March 1

Today's quotation:

A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner:  "Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time."  When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, "The one I feed the most."

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Today's Meditation:

Which dog are you feeding?  How are you feeding it?  What are you giving it to help it grow strong and beautiful?

It might help to ask what kinds of nutrients the good dog needs to grow stronger than the other dog.  If I want the "good dog" to be the strongest, then I know that I have to fill my mind with positive thoughts and ideas, uplifting stories and poems, beautiful images and songs.  I know that I have to encourage people, forgive, allow, compliment, help.  I know that I need to maintain my physical health, my emotional health, and my spiritual health.

If I want the "bad dog" to be vanquished to the dim recesses of my spirit, then I must do my best not to feed it at all.  I have to make sure that I don't give it nourishment by harboring anger, guilt, frustration, fear, resentment, and all those other wonderful things that we often tend to harbor.  I mustn't fill my mind with images of crime and violence and people hurting people.  I mustn't judge others and put myself above them, for when I do I'm nurturing the part of myself that does not deserve to be nurtured.

This is a beautiful image.  "The one I feed the most."  Which part of yourself do you feed the most?  What do you feed it with?  If you want the good side to grow stronger, is it really just a question of feeding it more of the food that it needs to be healthy and whole?  I believe that it is--so what are we waiting for?  The stronger our good side grows, the more capable we all will be of helping others to develop their good sides, too!

Questions to consider:

What kinds of spiritual nourishment do you put inside yourself?  How do you feed your spiritual self?

What would your life be like if the "good dog" always vanquished the bad dog, in all the things that you do?

Where might you find more good things to feed your "good dog"?

For further thought:

You have choices to make every day.  One of those choices is to determine what goes into your mind to help to form the person who you are.  If you let in courage, compassion, love, hope, empathy, peace, devotion, consideration and other such qualities, just guess what's going to be coming out of you?   On the other hand, if you constantly fill your mind with hate, anger, violence, murder, rape, revenge, torture, abuse, prejudice and other such qualities, guess what's going to be coming out of you?  You probably won't start acting like the characters you see, but your perspective definitely will be affected by what you've let into you.

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