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Day 129

Affirmation:

I am the example I wish to see.

I am an example of my highest values and beliefs.

I am an example of the Divine in the physical world.

I am an example of determination, fortitude and perseverance.

I am an example of grace, tolerance and compassion.

I am an example I can be proud of.


So often we look to others to be role models and examples of spiritual courage, fortitude, devotion, charity or enlightenment, such that we do not recognize our own example.   Remember that step you took away from those who did not support you?  A shining example of courage.  The day you took a deep breath and rose again, when every fiber of your being wanted to quit?  Fortitude  in the flesh.   Those infinite moments when you’ve silently whispered, “thank you” to a Universe of love?  Pure devotion.   Every time you’ve offered a smile, a helping hand, shared a dollar, given of your time to sit with a friend or family member?  Beautiful examples of charity.   And all of those intuitive flashes of pure knowing, awareness, and unity?  Enlightenment.    Just for today, let’s see ourselves as our own heroes and our own role models.  Look in the mirror and see the example we are. 

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Day 72

Affirmation:

I am open-minded.

I accept difference as a necessary and beautiful part of the human tapestry.

I embrace the divergent oneness of all life.

I learn by listening to those with differing views, ideas, beliefs and practices.

I am tolerant.

I am accepting.

I believe in fairness and equality.

I use judgment wisely.


In this world of duality we find that for every condition that exists, an opposite or opposing condition also exists.  Therefore if we have up, we must have down.  If we have good, we must have bad.  If we have light, we must have dark.  Plenty is the counter-part to lack, love to hate, greed to generosity.  Because of all this duality, we develop judgments.  Our minds assess and evaluate situations, people and things, and from those assessments we form conclusions.  Those conclusions are our judgments.

Some judgments are necessary.  A dark road at night can either be safe or dangerous, and our judging helps us make that determination.  Judgments help us make healthy choices, informed decisions and generate our opinions.  Discernment is a judgment tool of the wise, but far too often our judgments are unhelpful, involving bias and intolerance.

Human history is a long and winding story of how judgment against others has caused harm.  People of different cultures, practices and beliefs have been killed by the millions because they were judged to be evil, ignorant or less than.  Our inner judge also speaks to us about ourselves, often unfairly or harmfully.

In our homes, communities, institutions, governments, and our global interactions negative judgments create divisiveness, hostility, anger, conflict and pain.   Free of such judgments we find fairness, tolerance, unity, togetherness and compassion.  Even history shows us that there is value in non-judgment, after all no genocide was ever committed for the sake of sameness and acceptance. When we are without negative judgments we are close to our own divine spirits.  We have open-mindedness, we have room to learn new things, and we have a chance to see outside the box of duality and into the heart of unity.

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Day 46

Affirmation:

I release any judgments that I hold about myself or others.

I avoid labeling, contrasting and comparing.

I accept that all things just ARE.


Labeling and comparing (things to things and people to people) produces judgments and valuations.  When self-judgments are held onto we keep ourselves trapped within the ego space and duality.  When we hold onto judgments about others we keep ourselves trapped within the ego space and duality.  But when we release ourselves from the habits of duality- placing all things into categories of good or bad, less or more, better or worse- we begin to experience unity and Divine grace.  We begin to find ourselves in the heart space.  When we let go the habits of duality we see all things as varying expressions of the One- creating contrast, opportunity, and diversity.   And appreciating all of it.

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Day 211

Affirmation:

My intention for today is to think like GOD thinks… from loving kindness, from compassion, from unity, from wisdom, from tolerance, from forgiveness, from a higher perspective….
My thoughts will arise from a divine heart filled with love, not a small mind filled with fear, insecurity, or negativity.

           

 

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Day 204

Affirmation:

I refuse to be an armchair sage, filled with knowledge unused and unapplied.

I walk my talk, and practice what I preach.

I live outwardly as a reflection of my inner knowledge.

                               __________________

The journey toward inner peace and inner unity usually involves acquiring knowledge.  This may be knowledge of the self, knowledge of reality, or knowledge of purpose.  While knowledge is immeasurably valuable, it is the wisdom that is gained from the application of that knowledge that promotes the most growth.   To truly make progress along the path toward the Self, one must take what has been learned and apply it in the tangible reality.  Knowing how to be tie one’s shoes is not enough; the shoes must one day be tied.  Knowing how to live without fear is not enough; one must begin living without fear.  Knowing what it means to love  is not enough; one must  actually experience love.  

 

(artist unknown)

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Day 129

Affirmation:

I embrace and accept the light-ness and the dark-ness as essential forces comprising the whole of physical existence. 

I live in a harmonious acceptance of duality, learning from it, and growing into unity, through it.

                _____________________________

Physical life is a never-ending interplay of the forces of duality, of light and dark.  How beautiful it would be to dance only in the light, the joy, the goodness and the glory, but in our world of two-ness and opposites, we can not, nor should we, avoid dancing in the dark.   By resisting or denying the experience of pain, suffering, and heartache in the world, we only deepen its hold on us.  We can only truly be free of darkness when we embrace it, when we accept its presence, when from it we achieve the greatness of compassion, charity, and forgiveness.  Accepting the dance of duality opens a space in the heart for unity.   Harmony is not found in only having, only loving, only knowing joy, it is found in appreciating the full spectrum of life, from love to hate, from joy to sorrow, from self-pity to gratitude.  Balance is not found in denial but in acceptance.  See life as this dance, a constant and necessary interplay of polarity and opposing forces, creating and destroying, coming together and tearing apart.  Embrace the whole of experience, the shadows and the source,  and you will begin to possess an equanimity that allows you to dance with the entirety.

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Day 29

Affirmation:

I will eat one meal with complete mindfulness.

                      ____________________

There are Buddhist monks and other practitioners who use eating as an opportunity to practice mindfulness.   What that means is that while they are eating they are eating.  That is–  they are ONLY eating.   They do not talk during meals and their every movement and every thought is related to the meal and eating.  

Their thoughts are of gratitude for the grain which gave up its life force and the many hands that saw it go from cultivation to consumption.  They view eating as a divine marriage between the food and the one eating it.  They reflect with awe and humility on the perfection of the body as it takes part in the meal.  Hands that take food from bowl to mouth, a sense of taste that recognizes the earthy flavor, a digestive system that turns a grain of rice into sustenance, all parts in the process are acknowledged and honoured.    They feel, taste, smell, appreciate, unite, and fully engage in what becomes a sacred communion.   I, on the other hand, have actually eaten so fast and so absent-mindedly that I’ve not remembered eating at all.  I like the idea of consciously becoming one with my food.  I especially like the idea of being fully present in the act of eating and appreciating the many, many who have made it possible.   So today, even if it means eating in the closet or the garage so that I’m not disturbed, I’ll eat one meal with the divine grace of a monk.  

photo from  allmyanmar.com

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