Reaching Sunward

Turning Lemons into Lemonade

“Peace is the paramount interest of everybody.”

Written in 1967, these comments by Bertrand Russell ring true today:

“The powers must learn that peace is the paramount interest of everybody. To cause this to be realized by governments should be the supreme aim.”

“What can private persons do meanwhile? They can agitate, by pointing out the effects of modern war and the danger of the extinction of Man. They can teach men not to hate peoples other than their own, or to cause themselves to be hated. They can value, and cause others to value, what Man has achieved in art and science. They can emphasize the superiority of co-operation to competition.”

“Consider for a moment what our planet is and what it might be. At present, for most, there is toil and hunger, constant danger, more hatred than love. There could be a happy world, where co-operation was more in evidence than competition, and monotonous work is done by machines, where what is lovely in nature is not destroyed to make room for hideous machines whose sole business is to kill, and where to promote joy is more respected than to produce mountains of corpses. Do not say this is impossible: it is not. It waits only for men to desire it more than the infliction of torture.”

“There is an artist imprisoned in each one of us. Let him loose to spread joy everywhere.”

From Bertrand Russell’s last essay “1967”

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A newer translation of the Lord’s Prayer

There’s a little book called The Ancient Aramaic Prayer of Jesus which gives a more literal translation of the Lord’s Prayer from Aramaic to English. There are some significant differences between the translation and what is traditionally taught as the Lord’s prayer. You may find this translation (below) inspiring in keeping spritual harmony and balance.

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Our Father and our Mother, who is everywhere and in everything,

Your name is holy.

Let your Kingdom and counsel come into my heart and guide me rightly,

And help me to remember to seek your Kingdom above all other things.

Let your will be done in my life and in the lives of everyone, and let me attune myself to your voice.

Give us what we need each day, in body, spirit, mind and heart.

Forgive me for my offenses, and help me forgive others and be free from anger and resentment.

Do not let me enter into temptation or materialism, and keep me separate from harm and evil.

Yours is the Kingdom, power, guidance and song throughout all the ages.

In faith I believe that you will bless me with these things, and thank you for your love.

Amen.

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More thoughts on love…love in action

May we love ever more.
May we motivate ourselves to committed love in Action.
May we motivate ourselves to live the life we wish to see in the world.
May we be the transformation we wish to see in the world.
From the inside out . . .
From the roots branching upwards . . .
From the heart
to thought
to word
to action.
Through life’s trials and hardships
we can arise beautiful and free.

for luna – julia butterfly hill – 11/26/2000

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“What you feel only matters to you. It’s what you do to the people you say you love. That’s what matters. That’s the only thing that counts.” ~The Last Kiss

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Another way that you love your enemy is this:

When the opportunity presents itself for you to defeat your enemy,
that is the time which you must not do it.
There will come a time, in many instances,
when the person who hates you most,
the person who has misused you most,
the person who has gossiped about you most,
the person who has spread false rumors about you most,
there will come a time when
you will have an opportunity to defeat that person.
It might be in terms of a recommendation for a job;
it might be in terms of helping that person
to make some move in life.
That’s the time you must do it.
That is the meaning of love.

In the final analysis,
love is not this sentimental something that we talk about.
It’s not merely an emotional something.
Love is creative, understanding goodwill for all men.
It is the refusal to defeat any individual.
When you rise to the level of love, of its great beauty and power,
you seek only to defeat evil systems.
Individuals who happen to be caught up in that system, you love,
but you seek to defeat the system.

loving your enemies – martin luther king jr. – 1957


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Loving your Self on Valentines Day..

“The goal of being alone should not be to prepare us for couplehood. Rather, the goal of being single should be to learn to fulfill ourselves, to meet our needs, and to develop as a human being regardless of whether or not we choose to enter into a relationship. By learning to love and care for ourselves, we diminish the risk of starving for someone else to fill the void within our souls; a void that only we can truly fill.” from Single & Satisfied. Wow – that really says it all doesn’t it? Having been unhappily married and then single for the last 5 years, this is the work I’ve been doing. Thinking back over the last hew years, it was hard at first to live alone, but now I acutally enjoy it. And I am much better at filling that void myself instead of relying on someon else to fill it. I’m not cynical about relationships – oo the contrary, I know they can be wonderful. But how great it’s been to develop the relationship with myself!!

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If there is to be peace…

If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.

If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.

If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.

If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.

If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.

chinese philospher – lao-tse – 6th century bce

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Tonglen for Peace

Tonglen is Tibetan for ‘taking and giving’, and it refers to a meditation practice practiced in Tibetan Buddhism.

In the practice, one visualizes taking onto oneself the suffering of others, and giving to others, one’s own happiness and success. As such it is a training in altruism in its most extreme form.

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Wage peace with your breath.

Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings and flocks of red wing blackbirds.

Breathe in terrorists
and breathe out sleeping children and freshly mown fields.

Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.

Breathe in the fallen and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.

Wage peace with your listening: hearing sirens, pray loud.

Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.

Make soup.

Play music, memorize the words for thank you in three languages.

Learn to knit, and make a hat.

Think of chaos as dancing raspberries,
imagine grief
as the outbreath of beauty
or the gesture of fish.

Swim for the other side.

Wage peace.

Never has the world seemed so fresh and precious:

Have a cup of tea and rejoice.

Act as if armistice has already arrived.
Celebrate today.

wage peace – judyth hill – september 12, 2001

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What to do during war…

Children, everybody, here’s what to do during war:

In a time of destruction, create something.
A poem.
A parade.
A community.
A school.
A vow.
A moral principle.
One peaceful moment.

~ maxine hong kingston

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Ansel Adams and a quote….

Oak, Ansel Adams

This weekend I went to see the Ansel Adams exhibit at the Bellagio.

There was a favorite poem of his in the exhibit that I thought you would enjoy:

I know that I am one with beauty

And that my comrades are one.

Let our souls be mountains,

Let our spirits be stars,

Let our hearts be worlds.

Ella Young

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