If you live in the USA, I hope you will exercise your right and ability to vote in November. Please read/hear all sides of the issues you are voting for and learn about the person you are voting for. Ask questions if you are unsure of who and what to vote for. Please make an informed decision, and know that all our choices matter. Our voice matters.
I went to my local library last week and there were two women at a table, offering to register people to vote. If a person was already registered to vote, they still engaged each person with an offering of a pamphlet, website to learn about issues and reminding people to vote. I appreciate them for their volunteering and their engaged activism.
In 2003, Thich Nhat Hahn spoke to the members of Congress and highlighted the practice of deep listening as a way to reduce anger and violence, while building compassion.
He also asked people to lobby to their elected officials, saying “We have to offer them our insight, our compassion. We cannot just afford for them to be surrounded by advisers who do not have that insight, that compassion.
You can read the interview, listen to Thich Nhat Hahn via this link. Although the interview is about 15 years old it is still so relevant. Perhaps even more relevant today.
Deep listening is difficult, when we disagree with others and their views. Its really not for the faint of heart. Yet it is exactly at that point of difference when it is most crucial.
In Dalai Lamas words,
If you want others to be happy, practice Compassion. If you want to be happy, practice Compassion
Our choices matter. Our voice matters. Our future matters. Our planet matters.
Looking into the notion of being free and interdependence.
Is it possible to be free
If with every action we impact others
whether today or in years to come
Knowing that those who came before us and
those who come after us
are relying on us and we on them
Is it possible to be free?
Many people struggle on a daily basis to fit in and belong. The struggles, and consequences of these struggles manifest differently, and the truth is in order to have peace in the world we have to continue to explore what is truly meaningful personally.
To feel like we truly belong we have to have courage to be ourselves and realize that sometimes it means we can’t please others or that we won’t belong to a specific group. This will no doubt cause pain and suffering and require courage, vulnerability and resilience. However, when we try to fit in and go against our grain, we also suffer.The more we face the fears we have of being our true self,imperfections and all, we find that being ourselves can be our biggest gift to the world.
Our inherent goodness and worthiness is waiting to be uncovered at all times.
is to be yourself
You don’t have to run anywhere
to be someones else
You are wonderful
just as you are
~ Thich Nhat Hahn
Over and over again
To the practice of mindfulness
To focus on whats here
Whether unpleasant or pleasant
Challenging or easy
Make the choice daily
To embrace what is happening and
Then let it go
We yearn for connection
while speaking of the inconsequential
We long for community
yet we are divided by ethnicity
We speak of peace
and engage in wars
We want unity
while excluding diversity
An open mind and kind hearted spirit
is needed now more than ever
so we can boldly yet gently
be in this space of ambiguity
moving beyond fear
hand in hand, together
Hatred and fear blind us,
We no longer see each other,
We only see the faces of monsters and
that gives us the courage
to destroy each other
by Thich Nhat Hahn.
I read this recently and it explains so much of what is happening within relationships around the world. I have been concerned about the amount of hatred that is present in speeches given by leaders and the actions being taken against groups of people globally. Courage rooted in hatred and fear will eventually dissolve, but after having harmed people and the earth. We have seen this happen over and over again in our history. In destroying others we invariably destroy ourselves too.
Removing fear and hatred within our own minds takes courage. Because we are left feeling vulnerable without the protection of the monsters face to scare others with. As that monstrous face peels of, the authentic, genuine and compassionate face is revealed to ourselves and the world. In the process we alleviate our own suffering and of those around us.
Cultivating peace, promoting well being and harmony in good times is easier to do. When there is anger, fear, hatred, greed and intolerance around us, it takes clarity, discernment, and sheer focus on actions enveloped in love. Courage that leaves us feeling vulnerable and wanting to protect ourselves and others from harm is rooted in love.
There are so many people all over the world who are looking for food, shelter, safety, and belonging. We can choose to turn away from their suffering or alleviate their suffering. We can choose to destroy them because of our own fears or choose to protect them from harm.