14 June 2016
They who are too busy doing good
find no time to be
People are made by
As they believe, so they are.
the Bhagavad Gita
are likely to live up
to what you believe of them.
First say to
yourself what you would be;
and then do what you have to do.
Power of the Sensitive (an excerpt)
Now we come to the power of the Sensitive, the
Modest, and the Small--a power that all Piglets
have in potential, whether or not they have
anything to do with it. Of all the
teachings of East or West, Taoism places the
greatest emphasis on that power, which in Taoist
writings is personified in its varying aspects
as the Child, the Mysterious Female, and the
Spirit of the Valley. Significantly, these
are also personifications of the Tao itself.
Let's begin our examination of the Sensitive,
the Modest, and the Small by considering
Sensitivity. In the West, sensitivity is
considered a Minus rather than a Plus.
("Oh, you're just too
sensitive!") But even in denouncing
it as something to get rid of, the West
acknowledges a little of its tremendous
power. For example, it is widely
recognized that being negatively sensitive about
one's health through worry-imagery and
pessimistic self-talk can make and keep one
sick. What is not so widely recognized,
however, is that being positively
sensitive about one's
health--"listening" to the body,
avoiding damaging influences, imagining and
directing healing energy, visualizing perfect
health, and so on--can make and keep one well,
as an increasing number of people are
discovering, some of them through curing
themselves of "incurable" illnesses.
and skill develop together--as one of them
increases in the process of learning something,
so does the other. A skilled ballet dancer
is aware of his or her muscles as they stretch
and contract, tighten and relax, through
exercise, practice, and performance.
Applying that sensitivity, the dancer leaps,
twirls and lands without apparent effort.
A skilled athlete of any sort is aware of just
how to move, how to hit or throw a ball in the
right way at the right time, how to do this or
that in order to score a point. Our last T'ai
Chi Ch'uan teacher had developed his
awareness to such an extent that he would
immediately know when anyone was trying to sneak
up on him. In their areas, at least, the
masters of any such skills are very
sensitive--and therefore very alert. As
Those of perfect Virtue cannot be burned by
fire, nor drowned by water. Neither can
they be harmed by heat or cold, nor injured by
wild animals. It is not that they are
indifferent--it is that they discriminate
between where they may safely rest and where
they will be in danger. Watchful in
prosperity and adversity, cautious in their
comings and goings, nothing can injure them.
The word for Taoist sensitivity is
Cooperate. As Lao-tse wrote, "The
skilled walker leaves no tracks"--one is
sensitive to (and therefore respectful toward)
one's surroundings and works with the natural
laws that govern them. Like a chameleon,
he or she blends in with What's There. And
one does this through the awareness that comes
from reducing the ego to nothing. As
Chuang-tse put it:
To those who dwell not in themselves, the
forms of things reveal themselves as they
are. They move like water, reflect like
mirrors, respond like an echo. Their
lightness makes them seem to disappear.
Still as a clear lake, they are harmonious in
their relations with those around them, and
remain so through profit and loss. They do
not precede others, but follow them instead.
The Te of Piglet . . .
in which a good deal of Taoist wisdom is
revealed through the character and
actions of A. A. Milne's Piglet. Piglet?
Yes, Piglet. For the better than
impulsive Tigger? or the gloomy Eeyore?
or the intellectual Owl? or even the
lovable Pooh? Piglet herein
demonstrates a very important principle
of Taoism: The Te--a Chinese word
meaning Virtue--of the Small.
people behind the words
and excerpts - Daily
Two - Year Three
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tell us that one of the most prevalent indicators of job
satisfaction is the ability for an employee to use his/her
creative skills on the job. That is, the opportunity
to figure things out in one's own unique way and make a
meaningful contribution. Sometimes a routine, even with all
it's merits, takes away the spontaneity that is an integral
part of that innovative process. How creative are you
in your job? How about in other aspects of your life?
Rosamund and Benjamin Zander have written an EXCELLENT book
(BIG recommendation!) called The Art of Possibility.
The authors are both highly influential people. Roz is a
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fully in each moment. Just as the title indicates,
seizing spontaneous opportunities opens the door for new and
My favorite chapter in the book, as those who know me well
might expect, :-) is called Rule Number 6.
What is Rule Number 6? It's just this:
Don't take yourself so seriously.
And I suppose you are wondering what the other rules are?
There are none!!! :-)
With that thought in mind, I'd like to invite you to step
outside of your routine, and enter into the realm of
possibility. The mode to transport you there is
SPONTANEITY. It's time to break out of that
office cubicle (or wherever you work and live) and
jump-start yourself into "possibility thinking."
Here are some suggestions to get you started:
1. Be a kid! They are the best teachers! Go
barefoot in the grass; play in the rain; watch the clouds;
swing as high as you can on a swingset; wear your pajamas
all day; savor a lollipop; play with a dog; color a bright
picture (and it's OK to go outside the lines!); play
football, basketball, soccer and baseball; build a fort;
paint a picture; sing at the top of your lungs; laugh aloud
from your belly; and dance in front of the mirror!
My son, the one who is 14 now, is teaching me to skateboard.
I have to tell you that I am really baaaaaaaad at
skateboarding. I have fallen on my you-know-what more
times than I can count. But man, do we have fun and do
we laugh when I am clinging to him and screaming for fear of
busting my butt yet again! What can you do to be a kid
2. Create something exquisite and different. How about
cooking a special concoction? Make it spicy, sweet, and
bold! Let go of any expectations that it has to be
perfect. Share it with someone wonderful.
My very special guy prepared a decadent meal for me on
Valentine's Day. Knowing the love that went into the
meal far outweighed any value a restaurant could offer.
He loves creating and sharing in this way (and he's darn
good at it too, which really works out well for me!).
3. Call up someone for no reason at all other than to
reconnect with them. Who cares how long it has been
since you last spoke? It will be much longer, or maybe
forever, unless you take the initiative. Share
I love to call old friends or to get an unexpected letter in
the mail. I have a friend who loves to drop by my
house, and just come in on a whim. I love that about
her -- she's quirky and fun! We have a glass of wine
and get caught up. It's just great when she gets me
out of "work" mode and into fully appreciating the
4. Appreciate the miracles found in nature. Take a long walk
outside at night time. Look at the moon and
drench yourself in a glorious "moonbath."
I have a friend who I call long distance whenever there is a
full moon. I encourage him to step out and look at the
brilliance and splendor of the moment. I am sure he
thinks this is a strange thing to do (and perhaps it is!),
but it makes me feel great to share the wonders of the
5. Take a nap. No, not the kind where you guiltily
steal 20 minutes and doze. I mean, take a NAP!
Get naked under the covers, get cozy, unplug the phone and
savor the peace. Yep, right in the middle of the day.
Here's a secret: you are ALLOWED to do this! This
kind of nap produces some great dreams!
I like naps in front of the fire too. Warmth is the
fundamental element in a really awesome nap. Last
summer my kids and I took a nap on the front porch of an old
house down near the beach. It was fabulous to feel the
breeze and the heat from the sun. What a nice
memory -- what a way to rejuvenate the spirit!
6. Give some money away. Yep--just give
something for no apparent reason, other than to be of
service to someone else and to trust that the money is being
used in a way that is needed. It need not be a
fortune, but it sure feels good to help someone else.
From time to time, I will pick a name out of the phonebook.
I will anonymously send the person money--not a lot, but
an amount I am comfortable with. I enclose a little
note saying they don't know me but I was drawn to their name
and I hope this money is of a special use for them. I
also say that if they are blessed, perhaps they can pick a
name out and send something on to another person, thus
keeping the chain going. After I mail the
letter, I never know what happens to the money or with the
people, but I fully trust it is something terrific.
The neat added benefit that I have discovered is I am always
blessed with some type of financial reward myself when I do
this. I encourage you to give it a try! Giving
is a wonderful way to be spontaneous and keep one mindful of
These are some ideas to get you started in your quest for
spontaneous living. What other ones can you think of?
Keep in mind Rule Number 6 -- don't take yourself so
seriously!!! Permit yourself to have fun because life
is, indeed, short. Enjoy the richness of who you are
and of all those you meet. Lighten up and go have some
Soul Restoration Tip
Happiness comes of the capacity to feel deeply, to
enjoy simply, to think freely, to risk life, and to be
needed. -Storm Jameson
Go a little crazy, go a little insane; come out and
play with me, barefoot in the rain. -Anonymous
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right-click on the
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different from what we are,
we must have some awareness of what we
"God bless you," we
say often when people sneeze, usually without thinking about the
actual meaning of the words. What does it mean to bless
someone? Do blessings have to come from God, or are we able
to bless each other? And must blessings be specific in their
intent or result, or can they simply be the positive thoughts and
energy that we wish to share with others?
I can think of several people who have been tremendous blessings
in my life simply because they are who they are. I can think
of others who have helped me in very concrete, tangible ways, and
that help has also been a blessing to me. And thinking about
these people in my life got me to thinking about how--or even
whether--I spread blessings to others myself.
I believe that I can spread blessings to others by spreading
encouragement, but sometimes I think that other people don't
really need my encouragement, that they're doing fine as they are
and that they're okay without it. I talk myself into not
encouraging someone because of my own insecurities, I suppose, and
I lose the chance to bless someone else with some kind, positive,
and loving words. When I do encourage others, though, I
often see them grow just a little bit stronger as the result of
some simple words from me to them. I see them grow in
confidence and I often even see the appreciation they feel as a
result of my words.
am larger, better than I thought; I did
not know I held so much goodness.
All seems beautiful to me.
Whoever denies me, it shall not trouble me;
Whoever accepts me, he or she shall
be blessed, and shall bless me.
I can also
spread blessings by sharing the material gifts that
I've been given. I'm not wealthy, so I can't
give tons of money to others, but I can give some
money to people who could use it. I like to
tip more generously than normal when a server has
done an exceptional job; I like to donate things
that I have that are in very good condition to
thrift stores, where they'll become available to
someone who needs them at a very low price. I
like to give away books that I've read and music
that I've listened to. If someone sees
something of mine and really likes it, I often like
to give that thing to them--sharing such a thing
does something positive for them and allows me to
avoid becoming too attached to that thing.
And what a blessing it is to be loved! How can
I let others know that they are loved and that that
love is unconditional. I can't go around
telling people "I love you" all the time,
of course, especially in situations in which such a
thing would be entirely inappropriate. And
what about those people whom I don't even know, but
whom I love (which should be everyone, shouldn't
it?)? I read an essay once by a man who was in
a bus when he noticed a woman who seemed to be
having a hard time, both with her infant and with
life in general. He was sitting behind her,
and he concentrated on sending loving, caring
thoughts to her without saying a word. He was
a bit surprised when she turned around and thanked
him as she was leaving the bus--he hadn't said a
word to her.
Can we send blessings without words or obvious
actions or the exchange of any property? I
believe we can--I believe that we can look at
another person and send love his or her way, and
that the love actually arrives. Whether or not
the person is able or ready to accept it is another
matter, of course. Our thoughts have energy to
them--we all know what it feels like when a positive
person walks into a room in which the energy is
negative. Things brighten up and they don't
look so dark. That person's thoughts and
emotions have a very positive effect on the
atmosphere and on the other people in the room, and
love is the most important element of that type of
Can I be that kind of person? I can if I love
enough, and consistently enough and broadly enough.
can one be a blessing merely by being cheerful? Yes;
moral beauty of any kind exerts a silent influence for good.
It is like a sweet flower by the wayside, which has a
benediction for everyone who passes by.
James Russell Miller
We all have
gifts that are unique to us. One of my gifts
is that of teaching and helping other people to
learn. I think that I can be a blessing in
other people's lives if I share that gift with them
without being overbearing or having exaggerated
expectations about what or how much they should
learn. I can share my gift without causing
others stress. If my gift were music, I could
easily find ways to share that; if it were cooking,
I could also find ways to share my gift. The
thing with gifts, of course, is that it's important
that we find ways of sharing them without expecting
anything in return--not even thanks. Sharing
with the expectation of thanks is simply barter, not
giving, and your sharing has a price on it.
We've all probably heard someone make the joke about
"blessing us with their presence."
To me, this isn't a joke. If a person is kind
and caring and compassionate, then their presence
really is a blessing, and I'd like to think that
there are ways that my presence can be a blessing in
the lives of others, too. This depends, of
course, on things like my attitude and my actions
and the way that I treat others. What would it
take for my presence to be a blessing to
others? I think first of all, I'd be a person
that is at peace with myself and who doesn't bring
conflict with me wherever I go. I also would
not be judgmental and unforgiving, for then people
would dread my presence and not look forward to
it. I'd smile a lot rather than being stern,
and I'd be helpful rather than demanding. In
short, I'd let people be themselves without judging
them and I would help them to see the beauty of this
world instead of causing them to worry and
bless what you love. It's when you want to love
and you can't manage it. You stretch out your hands and
you say God forgive me that I can't love but bless this thing
anyway. We have to bless what we hate. It would be
better to love, but that's not always possible.
brings up two interesting points, though.
First, do our blessings that we spread have to come
from or through God? When we bless another
person, are we doing so only through the
intervention or help of God? If this were the
case, it seems that a person who doesn't believe in
God--or who doesn't believe in the same ways as
us--would be unable to bless others, and I just
can't accept this possibility as true. People
are full of love and compassion and energy, and we
can spread these things willfully and helpfully no
matter what our religious beliefs happen to be.
Graham also talks about blessing things that we
hate, too. Blessing horrible things seems
contradictory, of course, but it does make sense in
several ways. If we get angry at someone who
does something awful, for example, our anger isn't
going to do anything to change the person or his or
her actions. If we ask for a blessing for that
person, we're recognizing the need for love to work
in certain situations and trying to provide a bit of
that love ourselves so that we can contribute to a
change rather than allowing the status quo to
continue. We must remember that a blessing is
positive energy, and we cannot defeat negative
energy with more negative--positive energy and love
are the ways that we can overcome negative in life.
My blessings are mine to give, but they're useless
if I don't give them at all, if I keep them to
myself or neglect them. Other people can
benefit greatly from the blessings that are mine to
give, and while I neglect them sometimes, I do try
to spread blessings as much as I can, even if I do
so in very, very small or seemingly insignificant
ways. You have blessings to give, also, and
it's up to you to decide just whom you're going to
bless today and tomorrow.
of the most important elements
of living life fully is
awareness-- awareness of our surroundings, of other people
and their motives and fears and desires, of the things that
affect us most in our lives, both positively and negatively.
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In times of adversity, I remember I am strong
enough to meet the challenges
of my life. I am equal to every situation, a match for
every difficulty. Sourced
in the power of the Universe, I allow that power to work
through me. I meet
calamity with strength. I have stamina. Rather
than draw on limited resources,
I draw on the infinite power within me that moves through me
its good. I am fueled by all the love, all the
strength there is. Loving strength
melts mountains. I am ever partnered and supplied by
the universal flow.
Knowing this, I do not doubt my strength. I am strong
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