Monday, April 23, 2007

Keeping Spiritually Fit

In researching today's post, I uncovered so many things that cry out for redress: I looked into partial birth abortion. Looking at those images of helpless babies being pulled out in shreds, made me physically sick. My ongoing investigation into the nefarious doings of the NEA makes me want to start a war; the way boys and their masculinity is being attacked within the public school system is reason enough to "hoist the black flag".

But it is not possible to keep digging into the ills of America, without being spiritually affected. Maybe I'm not as strong as I'd like to believe, but it does take its toll. I've been ceaselessly pounding away at what is wrong with the world, and want to, need to for awhile, emphasize the good. Ultimately to stay spiritually fit, I have to accept the world the way it is. Not that I won't bring to light the things I care for, but I need to back off for awhile. There hasn't been a balance, and there is a need to look for the good. So this marks a needed, temporary hiatus in customary tone of blog. Probably this is something most of you know from your own lives. Me, I just keep charging right over the edge of the cliff. Until today, when I listened to that little voice within.

I want to spend some time, find and report what is right and good in America. I will be looking into education, true pedagogy - from the Greek, literally, "to lead the child”. Also healthy homeschooling practices will be a focus, probably anecdotal for the most part, so if anyone has input on that, it would be most welcome and appropriate to speak up. Spiritual principles, as a force, will be explored. I do not practice religion, per se, don't go to church, but I do try to keep spiritually fit. As a child, I learned to love Jesus. As an adolescent, I learned that the teachings of Jesus are one thing, the followers another. I sought and found my own living connection with God. It works for me.

I make it a policy never to meddle in anyone's love life, or give advice on same. I came upon this sort of laundry list of useful attitudes within a relationship about four years ago. I don't know anything about Lama Surya Das, nor do I espouse Buddhism, but I do know that many suffer from a basic lack of understanding of what makes relationships work or fail. I have no particular reason for posting this, other than it simply came to hand when I was looking for something positive to report. It may be that the looking is more important than the finding. In any case, take a look - see what you think.

Ten Principles of Sacred Relationships

By Lama Surya Das

1. Unselfishness and selflessness--Consciously put your loved one at the center of your heart and cultivate awareness of his/her needs. But don't go overboard; remember to also take care of yourself.

2. Generosity--Give of yourself, sharing time, things, and emotions.

3. Acceptance--Commit yourself to patience, forbearance, tolerance, and accepting your mate not as a fantasy object--but a real person.

4. Respect--Your mate is a gateway to God and so deserves your respect, trust and support.

5. Honesty--the hard work of communication, revealing yourself, truth-telling, listening (these are big practices)--all lead to authenticity.

6. Empathy--Genuine love involves working hard to understand, and share, the feelings of your loved one. And to offer compassion and caring even for feelings you don't "get."

7. Play--Don't take your love or yourself so seriously. Remember to leave room for fun, whimsy, joy and meaninglessness too.

8. Passion--True passion is not the romantic fascination we associate with teenage crushes; it's a deep wonderment and interest in the other.

9. Mystery--Being open to not knowing, to not having it all worked out, to the discovery of being together.

10. Mission--Strengthen your bond by having some shared "mission," purpose, direction.

Tomorrow I'll post a letter Chief Seattle sent to the Great Chief in Washington.

Meanwhile, from the Ramayana

The Truth upholds the fragrant Earth
and makes the living water wet.

Truth makes fire
burn and the air move,
makes the sun shine
and all Life grow.

A hidden Truth supports everything.
Find it and win.