A voicehearer’s path ~

Posts tagged ‘gentleness’

The Parasol ~

The Parasol

A parasol is not an umbrella. An umbrella protects from the rain, while a parasol protects from the sun. The parasol also symbolically protects against “the heat of defilements.” Another way to look at it is that the parasol represents the sky and the handle represents a mountain that holds up the sky, or possibly the axis that holds up the whole world. The proximity of the person under the parasol to the “axis of the world” represents the importance of the person.

Still another way of looking at it is that the dome of the parasol represents wisdom, and the hanging part symbolized compassion. The parasol as a whole represents the fusion of both.

Guess who is usually shown sitting under a parasol? Two points if you guessed “The Buddha.” However, other important figures, such as the Dalai Lama and others are entitled to parasols as well.

parasolI have chuckled at the Traveler’s Insurance ads, as they use this concept quite effectively to show the protection of carrying their insurance. The concept revolves around the idea that a life lived in kindness is, in and of itself, a protection from much adversity. When you live mindful of the needs of others, and attempt at all times to be gentle and compassionate, life is easier for all concerned. In fact, this goes back to the idea that life on this plane of existence is full of suffering and sorrow, and it is among the Eight commendations by the Buddha on doing your part as an individual to relieve that suffering.

Though, in a world as paranoid as the 21st Century in the United States, this is not always the case, being kind will usually “oil” the squeaks and moans of the wheel of life as it turns. The Dalai Lama has even commented on the fact that if you are consistently kind,you will usually have few actual enemies. I have found it a point of extreme sadness that this teaching, which Y’shua repeatedly iterated, seems to have been skipped in the practice of modern fundamental Christianity. If you are busy mindfully conducting yourself in a manner that aims to sow compassion and gentleness, you learn to speak even harsh truths in a manner that will bring about thoughtful living, rather than condemnation.

Most people do not wish to be unkind, in fact, when you get to the source of unkindness, it is usually pain of some form or another. Physical pain that burrows into a person’s ability to think and respond clearly, or emotional pain that is just as wicked in it’s injuries to the soul, leading to a need to always be on the defensive with others. It is only when one attempts to be mindful at all times, even when one suffers from these pains, that an easement is found in any given situation.stickers_thumbnail

Imagine what the world would be like if each of us did our best, every day, to be fair in our dealings with people and in the things we do!”

I found this website in my search for a “Golden ruler” to point out the wording of Y’shua’s teachings. What a lovely reminder for each of us to live the Golden Path as taught by Y’shua. I love this, and find it a healthy comment that perhaps more who follow Y’shua are finding that his path was the most important part of his ministry. I have long considered his teachings a path toward the light, and it has been a heart breaker when I have found preachers and teachers of his path teaching others things like, “You don’t have to forgive in order to be forgiven,” {See the Lord’s Prayer}, You only have to be kind and honest to those who are members of your own faith or congregation, EEEEEEEK! Why would you teach that? Even those who have no faith in any sort of Spiritual path are kind and honest their own!

P.S. I will soon be back to posting regularly, I have been occupied with a visit from loving friends from back home, and along with our electrical problems {now fixed} have been busy catching up, thank you for your patience.

Su

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Gentleness ~

1145704domestic-cat-silver-tortoiseshell-kitten-with-silver-dwarf-lop-eared-rabbit-2Kittens and bunnies evoke sensations of cuddliness and gentleness for all who see them, now, if they are feral, that won’t be the case, but if they have been handled gently from birth, they will snuggle with whatever human holds them, generally. Paul, the “Apostle” counts gentleness as a fruit of the Spirit, and I would agree with him on the list, though I see that list as incomplete.

Gentleness, however, is seldom, if ever discussed because, for many, that sort of gentleness goes hand in hand with fear. {Mess with that kitten too much and find another little lesson in the weapons G-d gives the gentle.} Yet, most of the time, when I think of the gentleness of Spirit, I think of the Gentle Giant, the Bear, because gentleness is so much a part of her rearing of her cubs, but don’t mess with her, or the claws will tear you to ribbons.

So, having discussed momentarily that gentleness is not necessarily weakness, let’s look at what gentleness is. It isn’t always cuddly, but it is always respectful of space and of need. When you see true gentleness you see that the intent is not to overwhelm, but to allow a creature, whethergb_photogallery1_05 human or other, to feel safe, perhaps even taken care of in an unlimiting fashion. Security, then, is part of gentleness.

when you think of rabbits, you think of gentleness of spirit, in that it is difficult to even perceive of a rabbit being aggressive. Even when a gentle person needs to address something with you they will probably sit down in your presence and await your attention, perhaps “ahemming” in order to draw you toward them, but they are often discreet, no matter the instance. Hence the term Gentleman or Gentlewoman. So discretion is a part of gentleness. In fact, a person you think of as a gentle person is one you usually cannot envision being aggressive in any form.

vfp101_quiet_watersQuietness is also a part of gentleness. One seldom associates gentleness with a rock ‘n’  roll musician for just that reason. This does no mean that such a person may not be gentle off stage, but such would come as a surprise to even an observant person. In fact, because of the imagery of the 23rd Psalm, we think of quiet or still water in association with the Holy One. The vision many of past generations have had of Y’shua has been of a quiet, gentle holy man, softly speaking his truths to those who were willing to listen in little hillside groups, though you have to ask how the 10,000 he fed could have heard him if he was that softly spoken no matter what.

There is yet another thing quite easily associated with gentleness. That would be “rest”, as in the restful slumber of one who is healing from illness or wounds. One thinks of nurses in this role, as it is their job to carry out the healing physicians orders and keep the patient quiet and rested so body and mind can heal.

So gentleness then includes discretion,

security,

quietness,

safety,

respect,

mindfulness,

rest,

healing,

yes, one can say with little reservation that gentleness of spirit is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

Renewal ~

inipi002Each year, as the calendar moves gently but inexorably toward the spring, we begin to think of renewal, of the rebirth of the plants that blanket our lawns and gardens, of the rebirth of life on all levels, including our own.  I remember being taught that Christianity taught rebirth of the soul through Jesus Christ, and that no other faith taught any sort of rebirth. I still wonder if that pastor knew what he said was a lie, or if it was just ignorance.

The Native American means of renewal or rebirth is the sweat lodge, or inipi, in the Lakota language of the Souix.  During that ceremony one enters the womb of the mother (Earth) and via the ceremony and ones sincere prayers experiences a literal rebirth upon exit from the lodge. I have been through this ceremony more than once, and that is not an exaggeration. There are purification ceremonies among the Buddhists, and among nearly every group that aims toward better or higher living among it’s adherents. Through these ceremonies, one “washes away” the past and is born anew, to deal with life from a new chartres2perspective. It is very effective, and, at least among the Natives of North America, one can repeat the process later, when it is necessary.

Even in Christianity one can access a renewal when it is needed. This is via the labyrinth, whether you use the Chartre path or another, the prayerful, meditational walk through the steps of a labyrinth can give one new insight into one’s life. Even in the lives of those who do not follow particular ceremonies, but who experience a quintessential spirituality just in the living from one day to another, there is a sense of renewal that automatically comes with the spring.

It is in the release from the snow, which often keeps us indoors unless we are a winter sports person, from the new warmth in the air, from the new flowers that blossom all over the place, everything simply feels new. This sense of renewal can give us new purpose, or revive the purpose we knew before, it doesn’t matter, it’s so refreshing and so wonderful. No faith has a stranglehold on this feeling, or it’s purpose, Mother Nature is the authoress, even for those who do not believe there is such a thing as the Holy Spirit. Amazing! Absolutely amazing!

spring-flowers-1

The First Principle ~

1) Creator is Love. The Song of Love, with its melodies, and harmonies, is the expression of the Will and Mind of Creator, who is the Original Source of Life.

The Principles I have listed here at this site were given to me by Spirit for my protection. I have said before that I hear voices, some high, some low, and I cannot always tell the difference. The principles allow me to progress through life without being swayed by the low ones into acting in ways that I would later regret. You would think that the Mosaic Decalogue or 10 commandments would do that, but they are actually a skeleton of a much larger system, and one needs to know the entire system for them to work at keeping one out of trouble.

It is difficult to know how to describe the principles as compared to the commandments, though, perhaps they are the cells that make up the bones and muscles of the body of information that one needs in order to serve the highest and best. Take, for instance, the first Principle that I have listed above. Compare it to Moshe’s first command. The Principle tells you that God is Love, therefore, Moshe’s command to love Hashem with all your heart, and every breath you breathe is not difficult, it is a delight, for you know that you are loved first, and loving back is seldom difficult.

You also begin to understand that the breeze flowing though the trees, and the sound of the crickets in the grass or the animals on the plains, are themselves the sounds of Creator’s love coming toward you from the woods and the grasses. It is as you realize this that you begin to understand that Hashem is not “Out there” looking at you from afar, but right here with you, loving you with every puff of breath that keeps you alive.

Because of the gentleness of the breezes, you begin to realize that, though there is much in the Universe that is too great to understand for a human, and the winds blow much too harshly during a hurricane for a human to stand in the way, there are breezes that nourish as well. There is music in the Universe that is gentle enough for a human to survive and thrive if we will learn to get out of the way when the big winds blow.

If we will begin to pay attention, we can also learn here that the source of our own lives is the source of all life, and that there is much in the Universe that has nothing to do with us. I know this means becoming aware that the entire Universe is not about us, necessarily, but about life in abundance and that, rather than our mission being to “take over” the Universe from Hashem, as we have for generations thought and acted, perhaps our mission is to learn to live in balance with the other life forms that Creator has made and placed here.

Perhaps, in fact, we have been singing the wrong song, what if we were supposed to be singing a song of love, and we have been singing a song of conquest?

Love or Fear, the choice of how to live ~

I have said before that I spent a while in fundamentalist country before finding my way out to a gentler, quieter stream in the river of life. The preachers in the more fundamentalist style of the faith often seem to act as though they are competing with the evening news, or worse, “Everybody loves Raymond” The style of preaching is almost always volatile, exciting, rythmic and somewhat hypnotic. The usual goal of the speaker is to raise the hoary head of fear and then soothe the fear with “Jeeeesus, Jeeeeesus, Sweeeeeetest name I Know.”

The problem with living in that kind of fear was that most of the time, when I heard the voices, they were obviously of dark origin, and I could not get “above” fear based commentary. I have been quite fortunate not to have the voices that tell you to kill the neighbor, I think I would have been too frightened to move if those voices had spoken to me, mostly the fear would be aimed at an immobilization of anything I wanted to do. The kind of voices that make you agoraphobic, claustrophobic, xenophobic, and just plain phobic.

I did go through one of the “exorcism” prayer circles, it made no difference, other than that I started having remembered dreams of unpleasantness as well. It really was a frightening time in my life. I found that when I had backed away from that fellowship and began to concentrate on Proverbs and the sweeter Psalms, and God’s promises, that the fearful voices subsided and I had prayed for the help of the teacher spoken of in Chapter 8 of that book.

That was when the rainbow teacher began to come around. Her advice was to avoid the fearful preaching and simply lead a contemplative life. She it was who taught me that compassion was the most important lesson. She taught me how to fill my mind with good and kind thoughts and how to overcome the negative thinking that had been so much a part of my formative years. She taught me that high drama is seldom necessary, and that disciplined living that filled the mind, heart and life with higher truths was far more effective than exorcism, in fact the things she taught me were essentially how to exorcise one’s own dark demons from within. It was her teaching that silenced the dark voices.

OK, I will admit that this could quite naturally be some “higher” part of myself, (though I am not sure that the me that is me could reach as high as true compassion 100% of the time.)but then, according to Jewish teaching, we all carry a spark of the divine. I pray that it is the voice of that spark, or that that spark is the door through which she enters, as life has been a whole lot better with her teaching and encouragement. There is another kind of fear with which there is no choice but to deal, the authoress here has written quite well about it.

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