march angles arrien compassionate service

 

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Angeles Arrien in her book, Living in Gratitude a Journey That Will Change Your Life, has us look at compassionate service.  She writes that compassionate service cultivates mutuality, reciprocity, and gratitude.  Where are you involved in compassionate service in your life at this time?  What wise actions of thankfulness and generosity do you want to extend to yourself and others this month?  Notice this month where you have extended compassion to others.  Where have others extended compassion to you?

She also suggests one of the best set of practices for becoming a better person through cultivating compassionate service comes from Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush in their book Compassion in Action: Setting Out on a Path of Service.  In this book, we are advised to:  be brave, start small,  use what you’ve got, do something you enjoy, and don’t over commit.

 

   march bringscompassionategratitude                                                                                       

    March Prayer

Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man whom you may have seen,

and ask yourself, if the step you contemplate is going to be of any use to him…

Will it restore him to a control over his own life and destiny?

Will it lead to self-rule for the hungry and spiritually starving millions?

Then you will find your doubts and your self melt away.

MOHANDAS GANDHI (1869-1948)  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     

marchbringscompassionategratitude                                                                                                    

Reflections

 Embody the love, gratitude,

 and compassion you want to promote

    DENNIS RIVERS

februaryattendtotheheartgratitudewithbirdsI continue to refer to Angeles Arriens’ book, Living in Gratitude – A Journey That Will  Change Your Life.  One of the sentences from her February chapter she writes  “The month of February offers daily opportunities to both say aloud what is in our hearts and communicate our love through our actions: our own unspoken verses of love.”  The following quotes are found in the February Chapter:

februaryattendtotheheartgratitudeAttend to the Heart

God gave you a gift of 86,400 seconds today.

Have you used one today to say

“Thank you”?

WILLIAM A. WARD

 A Gratitude - Building Exercise – from The Dali Lama

februaryattendtotheheartwithswans1.  Spend five minutes at the beginning of each day

remembering that we all want the same thing;

to be happy, to be loved, and to feel connected.

2.  Spend five minutes cherishing yourself and others.

Let go of judgments.  Breathe in cherishing yourself,

       and breathe out cherishing others.

If the faces of people you are having trouble with appear,

cherish them as well.

                                                     3.  During the day, extend that attitude to everyone you meet -

                                                      we are all the same – with “I cherish myself and you too

                                                        (the store clerk, the client, a family member, a coworker,

                                                       a fellow bus-rider).”

                                                       4.  Stay in the practice no matter what happens!

                                                        (Disarmingly simple, though not necessarily easy.)

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I have chosen each month of this year a feature post dedicated to Gratitude and share from Angeles Arriens marvelous book, Living in Gratitude – A Journey That Will Change Your Life. In her book review the question is asked “What would happen if you made Gratitude your focal point for one full year?” 

The following prayer and quote are at the beginning of Angeles Arrien’s January chapter along with this thoughtful question, What do you need to stop, consider, change, and correct, to better support what you envision for yourself  in this New Year?

    

                                                

                                                 May We Appreciate and Remember

januaryfeaturepage          Today may we appreciate this food, and remember those who are hungry.

        May we appreciate our family and friends, and remember those who are alone.

May we appreciate our health, and remember those who are sick.

May we appreciate the freedoms we have,

and remember those who suffer injustice and tyranny.

Peace on Earth.

 A BUDDHIST BLESSING FOR FOOD

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

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                          BEGIN ANEW

               For all that has been – Thanks!

                   For all that shall be – Yes!

                    DAG HAMMARSKJOLD