Love became my "true north" -- my guiding principle for acting from my highest and best self. When I am confused and upset, I need something simple and easy to remember. So my "guiding question" in a tough moment is: "What would love do?"
This plain-speaking young man in his deep red and gold robes, praying with such intent for all of us, a living Buddha in his own right, expressed a deep compassion for the suffering of the entire planet and all of the living beings on it as he spoke of the nuclear threat.
The point C.S. Lewis makes in The Four Loves is that closing our heart to the risk of heartbreak creates a living hell. The truth is that while heartbreak is extremely painful, it is not nearly as painful as the hell we create for ourselves when we hold back loving out of our fear of getting hurt.
To me, if you want to perform your best, love, compassion, spirit, and concern for others are absolutely essential, and here's why: They don't require deliberate thought. They are the byproduct of consciousness.
While full marriage equality now exists in nine states in the U.S., you can be legally fired for your gender identity/expression in 35 states. Policy change in these areas, as well as housing and education, would help create a more compassionate and just society.
Some of us get all the food we could stuff into Tupperware, and others are grabbing a nibble. This truth is a spiritual crisis. The goal must be shifted away from survival and excess and to a discipline of eating for fullness.
The holidays are stressful enough for many of us, but tack on travel and it amps it up that much more. One of the things that can help us shift out of our stress and anxiety is to become present, get outside of our heads and widen our perspective.
Where The Hunger Games are the imagined price of a failed transition to sustainable prosperity, Compassion Games are the authentic reward for successful transition. May kindness be with you in the game of life!
Every day it seems to become more apparent to me how deeply healing a practice of self-compassion is. During the difficult moments in life at times it seems as if we're wired to have a neural reaction of kicking ourselves while we're down.
In the wake of Sandy, I've been reflecting on the relatively upbeat and supportive mood around here and what it can teach us: Specifically, these questions: How come we can't pull together like this all the time?
Instead of offering disconnected but well-intentioned efforts to help children think, feel or act, would adults start to help children think, feel and act? Would communities be increasingly populated with people who were neither narcissistic nor emotionally empty?
As an exploding body of clinical research confirms that mindfulness helps reduce stress and promote healing, learning and neuroplasticity, a parallel line of study on the practice of loving-kindness has begun to converge with exciting new research on positive emotions and the brain.
I yearned to find a peaceful frame of mind from which to address the situation. It was time for some soul searching. One way I approach this is through stories told by the world's great spiritual teachers.
Hate is a powerful driving force and when repeatedly called upon, it strips us all of our humanity. As a parent, I do not forbid saying the word, but its use never goes unchallenged by a conversation with my children about what they are feeling.
When one side wins the election on November 6, the other side will lose. That's just the way it is, and I have no problem with that. But it is our reaction to each other at the point of winning or losing that spells out our future more so than any policies of the winning side.
As he hands me a paper, I hand him a dollar in exchange, and the makeshift barrier that exists between two different social classes of people is broken down by both of our authenticity in this experience.
What if we paid deeper attention to those we live with? To the earth that is our home? To our own heart? Not only would we cease to cause harm, our attention would offer the medicine that could bring healing to our world.
Seeking the shelter of the Divine, and then striving to share that shelter with others, is the essence of this time of year -- and perhaps of all holy days. Sometimes it just takes a hurricane to remind us.
I send metta to the American voter in the coming days, hoping that those many who hear the voices of evangelists and vote on biblical principles will vote on principles of the New Testament rather than the Old.