Sunday Service: My Faith

"Tinka" Bell

Image by Puzzler4879 via Flickr

I struggle with how much of my faith to reveal in public. I realized last night that a lot almost all my passion for justice and compassion truly stems from my Buddhist faith. And yet, I don’t like to talk about my faith, and I am realizing that that amounts to hiding my light under a bushel as far as communicating my passion for justice & compassion is concerned.

But even to write, in a public forum, that I am coming from a faith perspective, and what that faith is, feels like too much.

I don’t know how to feel comfortable with talking about my faith, and still let people know how strongly I feel about justice and compassion in the world.

I think about all the people whom I know might read this entry, and what they will think of it, and I am tempted not to publish it. I feel more daunted by the people I know, than all the strangers I don’t. But if I cannot talk about my passion without discussing my faith, then I must be comfortable discussing my faith. This cryptic, half-revealing, half-not blog entry is a first step, I suppose.

Sunday Service: Compassion

Avalokiteśvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion,...

Image via Wikipedia

Every major world religion aspires to teaching compassion and holding its adherents to task to live a compassionate life. These aspirations often fall aside in the face of human greed and desire, but the aspiration is still there. I recently learned about a new website offering accountability for compassion in our lives. Charter for Compassion was started by Karen Armstrong, theologian and author, as a way of bringing more compassion into the world.

From the website:

The Charter of Compassion is a cooperative effort to restore not only compassionate thinking but, more importantly, compassionate action to the center of religious, moral and political life. Compassion is the principled determination to put ourselves in the shoes of the other, and lies at the heart of all religious and ethical systems. One of the most urgent tasks of our generation is to build a global community where men and women of all races, nations and ideologies can live together in peace.

I encourage you to act with compassion this week and every week, to be mindful of the people around you, and follow the Golden Rule.

Sunday Service: Spring Equinox

Today was the spring equinox, with 12 hours of light and 12 hours of dark. It’s also the official start of spring. Now, it snowed here yesterday, so I’m not sure that spring is here quite yet, but I think it’s coming!

Today is a good day to celebrate our connections to the earth and to each other. This is one of the two days in the entire year when everyone, all over the world, has the same amount of light and dark as everyone else. It’s a good day to celebrate our common humanity.

As humans, we all need the same things — food and water, shelter and safety. We also need loving kindness: love and compassion, justice and mercy, grace and forgiveness. No matter what our beliefs, we should strive to offer these things to others, and accept them when we are fortunate enough to be offered them.

I challenge you, this spring equinox, to think of five ways you can offer more of the emotions of loving kindness to people you meet and the people already in your life before the fall equinox, the other day of equal light and dark. As the days lengthen to the summer solstice, and then shorten again on the way to winter, how can you offer up more loving kindness?

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway (ends Tuesday)!

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