As I watched this video, it reminded me of a scripture from the New Testament which said there were two commandments we are to follow, First, “the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these" (Mark 12:30-31). Other spiritual writings teach a similar lesson; we are to love God and we are to love our neighbor as ourselves.
That raises a question similar to the one raised in the video. Who are our neighbors? Who are they? Read More
For the last several weeks, our Wednesday night group has been listening to a five-hour workshop by Pema Chodrom about releasing fear and living with courage and compassion. In it, she has talked about how Bodhisattva training encourages us to give up our separateness and act upon our deep connections with others. Over the course of these conversations, we have focused on how similar we are to each other. Yes, we have things about us that are unique, but we have far more in common with each other then we often times realize. As we practice being compassionate, we begin the process of releasing our resentments and cravings, and opening our minds to new relationships, courage, and compassion for others. Chödrön demonstrates ways to practice the four limitless qualities of loving — kindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. Last week, we did a meditational practice where we began by breathing in relief for suffering for someone we were close to and exhaling peace and healing in their lives. We could have actually started with ourselves. However, in her workshop she began with those we would want to pray for, then to more neutral parties in our life, and finally with those whom we would resist praying for in our lives. Read More
Have you ever found yourself getting angry or irritated at someone? One of the things I learned about anger, and any emotion, is that it can only stay alive for so long on its own. So when we stay angry or irritated for a long period, it is because at some level we have made a commitment to keeping it alive. Did you know an emotion has a natural life of about 30 seconds? If it lasts longer than that, it is because we are choosing to keep it alive. So when we stay angry all day, or for years, it is because we are choosing to stay angry. There is nothing wrong with a feeling, however, it is important for a feeling not to control us or become our identity.
The other night someone asked me if I ever got angry. Read More
A few days ago, I read this quote by Sylvia Bookstein, which read, “Don’t just do something. Sit there.” I had spent some time thinking about what this means to me personally, but this morning as I was thinking more about trust, I began to think about how it is one’s meditation practice, which awakens our ability to trust in the knowledge that all the wisdom and compassion we need in life is already within us. When I take the time to sit there and spend time with me, then I become more aware of all of who I am, the good, the bad, and the ugly. I get to sit with my passions, my aggression, my wisdom, and my ignorance. I remember Pema Chodron talking once about a form of meditation, which meant tranquility insight. It was through this approach to meditation, which one was able to get to know each other. We gain peace and trust with and within ourselves when we get to know all of ourselves. Read More