Friday, November 20, 2009

5 weeks and 5 precepts week 5

First off, I want to let you know that from next week through the holiday season I will be offering tips and suggestions to help you get through this season with less stress and more joy. For many it is a stressful, sad and unhappy time for many reasons, so these are to help increase joy and love all around us. Another exciting thing I am going to start on Monday through the first of the year, is to post on my status, some tidbit of holiday trivia, for the first person to correctly answer the question, you will win a free 30 minute reflexology appointment. Only one opportunity to win throughout the season, so everyone has an opportunity to feel the joy of winning. So pay attention, have fun and good luck!

I have enjoyed the past five weeks. As I have enjoyed learning new things and being reminded of things, I hope that you have too. Now for the fifth precept.

5. Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful consumption, I vow to cultivate good health, both physical and mental, for myself, my family, and my society by practicing mindful eating, drinking and consuming. I vow to ingest only items that preserve peace, well-being, and joy in my body, in my consciousness, and in the collective body and consciousness of my family and society. I am determined not to use alcohol or any other intoxicant or to ingest foods or other items that contain toxins, such as certain TV programs, magazines, books, films, and conversations. I am aware that to damage my body or my consciousness with these poisons is to betray my ancestors, my parents, my society, and future generations. I will work to transform violence, fear, anger, and confusion in myself and in society by practicing a diet for myself and for society. I understand that a proper diet is crucial for self-transformation and for the transformation of society.

Well, there is a lot to cover. In short, this can be a lengthy discussion and has so many different branches to look into ourselves with. Take a moment to digest what the fifth precept is saying and a moment to reflect. It does wrap up the five weeks in connecting our mind and our body to the overall health of ourselves and our society.

The base belief is to be mindful of what we put into our body, this includes the things we entertain ourselves with. If we watch a lot of violence, this energy is put back into the world, just by our reactions and by saying it is okay to continue to make movies and television programs with unnecessary violence, not to say any violence is okay. As mentioned in an above precept.

Now I can go into the organic foods and pesticides and the chemicals that are on or in our foods, but I am not. Just know that there are harmful elements within food that is not organic.

The long of the short of the five weeks is to be mindful and think of the impact that we have on our society as a whole. All of our actions impact others, even if we are not in direct contact with them. The best is to love and respect all.

Peace and joy,

Thursday, November 12, 2009

5 weeks and 5 precepts week 4

Please keep the same respect as we have kept the past three weeks. Enjoy the journey and hope you have learned something new, with one more week left. I know I have learned a lot and have seen how it is linked to other spiritual practices.

“4. Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I vow to cultivate loving speech and deep listening in order to bring joy and happiness to others and relieve others of their suffering. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I vow to learn to speak truthfully, with words that inspire self-confidence, joy, and hope. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to criticize or condemn thins of which I am not sure. I will refrain from uttering words that can cause division or discord, or that can cause the family or the community to break. I will make all efforts to reconcile and resolve all conflicts, however small.”

So; were you picked on in school by a bully? Told by someone you love you won’t amount to anything? Called fat, ugly or some other scaring name?
Then; have you been praised? Gotten a pat on the back? Told that you did a good job and inspired someone?
If you are lucky, you have only experienced the latter, but for many of us we have been picked on possibly still are and those words never really leave the back of our minds. For many it stays in the front of their minds and they may never able to achieve their maximum potential. While others are able to push through, because they had one person to believe in them and their potential and they have gone on to do amazing things.
Words of hate are spoken out of fear, for whatever reason. How many bullies have you watched on a school play ground, run to a car with a greeting parent to hear the same “bully words” spoken to them? Sad but true, many bullies are picked on by someone they love. This does not make it okay to say or do these things, it shows that patterns are created and continued. Even just by watching what someone may say or do and they see the reaction that can be received.
Sadly there have been many people to have died at the words of a bully or someone to have taken the words spoken by someone seriously even if it was meant as a joke. Sometimes the actions of words are taken to extremes and become violent. I am reminded of Matthew Shepherd, bullied and beaten to death for being gay, James R. Byrd Jr. bullied and beaten to death for being black. The many unspoken names of people who gave up and committed suicide and this can go on.
There are many people who have succumbed to hate speech in some form or another. Many just give up on themselves, while others have a different fate. Our words have energy and they pack a mighty punch and may impact more than a fist. Remember this next time you find yourself angry, afraid or otherwise about to speak something negative.

Peace and joy,

Monday, November 9, 2009

5 weeks and 5 precepts week 3

This has been quite an interesting couple of weeks, we are entering week three and I hope this opens your mind and heart as much as the previous two weeks has mine.

Same levels of respect as the two previous weeks are appreciated.
“3. Aware of the suffering caused by sexual misconduct, I vow to cultivate responsibility and learn ways to protect the safety and integrity of individuals, couples, families and society. I am determined not to engage in sexual relations without love and a long-term commitment. To preserve the happiness of myself and others, I am determined to respect my commitments and the commitments of others. I will do everything in my power to protect from sexual abuse and to prevent couples and families form being broken by sexual misconduct.”
Oh wow! How many times have we sent hat happen to someone we know or to us? Life happens and we are human. We have human feelings, thoughts and reactions. So many various situations, experiences and occurrences can put us into situations that can be difficult.
This goes back sort of to the first precept in that it is important to respect ourselves and others. To recognize that our actions do not only for some brief moment in time satisfy whatever it is that we may be craving, but it can and does affect the lives of may other people around us.
This kind of goes with the exercise we are given as a child growing up to deal with or temper. Stop, count to ten and think about what can happen, who is affected, and how it can affect your life and the life of others.
It goes without saying that we are all connected, we are all one and we all take care of each other. We have to remember that our actions and reactions do not just affect us.

Peace and joy,