Informed Choice

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.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/religionandethics/2003/09/19/september-19-2003-thich-nhat-hanh/1843/

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.

Please vote.

Namaste,

Shobhna

 

 

Contemplating Freedom

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?

 

 

 

 

 

Namaste,

Shobhna

Choose Love

“When the path is blocked, back up and see more of the way. We are each a mountain for the other to climb, and often our path to love is interrupted by a mishap or a problem or something unexpected that needs attending. We tend to call these unexpected things in life “obstacles.” Often the thing in the way comes from another person: a stubbornness falls like a tree blocking where we want to go, or a sadness comes like a flash flood to muddy the road between us, or just as we go to rest in the clearing we have prepared, we are bitten by something hiding in the undergrowth. Thus, in daily ways, we have this constant choice: to see each other as the stubborn, muddy, biting thing that blocks our way, or to back up and take in the whole person as we would a mountain in its entirety, dizzy when looking up into its majesty. When we are blocked in our closeness with another, we have this constant opportunity: to raise our eyes and behold each other completely, then to kneel and lift the fallen tree, or cross the flooded path, or pluck and toss the biting thing. We have the chance to keep climbing, so we might cup the water that runs from each other, so we might quench our thirst as from a mountain stream, knowing that love like water comes softly through the hardest places.”

By Mark Nepo     The Book of Awakening: Having the Life you want by Being Present to the life you have

20180629_175049.jpg

Namaste,

Shobhna

Fitting In

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.

Your purpose

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

Namaste,

Shobhna

 

Together

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

20171019_122830.jpg

Namaste,

Shobhna

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Courage

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.

20170921_190906-1

Namaste,

Shobhna