Sunday, March 29, 2015

Ban-ki Moon: Terrible Contradictions

May we each do our part in working toward a
more sane, just, sustainable, and peaceful world.
We are all related, we are all connected. 
Another world is possible.
Peace ~ Molly

Our world is one of terrible contradictions.
Plenty of food, but one billion people go hungry.
Lavish lifestyles for a few, but poverty for too many others.
Huge advances in medicine
while mothers die every day in childbirth,
and children die every day from drinking dirty water.
Billions spent on weapons to kill people
instead of keeping them safe.

- Ban-ki Moon, U.N. Secretary General

For John On Our 64th Birthday

 For My Sweet Brother

Had he lived, John would also have turned 64 this past week. Our birthday is always bittersweet as memories arise and I reflect upon experiences of birth and of death. And Life.

We were so young, not yet 27, when my twin died. So much of my passion and fierce compassion, caring, and love arises out of the tragedy of my brother's life and death and our shared experience of growing up with a mother who was not capable of compassion. Not then.

Now these losses have been - and continue to be - transformed with the gift of each precious day. I have often reflected on how delighted my brother and my father would be to see the miraculous peace and love my mother and I share today, delighted to see our family growing, delighted to see so much pain and suffering balanced and transformed by ever expanding experiences of joy and beauty, connection and belonging, compassion and love.

In our lifetimes, each and every one of us has experiences that are profoundly difficult, sad, uprooting, and heartbreaking. We have all had times in which we have struggled with fear and shame, isolation and disconnection, anger and betrayal, confusion and uncertainty, grief and loss. It is said that life gives us 10,000 joys and 10,000 sorrows. One is not better or worse than the other. This is simply what is. 

What I have discovered on my journey is that the choices I make around great sorrow determine the depths of joy I will experience. Joy and sorrow are not separate but are intimately linked in our hearts.

For the years leading up to my brother's death and for several years afterwards, I shut down, split off, and separated from my heart. Where disassociation can serve a purpose for those of us in unsafe and unloving environments as children, as adults it is a killer. Numbness and the pushing away of our pain also causes us to be strangers to joy, peace, connection, compassion, belonging, love. In our distancing from our inner world, we also become impaired to truly know and be there for the inner world of anyone else. Even our own children. That was the unconsious legacy that was unknowingly passed on generationally to my twin and myself. There is no blame here. It simply is what it is.

Making conscious what we have repressed makes possible a shift in these patterns which may have been carried and passed for countless generations before us. It is so amazing how it is that life's greatest heartaches can make possible life's greatest gifts. Embracing my sweet brother in my heart has broken my heart wide open and cleared space for love. 

John would be so happy. 

Today, both of us live on in my heart and in my commitment to living with integrity and loving-kindness. And as we learn the gifts of the alchemist and cultivate peace in ourselves, we cultivate peace in the world.

With great love and gratitude for my brother and for life ~

 ❤ ♡ ❤ ❤ ♡ ❤

We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.
- Thích Nhất Hạnh

Friday, March 27, 2015

John O'Donohue: The Gift of This Day

So at the end of this day, we give thanks
For being betrothed to the unknown.

Carl Jung: Acceptance of Oneself

The acceptance of oneself is the essence of the whole moral problem and the epitome of a whole outlook on life. That I feed the hungry, that I forgive an insult, that I love my enemy in the name of Christ -- all these are undoubtedly great virtues. What I do unto the least of my brethren, that I do unto Christ. But what if I should discover that the least among them all, the poorest of all the beggars, the most impudent of all the offenders, the very enemy himself -- that these are within me, and that I myself stand in need of the alms of my own kindness -- that I myself am the enemy who must be loved -- what then? As a rule, the Christian's attitude is then reversed; there is no longer any question of love or long-suffering; we say to the brother within us "Raca," and condemn and rage against ourselves. We hide it from the world; we refuse to admit ever having met this least among the lowly in ourselves.


Fred Rogers: My Heroes

We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. 
It's easy to say "It's not my child, not my community, not my world, 
not my problem." Then there are those who see the need 
and respond. I consider those people my heroes.
- Fred Rogers

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Tara Brach: Don't Turn Away

The poet Rumi saw clearly the relationship between 
our wounds and our awakening. He counseled, “Don’t turn away. 
Keep your gaze on the bandaged place. That’s where the light enters you.” 

Tara Brach: When We Walk Through the Gateway of Truth

When we walk through the gateway of truth, we start by recognizing what's real and intending to accept it. Accepting what is does not mean passive resignation; it is a courageous engagement with the reality of our experience. We might not like what we discover, but we can hold it in compassionate presence. 

- Tara Brach, True Refuge: Find Peace and Freedom
In Your Own Awakened Heart

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

John O'Donohue: To Walk Hand In Hand With Beauty

There is a relentless search for the factual and this quest often lacks warmth or reverence. At a certain stage in our life we may wake up to the urgency of life, how short it is. Then the quest for truth becomes the ultimate project. We can often forage for years in the empty fields of self-analysis and self-improvement and sacrifice much of our real substance for specks of cold, lonesome factual truth. The wisdom of the tradition reminds us that if we choose to journey on the path of truth, it then becomes a sacred duty to walk hand in hand with beauty.


Fred Rogers: Caring For the Children

Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life 
is a hero to me.
 Fred Rogers