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|
Leave a Comment »
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
Read Full Post »
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|
4 Comments »
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
Read Full Post »
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged anger, anxiety, Buddha, Buddhism, compassion, death, ebola, education, educators, fear, John Fugelsang, love, Marysville Washington, panic, peace, Sensei, Southern Palm Zen Group, spiritual practice, violence, Wilbur Mushin May, Zen, Zen Buddhism on October 25, 2014|
5 Comments »
Today on Twitter I saw a post forwarded to my account from John Fugelsang from someone named JohhnyBoy that said “I wish gun related deaths were just as scary to Americans as ebola.” During our Zen Buddhist service and sitting this morning we prayed for the families and friends of the students killed during school yesterday in Marysville, WA . The combination of this incident and the post from JohnnyBoy brought back to mind the short piece that one of our teachers had given me to put into our Zen Bulletin and on our website he titled it “Excitement.” Wilbur Mushin May Sensei wrote:
We cannot live without excitement. However, when excitement becomes the sole purpose in life that’s out of balance, that does not work. It seems, we strive to be on a constant high all the time. Having fun almost becomes an addiction. But the craving for the extraordinary dulls the palate, and we lose our sense for the ordinary.
In Zen, when our practice is calm and ordinary nothing is lacking and our everyday life itself is enlightenment.
Don’t engage disturbances and emotional reachings gradually fade away.
Don’t engage distractions and spiritual practice naturally grows.
Violence, fear, and panic have become an everyday thing. The news touts it and wants us to “be afraid…be very, very, afraid!” This will draw people to the 24-hour news stations and to the internet for minute-by-minute updates. Thus, we can see more of their commercials, buy more of their products, and I could go on and on.
But in Buddhism we live by the values of the Buddha and his followers and students who focused on the good and the gracious and the generosity ingrained in all human beings. We step in to help the family, friends, and teachers in their time of need. We do all we can to minimize gun deaths with stronger gun laws and the like.
And hopefully living a life of peace, love, and compassion will be an example that others will want to follow. Change comes one person at a time. Knowing this we can change the world in which we live to one where the loudest form of excitement is only as bold and brash as cheering for your favorite team, or blowing out the candles on your birthday cake, or sharing tears of joy when your favorite relative greets you with a smile and a hug.
This excitement I wish for you.
Read Full Post »
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged anger, arms, Ben Ferencz, Buddhism, challenges, color, compassion, cooperation, creed, Dialogues of Hope, Earth, fear, God, guns, happiness, hate, human family, human interest, human sovereignty, humanity, inspiration, joy, love, meditation, national interest, national origin, national sovereignty, nationalism, peace, prayer, race, racism, religion, Robert Muller Ass't. Sec. Gen. UN, Russia, suffering, Ten Commandments to Humanity, Ukraine, United Nations, violence, war, wisdom, Zen Buddhism on April 23, 2014|
Leave a Comment »
What is happening in the Ukraine is not new, it is has been going on since people have walked this earth. It is explained clearly in the little book that my dear neighbor Ben Ferencz gave me one day by Robert Muller who was the former Assistant-secretary General of the United Nations for forty years titled Dialogues of Hope. Muller wrote:
…it seems to me that there is a perpetuation of tribalism that goes under the name of national sovereignty. I feel that not enough people understand that they have connections to one another in the human family and that human sovereignty is much more important than national sovereignty. In our time, human sovereignty and national sovereignty have come into conflict because the national interest is placed against the human interest and is made to be primary (page 14).
So what can we do about it? First, believe in peace. Second, love your fellow earth dwellers regardless of their race, color, creed, national origin, or religion. Third, stand up for organizations like the UN that have been created to help the world live in peace, harmony, and love. Finally, live by the commandments written by Muller each and every day. I still need to remind myself daily that “peace begins with me” not the other man, woman, or child with whom I roam this “blue planet.”
Muller wrote the most wonderful “Ten Commandments to Humanity.” I hope you will take them and post them someplace where you can read them daily. I hope, as well, that you will make a pledge to yourself to live each one as best you can every moment of every day. The planet just may not survive if we don’t.
Ten Commandments to Humanity
- You shall love each other, your planet, your family, the God of the Universe and your own miraculous life with all your heart, all your mind, all your soul and all your strength.
- You shall practice truth, kindness and tolerance toward each other.
- You shall never kill a human brother or sister, not even in the name of a nation or a faith.
- You shall not produce, trade, or use any arms or instruments of violence.
- You shall never be violent, neither physically nor verbally toward each other.
- You shall respect the lives, peace, happiness and uniqueness of all your human brothers and sisters.
- You shall cooperate with each other, help each other, inspire each other.
- You shall contribute your peace, love and happiness to the peace, love and happiness of the human family.
- You shall live in harmony with yourself, with your family, with your environment, with all humanity and with the God of the Universe.
- You shall live a responsible life in accord with the supreme interests of our planet and of the human family.
I invite you all to share this with your representatives at the local, state, and federal level and ask them to pledge to work and live by these commandments and if they do not you will choose someone else to represent you. If we are unable to do this I am afraid that our children and our children’s children may not have a planet on which they can live, breathe, and love.
 Muller, R. (1990). Dialogues of Hope, World Happiness and Cooperation, Ardsley-on-Hudson, NY
Read Full Post »