Monthly Archives: October 2012

A Simple Act of Kindness


The simple acts of kindness are far more powerful

than thousands of heads bowing in prayer.

Mahatma Gandhi

I love the idea of simplicity in spiritual pursuits. What a delight to know that you can start from where you are at this very minute.  Right now!  While you are reading these words!  You don’t have to embark on some major change in your life.  Just this small one, and you are on your way.

Everyone wants to feel good and experience joy in everyday life. When embarking on a spiritual path, we may have visions of what this entails.  Maybe we think we will need to sit in meditation for long periods of time.  We may expect going on retreats or to workshops, doing yoga poses or studying and chanting.  Perhaps we will need to pray more or be silent at certain times of the day. All of these are powerful means in themselves.  Yet, it is important to start from where you are now — in the world of interaction with others walking the planet along with you. You can be kind. Right now!

The prolific writer, Henry James, said this:

Three things in human life are important; the first is to be kind;

the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.

Even the smallest gesture of kindness can have a transformational effect on someone else and, in so doing, on you yourself .  How about this:

  • Do something nice and unexpected for a spouse,  a co-worker, your child
  • Send an email to a friend you know who is facing a rough time right now
  • Pick up the phone and call an elderly friend or family member and spread some sunshine into their day
  • Say something kind and uplifting to the person checking you out of the store
  • Offer a warm smile to someone you pass on the street
  • Leave an unexpected note complimenting someone
  • Look in the mirror and say kind and loving words to yourself

Even the smallest act of kindness will resonate, and you will feel good at that moment.  String them all together, and you might feel good all day.

I recently attended an event at which the Dalai Lama spoke.  It was me and 3500 other people, all gathered to hear this venerable Buddhist teacher speak about compassion.  Tickets for this event were not easy to obtain. The night before, just by chance, a friend happened to have an extra ticket and invited me. What impressed me the most was the simplicity, humility, and gentleness of the man.   While he did not utter these words on the day I saw him, here is a quote from His Holiness The Dalai Lama XIV:

My religion is very simple.

My religion is kindness.

What if we all made this our religion?  What a wonderful world it could be!  And you can try it out right now — with a simple act of kindness.

Pass it on!

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You Live But In Eternity


To live in eternity. Eternity!  Beyond time and space.  Immortal.  Without death.  Think about it!Never did you or will you cease to exist.  Your spirit and soul are everlasting. 

There was a “time” when I would have thought that these ideas were childish or ignorant, even laughable, but no more!  Now I believe that, as stated in A Course in Miracles ,

Death is the central dream from which all illusions stem.

Why would I change my thinking on a subject so controversial and central to living?  It is simple — I have experienced irrevocable evidence of this truth.  Just to clarify, it is not my purpose or goal to alter the beliefs of others, it is only to share what I know and have experienced. To present it for consideration. 

It is often acknowledged that fear is the force that cripples most of us as we move about  our daily lives.  Most of us fear the opinions of others, losing whatever modicum of control we think we have, losing love and respect of others, and on and on. But surely there is no fear greater than that of annihilation, death, the end of life. Couple with that looming fears of judgment and being cast into hell.  No wonder death is feared to such an extent that it may be the most taboo topic of all.  If we don’t talk about it, maybe, then, it will go away and not come to us.

 But what if death is no more than a parting of the veil and moving into another dimension of existence? One that is filled with love and light, kindness and illumination?  What if we cease breathing and depart from our physical bodies and find that we are truly free, unencumbered, truly awake at last?  Those who have “died” then returned to be alive and have “near death experiences” report experiencing the most profound states of joy, peace, love, and light when they are released from their physical bodies.  Anita Moorjani speaks of her of own near death experience and the profound changes that occurred to her in her book, Dying to be Me.”  She writes “I had the choice to come back…or not. I chose to return when I realized that “‘heaven’ is a state, not a place…” 

In my life, I watched my own mother, as her worldly life drew to a close at age ninety-eight,  speak of  “home soon,” of repeating the words, “the light”, as she pointed to the ceiling in her bedroom in our home.  She pondered out loud if it was time to go and then spoke words to family members long deceased.  Those of us witnessed this and other indications of her understandings about departing the world.  As she drew closer to breathing her last breath, she and all of us around her, experienced an unfathomable sense of peace and surrender.  She was “going home.”  But what if we are always home, we just don’t recognize it.

You dwell not here but in eternity.

You travel but in dreams while safe at home.

A Course in Miracles    T.13 VII: 17: 6-7

It would behoove all of us to open our minds and hearts to the truths surrounding what we deem as death.  Perhaps we could demystify the subject enough to talk and read about it and ultimately recognize death as that which is inescapable and yet not to be feared.  It is “going home.” As one devout Christian friend said to me at the time of my mother’s passing, “She has gone to her glory.”  To which I say “Amen!”

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