Perhaps it is wise to pay respectful attention to all behavior. When we do we may become open to more and more possibilities of behavior. We might learn a great deal when we are open to everything and not just figuring out what pleases.
Perhaps style is no substitute for substance, that knowing certain facts is not more powerful than simple wisdom, that creating an impression is not more potent than acting from one's center.
Perhaps effective action arises out of silence and a clear sense of being. Perhaps this is a source of peace. We may discover the person who is down-to-earth can do what needs doing effectively.
Perhaps you would like to investigate for yourself.
- Heider, 1985, adapted
to experience in the
There are many refreshing and healing elements of nature, around us and in us. And if you know how to get in touch with them, you can gain the nourishment and healing that you need. This not only benefits you: if you suffer less, if you can nourish yourself with joy and happiness, then you will also be able to help others around you.
The practice of mindful breathing, of mindful walking – allowing yourself to be fully present in the here and now, in order to be nourished by nature – is very important. If we can stop running, looking for things, we can allow ourselves to be fully present in the here and now. And let the refreshing and healing elements of nature heal us. Then we can become instruments of peace, of happiness, of joy, to help others suffer less.
Around us, there may be a lot of anger, bitterness, and resentment. If we don't know how to go home to ourselves, to take care of ourselves, nourish ourselves, we will be overwhelmed by the collective energy of hate, anger, bitterness, and so on. So take care of yourself. It's very important. And to do so, you have to go home to yourself. There is a safe island within.
So, the practice is to preserve ourselves, to stop ourselves being overwhelmed by the suffering all around. This is possible with mindfulness. Because you know that fresh air is available, sunshine is available, fresh water is available; many wonders of life are available.
Even the way you sit and look at people can be very helpful; if you have peace, tranquility, and compassion, then your presence is already very helpful. So to be is very important. To do comes from that kind of being. Be peace first; do peace later.
- Thich Nhat Hanh, adapted
Perhaps it is a mistake to confuse excitement or arousal with the vital flow of enlightenment. Stimulants and emotional adventures arouse people, but such arousal does not enhance one's energies. On the contrary, excitement spends energy and exhausts vitality.
Think of excitement as tension that comes when stimulation meets resistance. The exciting experience ends when the stimulation stops or when a person wears out.
The vitality of enlightenment is a continuous flow. It meets no resistance and goes on and on without stress. Excitement is rooted in passing desires. Vital energy springs from the eternal.
- Heider, 1985, adapted
*It takes a deep commitment to change and an even deeper commitment to grow.
*I am invisible simply because people refuse to see me. Like the body-less heads you see sometimes in circus sideshows, it is as though I have been surrounded by hard, distorting glass. When they approach me they see only my surroundings, themselves or figments of their imagination, indeed, everything and anything except me.
*Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is to be won by continuing to play in the face of certain defeat.
- Ralph Ellison
Let me look upward into the towering oak and know that it grew great and strong because it grew slowly and well.
Find things beautiful as much as you can...
We begin again
Slowly this time
Look gently inward
Heal into life