Today I ran across two particularly interesting quotes from Thich Nhat Hanh that really resonated with me.
“People suffer because they are caught in their views. As soon as we release those views, we are free and we don’t suffer anymore.“
“Every thought you produce, anything you say, any action you do, it bears your signature.”
These two quotes really resonated with me because the theme of how the internal path is reflected into the external world, and vice versa, has been a recurring theme for me this week.
First, leading up to, during, and after the North Carolina constitutional amendment this week that bans same-sex marriage, there was a huge amount of vitriol being spewed forth by conservative talking heads regarding the issue. Just watching the conservative political pundits and politicians speak about the amendment and issues facing the LGBT community, I was really struck by the amount of true hate that many of these people had. Even those that cloaked their opposition to LGBT rights in politically correct niceties such as “I’m not anti-gay, I’m pro traditional values”, seemed to harboring a great deal of resentment to a group of people that in no way poses any actual harm or threat to anyone. Period. Even though these people were clothing themselves in the cloak of righteousness, they were (and are) suffering because of the anger and ill-will that their views create internally and externally, whether or not they want to admit it, or even realize it. These people are not only experiencing internal conflict and turmoil, but externally they are influencing and/or governing over a society that is also full of conflict and turmoil. The vitriol is now ramping up even higher, because President Obama (thanks largely to Vice-President Biden’s horrid Washington D.C. sin of a truthful tongue slip), has finally came out in support of the right for same-sex couples to get married.
Now then, admittedly I generally fall into the libertarian portion of the scale when it comes to social issues, because I feel that as long as you aren’t hurting me, or anyone else, I don’t really have the right to force you to live your life a certain way, nor do I have the right to force my version of morality on you. However, no matter what end of the political spectrum you fall into, it shouldn’t be that great of a stretch to realize that every human being is a person that has the same rights and emotional needs as anyone else, and they are entitled to those rights and the fulfillment of those needs no matter their race or gender, or their sexual, religious, or political preferences.
Please check out this great story that my wife posted on her blog (www.sweetnscrappy.com).
Since my wife and I both work, ever since our son was born we have had a young Mennonite girl watch our son during the day. Unfortunately Ms. Megan is leaving us for Iowa. She and her family have been a huge part of our lives, and we are extremely thankful for their love and the wonderful impact that they have made on our son. Luckily, Ms. Megan’s mother, Anita, has agreed to continue watching our son, but Ms. Megan will be missed very much!
It is amazing how people who were once strangers can become so intertwined in our lives, that they become family to us, and impact our lives in ways that we could never have expected.
Not to be too cliche, but when we have a village, our lives are all the richer!
I love springtime. I love the cool rainy weather, and how all of the various plants literally spring back to life with vivid shades of color. Spring is also a time for birth and renewal, and because of this every culture and spiritual tradition has celebrated spring with various festivals, rituals, observances, and rites of passage. The festivals of the world celebrate the transition from winter, a time of scarcity and harshness, to spring which is a time of plenty as well as physical and spiritual renewal. The power of spring is best illustrated by the various religious festivals, celebrations, and holidays. Read more…
Well, after four days of fun, fellowship, education, and spiritual growth with my Scottish Rite brethren, I decided to get caught up on my blog reading. Much to my surprise, two of my favorite blogs nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award! This is a real treat for me because I absolutely love both of the blogs that nominated me.
I was nominated by:
A Second Cup- This is a wonderfully refreshing blog, where the author mixes various musings and insights into eclectic and humorous posts about life spiritual practices. I really enjoy reading this blog over my first (and sometimes second, or third, or fourth…) cup of coffee, and it never fails to make me smile and/or provide me with material to reflect upon.
Zen Being- This is a great blog which applies Buddhist teachings and practices to every day life. I always enjoy reading this blog, and I find the author’s insights to be extremely helpful and meaningful. This blog has continually helped me to continue striving to live in the now, and simply “be”.
Part of the nomination involves naming 7 blogs that I enjoy, other than the ones that recommended me, thus nominating them for this award: Read more…
“Old friends pass away, new friends appear. It is just like the days. An old day passes, a new day arrives. The important thing is to make it meaningful: a meaningful friend – or a meaningful day.”- H.H. The 14th Dalai Lama
Too often I find myself falling into the “just get it over with” mentality trap. Usually this occurs on Mondays, or whenever I have a daunting project/task to accomplish. The problem with this mentality is that it pulls me out of living in the now, it causes me to not enjoy the present moment, and the wonderful experience of actually “living”.
When I fall into this mentality I basically go on auto pilot, which allows negative (counter-productive) thoughts and emotions to gain a foothold in my psyche. Once this begins to occur, it is easy to allow those negative thoughts and emotions to snowball into a myriad of negative mental states. Read more…
It’s that time of year again, where we all celebrate the coming of a New Year, and of course make goals (resolutions) for the coming year. If you are like most people, it is probably not a surprise that research shows that almost 9 out of 10 resolutions fail. Research has also shown that while most people sincerely wish to follow through with their resolutions, within the first few weeks of the new year, most people already begin to slide back into old habits or modes of thinking, and within a few months, most people are back where they started (or even worse off). A major problem with the making and subsequent failure of resolutions is that it can lead to depression, and the reinforcement of negative modes of thinking (“I can’t do ______”, or “I have tried to _____, and failed each time”). New Year resolutions can be powerful motivation to effect positive change in your life, but it is important to understand what you really want to change about your life, and understand how to succeed, and then follow through, whether it be January 1st, or any other day of the year.
The reason that most resolutions fail is because 1) They are unrealistic, and a reasonable plan to accomplish the goal isn’t followed, 2) You aren’t truly ready to change, and 3) the underlying root cause of the problems/issues are not addressed by simply resolving to “change”.
With the hectic whirlwind of the holiday season upon us, it is important to take time to slow down and relax. In order to facilitate this, and enjoy some quality time together, several friends and I decided to go on a camping trip over the weekend. While choosing to undertake a camping trip in mid December meant for a cold trip, a great time was had by all, and it was a wonderful time for camaraderie, reflection, and relaxation.
During most of the year, and especially during the holidays, most of us simply buzz from one project to the next, much like a busy worker bee, and never take any time to unplug and reflect. I know that lately I have been flustered and out-of-touch because I have been trying to get caught up at work so that I can cross off many of the legal cases and projects that I have working on prior to the new year, while trying to plan holiday gatherings, and finish holiday shopping, in addition to editing chapters for my book, and writing content for this blog. Therefore, a weekend away from the rat race in order to unplug and unwind is just what i needed, and is probably a remedy that many of us could use. Read more…