Perception

cat seeing tiger

Perception is everything. How we perceive ourselves, each other and what we call or don’t call God is an integral part of our experience.

Peace be with you. Shalom. Namaste. Salaam!

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Perception

Sacred Activism

How to Give Back from the Heart
By Andrew Harvey

With so many crises facing our planet–from extreme poverty to environmental depletion to our often hurried, disconnected pace of life–the future can seem bleak. And many of us feel discouraged and overwhelmed about our ability to make a difference. The most visible world activists are often “fighting for peace,” an ironic position that doesn’t really reach the roots of our planetary problems.

But one movement, “sacred activism,” an approach in the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi, engages our compassion so that action comes from love.

Author and teacher Andrew Harvey has written a book about this phenomenon, offering sage wisdom and practical tools for positive personal and planetary transformation.

He suggests trying these ten things to start to align yourself “with the power and hope of sacred activism.”

The following is an excerpt is from The Hope: A Guide to Sacred Activism (Hay House, 2009) by Andrew Harvey.

The first six invite you into deep, nourishing connection with your spirit; the last four will help you express the compassion and joy this connection awakens in you in action:

Be grateful
Ask yourself: What’s Sacred to Me?
Cultivate forgiveness
Read Sacred words
Pray or ask to align with Love
Develop a spiritual practice
Make a small gesture
Take a baby step for world hunger
Reach into your community
Choose a cause
Extend compassion

Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Wellness/2009/11/Sacred-Activist.aspx#jF8tqA6RcpqzRm3g.99

Sacred Activism

Pay Attention

It seems like I was constantly reminded/requested/reprimanded to pay attention repeatedly when I was a boy by my parents and teachers. Even when I thought I was paying attention… they frequently thought I wasn’t being attentive enough… at least to meet their expectations.

No longer a kid subject to parents or teachers, I slowly began to learn that while I was perhaps fairly good at paying attention to others… It suddenly dawned on me that it was just as important… in fact, lots more important to pay attention to myself.

So I’ll say to you: Pay attention!
No, not to outside… pay attention to inside.
Pay attention to your inner nudges… your gut feelings… your intuition… your sixth sense… the voice within.
Pay attention to your Higher Self, your conscience, the Divine in your head…and in your heart.

But don’t stop there.
Pay attention to your evaluations and judgments about yourself.
Pay attention to your opinions of yourself.
Pay attention to your beliefs about who you are and what you can be.
Pay attention to how those beliefs color each moment of your life and your encounters with others.
Pay attention to what you tell yourself what you can and can’t do.
Pay attention to how you limit yourself, disappoint yourself and discourage yourself.

To learn this, I had to admit that I talk to myself… and then I began to pay attention to what I was saying or not saying to myself. I soon discovered that many of my conversations were cluttered and noisy with guilt.

One of the hallmark themes many spiritual writers point to is the necessity for genuine forgiveness to include ourselves because for forgiveness of others to be truly efficacious and sustaining, it must originate from within ourselves and it must also include ourselves. Forgiveness begins at home.

Here’s an interfaith prayer I wrote recently. Pray with me:

Let us pray!
God of the Universe, My Sacred, some believe that You have created us in Your image and likeness.
Indeed, my brothers and sisters – Jews, Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Native/Indigenous/Aboriginal Peoples – believe you are the Source of all creation.
I believe that you have given us human abilities to cocreate with you.
I can cocreate. I can recreate myself. I can reinvent myself each and every moment; to take your creation and to continue to shape myself into your image and likeness everyday. I am evolving. I am growing. I am transforming in your Presence.

The world surrounding me has mastered so many ways to grab hold of my attention and keep it – TV commercials, radio ads, freeway billboards, newspapers, magazine, Internet sites, social media. Even my spiritual reading and writing can be a distraction if am not mindful of right intention.

I am searching for the middle way… to stay centered; to remain still; to pay attention.
I want to be more self aware so that I can be more aware of You.
I believe that my Higher Self – my conscience – is in synchronicity with all that is Sacred… with all that is You.
I want to determine courses of action but remain flexible enough to go with your flow.
I want to take exits, detours or even change destinations when necessary accepting that resistance is futile.
Your will be done.
I take control of myself. I release the delusional control I sometimes think I have over others.
I move forward with determination yet flexibility.
I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my ship. I am in the driver’s seat.
I listen to myself!
I consciously work to develop my intuitive abilities that are waiting to be actualized.

I do all of this in your Presence.
Thank you for paying attention to me so that I can pay attention to myself. Amen.

*I am gathering interfaith prayers for future publication. Please do not hesitate to share your treasures with me. Blessings!

Pay Attention