surprises within harmony

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Ideals are reflections of our deeply religious nature. But, as we know, ideals can be poison if we take them in large quantities or if we take them incorrectly; in other words, if we take them not as ideals, but as concrete realities. Ideals should inspire us to surpass ourselves, which we need to aspire to do if we are to be truly human, and which we can never actually do, exactly because we are truly human. Ideals are tools for inspiration, not realities in themselves. The fact that we have so often missed this point accounts for the sorry history of religion in human civilization. If rightly understood, ideals make us light-hearted and give a sense of direction……Zen Abbot Norman Fischer

we cannot avoid difficulty or conflict or turmoil….we can bring light and kindness and perspective…..these challenges invite us to be our best self…..may it be so…

In describing the actualized individual’s attitude, Maslow writes: …”in all cases, they are dedicated people, devoted to some task outside themselves, some vocation, or duty or beloved job. Generally the devotion and dedication is so marked that one can fairly use the old words vocation, calling or mission to describe their passionate, selfless and profound feeling for their work. We could even use the words destiny or fate.” People perceive their relatedness to others and to the world only as they internalize the ethical, integrated characteristics of spiritual maturity and illumination. As we live our relatedness through various aspects of life, we come to view ourselves as integrated, in reciprocity with others. Lacking this perception, wholeness cannot emerge; others will always appear to have characteristics we disown. Eventually the feeling that others are much like us eliminates the sense of separation and isolation. That development allows us to bond t others, as well as to the deep part of the self…….Marsha Sinetar

honoring our kindreds

When we begin to see that black mud and white snow
are neither ugly nor beautiful, when we can see them
without discrimination or duality, then we begin to grasp
Great Compassion. In the eyes of Great Compassion,
there is neither left nor right, friend nor enemy, close
nor far. Don’t think that Great Compassion is lifeless.
The energy of Great Compassion is radiant and
wondrous. In the eyes of Great Compassion, there is
no separation between subject and object, no separate
self. Nothing that can disturb Great Compassion.
…..Thich Nhat Hanh

4 thoughts on “surprises within harmony

  1. Religion was supposed to teach us the connectedness Maslow speaks of, instead it has reenforced separateness, and duality, the agenda of good and evil, right and wrong, saints and sinners. Would Han’s compassion even be allowed when considering judgement for breaking a rule from a sacred text? How can we forgive others when we cannot forgive ourselves …

    • oh, you enliven the deep call to fierce grace… question how we even know our complicit self-righteous inklings……”radiant and wondrous” g.f.s….

  2. Just beginning to grasp a little of the meaning of Compassion in contrast to Empathy. Heard a Buddhist teacher point out that empathy with suffering can overwhelm us or move us to a destructive anger. Where compassion comes from our own center of contentment. I think I may be beginning to experience the difference.

    • slippery slope indeed……where we can be with our most open and tender hearts without being pummeled by the grit…..may love allow us to surrender….

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