Our goal is Mind Expansion and Increased Well-Being for all.
These posts have nothing to do with any religious teachings, and all to do with the development of personal virtue and positive ethics.
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The 1st Mindfulness Teaching – Reverence for Life
“Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life, I am committed to cultivating compassion and learning ways to protect the lives of people, animals, plants, and minerals. I am determined not to kill, not to let others kill, and not to support any act of killing in the world, in my thinking, or in my way of life. Seeing that harmful actions arise from anger, fear, greed, and intolerance, which in turn come from dualistic and discriminative thinking, I will cultivate openness, non-discrimination, and non-attachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world.” ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
My Mindful Comments:
Aware of the suffering caused by the destruction of life. There are so many ways to destroy life. We unconsciously destroy our own each day by being unaware. We constantly destroy with unkind thoughts, and thoughtless words or actions.
I am determined not to kill. What is killing? Is it only the taking of a human life? Is it the massive loss of human, animal, plant and mineral life that occurs when bombs and missiles hit their target? Is it killing when we cruelly end the life of food animals, creating unneeded pain and suffering? Is it the destruction of natural settings, taking the homes of wild-life for human benefit? Is it the harvesting of more fruit or vegetables than we can’t use, throwing food down the disposal or into the garbage? Is it the pollution of our streams and oceans? Is it the demeaning of the human spirit, destroying dreams and goals? Is it destruction of self through addictions or suicide? Is it the intentional manufacturing of products known to be destructive to the consumer or to the environment? Is it discrimination that excludes and denies freedom based on weight, gender, religion, or race?
If to kill means to take the life of or destroy ones capacity to live a full functional life, would this apply to war veterans who are so traumatized that they are no longer able to live a normal, productive life? Would this apply to a rape victim who is unable to resume her life, marry, or have children? What are your thoughts?
Seeing that harmful actions arise from anger, fear, greed, and intolerance. How do we protect each other and all life on Earth? How do we end discrimination of all kinds and end destructive, isolationist thinking? And, if we are compassionate, kind and loving to all forms of life, what are the results of our positive action? Could it be love and harmony?
I will cultivate openness, non-discrimination, and non-attachment to views in order to transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world. My mind focuses on ‘transform violence, fanaticism, and dogmatism in myself and in the world’. In order to do this, I must remove myself from violence and infuse myself with peace. I must open my mind and my heart to the ideas and beliefs of others from other cultures, religions, orientations, and belief systems. Once open, I must then try to see their reality: empathize – never judging or condemning – attempting a deep understanding. While I might not accept or adopt the ideas of others, I will tolerate, empathize, and show compassion and love.
Reverence for animal life makes me think of the fox and the small herd of deer living in the little wooded areas around my daughter’s home. The deer graze in the empty lot by her house, and they barely lift their heads to look when she and her children arrive home or open the door to let the dogs out for a potty break. The fox roams around the field in harmony with the deer, even when there are young deer grazing alongside their mother. The fox comes up on the deck when the dogs are out, never harming either dog (both under 15 pounds). The human family, the deer, and the fox live in harmony. Why is that? How has this “family” atmosphere developed? Safety is understood and safety maintained as all species live in limited space … a beautiful lesson in coexistence.
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