Spirits

When that spirit comes, we don’t ever ask questions. If I don’t understand, I just hold onto it. Then later down the road, maybe in a couple of years, I understand what that spirit meant.— Wallace Black Elk
Miracles do occur, spiritual events happen, and God speaks to us with nudges, the smell of honeysuckle, and in lessons rather not learned. Sometimes these events look like fire flies on a clear summer evening and sometimes we feel them yet see them not.
The spiritual events always come for a reason, but often the reason is not apparent. When this happens we are called to be patient.
God will tell us the meaning when he is ready and not before. Be aware and pay attention is what God asks.
PS: Thank you all for your thoughts and prayers. Charlotte will be okay.

Images of Anger

As human beings we have good qualities as well as bad ones. Now, anger, attachment, jealousy, hatred, are the bad side; these are the real enemy… The true troublemaker is inside. — Dalai Lama
Suzy writes today the following in response to all who have written or called concerned about Caroline, her family and us and the City of Charlotte after last night’s looting:
“It’s all very sad, I can’t think of a better word. And I simply don’t understand looting.  Imagine what a different image and response had there been hundreds of peaceful folks marching through uptown carrying candles or something like that. Anger is one thing, looting just makes them look like criminals acting under the protection of chaos and darkness.”
What is sad is that the protest began as Suzy had hoped — a peaceful demonstration to call attention to another senseless death. But as darkness came, so did the darkness in human nature.
The image of Charlotte turned from one of peace, to an image of anger and violence. It will take a lot of work for our adopted city to remove the image of anger from a nation’s mindset — an image we see far too often these days. But remove it we will, for in the end good always wins out over evil, and peace is always preferable to violence.
In your meditation and prayers think of us today as we begin the calming work that must occur within all of us who live here. Thank you all for your prayers and support.

Thought

 

Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Suffering follows an evil thought as the wheels of a cart follow the oxen that draws it. Our life is shaped by our mind; we become what we think. Joy follows a pure thought like a shadow that never leaves.  — The Dhammapada

I had always heard, “we are what we eat,” but my Buddhist friend essentially says “we are what we think.”
Have an evil thought and suffering follows. Have a pure thought and joy follows.
Of course there are more than two kinds of thoughts so I played a game during my morning meditation trying to identify different thoughts and then trying to figure out what follows. It was a fascinating exercise.
It would be nice to never have an evil thought, and even nicer to only have pure thoughts, but life doesn’t work that way for me, and I doubt if it works for anyone.
Perhaps our goal should be to have as few and as short evil thoughts as possible, and to work at having more and longer pure thoughts in a day.
I think an even more important goal is to be extremely careful in keeping our evil thoughts to ourselves, and to spread our pure thoughts as widely as possible.
There are too many people spreading their evil thoughts around these days. We could use a few more pure thinkers out there to balance things out.

Failure

 

Have you ever failed at anything? Made a mistake, disappointed a friend or a loved one, we all have. Failures, mistakes, disappointments are our common lot with the rest of humankind, but our failures do not make us any less valuable. It’s because of our mistakes and failures that our lives become richer and more valuable.

What is true for us, is true for all, and its our obligation to humanity and to God to admit that our friends’ and our enemies’ life patterns, although different from our own, are equally as valuable.
Genuine tolerance comes when we recognize that another may be right when we are wrong.