Intentionality: Finale

Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head     2020 © Julia Haris

Hello friends,

Today’s finale wraps up ten weeks of winding through ‘Intentionality.’

I’m not certain that I’ll do a new series.  I had thought to take the next couple of weeks off, but there are 10 days until the election, so I’m still undecided.

I’m undecided about the entries or series I may do, not about my vote.

I‘ll stop in this Tuesday for our regular get together, and I’ll let you know how things are looking.

Today’s photos unexpectedly presented themselves to me this week, and the moments they gave were extraordinary. I was returning from a walk, I happened to look down, and this leaf perfectly bedazzled in liquid crystals pulled me into itself. I whipped out my phone and caught the magic. I’m captivated by the effect of the small, pooled rain drops on a fallen leaf — the drops create a natural microscope, an arbitrary intentionality, a testament to the beauty hidden in transitions.

Small crystalline testaments to transitions of all sorts: the seasons, our politics, our creative work, our relationships, our ways of looking at the world when we’re being transformed from the inside out.

A whispering testament inviting stillness.

As we move into Election Day, and beyond, and for this finale, I offer the following from the official Facebook page of Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo that was posted this week:

“”Even if someone says all sorts of derogatory things about me, and proclaims them throughout the universe [that means puts it on the internet], in return, out of loving-kindness, to extol that person’s qualities is the practice of a bodhisattva.”

Continuing to explore virtuous states of mind, from the 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva [in the above excerpt], Jetsunma has this to say, “If someone is saying something critical about us then the first thing to consider is whether or not it is true. Are they pointing out some hidden fault which we hadn’t noticed? In which case we can be grateful. Or, if it is totally untrue, so what? If it’s not true anyway one doesn’t need to keep defending oneself because the gossip will eventually disappear like dark clouds in the sky. In fact far from retaliating we are recommended, out of kindness, to extol that person’s qualities.

So when someone says something unkind about us, instead of returning that favor we speak everything we can think of that is good about that person, whatever truthfully are their good qualities. Not just pretending and over-inflating so that everyone knows really we are just gritting our teeth. But genuinely, out of loving kindness, from our good heart, we can appreciate that person’s good qualities. So instead of ending up as a battle, we can end the conflict by neutralizing it. If we have drunk poison we don’t administer another poison, instead we use an antidote.

The antidote to criticism would be to praise.

That response might also undermine their negativity because they are not expecting us to turn around and say nice things about them. So it might well be that when they get to hear about that they will start to change their opinion also. Then we can consider that although they might be difficult, still from my side I did not retaliate, I really tried to take that challenge on the path. I honestly aimed to think good things about that person since we all have good qualities as well as difficult ones and I tried to think and act as a genuine Dharma person should.

So prior to speaking nicely about that person we are cultivating our good thoughts about them, speaking from a mind of loving-kindness.”

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One doesn’t need to be a Buddhist to appreciate this teaching — and it resonates with the life and teachings of the Christ, as distinct from the culturally constructed Jesus.

It’s a teaching central to unearthing our authentic humanity, cultivating meaningful spiritual practices, and deeply connecting to Intentionality.

Finally, a friend sent me the link posted below this morning. Consider taking a moment or two to sink into its beauty.  Perhaps sink into it for the next ten days. Or perhaps longer:

Haudenosaunee Thanksgiving Address Greetings to the Natural World

To enter this week’s space, please click here:

Water, Paper, Pavement.    2020 © Julia Haris

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