What if, in conflict, we thought as no person is our enemy? What if it is misunderstanding, extreme desire and anger that cause poor behavior? Then, are not misunderstanding, extreme desire and anger are our only enemies? So if we want to stop conflict, shouldnt we reduce misunderstanding, extreme desire and anger?
Spirituality and Personal Growth
Have you ever felt that you being truly you makes, or would make you, an outsider? What is different about you that should be celebrated? How can you bring it out in your community and use it to help others?
You can be totally successful in societal terms and have all the things while also being completely unfulfilled. You can have worked your rear-end off to get somewhere and find out it’s not really where you want to be. And THAT SUCKS. But its is easier to improve your fulfillment to success ration than you think.
Acceptance is a strangely loaded word. Self-help gurus sometimes say that if we accept things then we won’t try to change them. Social justice advocates sometimes say that if we accept the world as it is then we won’t take the actions necessary to bring about true justice. We need our fear, anger and discontentment, people say, to motivate us. But what if there is something better?
Life is very busy and also very short. It can fly by very quickly. Many of us are born with some particular drive or aspiration or vision to engage in spiritual inquiry. Some of us embrace what feels like our path and others of us push the nagging questions aside in favor of the necessities of the day. Later, after time has passed, some of us regret not embracing those big questions about life. So what can you do?
We all know about accelerating climate change, failing democracy, endemic racism and other dire global news. Should we have hope? Should we be in despair? What, in fact, should we do? How can we respond in ways that make us feel we are taking care of ourselves while actually helping the world? That is the subject of a workshop on Spiritual Activism I’m co-leading with Lama Willa Miller at the Garrison Institute this September. You should come!
In addition to my group work, I work with many people on an individual level. Some are coaching clients, some are Zen students, some are people I mentor. Sometimes I correspond with the people I work with and answer their questions. Recently, one of these spiritual friends wrote to me about having a hard time and feeling very down on himself for it. This post is my reply.
Knowing what brings us joy and suffering reveals a path towards being of service to others.