practiced under fire

the surface of the sun

 

A spiritual understanding

that is not practiced under fire is without

value; only by applying our knowledge in trying

situations do we come into genuine

possession of it.

 

from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 26: Ta Ch’u 大畜 The Taming Power of the Great

(full text here)

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it’s within your power

 

Wherever you find yourself,

it’s within your power, at every moment,

to be reverently content with your present circumstances,

to behave with justice toward the people who are presently around you,

and to manage your present impressions so that nothing

slips into your mind that you haven’t

adequately grasped.

 

Marcus Aurelius

the perfection of existence

dick van duijn

 

By seeing

all the way through

things we are able to perceive

the perfection of existence. The

foreground of mind is noisy chatter,

but by simply watching that with

discipline and perseverance, we

see it quiet. In its place arises

a vast, silent, illuminated

emptiness.

 

So

also with life.

The foreground is rife

with suffering and difficulty,

but by doing non-doing and

quietly observing, we

become aware of

its purity.

 

Wei wu Wei Ching, Chapter 10

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the proper foundation of human communities

bud walker, sui generis

 

A healthy family,

a healthy country, a healthy

world — all grow outward from

single superior

person.

 

The hexagram Chia Jen concerns the proper foundation of human communities. The I Ching teaches that all clans must have a superior person at their center if they are to prosper and succeed. Therefore, in order to improve our family, company, nation, or world community, we must begin by improving ourselves.

If you will observe healthy families you will always see present in them three qualities: love, faithfulness, and correctness. When we truly love others, we are naturally kind, gentle, and patient with them. When we are faithful to others, we place proper principles and conduct above temporary influences like anger, desire, or greed. And when we practice correctness, we spiritually nourish ourselves and all those around us. When all three qualities are cultivated, a healthy clan springs naturally into being.

The difference between paying lip service to these ideals and practicing them is profound. If you advocate high ideals and actions to others but do not embody them yourself, your influence will disintegrate for lack of a proper foundation. Therefore, in order to inspire superior qualities in others, you must first instill them in yourself.

Concentrate not upon influencing others or external events but upon strengthening your inner devotion to proper principles. When modesty, acceptance, equanimity, and gentleness become deeply ingrained in your character, they will flow steadily out from from you.

Soon you will find yourself enmeshed in a web of healthy relationships, and in this there is great good fortune.

from The I Ching, or Book of Changes

Hexagram 37, Chia Jén / The Family (The Clan)

 

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make room for more light


 

Our actions

entrench the power of the light

on this planet. Every positive thought we pass

between us makes room for more light. And if we do more

than think, then our actions clear the path for even

more light. That is why forgiveness and

compassion must become more

important principles in

public life…

 

Anchor the eternity

of love in your own soul and embed

this planet with goodness. Lean toward the whispers

of your own heart, discover the universal truth,

and follow its dictates. Release the need

to hate, to harbor division, and the

enticement of revenge. Release

all bitterness.

 

 

Hold only love,

only peace in your heart,

knowing that the battle of good

to overcome evil is already won. Choose

confrontation wisely, but when it is

your time don’t be afraid to stand

up, speak up, and speak out

against injustice.

 

And if you

follow your truth

down the road to peace

and the affirmation of love,

if you shine like a beacon for all to see,

then the poetry of all the great dreamers and

philosophers is yours to manifest in

a nation, a world community, and

a Beloved Community that is

finally at peace with

itself.

 

that glorious saint John Lewis