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Posts Tagged ‘loving kindness’


When you think you cannot let the world in because it is so full of heartbreak, you underestimate yourself. You think, “I can’t let any more in,” because you feel like you are breaking apart. If you don’t follow that thought, can you simply allow your heart to let it all in? Not just the current disasters, but the disasters throughout time; not just the external disasters, but the internal disasters of your own life, your neighbor’s life, your friend’s life. Just really open the heart with no resistance.
That is the letting and the facing that I speak about. When you surrender to the pain, the heart does break, and there is profound grief. In the willingness for the heart to break, separation breaks also. Unless we resist or indulge it, the concept of separation disintegrates.
I am speaking of a very sober, still opening. I am suggesting that you just let it come in, and let it come in, and let it come in. Then there is a discovery that the heart breaks totally, forever open. This is possible for everyone. And all that keeps us from that is the thought, “I can’t do this.”
Gangaji

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Sweet Darkness

When your eyes are tired
the world is tired also.

When your vision has gone
no part of the world can find you.

Time to go into the dark
where the night has eyes
to recognize its own.

There you can be sure
you are not beyond love.

The dark will be your womb
tonight.

The night will give you a horizon
further than you can see.

You must learn one thing,
The world was made to be free in.

Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.

Sometimes it takes darkness and
the sweet confinement of your
aloneness to learn

anything or anyone
that does not bring you alive

is too small for you.

by David Whyte
From “The House of Belonging”

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what makes sense?

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KINDNESS, n. [from kind, the adjective.]

1. Good will; benevolence; that temper or disposition which delights in contributing to the happiness of others, which is exercised cheerfully in gratifying their wishes, supplying their wants or alleviating their distresses; benignity of nature.
Kindness ever accompanies love.
There is no man whose kindness we may not sometime want, or by whose malice we may not sometime suffer.

~ Websters Dictionary, 1828

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When I was young, I used to admire intelligent people;

as I grow older, I admire kind people.

Abraham Joshua Heschel

Constant kindness can accomplish much.

As the sun makes ice melt,

kindness causes misunderstanding, mistrust,

and hostility to evaporate.

Albert Schweitzer


Remember there’s no such thing as a small act of kindness.

Every act creates a ripple with no logical end.

Scott Adams

In this world, there is nothing softer or thinner than water. But to compel the hard and unyielding, it has no equal. That the weak overcomes the strong, that the hard gives way to the gentle — this everyone knows. Yet no one asks accordingly.

Kindness in words creates confidence.
Kindness in thinking creates profundity.
Kindness in giving creates love.

Lao Tsu

Three things in human life are important.

The first is to be kind.

The second is to be kind.

The third is to be kind.

Henry James


The truest greatness lies in being kind, the truest wisdom in a happy mind.

So many gods, so many creeds,
So many paths that wind and win.

While just the art of being kind
Is all the sad world needs.

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another.

Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions,

and the roots spring up and make new trees.

The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves.

Amelia Earhart

There is always a way to be honest without being brutal.

Arthur Dobrin

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“It is only kindness that makes sense anymore.”

Naomi Shihab Nye

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the blossom

His Holiness, the Dalai Lama has said:

“My true religion is kindness.”

Mata Amritanandamayi, Divine Mother  has said:

” My religion is love.”

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If you can practice even when distracted, you are well trained.

If you are a good horseback rider, your mind can wander but you don’t fall off your horse. In the same way, whatever circumstances you encounter, if you are well trained in meditation, you don’t get swept away by emotions. Instead, they perk you up and your awareness increases.

Abandon any hope of fruition.

The key instruction is to stay in the present. Don’t get caught up in hopes of what you’ll achieve and how good your situation will be some day in the future. What you do right now is what matters.

Two activities: one at the beginning, one at the end.

In the morning when you wake up, you reflect on the day ahead and aspire to use it to keep a wide-open heart and mind. At the end of the day, before going to sleep, you think over what you have done. If you fulfilled your aspiration, even once, rejoice in that. If you went against your aspiration, rejoice that you are able to see what you did and are no longer living in ignorance. This way you will be inspired to go forward with increasing clarity, confidence, and compassion in the days that follow.

Pema Chodron, Bite-Sized Buddhism, Tricycle Magazine

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Caroline Myss in Newsletter, explains why it’s better to focus on what you really love than to look back on your pain if you hope to experience the true power of healing.

( I have read Caroline Myss off and on for years, and for me it is and/both. . .Without the release from the blocks of the past our life force energy becomes contracted and we are not able to move into the natural flow with is our true life experience, being a therapist for a number of years i know the deep healing found in removing the blocks to love so that one can fully reside there.  I found this to be such a tender story.)

” Many insights and experiences ultimately inspire a person to write a book. Defy Gravity, my new book, grew out of my desire to share my observations about the nature of healing. In particular, I wanted to introduce something I have come to believe is absolutely true: Healing is ultimately a mystical experience and not one that is generated by the force or determination of the power of the mind. By “mystical,” I’m referring to experiences that require grace in order to transcend the barriers of our minds, which are so often weighed down by the need to know why things happen as they do in our lives.

The truth is that when it comes to life’s traumas or sufferings that are rooted in memories of humiliation, there are no logical reasons we were the recipients of undeserved suffering—certainly not ones that will satisfy us. We can search for years to understand why we were not as loved as we should have been or why we were abused but in the end we are still left feeling hurt. Those scars, it seems, never really go away. They don’t go away because they can’t. They are a part of us. They formed us. So rather than seek to do what is impossible, we must strive to do what is essential: True healing requires that we find a routebeyond our pain so it does not control us or cause us to want to punish or control others. It’s also true, however, that we cannot “think” our way through an act of inner transformation, which is exactly what I’m describing. This type of inner work demands we defeat our reasoning minds and enlist deeper resources within ourselves, namely the power of our souls. And getting in touch with that power is without a doubt an act of grace generously given to those who ask.

When it comes to matters of the soul and grace, healing and personal transformation, I realize we’ve shifted to more etheric subject matter. So it’s been my experience that grace as a force of healing is best illustrated through a true story, and this is one that hopefully will touch your heart as deeply as it did mine. I put this in the category of a mystical healing experience because of the effect the interchange had upon the daughter and upon me. Perhaps the grace of this story will pass on to you and you too will feel for a moment what it means to “defy gravity”—that is, to be fully present in the here and now of your life, dwelling on love and not regrets. And let me tell you ahead of time that as incredible as this story may seem, this is exactly what happened.

While on my recent book tour for Defy Gravity, I had lunch at the Ritz-Carlton in Philadelphia. Seated at the next table were a mother and daughter. I learned through the fine art of eavesdropping that the daughter had taken her mother out for lunch to celebrate her 92nd birthday. Even though the mother was all dressed up, she still reminded me of a lovely little hummingbird, so tiny and fragile. As is the case with most people in their 90s, they no longer initiate conversation. So it was her daughter who did most of the talking, and since the daughter and I were practically seated back-to-back, it was impossible not to hear her as she reminisced about people who had once filled their lives.
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“Well, those people were bad news, Mom. They weren’t really that nice to you,” said the daughter.


“Oh, I don’t remember that,” was the mother’s response as she kept her eyes on her lunch, reorganizing her salad with her fork. The subject changed to the mother’s sister, and though I couldn’t hear the details (as I really wasn’t eavesdropping in full gear—yet), I then heard the daughter say: “It’s true. Your sister was no angel.”


Hearing that comment, I glanced over at the mother to see her response.


“Funny, but I can’t recall those things,” said the lovely birthday hummingbird as she kept her eyes focused on her lunch. Her daughter then shifted the conversation to memories of her mother’s marriage to her father. Though I could not hear most of the specifics, it just happened that I heard her say: “Oh, Mom, I could tell you stories about Dad, believe me. You had a rough time with him.”


“I did?” the mom replied, never revealing her eyes. “I don’t remember.”


“You sure did.” And just as the daughter began to elaborate on those difficult times, this little hummingbird of a mother put down her fork and made direct eye contact with her daughter. With the most gentle smile on her face, she said: “I don’t want to remember those things anymore, Ann. Remind me, now, of what I loved. Remind me of what I loved about your father. I only want to be reminded of love.”


That line not only drew the breath out of her daughter; it completely captivated my attention. I sat perfectly still. I could actually feel the impact that request had upon the daughter’s heart. The mother had shot an arrow directly into the bitter wounds that were obviously possessing her daughter.

Now my eavesdropping on their intimate conversation was deliberate. I had to hear the daughter’s response. I had to watch her face as she grappled with her mother’s request to utilize her heart as a means to access memories of love she herself could no longer recall. It was obvious the daughter wanted to refuse her mother’s request, but how could she? This was her mother’s 92nd birthday. Saying no was not an option. I even found an excuse to adjust my chair so that I could observe the daughter’s expressions as she psychically allowed her mother’s well-worn heart to board her shattered heart in order to travel back in time. Sojourning into memories in search of love instead of pain was not something the daughter had anticipated. Love, after all, is the most healing of graces. She took a deep breath and with a much softer voice, she said, “Well, Mom,” then in a much softer tone of voice, “you loved the way Dad used to tease you.”


“I did?” the mother asked.


“Yes, you did. And he always gave you roses on your birthday, Mom. Today Dad would have given you a lovely bouquet of roses because you love roses,” the daughter said.


“Oh,” said the mother, her smile becoming more illuminated. “I think I remember that.”


“And you know that heart [necklace] you always wear, the one around your neck right now? Well, Dad surprised you with that on your 25th wedding anniversary,” the daughter said. The mother reached for the small gold heart around her neck, touching it gently with her fingers.


“No wonder I never want to take this off,” she said. Then, this exquisite little hummingbird of a mother noticed her daughter was wiping away tears from her eyes. She reached across the table for her daughter’s hand and said, “Honey, don’t wait until you’re my age to have to ask someone else to remind you of what you loved in your life. Be wise enough to remind yourself of that every day because someday those memories might just fade away like mine did and the memories I miss the most are about the people I know I loved.”


By this time, I was wiping away tears. As I watched this mother and daughter embrace, I recognized the healing handiwork of grace as only grace could so elegantly and silently transform a conversation filled with pain into one that lifted the weight from a daughter’s heart. Only the power of grace could transform a mother into the rare air of the Sage, gifting her daughter wisdom from her soul so powerful as to transform the whole of her life within the content of a couple of sentences.

This conversation captured the essence of what it means to “defy gravity.” In an instant, this daughter had released the weight of past wounds, replacing them with the healing force of wisdom and love. Ordinary words could never have accomplished such a feat. Healing is indeed a mystical experience, and one never knows when grace will come to call. I left that lunch having imprinted the request of that precious 92-year-old woman into my heart: Remind me of what I love. What could be a more splendid prayer of reflection than that? And what a gift they were to me on my book tour. I will always believe that being seated next to them was no accident.

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A Buddhist Perspective of 2012 by Shen Shi’an

Though there is no Buddhist prophesy of any special upcoming event in 2012, I can no longer hide a universally true prophesy.

Here is it… Due to impending death and the uncertainty of when it arrives, we might die any time before 2012. We might even pass away today, for life is uncertain, while death is certain. Whether you believe something ill will happen in 2012 or not, it always makes sense to live life fully with the Dharma – NOW. Since Buddhists believe in the phenomenon of rebirth, of both sentient lives and entire world systems, the physical ‘end of the world’ is to us, somewhat overhyped, while it is end of our spiritual life that is the most truly terrifying. As the Buddha exhorted in his last words, ‘Subject to change are all conditioned things. Strive on with diligence!’

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The Pali word for lovingkindness is metta. Sometimes, metta is translated simply as “love.” In our culture, the notion of love has assumed a complexity that obscures its true nature. Typically the word love conjures up thoughts of passion or sentimentality. Metta is neither of these, and this distinction is crucial.

The practice of lovingkindness is, at a certain level, the fruition of all we work toward in our meditation. It relies on our ability to open continuously to the truth of our actual experience, not cutting off the painful parts, and not trying to pretend things are other than they are. Just as spiritual growth grinds to a halt when we indulge our tendency to grasp and cling, metta can’t thrive in an environment that is bound to desire or to getting our expectations met.

In lovingkindness, our minds are open and expansive—spacious enough to contain all the pleasures and pains of a life fully lived. Pain, in this context, does’t feel like betrayal or an overwhelming force. It is part of the reality of human experience, and an opportunity for us to practice maintaining our authentic presence.

– Sharon Salzberg,

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