Dear Friends, in these challenging times, many people ask this question: What can I do? How do I help? Here are some reflections from Awareness on this topic. This originally appeared in the Autumn 2002 Newsletter and is timely today.
What can we do? The simple answer is: do whatever you can, whenever you can, wherever you can, to bring greater love, greater awareness and greater peace into the world.
There are countless ways to do this. Each day presents you with countless opportunities to do this. Take the opportunities that are given. Do whatever you can, wherever you can, whenever you can. Remember you have the power to bring love, awareness and peace into the world.
Honor your own life and the life of earth, and the life of those you encounter. Affirm life, love life.
Weep when you have to weep, laugh when you can laugh. Share your laughter and your tears. Share the anger and the pain, the mysteries and the joys.
Look within. Know yourself. Understanding yourself, you will naturally find your right action in this world.
Do not be afraid to take risks in your own life. Don’t be limited by what you have been conditioned to believe, by old fears, or by what you tell yourself you can’t do.
Everything matters. No act of love or awareness is too small. Therefore when you feel powerless make an extra effort to bring love to another person or share a peaceful moment with another person. Remember you have power in your own life, in your choice of what you do with your time, how you relate to others, and how you relate to yourself.
Be involved in your life on this earth. Give yourself to this earth and your life upon it. Dedicate yourself to being here, now, whatever that means for you. Get involved in social or political action. Participate in prayers and rituals for healing the earth. Find your right livelihood. Find out what being here means for you. Don’t wait for someone else to tell you.
If you experience abundance, share what you have. Don’t give it all away; attend to your own needs and then share whatever you can, whenever you can, wherever you can. Consume consciously.
In any way you can, challenge the old habit patterns of domination, territoriality and oppression that control so much of human existence and cause so much suffering. Become aware of those patterns in your own life and in any way you can replace them with patterns of co-operation, communication, equal sharing, and awareness of the greater good. In whatever way you choose, confront those old patterns in the world around you; try to bring new ways of seeing and being.
Don’t isolate yourself. Find others who share your perspective, who wish to work together to bring greater awareness, greater love, greater peace.
Don’t give up.
Speak. Speak, and speak again. Whether you think anyone is listening or not, speak –in any way you can. Speak with a letter, a petition, a speech, a conversation, a poem, a film, a song. Speak in prayer. Speak to the spirits and for the spirits. Speak to people. Speak to yourself.
Listen. Listen to yourself, listen to others, and listen to spirit. Listen to the voice within that guides you. Listen to the cries of the world and find some way, no matter how small it seems, to respond.
Investigate. Question. Think. Now is a time to practice intensively the ancient teaching of the Buddha: put everything to the test of your own reason and experience. Be informed about the world you live in but don’t believe everything you read. Explore many perspectives. Share the knowledge you gather.
Sing and dance. Tell stories. Make music. Make love. Pray. Meditate.
Believe. Believe in the possibility of human nature, in the possibility that human beings can live in harmony with each other and their world. Believe it is worth doing all of the above. Yes, it is possible for humanity to evolve to a greater consciousness of love and peace, but the future cannot be read. There are countless choices being made every day that shape the future of this earth. Evolution is increasingly a matter of conscious choice, so your choices matter. Your own evolution takes place here, now.
So do whatever you can, wherever you can, whenever you can to bring greater love, greater awareness and greater peace into the world.
May all beings be happy, peaceful and free of suffering.
Glorieta, New Mexico
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September - October 2005 - Meditation Is Not a Luxury
Summer 2005 - The Brave Little Parrot
Spring 2005 - Do You Know?
February-March 2005 - The Inner Treasure
November-December 2004 - The Light at the Heart of Everything
September-October 2004 - Continuous Prayer
July 2004 - The Open Heart
March February 2004 - Global Awareness
New Years 2004 - Know Yourself
December 2003 - Community
November 2003 - The Star
September 2003 - Illumination
May 2003 - The Legend of Waterwoman
April 2003 - Easter
March 2003 - What Do You Value?
February 2003 - Energy
January 2003 - New Years 2003
December 2002 - Christmas 2002
November 2002 - The Presence of Spirit
October 2002 - The Spirit of Love and Peace
September 2002 - Hope
August 2002 - Ask and You Shall Receive
July 2002 - Faith
June 2002 - The Circle
May 2002 - Strength and Power
April 2002 - Water
March 2002 - A Prayer
February 2002 - The Feast of Imbolc
January 2002 - Remember
December 2001 - Inner Silence
November 2001 - Weeping for the World /Impermanence (Anicca)
October 2001 - Non-violence
September 2001 - Affirmation
August 2001 - The Mirror of the Cosmos
July 2001 - Energy
June 2001 - Simplicity
May 2001 - The Labyrinth
April 2001 - Spring, Renewal, Rebirth
March 2001 - Joy and Sorrow
February 2001 - Take Good Care of Yourself
December 2000 - January 2001 - Winter Solstice and New Year's Meditation
November 2000 - Peace
October 2000 - Love
September 2000 - The Space Between
August 2000 - Creativity
July 2000 - Honoring the Earth
June 2000 - Walking the Path
May 2000 - Cosmic Energy
April 2000 - Nurturing
March 2000 - How to Consult an Oracle, Equinox Meditation
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