Creating Welcoming Space, by Sister Marilyn Lacey

One way of measuring whether our love is genuine, however, is to examine how far we’ve extended the boundaries that determine whom we are willing to be [open to]. When these borders reach out as far as they can go, there will be no one left outside, there will be no one cursed. There will be no more strangers. Everyone will be welcome.

Reflect for a minute on what it feels like to be welcomed. The word means, simply, ‘come and be well’ in my presence. It’s a fundamental human experience, and a very crucial one. Continue reading “Creating Welcoming Space, by Sister Marilyn Lacey”

Call Me By My True Names, by Thich Nhat Hanh

In Plum Village, where I live in France, we receive many letters from the refugee camps in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and the Philippines, hundreds each week. It is very painful to read them, but we have to do it, we have to be in contact. We try our best to help, but the suffering is enormous, and sometimes we are discouraged. It is said that half the boat people die in the ocean. Only half arrive at the shores in Southeast Asia, and even then they may not be safe. Continue reading “Call Me By My True Names, by Thich Nhat Hanh”

Just One Thing: Be Amazed, by Rick Hanson

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” – W.B. Yeats

Last night, stressing about undone tasks, I glanced in a mirror and saw my T-shirt, with its picture of a galaxy and a little sign sticking up out of its outer swirls, saying “You are here.”

A joke gift from my wife, I’ve worn this shirt many times—yet for once it stopped me in my tracks. In William Blake’s phrase, the doors of perception popped open and it really hit me: Yes we are actually here, off to the edge of a vast floating whirlpool of stars, alive and conscious, walking and talking on a big rock circling a bigger burning ball of gas. Here, now, nearly fourteen billion years after the cosmos emerged out of nothing. Continue reading “Just One Thing: Be Amazed, by Rick Hanson”

Arun Dada and Mira Ba, by Nipun Mehta

Two weeks ago, a few of us visited an elderly Gandhian couple in Baroda — Arun Dada and Mira Ba. Now in their 80s, their entire life has been rooted in generosity. As students of Vinoba, they have never put a price tag on their labor. Their presence speaks to a life-long practice of equanimity, trust and compassion. And so do their stories. Continue reading “Arun Dada and Mira Ba, by Nipun Mehta”

Meaning of Love, by Helen Keller

[Helen Keller tells how, as a deaf and blind child, she learned the meaning of love from her teacher, Anne Sullivan.]

I remember the morning that I first asked about the meaning of the word, ‘love’. This was before I knew many words. I had found a few early violets in the garden and brought them to my teacher. She tried to kiss me; but at that time I did not like to have anyone kiss me except my mother. Miss Sullivan put her arm gently around me and spelled in my hand, ‘I love Helen.’

“What is love?” I asked.

She drew me closer to her and said, “It is here,” pointing to my heart. Her words puzzled me very much because I did not then understand anything unless I touched it. Continue reading “Meaning of Love, by Helen Keller”