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.
I did my meditation outdoors today. With cool grass under my feet and a gentle warm breeze under the morning sun, tuning into my own inner self was a gift.
Todays meditation was a guided meditation by Tara Brach, an invitation to relax and awaken the body with an openness to receive life as it is.
Cultivating mindful awareness and compassionately viewing our experience is a way to step out of auto pilot. Although meditations can be done at any time of the day, a morning meditation can set the tone for the day. Words and phrases from a guided meditation can serve as reminders to bring awareness to our thoughts and actions. From todays meditation, the phrase “Dance of Aliveness” resonated from me. To be aware and at ease in this world. To be rooted in the present moment and be flexible in each moment.
Hummingbird visiting the Bergamot
At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it. Be free where you are.
~Thich Nhat Hahn
“The brain takes its shape from what the mind rests upon” Rick Hanson
Rick Hanson talks about resting the mind on pleasant experiences continually for lasting resilience, inner strength and cultivating a positive outlook.
When we are busy at work, taking care of family, achieving goals, we get caught up in getting it all done. Taking a pause is important. Its being mindful of the work being done and the experience being created.
Whether you decide to do a stretch, a breathing exercise, find an image to gaze upon, bring up a joyful memory, pauses of 1 to 3 minutes can replenish you for long periods of time.
A Moment of Joy
Pauses are not frivolous, instead they are an act of kindness.
Eddie S. Glaude Jr. points out in a frank and passionate voice of all the ways the “value gap” contributes to racial inequality in America. He calls for a Revolution in Values where we start viewing the government differently, change how we view black people, and change what matters at the core of being an American. In order to make changes, we have to be able to address concerns and question why things are the way they are currently. A revolution of values should change what constitutes success and express genuine connectedness that the well being of African Americans is interwoven with the well being of the nation.
It is imperative to have open discussions about racial inequalities. These open discussions can shed light on the habits that perpetuate racism and create a shift in cultural and political lives in America. Glaude says that first steps to undo our racial habits are by changing policies and addressing structural racism.
In his assertions Glaude includes how black leaders too have disappointed African Americans. In his chapter on President Obama and Black liberals, Glaude emphasizes how lack of effective leadership has led to increased racial inequality. He states that during Obama’s presidency, racial inequality got worse. He holds Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton equally responsible for the continued deterioration in Black Americans economic, political and social standing.
We simply need to align our practices with our stated principles and values. This view enables us to hold simultaneously that the principles of freedom and liberty are already a part of American life, while we experience, over and over again, habits and practices that suggest otherwise – Eddie Glaude
I chose to read this book to be more informed about the racial divide that exists and seems to be growing and festering. When we ignore something that is deeply rooted in our history and is blossoming in present times, we only make it worse. We don’t need to accept inequities as they are, and our democratic principles actually urge us to advocate for all. I would reccommend the book to anyone interested in gaining more insight into politcal and social aspect of the value gap. Eddie Glaude invites us to be bold and daring in creating a democracy that truly represents liberty and justice for everyone. I received this book from bloggingforbooks.com and my review is based on my opinion.
Most people, at some point or another have had to revise their personal financial budget. Those who have lived on tight budgets, know how challenging it can be to have nutritious food, shelter, clothing, and healthcare.
Those who have never lived on a tight budget, can learn to have empathy. They can help to create an economy that supports others in their difficult times.
Presently, proposed budget cuts by our current administration look to eliminate funding for meals provided to old adults and young children. At all levels, be it moral, social or ethical, these actions are inherently misguided.
Reducing and eliminating the budget, of larger programs that support local agencies, impact the individuals affected, their community, the nation and the world. When it comes to eliminating access to nutritious meals, the consequences are dire. We cannot choose to ignore the vulnerable.
Compassionate choices support the wellbeing of others.
I can tell you how to hold on
I can tell you how to let go
Its not for me to tell you
Which one is right
And by when you should know
What matters the most
Is you know for sure
What brings you peace
What joy you feel
Is it for love; is it for fear
That you hold on
Or that you let go