From Valerie York-Zimmerman
Loving Kindness Practice for All
May we be happy.
May we be healthy.
May we be free from pain and suffering.
May we love and may we be loved.
As we offer these wishes to ourselves, we extend them
to all sentient beings and our living planet itself.
JEWEL NET OF INDIA
The Jewel Net of Indra was described by Robert Thurman as “… a marvelous net of multifaceted jewels. Each jewel in the net is so faceted that all the other jewels appear reflected within it. Each one is present thus in all the others, and all the others are present within it.”
From Indra’s Net, The Bulletin of the Mindfulness-Based
Stress Reduction Network, Center for Mindfulness, March 1998
CONNECTING WITH HUMANITY
Widening the Circle of Compassion
A human being is a part of the whole, called by us ‘universe’, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such attainment is in itself a part of the liberation, and a foundation for inner security.
~ Albert Einstein in The New York Times, March 29, 1972 (discussion)
CONNECTING AFTER THE WAR IN VIETNAM
Many bows to our mindful friend Bobby Glickman who joined the U.S. Marine Corps in 1973 when he was seventeen. Today at sixty-two years of age, and 45 years after the Vietnam War, Bobby is overcome by gratitude and joy for life. Here he is in Hanoi, Vietnam at a school (7 minutes away from the infamous “Hanoi Hilton” where John McCain was held as a POW) teaching Brazilian jiu-jitsu to the sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters, nieces and nephews of Vietnamese soldiers who once fought so fiercely against us.
CONNECTING WITH OUR KINGDOM OF ANIMALS
Do Elephants Have Souls?
The birth of an elephant is a spectacular occasion. Grandmothers, aunts, sisters, and cousins crowd around the new arrival and its dazed mother, trumpeting and stamping and waving their trunks to welcome the floppy baby who has so recently arrived bursting through the border of existence to take its place in an unbroken line stretching back to the dawn of life. (Read ‘Do Elephants Have Souls?’ by Caitrin Keiper, The New Atlantis)
Elephants, the largest land animals on the planet are known as the remover of obstacles. Scientists tell us they (like many others mammals) exuberantly express joy, anger, grief, compassion, and love. Elephants protect their families as well as strangers. They surround the injured and vulnerable to guard them from predators. Through years of research, scientists have found that elephants are capable of complex thought and deep feeling. In fact, the emotional attachment elephants form toward family members may rival our own. (Read ‘Elephant Emotions’ at PBS.org)
Elephants respect the cycle of life: A group of elephants appears to be in mourning over the loss of their matriarch. (Video from National Geographic channel via Youtube)
CONNECTING WITH OUR PLANET EARTH
The interconnected web of life illustrated in Indra’s Net is illuminated like glittering stars or jewels. If we look closely, we may discover in the glittering surfaces all the jewels in this net, infinite in number, reflected in each other.
Science tells us that this living web of life, like a tapestry, is held together by interdependence — one strand stays in place because it is entwined with many others. Connection keeps our planet earth working. Plants and animals (including humans) depend on each other as well as microorganisms, land, water, and climate to keep our entire planet alive and well.
From the epic BBC documentary series “Planet Earth” narrated by Sir David Attenborough
Destroy or eliminate one piece, one species, and it has far-reaching and long-lasting effects. Breaks in the ecosystem often lead to unanticipated big problems that aren’t easy to fix.
MIAMI MINDFULNESS CLASSES
|Visit our new Miami Mindfulness website and Resources page.
Winter 2019 Programs
~ Valerie York-Zimmerman
May We Have
Peace on Earth!