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September 25, 2005


Beautiful. Thank you, Beth.

I can relate 100 per cent to what you are saying. It's just the way I've been feeling these days.

I thank you too for a great post.

This is lovely. Yes.

I also try to begin my days with a thankfulness practice. I don't make the time to pray the morning liturgy every day, but I always start the day with "modah ani," the morning blessing for gratitude. Usually the melody arises in me in the shower, and though I don't sing it aloud (especially not when my sweetie is still sleeping!) I allow it to carry me and to ground my day.

And just before sleep, usually while brushing my teeth for the night, I try to recount all of the moments in the day that I'm grateful for. I firmly believe that these two practices change the quality of my life.

Whenever this issue about suffering & compassion arises, I always think of the Dalai Lama & Thich Nhat Hanh. Both men have seen their fellow countrymen suffer; both care deeply about injustice & oppression in the world. And yet both men have a simple, childlike joy. It's as if suffering has taught them (and the Latin American peasants you mentioned) that joy is the *only* thing we have when everything else is stripped away. Those of us who live in material riches have the illusion that joy is a luxury, when actually it's the energy that fuels the whole damn machine.

I couldn't agree more. It seems so obvious now, but can't be said enough. I was brought up to feel that the least I could do was feel miserable and guilty, and, alas, this attitude still seems prevalent!

-- I am reminded how much the positive aspects of meditation flow over and inform the rest of my life, making me aware of the spaciousness that is, of course, already there but masked by thoughts, anxieties, restlessness and dissatisfaction with "what is". It also makes it more possible to settle into those precious moments Kornfeld talks about - when we do see the color of the raspberries, smell the fragrance of the basil, and taste the salty dense olives studding the loaf of bread. --

Ah. You have it so exactly, Beth.

Funny that you should post about this. I have recently started meditating again, and one of the nicest 'side-effects' (if you will) is the way it does allow you to really feel these intensely vivid (brief) moments of -- joy? exaltation? wonder? It's been so long that I had almost forgotten.

So nice to see you write of it here, and so eloquently.

Amen, Beth! This is so right on!

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Who was Cassandra?

  • In the Iliad, she is described as the loveliest of the daughters of Priam (King of Troy), and gifted with prophecy. The god Apollo loved her, but she spurned him. As a punishment, he decreed that no one would ever believe her. So when she told her fellow Trojans that the Greeks were hiding inside the wooden horse...well, you know what happened.