Here's a "thought for the week," from Francis Cook:
"To help others is to help oneself. It may also be said that to help oneself is to help others, since real, effective help is not possible as long as we ourselves are deluded and filled with greed and hatred."Yours in the faith we share,
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I.C.Y.M.I. (In Case You Missed It)
The Jan 23 worship service, "Do You Talk to Your Car?":
PRACTICE OF THE WEEK
Training in Compassion #9: Turn All Mishaps in the Path.
From Norman Fischer’s Training in Compassion, training #9 is: Turn all mishaps into the path. The spiritual path -- the path toward wholeness, deepening wisdom and expansive equanimity, peace, and joy; that is, the path of life, insofar as we tread it with the intention of becoming more fully alive – is not all sunshine and sweetness. Mishaps mishappen. If we treat them as part of the path, then they are.
When something difficult or terrible happens to us -- a loss, a setback, a frustration, an insult -- naturally we immediately feel dismay, anger, disappointment, or resentment, just as everyone does and just as we always have. But now we have a slogan to train with until, in the midst of bad circumstances, it pops into mind: Turn all of this into the path! We can turn toward our afflictive emotions, understanding that they are natural, under the circumstances. Dismay, annoyance, anger, anxiety, resentment arise sometimes for all of us. Instead of denying, repressing, or trying to ignore these emotions, we can allow them to be present with dignity.
Repeat this slogan, “turn all mishaps into the path,” to yourself at various points during your day. Write it in your journal every day for a while – a week, or a month -- until it is thoroughly internalized. Then, when something bad happens, instead of saying: "Dang! Why did this have to happen!" You can, instead, say, "Yes, of course, this is how it is. Let me turn toward it. Let me practice with it. Let me go beyond entanglement to gratitude."
For more on this training in compassion, see the full post: "Turn All Mishaps into the Path."
See also our SPIRITUAL PRACTICE DIRECTORY
Here it is, your MOMENT OF ZEN #105: Are You Ready?
In #87, Raven said, "Things just come in. Do you listen, or do you hear? When you listen, you are paying attention to something out there, but when you hear, the sounds just come in. You are sitting there with your ears open, and the dove calls out. That sound defines you. Once you are defined like that, the cedars can define you, the faraway skunk can define you."
The whole universe continually defines you.
After Raven's response to Mole [see PREVIOUS], the community fell silent.Verse
Finally, Woodpecker spoke up: "A while back you said that the call of the dove defines us, and now you say that when Owl hoots, the whole forest hoots. I'm confused. Do the two sounds have different functions?"
Raven said, "When Owl hoots, the whole forest hoots. Are you ready to be defined?
"Ready or not, here I come," says Definition,
And I, having not found a satisfactory hiding place,
Dive behind a near and inadequate concealment.
Pretending otherwise, I have long since been found.
Pretending otherwise, I relish re-discovery.
Pretending otherwise, Definition is neither ready