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Archive for December, 2011

Kindness Daily: An Unforgettable Morning at the Airport

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An Unforgettable Morning at the Airport December 31, 2011 – Posted by stars24
It was an unusual time with so much happening in my life. I was on my way to visit my sick mom, who passed away shortly after my visit. So much was going on and I arrived earlier than usual at the airport.

When I arrived at the airport, I went to get some breakfast. After getting breakfast, I slipped on some water on the floor and the food spilled all over. I was embarrassed, but also feeling down because of the situation with my mom. I felt all eyes in my direction. I just wanted to disappear.

I then went to sit in a different part of the airport. Sitting there, I began to cry silently. Shortly after, a man came toward me and said that he wanted to buy me breakfast. I said it was not necessary, but he insisted. He came back with a tray of warm food and a drink and a big smile.

I thanked him for his kindness. My thanks to him was in the form of a prayer for him and his famliy. That morning breakfast gave me not only physical strength, but moral strength as well. I just felt so loved by a God who sees all things.

I wanted to do the same for another human being. I will never forget that morning at the airport.

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Dalai Lama Quote from Snow Lion Publications

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Dalai Lama Quote of the Week

In this practice one recollects negativity, contemplates its nature, generates apprehension of its karmic implications, and resolves to purify one’s mind of the negative traces. On the basis of this resolve one takes refuge, develops the bodhimind and enters the Vajrasattva meditation or whatever method is being used. One can also do exercises such as prostrations and so forth. This concentration of purifying energies destroys the potency of negative karmic imprints like the germ of a barley seed roasted in a fire.

Here it is important to begin the meditation session with a contemplative meditation and then to transform this into settled meditation for a prolonged period of time. One abides in the settled meditation until it begins to lose intensity, and then temporarily reverts to contemplative meditation in order to invigorate the mind, returning to fixed meditation once a contemplative atmosphere has been restored.

Generally our mind is habituated to directing all of our energies into things that benefit this life alone, things of no spiritual consequence. By performing these types of meditations, our natural attachment to the meaningless activities of this life subsides and we begin to experience an inner appreciation for spiritual values. When spontaneously one’s mind appreciates spiritual rather than mundane goals one has become an active practitioner of initial perspective.(p.117)

–from The Path to Enlightenment by H.H. the Dalai Lama, edited and translated by Glenn H. Mullin, published by Snow Lion Publications

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A New Kind of New Year’s Resolution

Each resolve to live more kindly loosens restrictive knots of self-interest. Life then flows more freely on its true course. The way an unfettered river runs swift to the ocean. — Daily Good Editors

Good News of the Day:
The upcoming new year serves as a reminder of hope, possibilities, and new beginnings. As we prepare to step into 2012, here’s a new tool to help turn our annual motivation outward, resolving to brighten the lives of others: Its organizer, a chaplain at the University of Pennsylvania named Rev. Chaz Howard, calls it “a public campaign to challenge people to make outwardly-focused resolutions to care for others, instead of inwardly-focused resolutions for self-improvement.” This simple initiative connects a community of people who want to volunteer, help a loved one, recycle, and do dozens of other things to be kind to others. The endless possibilities are recorded online in people’s own words, creating a shared space for declarations that translate into service and inspire others.

Be The Change:
Rev. Howard’s advice: to reflect and then “make a resolution that is not too big — and doable. What is the little imprint you can make on the world?” For inspiration and to share, visit Resolution12 here.

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Dharma Quote from Snow Lion Publications

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Dharma Quote of the Week

The famous nineteenth-century dzogchen master Paltrul Rinpoche explained self-liberation concretely and precisely:

“The practitioner of self-liberation is like an ordinary person as far as the way in which the thoughts of pleasure and pain, hope and fear, manifest themselves as creative energy. However, the ordinary person, taking these really seriously and judging them as acceptable or rejecting them, continues to get caught up in situations and becomes conditioned by attachment and aversion.
“Not doing this, a practitioner, when such thoughts arise, experiences freedom: initially, by recognizing the thought for what it is, it is freed just like meeting a previous acquaintance; then it is freed in and of itself, like a snake shedding its skin; and finally, thought is freed in being unable to be of benefit or harm, like a thief entering an empty house.”

…Freeing or liberating thought does not mean ignoring, letting go of, being indifferent to, observing, or even not having thoughts. It means being present in hope and fear, pain and pleasure, not as objects before us, but as the radiant clarity of our natural state. Thus anger, for example, when experienced dualistically, is an irritation which we may indulge in or reject, depending on our conditioning. Either way we are caught up in it and act out of it. But when aware of anger as a manifestation of clarity, its energy is a very fresh awareness of the particulars of the situation. However, these particulars are no longer irritating.(p.77)

–from You Are the Eyes of the World by Longchenpa, translated by Kennard Lipman and Merrill Peterson, introduction by Namkhai Norbu, published by Snow Lion Publications

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Video of the Week: Aurora Borealis

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Video of the Week

Dec 30, 2011
Aurora Borealis

Aurora Borealis

Few things take our breath away so easily, so seamlessly as images of our world. Sit back for the next two minutes and let the spectacle of our cosmos fill your senses. The deep emotional relationship we feel to our planet is evident. Happy new year!
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How Good Found Me In A Bad Neighborhood

Make no judgements where you have no compassion. — Anne McCaffrey

Good News of the Day:
“It occurred to me a little too late that I was in a sketchy part of town. In anticipation of making it to my massage appointment, I had actually gotten off my bus five blocks before my stop. I was young and clearly a college student…I stuck out like a sore thumb in the southern town. Yet, even with my fingers trembling I was convinced that I would be perfectly safe, that I didn’t have to rely on anyone for help. “It’ll be okay Priya,” I reassured myself, “You’ve dealt with 2,000 pound horses, so a dangerous person is nothing to you.” In this real-life story, a young woman describes stumbling into a rough neighborhood and encountering two strangers who opened her eyes to the beauty we miss when we make superficial judgements about the people who cross our paths.

Be The Change:
Observe your own judgments as they arise today, and experiment with consciously trying to step away from them.

**Share A Reflection**

Ways To Go Green In 2012

If there is to be an ecologically sound society, it will have to come the grass roots up, not from the top down. — Paul Hawken

Good News of the Day:
As we head into 2012, many of us will be resolving to lose those few extra pounds, save more money, or spend a few more hours with our families and friends. But there are also some resolutions we can make to make our lives a little greener. Each of us can make a commitment to reducing our environmental impacts. This article offers a set of simple starting points — ranging from recycling and planting a garden to composting and eliminating bottled water.

Be The Change:
Try implementing two or three of the article’s recommendations in this upcoming year.

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Illiterate Fisherman at 90, Literary Star at 98!

The purpose of learning is growth, and our minds, unlike our bodies, can continue growing as we continue to live. — Mortimer Adler

Inspiration of the Day:
He may not have learned to read and write until he was 91, but Jim Henry is becoming a literary star. The retired lobsterman now 98-years-old released his book, “In a Fisherman’s Language” last month. And ever since he and his family have found themselves immersed in a world of book printings, agents, publicity and film rights. People from not just around the country but the world are clamoring for copies. Henry, whose own life story tells like a movie, was inspired after learning about the story of George Dawson, the grandson of a slave who wanted to earn his high school diploma by learning how to read and write at 98.

Be The Change:
Find more ways to incorporate active learning into your life, whether it’s through reading, travel, conversations or perhaps simply by honing awareness and observation.

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Quote of the Week | Blame and Justification

Learn More | Books and Audio | The Pema Chödrön Foundation
December 28, 2011


You could begin to notice whenever you find yourself blaming others or justifying yourself. If you spent the rest of your life just noticing that and letting it be a way to uncover the silliness of the human conditionthe tragic yet comic drama that we all continually buy intoyou could develop a lot of wisdom and a lot of kindness as well as a great sense of humor.


The Wisdom of No Escape

The Wisdom of No Escape: And the Path
of Loving-kindness,
page 36

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5 Reasons Why We Serve

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. — Mahatma Gandhi

Inspiration of the Day:
In a world dominated by financial incentives that appeal to a mindset of consumption, it becomes all the more critical to turn the tide by engaging in small acts of generosity and continually shifting the mindset towards one of inspired contribution. It’s a beautiful fact that in practicing kindness in this way, we can’t help but deepen our understanding of how inner and outer change are fundamentally intertwined. Based on the experience of hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours, here are five reasons why we serve: to discover abundance, express gratitude, transform ourselves, honor our profound interconnection, and align with a natural unfolding. A beautiful exploration of service:

Be The Change:
Experiment with being the change, however you define it, and see if it changes your being.

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