Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Living In Harmony

Don't know where I got this but wanted to share...

When people are overwhelmed by illness, we must give them physical relief, but it is equally important to encourage the spirit through a constant show of love and compassion. It is shameful how often we fail to see that what people desperately require in human affection. Deprived of human warmth and a sense of value, other forms of treatment prove less effective. Real care of the sick does not begin with costly procedures, but with the simple gift of affection and love.

In the practice of healing, a kind heart is as valuable as medical training, because it is the source of happiness for both oneself and others. Not only do other people respond to kindness when medicine is ineffective, but cultivating a kind heart is a cause of our own good health. Similarly, inner peace can be found in prayer and meditation, but it is also profoundly important that we bring that inner peace to bear in practical ways in the generous service to others.

There is a connection here with the practice of nonviolence. Nonviolence is something more positive, more meaningful than the mere absence of violence. It means to respect the rights of others, to be concerned about their well-being, based on a sense of compassion. Today, there is a growing global awareness of what this implies, for the application of nonviolence is not restricted merely to other human beings. It also has to do with ecology, the environment and our relations with all the other living beings with whom we share the planet. Since human beings are basically gentle by nature, I feel that we should not only maintain gentle, peaceful relations with our fellow human beings, but that it is also very important to extend that same kind of attitude towards our environment and the creatures who naturally live in harmony with it.

I believe that it is essential that we extend our understanding of each others spiritual practices and prayers. This is not necessarily in order that we can adopt them ourselves, but because to do so increases our opportunities for mutual respect.

Sometimes too, we encounter something in another tradition that helps us better appreciate something in our own. Consequently, I hope that people of all faiths as well as those who do not believe in a religion will find inspiration and understanding that in some way contributes to their own inner peace. And I pray that through inner peace they too will become better human beings and help create a happier, more peaceful world.

May all who are sick and ill

Quickly be freed from their illness,

And may every disease in the world

Never occur again.

And as long as space endures,

As long as there are beings to be found,

May I continue likewise to remain

To soothe the sufferings of those who live.

~The Dalai Lama

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