Tag: prayer

Overwhelm the World with Good – Wisdom Wednesday

Overwhelm the World with Good – Wisdom Wednesday

We think we are powerless to effect change, but can we not choose to overwhelm the world with good  and create an impact equal to or greater than that created by those who choose to overwhelm it with ill?  We all struggle to change the tiniest of habits in our own lives that we abhor. Why wouldn’t we believe it’s impossible to create change powerful enough to counter such a thing as terrorism, the most vicious kind of hate and indifference to human life? And yet, terrorism, like every other act of violence came about as a result of one human choice after another, one small act after another. We have that power as well. We have the same number of choices to overwhelm evil with good.

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.”

Desmond Tutu 

The little bit of good that we do may go unnoticed, but it is no less powerful because it has not drawn attention. Our small kindnesses and acts of generosity may not reverberate in the media, or show up in a hashtag on Twitter, but they are no less able to have an impact.

[tweetthis]Peace is the only battle worth waging.” ~ Albert Camus[/tweetthis]

The war we choose to wage, such as a war waged to overwhelm the world with good is no less potent.  Our weapons may be silent, invisible weapons, such as the choice not to engage in the ongoing verbal rhetoric that creates animosity among the ego driven, or the choice to spend time in silent meditation reflecting on all that is good and right and true, or to offer a smile to a stranger, or hug a child. As we walk humbly, yet earnestly and with determination in the direction of all that is good, we can and will overwhelm the world with good.

Overwhelm the world with good

Let’s draw upon the strength of prayer, meditation, and silence and continue to turn our eyes, our attention, our energy toward that which inspires, creates and reveres life. Let’s continue in earnest to plant flowers, feed souls, nourish children, make music, dance joyfully, speak softly, shout with praise and gratitude for the gifts that we have been given. Each breath we take is a gift. Each choice we make is a prayer. Let’s pray with honesty, vulnerability, and grace, and set aside our greed, our obsession with all that feeds only our ego and set out instead to discover and cultivate our soul. This is how we overwhelm the world with good. This is how we win the war against violence and hate.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” ~ Margaret Mead

 

 

In-Between Times

In-Between Times

transitions, Lent, transformation“Sometimes we are living in the ‘in-between-times’ when we’re no longer who we used to be, but haven’t yet arrived at our next stage ”.   ~ Marian Williamson

As the snow begins to melt after last week’s storm, and the calendar flips from February to March, I am reminded of the torment and the power of the in-between times. March in North Carolina is an in-between time. It can be cold (35) and rainy like it is today or sunny and warm (75) as it promises to be tomorrow. It’s neither here, nor there, and there’s no certainty about what to expect. It’s difficult to plan and dressing is a layered affair.

Despite the ups and downs of the weather, the birds know what’s on the horizon. They are already in full spring song. They have awakened from winter survival mode and the drive to mate and procreate has set them in motion. As they prepare for new life their song reveals the joy of new re-birth and the new beginning that lies on the horizon.

Life is a series of transitions. No sooner do we land in a place we’d like to stay, than it is time to move on. Something shifts or changes and we are called upon, once again, to adapt and change. Sometimes we are grateful for the change and sometimes we are terrified by it. Either way, the in-between time is one of not quite knowing who we are, what to do or what to expect.

Transitions come in all sizes, from the large life-altering external events such as marriage, birth, and death and the internal shifts of puberty and menopause, to day to day shifts in interest and focus, such as tiring of one hobby and searching for a new one, or finishing one book and looking for another. In all cases, the in-between times trigger an uneasiness, a restlessness and an uncertainty about what to do and what is next.

When we can step back from our discomfort and see the in-between time, as a period of gestation, of fertility, of alert waiting, just as the birds surely must wait and prepare for a mate and birth of their young, we can perhaps avoid falling into the trap of self-loathing, fear, anxiety and despair that too often moves in to fill the gap.  To elevate our viewpoint to one of open expectation, standing open to everything and afraid of nothing, ready and alert to the next challenge or adventure, is to understand and accept that transitions are a part of life, the driving force within and behind our inherent drive to create.

It’s no coincidence that major religions incorporate traditions that include the symbols of birth, death, and re-birth into their yearly liturgical calendars.  In the Christian tradition, for example, the season of Easter celebrates the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and takes place in unison with the re-birth of nature. The season of Lent is a period of preparation, symbolic, if you will, of the in-between time.  (The word “Lent” is short for “Lenten” which refers to the forty days before Easter and comes from the Old Enlish word “lencten” meaning “springtime or spring”.)

One can see how important the “in-between” time is to the process of transition and transformation within the Christian tradition when seen through the eyes of the Lenten season. For forty days and forty nights, Christians are admonished to fast and pray, and essentially to wait with an open heart for new life.  One need not be a practicing Christian to understand and see the value of taking time out from focusing on everyday demands, from having to have all of the answers and knowing exactly what is coming, to prepare oneself, to realign priorities, assess values and activities, to pare down and create space for a new beginning.

We are a culture that thrives on activity and production. In-between times of non-activity and non-production are perhaps even more important to the final outcome. After all, if we are not ready and prepared, waiting openly and expectantly, creating space within and without, but are instead buried in activity or anxious mental gymnastics, how can we hear or see what is right in front of us?

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meditation Prayer on Love by Thich Nhat Hanh

Meditation Prayer on Love by Thich Nhat Hanh

Meditation Prayer on Love
by Thich Nhat Hanh

May I be peaceful, happy and light in body and spirit.
May I be free from injury.  May I live in safety.
May I be free from disturbance, fear, anxiety and worry.
May I learn to look at myself with the eyes of understanding and love.
May I be able to recognize and touch the seeds of joy and happiness in myself.
May I learn to identify and see the sources of anger, craving and delusion in myself.
May I know how to nourish the seeds of joy in myself every day.
May I be able to live fresh, solid and free.
May I be free from attachment and aversion, but not be indifferent.