Walls

When you come upon a wall, throw your hat over it, and then go get your hat. 

Irish proverb

 

There are plenty of unseen walls in our life. We perceive them as we work towards goals.  We perceive them in any form of growth. In an ideal world we encourage each other to reach those goals, we help each other bring down the walls that they or someone else has built. We share our resources, because it reflects shared humanity.

On a personal level surrounding yourself with walls creates isolation. Walls of fear, guilt, shame, poverty, status, pursuit of happiness; you can give the wall any label, and as soon as it starts to limit you in any way its become an isolation wall.

There are those who will help you break down those walls and those who will argue against it, leave you, and insist there is a deeper purpose for that wall.  When its personal work, the effect of shutting people out or letting them in has consequences on many.

On a national level, building actual walls and having people believe, they don’t belong here is chopping at the roots of our shared humanity.  The ripple effects around the world are many. So as Donald Trump continues to insist on building walls, or banning people from entering the U.S., urge your senators to build what truly matters.

Buildings need walls for practical purposes. Humanity needs spaciousness of mind and heart, acceptance, and connections.

 

No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin,

or his background, or his religion.

People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate,

they can be taught to love,

for love comes more naturally

to the human heart than its opposite.

Namaste,

Shobhna

 

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

 

 

Radiating Compassion

I read this beautiful Sufi teaching today:

Overcome any bitterness that may have come because you were not up to the magnitude of the pain that was entrusted to you.

Like the mother of the world who carries the pain of the world in her heart,

Each one of us is part of her heart, and therefore endowed with a certain measure of suffering.

With acceptance we can hold ourselves and our suffering, with tenderness and compassion. We can hold this suffering that has been entrusted to us and allow compassion to grow. We can extend that compassion to every being and to our mother of the world.

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

 

Mental Health

May is Mental health awareness month

The theme for this year is fitness for mind and body. Wellbeing includes emotional, mental, physical and spiritual wellness. All of those to varying degrees influence our daily life.

It is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans is affected by mental illness. That means it is highly likely we know someone who has a mental illness. Alongside with having a mental illness, there is still stigma attached to mental health issues, making it all the more challenging for people to get help.

During the month of May, National Association of Mental Illness is focusing on Compassion, Empathy, and Understanding as ways to reduce and remove stigma attached to seeking help for mental illness.

Stigma, adds to the suffering a person is experiencing with mental illness. We have the capacity to understand and alleviate their suffering. We liberate others when we allow them to speak of their perceptions and mental constructs without fear of judgement. Compassion is the urge to alleviate another person’s suffering. When we experience compassion, we also feel uplifted. Reducing stigma to mental illness is important. Having empathy, understanding and compassion is crucial to personal and global wellbeing.

Below is a link to an interview with Thich Nhat Hahn on compassion that I hope you will watch and find thought provoking

https://youtu.be/PewRDHeh3oY

Namaste,

Shobhna