May All Beings Be Happy

My friend, Ellen Besso is in Dharamsala right now, teaching English to Tibetans-in-exile. In her blog she writes of the tragedy of self-immolutation occurring in Tibet right now.

“It is now Thursday, October 25th, and 4 people have sacrificed themselves for the Tibetan cause since Saturday: 1 on Saturday, 1 Monday and 2 yesterday, Wednesday.”

I am so grateful to Tibetan Buddhism for the teachings I have received on Loving Kindness, a teaching that helps me touch suffering with compassion: May all beings be happy, May all beings be safe, May all beings be free.

Synchronistically, the same day I read Ellen’s blog, another friend sent me this link to the amazing sound of Jennifer Berezen and a clip on the making of her CD dedicated to Loving Kindess.

May you be happy, may you be safe, may you be free.

We are Star Dust Called by the Universe

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Oh my gosh, my heart and soul danced with delight while I watched this. Just feel into it –

Every atom in your body
Came from a star that exploded
You are all star dust
From a star that exploded (Neil Degrasse Tyson)

Imagine if we all re-membered our beginnings as stardust, if we all could connect with that divine spark from over 14 Billion years ago, if we could  see the magnificance of the universe contained within each of us. Imagine.

Find more: http://symphonyofscience.com/

The Pain of Power or The Power of Feelings

It gives me great hope to see an article on the power of feeling your feelings in  the Harvard Business Review. Clearly, leaders are human beings and human beings cope with feelings in different ways. Much of the suffering the the world is because we have never found a way to make peace with old hurts and wounds.

Peter Bregman, May 07, 2012 writes Most leadership trainings are about ideas, techniques, theories, and methodologies. But the workshop I took this week was designed for the heart, not the head. It was about feeling deeply the emotions we spend our lives avoiding, like the pain of failure and loss.

This act of diving deeply into the feelings we avoid, the feelings we don’t necessarily even know we have, is, I have come to believe, our only hope of breaking our link in the chain of hurt, suffering, and ineffectiveness.

That’s a leadership issue. Because every leader is a human being. And when we avoid feeling the suffering we naturally experience as human beings, we perpetuate it and act against our best interests in our relationships with our colleagues and the people we manage, as well as with our families.” Read more: http://www.dailygood.org/view.php?sid=229

You are the Light of the World

A poem by Paul Ferrini struck home after a challenging day yesterday where I was dancing with anger and resentment. My body wanted to hold on to an old pattern which revealed itself in muscle tension, headache and a sore back. Conversation, deep listening and tears revealed the truth of the situation. Too often I rush into support others while neglecting my own needs. I do have a deep, heart-felt desire to help others. But my body was telling me to stop, look inside, find my light and shine it on myself. Later, while falling asleep, something shifted. Deep relief as I found myself holding myself with love and tenderness. I am worthy of support. My needs are important. And not only that, but I found a place inside that said, “life takes great delight in meeting your needs; life is longing to support you. Take the time to listen and rejoice.”,

Looking after our own needs can be so difficult, but it is vital not just to our own health, but to the health of our society and our world. Please, take the time to nourish and support yourself. Then, offer your light from the fullness of your being.

You are the light of the world,
but you do not know it
because you have not looked deeply enough into your own heart.
Take a moment to look.
Take a moment to find the light
that dances in dark night within.
See those deep colors penetrating the clouds, the hands of light reaching to the horizon.  Until you can see the light in yourself
you cannot bring it to the world.

The Healing Sounds of The Bell Chant

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I’ve been feeling waves of sadness lately, along with the grittiness of irritability. I also seem to have misplaced what little patience I had been nurturing over the past few years.

I wonder my experience is part of it is the collective sadness that comes with living in a world that doesn’t value the uniqueness of each being, that doesn’t value and honour the beautiful blue-green planet we call home, Pacha Mama.

The inner tension between hope and despair is increasing. At times I look out at our world and see all the wonderful acts of kindness, the indications of economic change, the growth in the local food economy and my heart delights. Other days I hear the rhetoric of our politicians saying how we need to fast track approval processes for resource extraction and I burst into tears, recognizing the model that sees the earth as a commodity to be sold, regardless of the larger impacts on communities, the ecosystem and our souls.

Perhaps it is simply part of the process of evolution – we need to experience the polarization of human consciousness between those who would imprison and those who would free the human spirit.

I’ve been using this beautiful Bell Chant from Buddhist teacher Thich Naht Hahn and Brother  Phap Niem to soothe my soul and heart. To help me water the seeds of compassion, within and without.

I’m curious, are you feeling this tension? If so, how are you meeting it?

http://vimeo.com/6518109

 

Thoughts on Vulnerability and Courage

Brene Brown continues to inspire me with the tender, clear ways she expresses her experiences. In the post below she shares here experience of being personally attacked on comment boards. The tightwalk metaphor works well for me, as may days I am wobbling this way and that on the wholehearted living balance beam.

She writes,

“I’m writing this because I’m always asked how I became so strong and immune to the criticism. The answer is that I am strong, but I’m not immune. It hurts. Like hell. Even though I know that “it’s not about me” or “some people are projecting” – it still hurts. I’m human.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

1. When we stop caring what other people think we lose our capacity for connection. When we are defined by what people think we lose our willingness to be vulnerable.

2. When we close ourselves off to feedback we stop growing. When we open ourselves up to ongoing cruelty, we shut down to self-protect.”

for more: my blog – Ordinary Courage.

Moving from Shame to Vulnerability

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One of my hero’s is Brene Brown. She researches, teaches and talks about the unmentionable emotions: shame and it’s companion, vulnerability. Her work has helped me bring awareness and compassion to the shadowy, sticky, uncomfortable experience of shame. Brene Brown is bringing light to the dark corners of our collective psyches. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Brene Brown’s TED talk on shame and Vulnerability

(image is from Brene Brown’s blog.)

 

 

Beyond Environment: Falling Back in Love with Mother Earth

Image Courtesy: NASA / Goddard Space Flight Center

The Buddhist Monk, Thich Naht Hahn is one of my sources of wisdom. In a recent article in The Guardian he articulates the need, especially at this moment in our evolution, to step out duality into unity consciousness with our relationship to this beautiful blue jewel of a planet that we live on. Earth I Am, Water I Am, Air I Am, Fire I Am. “Change is possible only if there is a recognition that people and planet are ultimately one and the same.“You carry Mother Earth within you,” says Thay. “She is not outside of you. Mother Earth is not just your environment.“In that insight of inter-being, it is possible to have real communication with the Earth, which is the highest form of prayer. In that kind of relationship you have enough love, strength and awakening in order to change your life.“Changing is not just changing the things outside of us. First of all we need the right view that transcends all notions including of being and non-being, creator and creature, mind and spirit. That kind of insight is crucial for transformation and healing.“Fear, separation, hate and anger come from the wrong view that you and the earth are two separate entities, the Earth is only the environment. You are in the centre and you want to do something for the Earth in order for you to survive. That is a dualistic way of seeing.“So to breathe in and be aware of your body and look deeply into it and realize you are the Earth and your consciousness is also the consciousness of the earth. Not to cut the tree not to pollute the water, that is not enough.” More: http://www.guardian.co.uk/sustainable-business/zen-thich-naht-hanh-buddhidm-business-values