Posted in administrators, BUddhism, Business, campus unrest, cause and effect, Christianity, discrimination, diversity, education, enlightenment, Ethics, fears, happiness, hate speech, human race, love, meditation, Mindfulness, oppression, planet earth, prayer, protesters, psychology, religion, self-help, sickness, suffering, training, Uncategorized, wisdom, Zen, tagged Buddhism, Christianity, creativity, culture, faith, feelings, focus, friends, health, Health and Wellness Fair, humanity, inspiration, Islam, Kaplan University, learning, Lynn University, nature, politics, prayer, questions, rage, relationships, religion, school, Serve-A-Thon, sharing, spirit, stress management, students, The Virtual Difference Makers, thoughts, training, Truth, violence on February 19, 2017|
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For anything new to emerge there must first be a dream, an imaginative view of what might be. For something great to happen, there must be a great dream. Then venturesome persons with faith in that dream will persevere to bring it to reality.
Some ideas whose time has come will spread as in a forest fire. But most need the help of a teacher. I had the good fortune to have an extraordinary one. He dreamed a great dream of how servanthood could be nurtured in the young, and he spent his best years in bringing it to pass (page 9-10).
Where I work at Kaplan University they encourage not only the students to volunteer and make a difference in their communities but they encourage all faculty to do so as well through The Virtual Difference Makers. Here is a list of some of the things they did in 2016: ran a Spring Virtual Serve-A-Thon, hosted a Stress Management Series, a Virtual Celebration of Rio, sponsored their first annual Health and Wellness Fair, held a Fall Serve-A-Thon and more!.
I have been invited to Lynn University to participate in an interfaith dialog and will be back there again in April for another interfaith dialog. The hall was jammed with students! Standing room only! They asked wonderful questions of the panel.
These were the words on the Flyer for the event: Healing the Divide: Interfaith Dialogue.
In a world where religion so often is the cause of hate and intolerance, we stand together at Lynn to create a world where our religious differences are not simply tolerated but celebrated. This event is precisely that; where religious leaders from the Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, and Atheist traditions will come together in celebration of our diverse faith traditions. Come and be amazed!
Imagine the great education the students are receiving at both Kaplan and Lynn and many other colleges around our country when their faculty and administration support such events.
If you are able to create similar events on your campuses I encourage you to do so. Create a Virtual Difference Makers club for students and faculty, run interfaith dialogues, offer training for faculty on meditation and mindfulness. Be the change you want to see in our world! Be the catalyst for peace, love, and kindness spreading around your campus and beyond! The time has come to spread the message of servant leadership at all levels. Change has always come from the bottom up not from the top down! Be the change you want to see in the world!
Good luck with that! Let me know how it goes!
 Greenleaf, R.K. (1987) Teacher as Servant: A Parable. The Greenleaf Center for Servant-Leadership: Indianapolis, IN
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Posted in BUddhism, Business, cause and effect, clinging, enlightenment, fears, happiness, illusions, love, meditation, Mindfulness, self-help, suffering, Uncategorized, wisdom, Zen, tagged Bhante Gunaratana, Buddhism, clarity, Emerson, feelings, fun, inspiration, learning, life, Mindfulness in Plain English, Odelia Floris, precision, questions, rage, Ralph Waldo Emerson, relationships, thoughts, Truth, violence, work on November 28, 2016|
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Emerson: “As long as a man [person] stands in his own way everything seems to be in his way (page 27.”
Zen: In sitting: “Craving is extinguished and a great burden is lifted. There remains only an effortless flow, without a trace of resistance or tension. There remains only peace, and blessed nibbana [nirvana], the uncreated, is realized (page 169).”
Thoughts are what stand in our way. Everyday our thoughts, create our cravings, which create our resistance and tension which robs us of our peace. As the cartoon illustrates sometimes even physical harm may come from those words that slip out seconds before you can retract them!
When those words slip out they can cause great damage to you and to your family, friends, and co-workers. They can get in the way of a great job opportunity, relationship, or friendship.
The practice of mindfulness, meditation, and Buddhism can help you create a life where you think first and speak second. Following the Simple 3 P’s principle where you Prepare, Practice, and then Perform may well revolutionize your life. Practicing these 3 simple steps can keep you from getting in your own way. They can help you make friends, find new adventures, discover new ideas, and more!
When you begin to recognize that it is “you” standing in your own way and not someone or something else it will be like a big light bulb going on in your head. It will act as the headlights of your life and will show what’s ahead of you with clarity and precision and will help keep you from tripping all over yourself. It will definitely help you get out of your own way!
As Emerson said, “As long as a man stands in his own way everything seems to be in his way.” So my advice to you today is to stop standing in your own way! Give up your craving, your burdens, your resistance, and take up the mantle of peace and effortless flow! Then stand back and watch what happens. Each day you’ll be tripping over those things you thought were standing in your way less and less until they disappear altogether! That will keep you from looking like the man above in the cartoon! So let’s practice the Simple 3 P’s Prepare, Practice and Perform getting out of your own way!
Let me know how it goes!
In gassho, Shokai
  Floris, O. Inspiration & Wisdom from the pen of Ralph Waldo Emerson. www.odeliafloris.com
 Gunaratana, B. (2011) Mindfulness in Plain English. Boston: Wisdom Publications
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged anger, Buddhism, Creating True Peace, emotional violence, love, loving relationships, mindfulness, peace, peace treaties, physical violence, Plum Village, rage, temper tantrums, Truth Principles Thich Nhat Hanh, Unity, violence, war on November 16, 2012|
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How can we as active members of families of Truth practice the Buddha’s vow and begin to “help all beings to suffer less? How can we as active Christians practice Jesus’ commandment to “love they neighbor as thyself?” First, we must begin by creating a culture of peace within ourselves and then move to our families. Once we have conquered these two great places where anger and violence can reside daily, then we will have the power and the knowledge to move our beliefs and our actions into the larger community in which we work, play, and live.
Master Thich Nhat Hanh recommends that we begin by making a personal peace treaty with ourselves. He encourages us to do this particular act to make a “concrete commitment to transform our lives (Creating True Peace, 2003).” His personal peace treaty is simple and can be memorized easily. You can carry it in your wallet or purse and share it with your friends. It goes like this: “Dear Self, I promise to practice and live my daily life in a way that will not touch or water the seed of violence within me (page 7).” How often have we “touched the seed of violence within” ourselves today, or this week, or this month? Have we lost our temper this morning with family members because they did not get ready for school quickly enough, or with drivers on the road because they did not drive the way we wished they had driven, or gotten angry at co-workers for not doing what you thought they should have done in your time frame? Or how about getting angry at ourselves for not being the person that we had hoped we would be by this time in our lives?
I have felt that rage and anger build in me in a relationship when I had a fight with my significant other about some of the most inane things imaginable, like the inability to put dirty dishes in the dishwasher before going to bed, or not picking up dirty clothes from the floor, or spending money on things that seemed to me to be a waste and not needed or not in our budget.
Because we have so much family violence today, it is important that we as teachers, ministers, Truth students, and Zen practitioners share with our friends and families techniques that will help them get through their times of crisis without anger and/or violence. Remember, violence does not have to be physical—it can be mental and emotional as well.
You might want to check out Master Hanh’s peace treaty in his book. It is a wonderful process to use when working with an individual to create a peaceful and loving relationship. He believes, “The war stops and starts with you and with me. Every morning when you open your eyes, the potential for violence and war begins. So every morning, when you open your eyes, please water the seeds of compassion and nonviolence. Let peace begin with you (page 56).”
If you are reading this post you probably believe in these things as well so let us begin to practice our beliefs today and continue each and every day and soon we will find that peace we have been looking for right within ourselves. Sign that peace treaty today!
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