This is (more or less) the three-hundredth post to this blog. Time to pause and reflect.
I found this at The Slab and I thought it summed up my own spiritual feelings pretty well.
.My call for a spiritual revolution is thus not a call for a religious revolution. Nor is it a reference to a way of life that is somehow other-worldly, still less to something magical or mysterious. Rather, it is a call for a radical re-orientation away from our habitual preoccupation with self towards concern for the wider community of beings with whom we are connected, and for conduct which recognizes others' interests alongside our own.
- His Holiness the Dalai Lama
You cannot yourself be truly happy unless you consider others. Selfishness makes you unhappy. Greed makes you unhappy. Unkindness makes you and the person you are unkind to miserable.
As the Dalai Lama says:
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.and,
Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actionsand
My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.[Quotes from this website]
When we are at our most miserable, this seems like nonsense. I know. I've been there. Yet I do what my lady does and count my blessings. And there are so many, so many more than my problems. And gradually, even though things are far from perfect, you find joy in small things; in a flower opening; in a cup of coffee; in a smile; in those who love me and those I love. Yes, in a world dedicated to wall-to-wall false values, it's hard. But never give up hope.
Christians seem to forget this all the time, though He kept on reiterating the messages: love one another as I have loved you; the widow's mite; the story of the prostitute (let him who is without sin cast the first stone); judge not lest ye be judged; God is love. Even St Paul, a bit of a bully, talks movingly about charity. And he doesn't mean giving to the poor.
That so many Christians are so filled with hate is horribly sad. That they hate us for what we are, which we can't change, and which in any case hurts no one, is dreadful. Yet in our relations with each other we must not forget that we can if we try make a small difference, and that if everybody did it, it would make a huge difference. It isn't easy to be brave or compassionate or to love without judgement. I have to try again every day. And I keep on failing. I get enraged at the evils of the world and I have to scold myself into happiness. Again and again.
We gay-shaded guys know what it's like to be on the receiving end of hatred, ignorance, disdain, prejudice, bigotry and violence. Let's not do the same to others.
Onwards and upwards.