Reflections on Suffering with Ram Dass (part two)This brief excerpt from "Reflections on Suffering" with Ram Dass, recorded live in 1987, gives us insight into how Ram Dass uses guided meditation to access our deepest thoughts and feelings.
Now let your awareness let arise into your awareness, thoughts that concern some way in which you personally have experienced suffering. Just let the thought arise in your mind. Keep your witness strong. How do I suffer? What suffering has there been in my life? Let yourself into it just a little.
It will awaken a lot of thoughts that arouse that are feeling like emotions. Perhaps your suffering is around illness. Perhaps it is around loneliness and separateness. Perhaps it is around addictions, obsessions. Perhaps it is around shame, loathing towards your acts or your fantasies or qualities of your body or personality. Perhaps your suffering has been around the suffering of loved ones or the death of loved ones.
Ram Dass bio and links
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Planting Seeds with Thich Nhat Hanh
As we near the end of Audio Book month, we bring to you a great title for the kids this summer: Planting Seeds featuring songs from Thich Nhat Hanh. A beautiful collection for any adult wishing to plant seeds of peace, relaxation, and awareness in children. It is full of wisdom on how to simply be with children and nourish their compassion for themselves and others.
You will be enchanted with Planting Seeds, Practicing Mindfulness with Children featuring Thich Nhat Hanh and the Plum Village Community. The CD has inspiring recordings of all the songs in the book, Planting Seeds, as well as a guided pebble meditation, total relaxation, and children's touching the earth.
Art of Peace with Morihei Ueshiba (Part II)
This transcribed excerpt from Morihei Ueshiba's The Art of Peace stresses the utter importance of practicing peace every day, in every moment, and in that practice, we find can begin to live in true -- and peaceful -- warriorship.
Daily training in the art of peace allows your divinity to shine brighter and brighter. Do not concern yourself with the right and wrong of others. Do not be calculating or act unnaturally. Keep your mind focused on the art of peace and do not criticize other teacher or traditions. The art of peace never restrains or shackles anything. It embraces all and purifies everything. Train hard. Experience the light and warmth of the art of peace and become a true person. Train more and learn the principals of nature. The art of peace will be established all over and it will have a different expression in each place it takes root. Continually adapt the teachings and create a beautiful environment.In good training, we generate light, that is, wisdom, and heat, that is compassion. Those two elements activate heaven and earth, the sun and moon. They are the subtle manifestations of water and fire. Unify the material and spiritual realms and that will enable you to become truly brave, wise, loving, and empathetic. Practice the art of peace sincerely and evil thoughts and deeds will naturally disappear. The only desire that should remain is the thirst for more and more training in the way. Those who are enlightened never stop forging themselves. The realizations of such masters cannot be expressed well in words or by theories. The most perfect actions echo the patterns found in nature.
Day after day, train your heart out, refining your technique. Use the one to strike the many. That is the discipline of a warrior. Face a single foe as if you are facing ten thousand enemies. Face ten thousand enemies as a single foe. The way of a warrior cannot be encompassed by words or in letter. Grasp the essence and move on toward realization.
The Art of Peace with Morihei Ueshiba
In The Art of Peace, Morihei Ueshiba -- the founder of the popular Japanese martial art aikido -- shares a collection of teachings that illustrate the real way of the warrior based on compassion, wisdom, fearlessness, and love of nature. Spirituality and Practice has called Morihei Ueshiba's The Art of Peace “poetic and profound". We're delighted to share an excerpt with you here.
The art of peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the art of peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your inner enlightenment, foster peace in your own life, and then apply the art to all that you encounter. One does not need buildings, money, power, or status to practice the art of peace. Heaven is right where you are standing and that is the place to train. All things material and spiritual originate from one source and are related as if they were one family. The present, past, and future are all contained in the life force. The universe emerged and developed from one source and we evolved through the optimal process of unification and harmonization.
This is how the universe came into being. There was no heaven, no earth, no universe -- just empty space. In this vast emptiness, a single point suddenly manifested itself. From that point, steam, smoke, and mist spiraled forth an aluminous sphere and the sacred sound of soo was born. As soo expanded circularly up and down, left and right, major and breath began, clear and uncontaminated. Breath developed life and sound appeared. Soo is the word mentioned in many world religions. All sounds and vibrations emanate from that word. Your voice is a very powerful weapon.
When you are in tune with the cosmic breath of heaven and earth, your voice produces true sounds. Unify body, mind, and speech and real techniques will emerge. The art of peace emanated from the divine form and the divine heart of existence. It reflects the true, good, beautiful, and absolute nature of creation and the essence of its ultimate grand design. The purpose of the art of peace is to fashion sincere human beings. A sincere human being is one who has unified body and spirit, one who is free of hesitation or doubt, and one who understands the power of words.