Good Tidings

In just a couple of hours I'll fly away to have a fabulous Christmas Eve dinner at my stepmom's.  She is a wonderful cook, and we are fortunate to have the bounty of food, family and health this year.

This is a time of year where many different religious and spiritual paths celebrate.  That we approach the shortest day of the year, and the longest night, it is no wonder that so much activity surrounds this time period.  In most modern cultures, we are no longer close to the edge of living and dying.  But for those that were close to that edge, making it through the longest night of the year was an accomplishment.  And each subsequent night would be less long.

Hope is a powerful force that carries us through dire circumstances.  And we have hope when there are courageous individuals who lift themselves above the fray--unbounded from pettiness, consumerism, politicism, and all other 'isms' that deserve our cutting loose from their hold.

Our beloved belief systems are often founded by individuals who were courageous, and spoke out against the contemporary insanities that grip every culture and divide humankind.  Peace on earth and goodwill toward men is more easily said than done---and achieved after much effort and bloodshed.

My message today is for each of us to embody the responsibility of being a courageous individual.  I found this in one of Thich Nhat Hanh's books.  It always resonates with me when I read it.  I wanted to share it with you today.  It is a reminder to me that all things can be reconciled so long as we approach conflict correctly and take action to reconcile.

Not your standard holiday message, but what you shouldn't be surprised!

In the time of war
Raise in yourself the Mind of Compassion
Help living beings
Abandon the will to fight
Wherever there is a furious battle
Use all you might
To keep both sides' strength equal
And then step into the conflict to reconcile.

Vimalakirti Nirdesa


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