Human Family

I pray for a more loving human family

Even when I meet a stranger
Each time I have the same feeling:
“He is another member of my human family.”
Such an attitude deepens
My affection and respect for all beings.
May this natural loving kindness
Become my small contribution to world peace!
I pray for a world that is more friendly,
More loving, and for a better understanding
Among the human family, on this planet.
That is the appeal I make from the bottom of my heart
To all those who hate suffering
And cherish lasting happiness.

The Dalai Lama
(excerpt from the book “My Spiritual Journey”, The Dalai Lama with Sofia Stril-Rever).

Words to chew on today.

Everything Is A Gray Area

Everywhere you look someone is telling you what to do and how to live. What to eat, how to be a good person, what to buy, how to build the perfect life, how to sleep, what time to do this and that, and wow, we can get pulled so many directions!

If we get pulled by all the perspectives out there, we will get lost. We won’t have a deep sense of being comfortable, being sure. We simply can’t listen to it all – most of it is contradictory and changing every day, anyway.

I try to live by the theory that everything is a gray area. Sometimes something is great for me, and sometimes that same thing is not so right, or downright a bad choice. So different actions would fit different times, different moods. We can’t follow a list of right and wrongs, because those apply differently depending where we are in a certain moment.

If everything is a gray area, it is clear that we can’t follow all the advice out there without checking in – going within, and getting our own answer by engaging in self inquiry. If we just take outer perspectives as our own, we check out.

This brings us to the fact that it makes no sense to be concerned with what others are choosing either, because even if we are not choosing that, they are in a different place, different mood, and it is all a gray area, remember? Maybe if you were in their shoes you would be choosing differently, too.

Seeing Beauty Again

It’s amazing how much more noticeable beauty is when we are in a relaxed state of mind. There are cycles in which I am so busy that I even forget how much I love trees. Eventually something happens and reminds me of the importance of the practice, of meditation – and I get back to center. And then I can sense beauty again. It has always been there, I was just blind.

Have you felt this way? Just as in meditation practice, when we go for a ride on a thought, notice it, and come back to the breath, in our lives we feel beauty and relaxed, and then go on a run of business and action, get a bit lost, and then come back to beauty. It’s really true that in every small thing, you can see the whole – and this is comforting.