RESTRAINT – I am moderate.

October 5th -

We are free to do what is ours to do but being free does not mean being out of control. It is important for us to establish and maintain a sense of moderation in all things.  Moderation is a concept that many of us have come late to. Our inability to control our appetites and our behavior have led to many unfortunate experiences.  Accepting our personal powerlessness over the unrestrained ego, we found a source of strength that can be called upon to help us reign in the self-centered tendencies of the personality.  Through surrender to and guidance from Spirit we are given some measure of control over our selves.  This is not a call to some monkish existence, unless we are so inclined, it is simply to balance our wants and needs with the common welfare. We have no need to call great attention to our accomplishments or our failings; only when the sharing of these is helpful do we do so.  Even then it is essential that we recognize that we have never existed in a vacuum and that we had help in our victories and even our mistakes.

RESPECT – I am respectful.

October 4th -

Today, let us be respectful.  Seeking respect will not help us or anyone else; giving respect will.  The idea that respect must be earned is good in so far as we understand that our own behavior will result in us receiving respect or the lack of it.  However, in regard to how we view others it will be most helpful if we just extend respect without the need for them to prove themselves to us.  To treat everyone with the respect due a fellow human is the minimum requirement, to go further would be more helpful.  To see past human failings straight through to the ultimate divinity of us all, this will allow us to give proper respect to each one.  To forgive behavior and see the divine does not mean that we say that the bad behavior is ok, forgiveness just accepts that we transcend all behavior.  See the Christ, see the Buddha nature, see the Good in all our brothers and sisters and then give that proper respect.

REAL – I am real.

October 3rd -

What is it that is real?  It seems as if these bodies we carry around are real, that the personalities we wear are real, that the material world we appear to inhabit is real.  While the reality of these may be debated, we do know that these things are temporary.  In our efforts to heal the suffering of the world it is important that we don’t get lost in high mindedness.  We are experiencing our bodies, our personalities and the world itself; and it is in these that we have our present assignments.  So, we do not deny our worldly experience.  To best be of service we look at this small self and its (miss)adventures in the world as opportunities to forgive and to serve. So, we allow our temporary reality to clarify in the mind, to be purified, reinterpreted and then used to help others do the same.  In this way, we present ourselves simply and without embellishment, allowing others to see the “real” us even though we know that that reality is sure to change.

HONEST – I am honest.

October 2nd -

Progress on our spiritual way is made through practice.  As we practice, we become more adept at the various disciplines involved in our preparation.  As our knowledge deepens we have more information which we can disseminate to others, we begin to see things from a different perspective and we may feel compelled to talk about our discoveries.  Prudence is called for here, let us not get carried away in our enthusiasm.  Information is not experience.  Honest experience is the most effective message we can carry to others, when we allow new found “facts” to spill from our lips we risk inaccuracy and misunderstanding.  Better to allow the information to percolate in us as we put it into practice, then allowing those results to determine what we will share.  There will be many missteps along the way, honesty also means that we do not present ourselves in such a way that implies we have become perfect. Remember that while we are perfect at our core, our practice can always improve.

SHARE – I am sharing.

October 1st-

Connection is the essence of all relationships, when we fail to see or feel the connections we are caught in the suffering of self-centeredness.  The connection is always there; we just may not be aware of it.  We can become aware, and even fine tune that awareness by sharing.  We consciously share in multiple ways and all contribute to our sense of belonging.   Through empathic speech, we share our thoughts.  We share our time, giving our attention and our best efforts in the moment and throughout the day.  We share our talents, doing the things that we do best in a way that benefits us all. We share our treasure, which could be money or some precious thing that we give in a thoughtful and generous way. As we practice these disciplines consciously we begin to become aware that we are also sharing at the level of being. We share the planet, we share in the unity of all life, and we share consciousness.

PRACTICE – I am practicing.

September 30th-

 Ours is a practice of loving kindness.  We hold the common welfare in our hearts as we ask for guidance in our interactions with others.  We accept one another as we are without trying to change or control anyone.  We are most helpful when we are not distracted by the pursuits of the ego.  Doing what needs to be done is easier when we allow others to do the same.  We look on our fellows as equal and we affirm that equality in thought, word and deed.  We share resources, common interests, and responsibility for our endeavors and indeed for the world we see.  We are learning to release our fellows from our judgment.  It is very freeing to not have to worry about things that are not connected to our own purpose.  Let us cultivate a sense of our own purvey.  Our outlook has been obstructed by the errors of the past that predict an unfortunate future; whereas our mindful practice brings us into the present.

SKILLFUL – I am skillful.

September 29th -

Skillful speech is a tremendous asset to all of our relationships.  They ability to curb our temptations to indulge in negativity is essential to maintaining trust.  Our practice instructs to concern ourselves with truthfulness, kindness, and the necessity of any utterance.  Finding ourselves involved in a conversation where a person who is not present becomes the subject, we would do well to abstain from commenting at all, even excusing ourselves and moving out of earshot.  If we decide to stay in the exchange there are a number of ways we can best serve the common welfare.  The first, and really the least we can do is to say something good about the person who is being talked about.  Secondly, we can attempt to change the subject, with the purposeful intent of extricating everyone from the negativity.  Finally, and most effectively, we could listen to the complaints and then say, “you may be right, I think we should go talk to them about it right now”.

DISPUTE – I am agreeing.

September 28th -

What do we do when someone presents a point of view that we are not in agreement with? Tempted to argue, we may start laying out our point of view in some type of debate.  In our disagreement we can sometimes become unpleasant.  Knowing that it is possible to disagree without being disagreeable we may try to be diplomatic.  No need to storm away mad, we could find a way to peacefully talk it out. Better yet, why not just listen. Listen and then listen some more; and then say this: “You may be right, tell me more about that.”  This is not a suggestion that we be dishonest or even that we “go along to get along”.  It is just that when we listen openly and then actually ask the one we disagree with to tell us more, we open our own minds and theirs.  After they have told us everything that they feel is important, we might respond with something like this, “That’s interesting and as I said, you may be right; but have you ever thought about it this…?”  Perhaps we need say nothing at all.

RESTRAINED – I am discreet.

September 27th -

The tenth instruction in the One Spirit wedding vow is: “Speak not ill of your partner in the presence of others; speak not ill of others in the presence of your partner; nor say any hurtful thing.” When we speak negatively about anyone, we bolster our own bad opinion and cement it in our consciousness.  In other words, be repeating it, we make it worse. Speaking badly about our spouse is said to be one of the main causes of divorce. Restraining ourselves by our own choice; to be discreet, to not speak ill of others; this is our decision.  Being self-possessed is not the same as being self-centered and this particular control comes from reliance on Spirit. The choices we make concerning our conversations have the potential for great suffering or fulfillment.  Certainly, we will see an improvement in all of our relationships when we abstain from petty comments and cheap gossip.

SUPPORT – I am supportive.

September 26th -

I will accept people as they are. I hereby suspend judgement, no longer having a need to change anyone. I will be kind, extending love myself to everyone I meet. I visualize us all connected in the vast web of life.  My compassion is growing stronger each moment. Having released myself from the ego’s opinions; I am able to look over and see through to the good. Sometimes old hurts come to mind and then it is a challenge to practice this principle, but I can always forgive. I extend forgiveness again and again as needed.  As this practice unfolds, the need for control fades. I find it easy to allow people to make their own decisions. I no longer feel threatened, I do not need my loved to do anything to make me feel whole. I do not need them to be with me every moment. I let them go to be and do what they desire. I am supportive of what they desire, and I am happy for their happiness.