Saturday, March 17, 2018

Splitting Wood For Peace and Justice

If I could teach the world, and myself, one thing, it would be to come to stillness.  I feel that this is where the relationship between the Divine/God* and self can be readily felt.  It is, however, very difficult to get to this space because there are so many distractions, including social media, social justice and organizations asking us to do more, to react more, and to do more and more.  For me, this is where guilt lives and I'm working hard to move away from it.
I'm a Type A personality and to be asked "where can you give more time and more money?" can make me consider that I'm not doing enough.  But maybe all I need to do is what's right in front of me.
Right in front of us are specific things.  Examples might include...driving by a rehab facility where a friend is recovering from surgery may remind us to send a card or stop for a visit; making conversation with those around us at a ballgame, being available to our children as they come and go, a call to keep a tidy house or employ someone else to do so.
I find that the Buddhist philosophy has a lot to teach about stillness and about doing, so I'm taking what works for me in this regard, and then moving on to the daily living of it.  This is not to say that doing for others is not right for us, it just means that we can be called to it in the stillness instead of from pressure from others. 
In preparing for meditation class, I pulled out some materials and found the February 2017 article from Sun Magazine about the late David Budbill, a poet and playwright.  Parts of the article were from an interview with him from 2003.  He said this:  "In my day-to-day life I play a Japanese bamboo flute.  I play long tones, which is a form of meditation in itself.....What I've put in the place of religion is the way I live my life now....I have a Buddhist friend who says, 'What I do for peace and justice is split wood.'  I respect that.  To do no harm is a great service to humanity."
This material is what's right in front of me.  I know it's meant just for me.  So don't take my solution as your solution, but go to your stillness place for it.
Now for the reflective questions which you can journal about or if you'd like to share your story, the community and I would love to hear from you!  Your comment could have a major impact on someone else.  Most likely it will be just the right thing at the right time for one of the readers. For me, God* wanted me to know that helping even just one person is wonderfully impactful.

Reflective questions:
1.  Are your peace and justice initiatives coming from within?

2.  What does God* want you to know about this (ask directly, "God, what do you want me to know?")

* I use the term God as a universal term.  You may decide that Great Spirit, Allah, Higher Power, Sensibility, etc. better suits you today.  It is not for me to decide.

Photo by MH 

Note:  These posts are part of a broader call to do spiritual journaling which is simply journaling what's on your heart and mind and then asking God* what else you should know (read more at

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