PERSEVERANCE – I am determined.

March 18th -

As we have seen, there are many things that can distract us from our purpose.  All day, everyday detours will come in front of us.  We may think of these as temptations, all of the ego issues come to us in enticing forms which tend to obscure our best intentions.  We can avoid the pull of these illusory cravings by simply putting our attention on what we really want.  Forgiving the entire world seems like a big task and we may want to avoid the work; that’s why the ego presents alternatives.  Our function of forgiveness is our true happiness, but our small self does not want to accept that.  So, we must be resolute.  Let us insist on the Love that is ours, refusing any substitutes.  Devotion to our mission brings its own strength.  Tireless because spirit provides divine endurance, we continue to move forward on our path.  We can only burn out when we pursue goals that are not in alignment with goodwill.

ATTENTION – I am attentive to the moment.

March 17th -

The practice for today is vigilance.  To be vigilant is to be attentive to the present moment.  Awake, alive, alert, enthusiastic, we observe what is happening and respond accordingly.  Cautious only for our temptation to be fearful, wary only of the ego, we stay on watch for self-centeredness.  Let us recognize deception in ourselves so that we do not project it onto others.  Heedful of the needs of those who come to us, we continually look for ways to serve.  We observe our own actions and reactions, we notice the actions and reactions of others.  We need not be unkind to ourselves or others when we consistently realize that our bad behavior and that of those around us springs from fear.  Our task is to forgive the fear in “us and them”, to see through it to the pure and loving spirit in us all.  Let our vigilance be calm and peaceful rather than a nervous state of being on guard.

RESPECT – I am respecting.

March 16th -

Today we practice respect, giving it and receiving it.  Previously we may have thought that we wanted prestige. Respect is different from prestige which comes from a Latin word that means conjuring, trickery, and illusion.  So, prestige is actually an illusion and cannot really satisfy.  Seeking it, we are pulled apart; apart from our fellows and at odds with ourselves. Dismissing our fellows as not good enough, we cheat ourselves out of their love and esteem.  Prestige is an ego goal which stratifies, respect is a gift between equals. Let us hold one another in high regard, recognizing our innate equality.  Prestige is a distraction, the pursuit of which deters our true mission. We approach our calling with deference, we have a reverence for those we serve; that venerated state of mind becomes reciprocal. We remember, “Do unto others as you would have them do to you”.

FUNCTION – I am fulfilling my function.

March 15th -

Living on purpose brings joy.  It has been said that our function actually is our happiness. Distraction from purpose is suffering and following the distraction sets up further suffering. Ego pursues gratification that it promises will result in contentment but then it is never satisfied.  Continual disruption is the ego’s true goal.  It does not want us to be focused on a spiritual path because it believes it cannot survive the journey.  Let us not be disturbed, we don’t need diversions, our mission itself will provide great bliss.  A meaningful life is one in which we play our role to the best of our ability.  When we are occupied with love, all of tasks grow lighter.  We have a calling, and it beckons us forward with the aim of forgiving the world through our love and our loving actions.  No need to chase the thrills of the ego, we delight instead in the fulfillment of our function.

POWER – I am empowered.

March 14th -

There is an inherent power in a message of inclusion.  Inclusion in God multiplies this power infinitely.  This is our message, this is the number one principle that validates all the rest of our principles, that God is all there is.  Our meaning and all true power arise out of God.  All power comes from the Unity of all life.  So, we surrender to the authority of a loving God which in turn allows us to tap into the creative expression of God.  When we remember that we are a part of this greater Thing but not the whole thing we get proper perspective.  We are granted the capacity for great work, all of the energy we need comes easily to us when we rely on God.  This does not mean that God actually takes action in our endeavor; it is our task to do the work, God just supplies the vigor and the inspiration.  We give all authority to spirit, asking for guidance and ability, and we are empowered.

APPROVAL – I am supportive.

March 13th -

Cooperation is essential to being “a part of” community.  We can cooperate with others without endorsing their views.  We don’t have to advocate their positions or approve of their politics.  We can still work together for the good of the larger community.  There will always be areas where we can join forces for the common welfare.  Collaboration does not mean acquiescence.  Going along to get along will not really help.  We have a purpose of service: it is our job to extend love, anything that interferes with that mission should be eliminated.  So, if those we associate with do not presently share our purpose we cannot align ourselves with their efforts.  Our own efforts will still be to give service to them, but we should not put ourselves in their orbit.  It is feasible to be loving and caring without having to agree with someone else’s opinion or goals.  It is quite possible to “lend a hand” without “playing the game.”

CANDID – I am real.

March 12th -

Let us be clear in what we are saying and what we are presenting.  Truth cannot be watered down and still be true.  Sometimes it seems expedient to give people the message they want; let’s not do it.  Let us be absolutely unequivocal.  Give it to them straight.  The message is simple and clear.  God is one and we are one with God.  Life is one and we are one with Life.  Creation is one and we are one with creation.  This is one message said three ways; there are surely many more ways to say it.  We can communicate our point in the way that is most comfortable to the listener be we should not change the actual message.  We don’t even have to say it out loud, we can just think it and feel it; since minds are joined it will be thought and felt by those who need to connect with it.  Regardless of how we share the message, we must never allow ourselves to be false, even if it means we may not be personally approved of or accepted.

MIND – I am aware.

March 11th -

Mindfulness is the start of all of our efforts.  To be diligently aware, to be attentive and heedful of all that occurs.  We pay attention to the physical world, which includes our bodies and everything we see around us.  We stay conscious of our feelings.  We are heedful of our thoughts.  We become conscious of our beliefs.  The breath is the entry into awareness.  Focusing on the breath we access all of these seeming separate things; we feel the sensations of the body without identifying with the body, we feel our emotions without becoming attached to them, we stay aware of our thoughts without having to believe them and we examine our beliefs without equating them with ultimate truth.  We begin to notice the nature of these things, how they come and go, how they change from one state to another.  Most importantly we stay curious, keeping ourselves inquisitive always remembering that all these are uncertain.

EFFORT – I am energized.

March 10th -

Sometimes it seems like we have a lot of work to do, and that the work is tough.  Energy can be drained from us and it can flow into us.  When we work at things that we don’t believe in or that cause suffering we cannot maintain our efforts and we burn out.  When we determine to do the things we enjoy, that we are good at and that lead us closer to our hopes and dreams, our energy is almost unlimited.  Our purpose and our good efforts go hand in hand.  All of our temporary talents and gifts move us toward our hearts desires and these are intimately tied to proper service.  We have the strength to overcome unwholesome states of mind.  There is no need to struggle, a simple surrender to spirit provides all the power we need to produce the results we seek.  Let us quietly uncover our right mind from which all good efforts arise.

OCCUPATION – I am occupied.

March 9th -

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”  How many children have been asked this question?  How many of us have asked ourselves the same question? Are we what we do for a living?  No, but what we do for a living is important to how we feel about ourselves and how we contribute to the larger community. Just making money will never be enough for us.  It is recommended that we do not take on a profession that brings harm to others.  Selling arms or lethal weapons, providing harmful drugs or poisons, or any trade that causes suffering are some obvious proscriptions.   We may think that we are not involved in any such thing, but we may need to look closer.  The Buddha says, “live by a profession which is honorable, blameless, and innocent of harm to others”.  When we add the concept living on purpose to the principle of supporting ourselves by honorable means we see that we should probably take some quiet time to consider all the connotations.