FEARLESS – I am safe.

July 25th -

We are safe within the common welfare, in the company of our fellows we are rescued from loneliness.  Many times, we can be distracted by self-centered concerns; we can be delivered from these short-sighted worries.  We may think that if we don’t go after what we want we will somehow get cheated. Fear of lack has always been a problem. We remember that as part of a greater whole, we are invested in the benefit of that greater thing.  Our escape from the egocentric is concentric movement from within to without.  It is not that our own needs are not important or even that the needs of the larger are more important; it is that the common needs are our own needs.  The common welfare is an aspect of goodwill. Goodwill is always what is best for everyone, everything involved.  Goodwill smiles on us with love and tenderness, deeply and dearly giving everyone the opportunity for good.

GRATITUDE – I am giving to the common welfare.

July 24th -

Today, let us give our best to those around us.  We can think about our gifts to others as gifts to God.  We can approach our good service to others as giving our best to God.  We show our appreciation for our gifts by giving.  We can express our thankfulness in many ways, large and small; but when we extend love and generosity our gratitude is most clear.  Gifts given with a sense of connection, with a strong desire for the well-being of those around us are the best.  We need not worry about losing, we can release all thought of sacrifice or lack.  We are assured that when we give freely, more gifts flow to us. It is a joy to give our best, our best at home, our best in the workplace, our best in the community. The good that is in us wants to express through us, today we should allow it.  We free ourselves of suffering when we focus on being and giving our best.

GIFT – I am part of something greater than my small self.

July 23rd -

Previously we may have been convinced that we were apart from everything, but today we see that we are part of something greater.  Awakening from alone-ness into an integrated spiritual consciousness we realize that Unity has always been present.  It is impossible to divide reality into pieces.  Unity is… period.   God has given us life, the life that is within us and the life that is all around us. The loneliness of self is healed in the togetherness of the larger Self. We each have great value and can contribute that value to all other living things.  When we give our best to life, life gives the best to us. Although sometimes we don’t see it, Unity is always offering benefit.  The powerlessness of the individual is augmented by the strength of fellowship.  We are never alone, our brothers and sisters are always present, all living things are with us and for us.

ABSTAIN – I am abstinent.

July 22nd -

Today, I will abstain from any addictive behavior.   The Buddha’s words on this are: “refrain from taking intoxicants that cloud the mind and cause heedlessness.”  Some of us are able to regulate our use but many of us have found that we do best if we simply stop taking any mood changing or mind-altering substances. Sometimes it is not substances but addictive behavior we need to withdraw from.  Addictive behavior is self-centered (the opposite of connectedness), it is obsessive (the opposite of non-attachment), and it is compulsive (the opposite of choice).  If there is any addiction in our lives today, let us make a commitment to abstain…to choose what we will do, to release dependency, to grow into God-centered people.  The road to peace and happiness runs through freedom and the only way to become free is to let go of those things that hold us in bondage.

HONEST – I am honest.

July 21st -

I am complimentary.  Today can be the end of demeaning speech.  We can change our lives and our interactions with others by practicing a simple change in our conversations.  When we are tempted to be dishonest about something or demean another person, we can change our minds.  We can see that lying and slander is the same thing.  We can tell the truth.  The Buddhists tell us: “refrain from lying and from harsh speech, from idle speech, and from slander.”  Let us pay attention to our language.  Again, and again we ask ourselves, “Is it true, is it necessary, is it kind?”  There is great power in our words…we speak the word and the word becomes manifest…in one way or another.  Honest speech has us reporting the truth of our being which is the truth of All Being.  Doing otherwise locks us into suffering.  Today, let us be honest, let us see that which is good and true and report it.

DESIRE – I am seeking oneness.

July 20th -

Sexuality is the body’s attempt at oneness.  Oneness is sacred.  It cannot not be otherwise.  Creation is present in my sexuality, so I do not denigrate it and I do not abuse it. The potent power of the universe dwells within me.  The Buddhist teaching says: “refrain from sexual misconduct or using our sexual energy in a way that causes harm.”  Sexual celebration is the joy we take in the perpetuation of life and the preservation of life forces, even when procreation is not the intention.  We are connected to the ebb and flow of life.  There is comfort in the cycle of life…birth, growth, harvest, death, rebirth…all of these occur in us and all around us.  Our sexuality is directly linked to this cycle of life and we should revel in it, but not obsess in it.  There is great power in passion, we do not deny it or put it aside, but we do not allow it to run our lives or harm anyone.  Instead we consecrate it.

GIVING – I am giving.

July 19th -

I give, and I will not take that which is not freely given.  One of the moral precepts in Buddhist practice (and all other spiritual pursuits) is the prohibition against stealing.  The Buddhists say it like this: “refrain from stealing or taking that which is not given”.  We recognize the value of “cash register” honesty but do we see the whole picture? Of course, we begin with not stealing stuff.  Our practice deepens when we consider how often we may have coerced others into relinquishing anything against their own will.  To bend another to our will is taking…it is stealing.  Today let us stop taking that which is not given and instead give.  We consider what it is that we want more of and give that.  In this way, all will be served, our prosperity will naturally increase, and we will also be a boon to others.

PEACE – I am at peace.

July 18th -

Today, I commit to non-violence.  I will be a center of peace and I will extend my center out into my perceived world.  In concord with life, I feel connected to my brothers. I am determined to cause no harm.  I will do no violence, physical or mental.  As my inner quiet deepens, my connection to all of life becomes more apparent. I will further examine any behaviors or habits that may cause destruction in the wider world. I affirm and celebrate the fact that I am a good steward of my own resources and those of the greater community. I move toward harmony as I decide for the unity of all life.  Soon, I realize that I am connected to the entire planet and beyond…and then I begin to consider my role as protector of that which I am connected to.  This vision goes deeper and deeper and will surely not resolve itself today, but will provide continual opportunity for practice, but still, I am at peace right now.

INTERWOVEN – I am weaving.

July 17th -

The strands of our actions form the fabric of our lives.  Our behavior, our thoughts, our desires are knit into who we become; our beliefs are intimately linked to how our lives play out.  Today, let us get quiet and focus on bringing our lives into harmony and truth.  Our behavior matters, it is not that our actions stain us eternally, just that there are consequences to all of our behavior.  It is naïve to believe that we can go out into the world and do whatever self-centered thing we want and then blithely enter into peaceful meditation once we get home.  Jack Kornfield once said something like, “it is difficult to meditate after a day of murder and mayhem”. The split personality cannot stand.  Everything we think, say, and do (or don’t do) is woven into the fabric of our lives.  So today, let us endeavor to live in a manner that reflects our values…today let us mesh our actions with our good intentions.

PRINCIPLES – I am practicing principles.

July 16th -

 Waking up from self-centeredness stirs the love that has always been within us. Love is the foundational principle upon which we are building each day.  In this way love is becoming the litmus test in all that we do. We have been changing our core beliefs by monitoring our thoughts, exchanging negative for positive. Modifying our thought process results in more peaceful feelings.  Being at ease transforms our actions.  Our attitude is improving. Opinions are no longer need be set in stone.  Establishing values and sticking to them is now the standard for our behavior.  A code of conduct that aligns itself with our values is being instilled in us through our moment by moment decisions.  Committed to love we are moving forward with goodwill. Following the guidance of Spirit, we move through our day applying what we have learned in all of our undertakings.