June 12


Today's Quotation:

What keeps our faith cheerful is the extreme persistence of gentleness and humor.  Gentleness is everywhere in daily life, a sign that faith rules through ordinary things:  through cooking and small talk, through storytelling, making love, fishing, tending animals and sweet corn and flowers, through sports, music, and books, raising kids-- all the places where the gravy soaks in and grace shines through.  Even in a time of elephantine vanity and greed, one never has to look far to see the campfires of gentle people. Lacking any other purpose in life,  it would be good enough to live for their sake.

Garrison Keillor

Today's Meditation:

I love to be around gentle people.  These are the human beings who make me feel peaceful, at ease, accepted.  They remind me in a beautiful way that the world is not about conflict and anger and dissatisfaction, but about acceptance and balance and the sharing of peace.

Some of the most gentle people I've ever known have been the strongest physically.  Their physical strength, though, wasn't anything that they've taken advantage of.  Rather, it simply was a fact, something that they could use if absolutely necessary, but that they truly didn't need.

I would like to be one of these gentle people.  I would like to provide a presence that other people find peaceful and reassuring.  I would like them to know that if they are with me, they will leave behind the greed and vanity that's so predominant in our world.  My gentleness, if I ever achieve it, can be a haven to them, a place where they can escape the stress of the world and be themselves.

Gentleness seems to be one of the side effects of enlightenment, and I believe that if I ever reach a state of enlightenment, gentleness will naturally be a part of me.  This is a good reason to pursue being gentle now-- perhaps our practice of the gentle arts of life can help us to reach an enlightened state.  And from that state, we can be much more helpful to others.

Everyday life doesn't have to be the stress and violence that we read in the papers or see in the news.  Everyday life is what we make it, what we search out, how we choose to spend our time and whom we choose to spend it with.  And the gentleness is there, just waiting for us to be there, too.

Questions to ponder:

1.  What are some of the traits that gentle people have in common?

2.  How can we become gentle people ourselves?

3.  What would we contribute to the world if we were gentle people?

For further thought:

It's true that we live in a harsh world, but it's also true that gentleness invades that harshness with its own kind of beauty.  We see it in the way a mother cradles a newborn baby, in the eyes of a father roughhousing with a preschooler, in the silence of a setting sun, in the affectionate caress of a lifetime lover and friend, in the peace that settles during an anxious prayer, and in a thousand ways more.
   Yes, gentleness is invading our world today.  The only question is whether or not you've joined the revolution.


more thoughts and ideas on gentleness



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