Posted in cause and effect, chant, death, education, Ethics, fears, human race, love, meditation, Metta, Mindfulness, self-help, training, Uncategorized, wisdom, Zen, tagged anger, anxiety, awakservice, Buddha, Buddhism, challenges, college, compassion, Emerson, fear, goals, happiness, health, help others, joy, life, live life fully, love, meditation, mindfulness, Odelia Floris, patience, peace, prayer, sitting, students, suffering, teaching, Unity Church, wisdom, Zazen, Zen, Zen Buddhism on September 24, 2016|
Leave a Comment »
Emerson: Live, let live and help live.
Zen: Evening Gatha [Prayer]
Let me respectfully remind you.
Birth and death are of supreme importance.
Time swiftly passes and opportunity is lost.
We should all strive to awaken.
Awaken! Take Heed!
Do not squander your life!
Both of these quotes are profound in so many ways. Each tests us to live our lives fully every day and make a difference in the world in which we live. Notice that each asks us to go beyond our “self” and to help others. To live life fully, to let others lead their lives fully, and to help those who need help so they too can live life fully.
How have you done that today? How about this week, month, or year? Every time you open the door for someone with their arms full of packages, or let someone in front of you in a traffic jam, or bring a meal to a sick neighbor you are “awake.” Awake to the needs of another. You have taken the opportunity to think of someone other than yourself, to identify a need, no matter how small it may seem—you have helped meet that need for another.
When you are walking through life looking down at your cellphone checking your Facebook page or texting someone—you are missing life at its fullest. You may have missed an opportunity to help a stranger or a friend. When you are focused on self only you miss many opportunities to live.
Just the other day I was teaching at the college on the 11th floor when we had a fire scare and everyone was told to immediately exit the building. So all 16 of my students and I walked those 11 floors down to the street. One of them needed extra attention as she was pregnant. I rushed ahead so that I could make sure all of my students were out of the building and safe. As one of them walked through the door I was holding for them he said, “Oh, you don’t have to do that. Why are you holding the door for all of us and the others?” The question had never come into my mind. “Live, let live and help live” I guess.
Think of the fireman who runs into the fire, not away from it. To the policeman or security guard who runs toward the shooter in a mall. Or a teacher who stands in front of the children to protect them from the bullets being sprayed in his or her classroom.
Awaken, Take Heed! Do not squander your life! Find your purpose each and every day because time swiftly passes by and you do not want to lose the opportunity to be of service to others to go beyond yourself wherever and whenever you can. Even if it’s simply to hold the door for another. Let me know how that goes!
In gassho, Shokai
(1) Floris, O. Inspiration & Wisdom from the pen of Ralph Waldo Emerson. www.odeliafloris.com (page 9)
(2) Southern Palm Zen Group Service Handbook, Mitch Doshin Cantor.
Read Full Post »
Posted in cause and effect, happiness, planet earth, self-help, Uncategorized, wisdom, tagged anger, beauty, cactus, challenges, cherry blossoms, compassion, dandelions, DC, Emerson, flowers, fragrance, happiness, jasmine, joy, love, Odelia Floris, patience, Ralph Waldo Emerson, ranunculus, seeds, spring, thorns, thoughts, Unity Church, Washington on August 22, 2016|
Leave a Comment »
I was looking for a quote one day to use in a blog I was writing and I came across a great quote by Emerson. I remembered studying Emerson as an English major in college and just loved his writing and his progressive outlook on life. When I began studying at Unity Village to become a licensed teacher we often used his writings as well. And so he has been a part of my life for a very long time and I hope that he has been one of yours as well.
But just in case he has not I have been moved to write my next workbook on his quotes and writings and to share with you how they can be relevant in the 21st century—even though they were written in the 19th Century when horses were the main form of transportation, and slavery was still legal, and women did not have the right to vote. You’re probably thinking, “What could his thoughts and words have to do with me today? Plenty!
Let’s start with this quote from Emerson: “Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.”
Every day—all day we think! Our thoughts create our reality. Sometimes our thoughts slowly arise like a tulip as it breaks through the frozen ground at the first sign of spring. Other times our thoughts pop up when we least expect them to like weeds in a garden that we had just weeded that morning. Or are they like the massive cherry blossoms that appear in Washington, DC in the spring? Some of your thoughts simply fly away like the dandelion when it turns into a fluffy white cloud of seeds.
There is action like the fruit behind the cherry blossoms that we look forward to and expect. There is action behind the dandelion seeds as they fly through the air and plant themselves in our neighbor’s yard so their kids have to painstakingly dig them out as one of their summer chores.
What thoughts are you having right now that are taking action in your life? What thoughts have you had today, yesterday, and will more than likely have tomorrow? Do the seeds/thoughts produce positive events in your life, improved health, happiness, and friendship? Or are they like the dandelions that produce more weeds in the garden that take time, effort, and energy to get rid of?
So what is the thought you are speaking aloud and the action that has resulted from it? Are you living a life filled with cactus covered with thorns, or with the softest petals of the pink ranunculus each being a vision of beauty to the eye and softness to the touch?
If you want to change your life remember you’ll need a new thought—or a new blossom! Why not try something that has a wonderful smell that excites your senses like the jasmine.
What is blossoming in your thoughts and words today? What language are you speaking? What results are you creating? Change your thinking—change your life!
Remember, “Thought is the blossom; language the bud; action the fruit behind it.”
Keep me posted on that!
 Floris, O. Inspiration & Wisdom from the pen of Ralph Waldo Emerson. http://www.odeliafloris.com
Read Full Post »
Posted in BUddhism, cause and effect, Christianity, fears, happiness, hate speech, love, Mindfulness, prayer, psychology, religion, self-help, sexual assault, sickness, suffering, Uncategorized, Zen, tagged anger, anxiety, Buddah, Buddhism, challenges, Charles Fillmore, college professor, compassion, contemplation, fear, forgiveness, happiness, hospice chaplain, joy, life, like-minded people, love, mind, mind and body, mindfulness, peace, Pollyanna, rape, retreat, sesshin, suffering, unconditional love, Unity Church, Wicked Witch of the West, Zazen, Zen, Zen Buddhism, Zen Buddhist priest on August 8, 2016|
Leave a Comment »
I just spent 5 days at a silent retreat (Sesshin) at the Brevard Zen Center in Coco Beach and I was surrounded by like-minded people. People who decided to take time off to focus on their practice, on stillness, on quiet contemplation, and on quieting the mind and body. I know that not everyone has the luxury of taking extended periods of time out of their family and work lives; however, if you can even take one day I recommend it highly.
Being around like-minded people can be an invigorating experience, or a hellish experience depending on which “mind” you are choosing to focus on. If you feel sometimes like an angry, unhappy person with a mind that’s always focusing on the negative you surly do not want to be around “like-minded people.” Today would be a good day to discover the happy, upbeat, positive, helpful people that you, at times, envy and sometimes dislike, and sometimes may even try to emulate.
I’ve had many people in my life ask, “What are you so happy about all the time, smiling, laughing, and joking? Don’t you know there are terrible things going on in the world or at work or at home?” Of course, I do know that life is not always a panacea; however, I’d rather create a life like Pollyanna then a life like the Wicked Witch of the West any day! Life is what you make it, unless of course you let outside circumstances or outside people like the Wicked Witch of the West make it for you? The choice is up to you.
I often relate a story about one of my congregants who came home from work and found a man in her house who proceeded to rape her and stab her 62 times. She lived and they caught the man and put him in prison. Her life seemed to be falling apart from that day forward until, as she says, she decided to forgive him and move on with her life. So she went to the prison, faced him, and forgave him. From there she began to heal to be able to live a normal life. She saved herself and spent the rest of her life living around “like-minded people” those who can forgive, and love, and reach out to others in times of need to help console and hold them up with love and compassion.
She is an inspiration to me and my role model for unconditional love. Till that time my love came with conditions. I have been lucky enough to have jobs like my work as a Unity minister, a hospice chaplain, a college professor, and a Zen Buddhist priest which has allowed me to be surrounded by like-minded people.
I hope you are surrounded by those people who will love you unconditionally and have a life filled with peace, joy, love, and happiness. A life filled with people that lift you up and not tear you down. This is my wish for you that you meet your good today and it is filled with like-minded people who will celebrate the uniqueness of you and see the good in your heart! Let me know how that goes.
In gassho, Shokai
Read Full Post »