Friday, November 12, 2010
Always be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle.
In honor of World Kindness Day on Nov 13th, Karma Tube offers this video by Humanity Healing Network...a journey through the teachings of kindness.
With a soundtrack by Enya, mesmerizing photos and wide ranging quotes from an Arabian proverb to Mother Teresa to Marianne Williamson, this photo essay asks:
What does it really mean to be kind (including to ourselves)?
Saturday, November 06, 2010
I shared the video of Birke Baehr with various friends yesterday, and decided that it needs a wider audience! Birke is an extraordinary home-schooled child, 11 years old, ranting about what's wrong with our food system on TEDx(*) in Asheville, NC. It's a MUST-WATCH!
I just found a blog, OUR NATURAL LIFE: Provocative Discussions About Leading A Holistic, Sustainable, and Healthy Life, that featured Birke and how he inspired his own family:
I also think this sweet comment from Birke's mom to someone who had criticized him on the YouTube site was worth sharing here:
"As this 11 yr. old's mother I can assure you Birke plays outside more than most kids and he doesn't sit in front a computer 24/7. He also reads more than just about organic foods -- he is quite the historian, knows aï»¿ lot about geography, sports and other subjects. His 'soul' is quite intact and isn't lost or pitiful. He has a mind of his own and is curious about the world around him and is allowed the freedom to follow his interests. He is also much better at spelling than you are."
(*) BTW, for those of you who are familiar with TED, here's the scoop on TEDx:
Created in the spirit of TEDâs mission, "ideas worth spreading," the TEDx program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis.
(TED: www.ted.com/ )
Friday, November 05, 2010
...for your gift, that keeps on giving!
Square Top Mountain and Green River, Wyoming
When loneliness comes stalking, go into the fields, consider
the orderliness of the world. Notice
something you have never noticed before,
like the tambourine sound of the snow-cricket
whose pale green body is no longer than your thumb.
Stare hard at the hummingbird, in the summer rain,
shaking the water-sparks from its wings.
Let grief be your sister, she will whether or no.
Rise up from the stump of sorrow, and be green also,
like the diligent leaves.
A lifetime isn't long enough for the beauty of this world
and the responsibilities of your life.
Scatter your flowers over the graves, and walk away.
Be good-natured and untidy in your exuberance.
In the glare of your mind, be modest.
And beholden to what is tactile, and thrilling.
~ Mary Oliver ~
(The Leaf and the Cloud: A Poem)
Friday, November 05, 2010
Thomas Ã Kempis on Mount Saint Agnes, where the monastery he was invested with was located (painting from 1569)
One that is not prepared to suffer all things, and to stand to the will of the Beloved, is not worthy to be called a lover of God. A lover ought to embrace willingly all that is hard and distasteful, for the sake of the Beloved; and not to turn away for any contrary accidents.
-- Thomas a Kempis
Love is a sacred skill that we must work to maintain. And learning to bear up under changes in attitude and circumstance with an inner toughness is the best practice for loving. If we do not develop this kind of toughness, our love will not be strong enough to support the weight of close relationships.
One of my quarrels with contemporary civilization is the way it trivializes life. We have very little left that is sacred. In a scientifically advanced era, with the benefit of culture and education, we should grieve to discover that our love barely scratches the surface of life -- no wonder, then, that it fails to nourish us. Loving is already something of a lost art.
When we finally realize we are missing out on something sacred, we may no longer know where to turn. Love is so exquisitely elusive. It cannot be bought, cannot be badgered, cannot be hijacked. It is available only in one rare form: as the natural response of a healthy mind and healthy heart.
-- Eknath Easwaran
Eknath Easwaran, originally from Kerala, India, came to the USA as a Fulbright Scholar. He founded the Blue Mountain Center of Meditation in Tomales Bay, CA. He is a favorite teacher of mine. A Sanskrit scholar, he also earned a Ph.D. in English Literature. He is a gifted writer and translator and I would recommend any of his books:
I subscribe to Sri Easwaran's daily commentary on a spiritual text, Thought for the Day. www.easwaran.org/Thoughts Today's is just so relevant to the journey of our hearts, our communities, our country, our world, that I feel compelled to share it.
The last paragraph of his commentary so very powerfully sums it up: "When we finally realize we are missing out on something sacred, we may no longer know where to turn. LOVE IS so exquisitely elusive. It cannot be bought, cannot be badgered, cannot be hijacked. It is available only in one rare form: as THE NATURAL RESPONSE OF A HEALTHY MIND AND HEALTHY HEART."
Easwaran comments on a text by Thomas a Kempis, a great Christian mystic, who wrote among other works, The Imitation of Christ, one of the best known Christian books on devotion. His name means "Thomas of Kempen", his home town in Germany. He was born at the Lower Rhine region in 1380 and died in 1471. I highly recommend learning more about this amazing soul:
Eknath Easwaran, 1910-1999, teaching what is thought to be the first credit course on meditation offered at a major university in the U.S. at University of California, Berkeley in 1968.
Easwaran comments on a text by Thomas a Kempis, a great Christian mystic, who wrote among other works, The Imitation of Christ, one of the best known Christian books on devotion. His name means "Thomas of Kempen", his home town in Germany. He was born in the Lower Rhine region in 1380 and died in 1471. I highly recommend learning more about this amazing soul:
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