it? Can you find it? Let’s get the Crying Towel…” Cold Comfort. Another would be, “So far you’ve survived 100% of your worst days – the odds are in your favour.” True, but similar to yelling “Calm down!” at someone suffering from a panic attack.

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355 Hits

The Art of Compassion

The Art of Compassion The Art of Compassion

Have you ever found yourself standing in line for a ticket, when someone pushes in front of you saying they’re going to miss their train if they don’t get their ticket quickly? You have two choices, either to be really annoyed and irritated or to show compassion and extend forgiveness. Of course, you don’t know whether they would miss their train or not, as you don’t know their situation … but to extend your forgiveness by trying to put yourself in their shoes, to appreciate their situation is much harder to do. For all you know, they might have young children in daycare or school, and if they miss their train, they won’t be back in time to pick them up.

I’m fascinated on a spiritual level that many of us don’t always see that compassion is all about that deep level of connectiveness between ourselves and others. Being able to demonstrate compassion proves that we can push the boundaries of our tolerance and understanding beyond what we believe. It’s worth the time and effort to explore how to push that boundary of understanding further, and with practice it’s possible to become even more compassionate.

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656 Hits

Accepting Life in Motion and Feeling

laurie-moore-accepting-life-in-motion-and-feeling

The following is an excerpt from The Cat's Reincarnation: Transformative Encounters with Animals.

 

We learn the same life lessons again and again, delving more deeply into the essence of these. We spiral and cycle through love that lightens, expands, and falls further into the endless each time we revolve through a familiar lesson with a loved one.


When I treat life with a willingness to cooperate, all life becomes my teacher and my lover.  Recently I experienced some cramping during my menstrual flow. Believing that my ovaries have a life of their own and were expressing something to me, I decide to be my ovaries for a while. I took my consciousness into my ovaries. I placed my feeling awareness right in my ovaries. It became apparent that some sorrow was living there. I saw pictures of events that had happened many years ago which had lodged themselves in my ovaries. As I remained fully present, fully accepting of the ovaries' experience, the pain intensified. I was one with the pain so it no longer hurt.  I was placing my consciousness in the ovaries instead of analyzing them. The pain was merely a sensation. As I remained present, the pain subsided. I took the pain to my heart (a practice suggested by Margaret Ruby, who is the founder of Possibilities DNA) and forgave it. My ovaries felt a tingling joy. I was in love with life.

During a visit,  Feline Sno's person tells me that Sno has become calmer since the two of us recently spent time with one another. Sno has also repeated being stand-offish among some guests. My heart tells me again that Sno is a very loving and sensitive little being. I feel her to be playful, and she affirms this is so. These are her thoughts sent through my heart. We feel and think together. She sends me heart-telepathic pictures of herself as an acrobatic healer, bringing me great delight and joy. When I approach her she hisses. Her outer behavior doesn't  match what I feel she is communicating to me from within so I remain curious.

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477 Hits

If you had an open heart, what would you do with it?

If you had an open heart, what would you do with it?

When I talk about opening the heart, what exactly do we do? Well, one thing you do is acknowledge that you feel closed. That’s the first thing. You don’t make believe you’re open hearted, which most people do much of the time, when they are actually a little more aloof than they’re feeling themselves to be. They always feel a little hypocritical.

First thing is to acknowledge what you’re feeling. I’ll tell you there are numerous practices for doing this, and you have to find one that’s comfortable for you. For example, I work a lot with my breath, and I breathe in and out of my heart, and when I’m breathing out in my heart, I allow whatever love I can muster for anything to be offered to people, to beings around me, and when I’m breathing in, I’m taking the existence of the universe into myself. I keep feeling this breath going back and forth and the breathing out is, ‘may all beings be free of suffering, may all beings be peaceful, may all beings be happy.’

I’m just saying to myself that no matter how hard-hearted or closed hearted I am, I am going to use my energies to the extent that my mind and my heart can do it for the benefit of others. I’m gonna wish them well, and I start out very uptight, you know, so I start out and then I watch.

 

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1034 Hits

Losing Heart and Having Heart in Troubled Times

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When you “lose heart,” you become discouraged and lose hope. When you “have heart,” you keep your faith and trust in spite of the odds. We are living at a time in which both of these options present themselves. The shadow side of our collective consciousness in the United States is coming to the fore, and we are seeing people fiercely hanging on to privileges and prejudices as if their lives depended on it. In truth, it is their identities, their egos, that depend on belief systems based in hierarchy and entitlement.

The 1% believe they have earned their place at the top of the heap and that those they have stepped on and profited from in order to get there are losers and leeches. Minorities and immigrants are targeted as threats to an elitist, white-male status quo. The exact opposite of the values of democracy and equal rights that this country is supposedly founded on. Of course, those founders were also white, male, and many were slaveholders, so the underside of American “freedom” has always existed.


When the rest of us look at this scenario, our hearts are tested. Will we lose hope or will we keep our faith that the imbalances will eventually right themselves? To paraphrase (and update) Thomas Paine: these are the times that try human souls. Can generosity, compassion, and loving-kindness eventually prevail in a society like ours where the accumulation and hoarding of monetary wealth and material possessions, as well as the oppression of entire segments of the population, is so widespread? Classism and racism overlay our so-called democratic society, to say nothing of sexism.

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  1419 Hits
1419 Hits

My Religion is Kindness – Part 2 ~

My Religion is Kindness – Part 2 ~

Authentic kindness must include the life within us. These two talks examine the movement from an armored to a free and loving heart. The first looks at how we can awaken from the trance of unworthiness and establish a genuinely caring relationship with our inner life. In the second we explore how self-kindness awakens us to the heartspace that naturally includes all of life.

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  389 Hits
389 Hits

My Religion is Kindness – Part 1 ~

Tara-Brach-My-religion-is-kindness

Authentic kindness must include the life within us. These two talks examine the movement from an armored to a free and loving heart. The first looks at how we can awaken from the trance of unworthiness and establish a genuinely caring relationship with our inner life. In the second we explore how self-kindness awakens us to the heartspace that naturally includes all of life.

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  2129 Hits
2129 Hits

How do you free up your consciousness for people who are suffering?

ram-dass-How-do-you-free-up-conscious

People ask me now, “Are you happy these days?” and I say, “Yes, I am. I’m very happy,” and they say, “Oh, that’s good.” Somebody else says, “Are you sad these days?” and I say, “Yeah, I’m sad.” That was a very big one to find out, cause I grew up in a world where in order to be happy, you had to make believe you weren’t sad.

It was a great relief to understand that all the emotions are present in every moment, and somehow they’re present in their unmanifest or imminent form; and then within a moment is something that awakens grief or pain or joy, or preciousness, or humor… you’re just dancing through all the forms of life, and what I saw was that as long as I had aversions, I couldn’t be free, and until I could be free, I couldn’t see anybody else.

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7934 Hits

Saving Grace—Elephants, Dolphins, and Whales (video)

elephant

Elephants, dolphins, and whales are three of the most intelligent, grace-filled beings on Earth. In this week’s video blog, I talk about my own experiences with them and offer a prayer/plea for their survival. May we humans open our awareness and step away from cruel and heartless behaviors that endanger the lives and well-being of these magnificent creatures we share the planet with. Save the elephants. Save the dolphins. Save the whales. Save all animals. And in doing so, save the sweet grace they embody in their lives.

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  696 Hits
696 Hits

30 Simple Ways to Create Balance and Connection

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