Friday, 20 November 2020

Random Acts of Kindness

I have just been reading an inspiring article in The Times newspaper with this title 'Random Acts of Kindness'. Out of a very depressing and worrying time, so many heart warming stories are emerging which truly do bring hope for the future. I was talking with a friend the other day about the second world war and how difficult it must have been living through the blitz, for example. My friend commented that people seemed, looking back on that time, to have coped rather better than some people are managing with yet another lockdown, especially in these gloomy winter days. My thought was that in the war people were not isolated from one another - they were indeed all in it together, in the same streets, clearing up together after bombing, and in the same queues for rationed goods, chatting together, with no social distancing. I think it is the isolation from our usual friendly social meetings; not being actually together physically, rather than talking by Zoom or Whats App, which is proving the challenge.

But the great thing is that people are finding ways around the isolation without
breaking the law! The 'Random Acts of Kindness' article tells the story of a young mother finding a bouquet of flowers on a park bench, with the note 'Hello stranger! If you find these flowers they were meant for you. Please take them home and enjoy them, you deserve it.' Of course this really made her day, and the article goes on to describe more about the local 'Kindness Project' which was behind this gesture and how it is growing and spreading to other towns - all the initiative of one individual wanting to cheer up her sister who had been working long hours as a hospital surgeon.

This article has made me start to think even more about the quality of kindness, called in Buddhist philosophy 'metta' and described as 'a strong wish for the welfare and happiness of altruistic attitude of love and friendliness, as distinguished from mere amiability based on self-interest!' This quality of metta is inherent within White Eagle's teaching. In the Quiet Mind, for example, the second chapter is entitled 'The Master Soul is loving, gentle and kind', and a favourite saying of mine in this chapter highlights the quality of giving without any thought of return - like the gift of flowers for someone you do not even know:

'To love is to give the Christ spirit within without any thought of return. You are all so apt to think that you must have a return for your love, but the soul has to learn to give love. Love is an inward beauty which flows from the heart, from the life.'

And this Love is something we can all give because it costs nothing and we all have it within us.


Monday, 9 November 2020

The Perfect Plan

Remembrance time obviously brings to the forefront thoughts of death, and perhaps of our own mortality, and that of our loved ones. We see the sombre, black-clad mourners, and we struggle maybe with the long dark winter nights, and not much sunshine. This year, perhaps more than many, there are thoughts of death around almost all the time in the media stories, because of the pandemic.

Those of us who have found White Eagle are fortunate, because he is really clear in what he says about death. There are no 'maybe's'; he tells the truth that life continues after the death of the physical body, and actually the after life is much brighter and better than this earthly life!

In many of the talks he gave through Grace Cooke on Remembrance Sunday, he used the symbol of golden roses rather than red poppies. A golden rose brings a feeling of the sunfilled Garden of Communion in the heaven world - a place where we can meet our loved ones and feel their continuing love. Love is eternal. He has said so many times, 'Where there is love there is no separation' and in his way of meditation (through the spiritual use of the imagination), he helps us all experience this.

I find particularly comforting the description he gives of what death is actually like for the person going through this. In his 'Little Book of Comfort for the Bereaved', he says:

'In the spirit world there is the most perfect plan for the reception of every soul who leaves the physical body. A messenger is sent to welcome the newly released soul from the physical body, to welcome them into a world of peace and beauty, a spiritual beauty such as is hard for you to understand...If only people could have their vision clear enough to see the welcome being made ready, they would never be sad at death. They would be as happy as when a child is born into life on earth, indeed, more happy.' 

This little bedside book is full of very illuminating passages, and I highly recommend it! It certainly brings a ray of sunshine in these dark days.


Friday, 23 October 2020

The Perfect Symbol of the Star

 In THE BOOK OF STARLIGHT, White Eagle reminds readers:

`The Star is the most powerful symbol which can be used for the good of humanity. It is a symbol of the perfect power and love in every human soul. Keep hope in your heart as you hold the vision of the Star, and always allow the power of love, balanced with wisdom (which shines from that Star), to guide your thoughts, your speech, your actions.`

A shining six-pointed Star has been an important symbol for me throughout my life, and never more so than at this time of the pandemic. I love this saying where White Eagle reminds us to `Keep hope in your heart as you hold the vision of the Star`! I think hope is a quality we all need very much just now. It seemed the pandemic was easing and there were better times ahead, but now we have daily news of more cases and more restrictions. When will it all end, we may wonder? And especially here in the northern hemisphere, where our long summer days are over, and we are at the start of months of short hours of light, and long nights of darkness! Oh dear, it is not so easy to keep a sunny smile on our faces...but here is something I find helpful!

Every time a depressing thought pops in to my mind, I think 'Star`! I replace the worried thought with the vision of our beautiful shining Star. I breathe in the healing light of the Star and as I breathe out, I see the worried thought melting away, like frost on the ground when the sun comes out. I breathe in hope and the certainty of God`s great wisdom, and that we really are all learning many important things in this time, difficult though it is. 

One thing many people have been sharing is about a greater realisation of what matters most in our lives. Not material things, but the love of our families and friends, and the light which really is in every human heart - even those we may find it difficult to like! If we can fill our thoughts and hearts with even more Star Light, this light will shine across the world to illumine every dark place. As we come now to the traditional time of bonfire night, and the Festival of Diwali in the Hindu tradition, let us `Let our Lights Shine` ever brighter with hope in our our hearts!

Tuesday, 13 October 2020

What is Peace?

Following on from my last blog post: `Lord Make me an Instrument of Your Peace`, this next one is prompted by my discovery of a little piece of paper in my file with this very thought provoking story:

`There once was a king who offered a prize to the artist who would paint the best picture of peace. Many artists tried. The king looked at all the pictures, but there were only two he really liked and he had to choose between them.

One picture was of a calm lake. The lake was a perfect mirror for the mountains all around it. Overhead was a blue sky with fluffy white clouds. All who saw this picture thought it was a perfect picture of peace.

The other picture had mountains too, but these were rugged and bare. Above was an angry sky from which rain fell, and in which lightning played. Down the side of the mountain tumbled a foaming waterfall. This did not look peaceful at all. But when the king looked, he saw behind the waterfall a tiny bush growing in a crack in the rock. In the bush a mother bird had built her nest. There, in the midst of the angry rush of water, sat the mother bird on her nest...perfect peace.

The king chose the second picture. Why? `Because`, explained the king, `peace does not mean to be in a place where there is no noise, trouble or hard work. Peace means to be in the midst of all these things and still be calm in your heart. That is the real meaning of peace.`

I love this, and it seems particularly relevant at this time when we are all being tested in many ways with the continuing uncertainty caused by the corona virus and its repurrcussions in our personal lives. So, like the little bird sitting on her nest amidst the storm, let`s try to keep steady and calm no matter what, and, as White Eagle says in THE QUIET MIND: `Keep your line of contact clear. Be tranquil and serene. A Master is never perturbed.`