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Archive for November, 2015
I was reading the news and Facebook this morning, across my Facebook thread many posts scrolled past about how we should be helping our own veterans – homeless children – people in need before letting any refugees into our country and helping them. Will I had a good friend put the answer to this question into perfectly wonderful set of words.
<<“shouldn’t we be helping our own first?!”>>
“Here’s a thought… if you want to help our own before helping refugees, get off your ass and help. don’t walk by the homeless, stop to give them money or offer them clothing… or really put your concern to work and offer them a place in your home to crash. the same logic goes for the elderly, the disabled, every other group i hear people saying we need to help first. YOU can help them by doing something right now. today. helping our own is entirely within the reach of each person, personally. get up and do something if you’re so concerned. stop saying we need to help our own first when you aren’t doing a damn thing to do so. we need to help both our own and the refugees, and that is entirely possible and entirely doable… if people would stop talking and start acting.”
I couldn’t agree with these words any more then if I said them myself!
I was taught seven basic principles to guide how to live life from my family, and these are Cherokee principles:
Wisdom: To cherish knowledge is to know wisdom. Wisdom is given by the Creator to be used for the good of the people.
Love: Love must be unconditional. When people are weak they need love the most.
Respect: Have respect for all that is. All of creation should be treated with respect. You must give respect if you wish to be respected.
Bravery: To face a foe with integrity. To do what’s right even when the consequences are unpleasant.
Honesty: Always be honest in word and action. Be honest first with yourself, and you will more easily be able to be honest with others.
Humility: You are equal to others, but you are not better.
Truth: Speak the truth. Do not deceive yourself or others.
My wife and I try hard to live our lives by these words and values. We may be considered poor ourselves, but we try and help others who are struggling too. Even when we were at our darkest hour and thought we were going to be homeless and depended on food pantries to eat we did what we could to give. We donated clothing – winter coats/gloves/scarves – books etc to the “Friends of Night People” a non-profit organization that helps homeless and low income people/families here in Buffalo, NY.
During the dark days of our struggling, we would depend on food pantries, such as the one that “Friends of Night People” and “Food Bank of WNY” provided. While visiting the pantries we would take only what we needed and would graciously say no thanks to those things we couldn’t eat due to health issues, allergies, etc in order to make sure it was left for those who could use it or needed it more.
Then their were times we managed to have cabinet full in the kitchen for the week or month. We would surpass that visit because we knew that food pantries did not get unlimited food and their was someone else out their in need. If we went to get food when we really didn’t need it then someone else who did would be left out.
We have open our doors so many times to people who needed a place to crash for a night – for a few nights – for a week even. I admit we have never open our doors and said “please move in and stay” because 1. we ourselves could be evicted 2. It wouldn’t be helpful, to help them find a place to crash and get on their feet yes, to help them find a place to crash and drag their feet until we put ourselves into danger of being evicted no.
So, if you are SO worried about OUR homeless – OUR Veterans – OUR Children do something about it NOW. Stop complaining about the people who drain our system and those who pay taxes. I am not so gullible to say don’t worry about your own welfare or your families, no matter what! But, their is something everyone can do starting today for that homeless person, that veteran, that elderly person, etc that “we” are so worried about yet still is suffering and being used as an excuse to not help yet another person who has been put out of their home.
At this point I wish to quote our most beloved Lakshman Kadirgamer who said “the battle for peace, (has to be ) fought in the hearts and minds of people. It is won or lost there. One can win wars but lose peace.”
May you have peace in your heart and much blessings
With all the mass shootings over the past few days, which have happen in Paris, Beirut, Oregon college, and other places, I thought I would post about Faith and rules by which I live my life, and why.
I post daily on my FB feed a small something about my thoughts, about politics, religion, humanity, etc. I am a very blunt person and do not feel holding back will prove anything or teach anything to the next person reading or listening to what I have to say. I have always believed I was put here on this Earth, and gone through what I have been put through from a very young age so that I may teach others. Now if others listen that is up to them. If others believe the same as me, again that is up to them.
As much as some may believe, I am not “preaching”. Even though I am an Ordain Minister, study religions, and practicing Buddhist. I do not believe in INSISTING my beliefs be everyone’s beliefs. But, as said before, I do believe in being blunt about my thoughts and educating others on what I have learned over the years. In this way I educate.
The title of this blog is: Faith = Not A Religion. Now I do believe their are MANY religions on this Earth and they have their place. They give the people who follow each one a ritual, a way to focus their faith. I do not believe that their is only ONE face of the creator. (again this is MY belief, I am not requesting or saying it needs to be yours). However, FAITH – faith has really very little to do with RELIGION.
Once their is clear understand of the meaning of the two words religion and faith, understanding the difference between them is not that hard. Both words are often confused because it is thought that there is a interchangeable in their meanings. Strictly speaking, both the words are different in terms of their concepts and connotations. They may not have some similarity in their meaning, but religion and faith are very much have a reciprocal relationship in the field of religion. In the world of religion, without faith, you cannot be a follower of any religion. Even to be an atheist, you need to have faith in not believing in God. Now I know some Atheist who would disagree with that statement. Will I explain my reasoning behind this statement later on in this article.
Faith, is often spoken of coming from our heart/soul. When we use it normally, is used to mean a sense of trust. Faith is generally is a complete confidence or trust in something/someone. Faith is not based on proof. This is why I say Atheist have faith, for they have complete confidence and/or trust in the fact that their is no God with out proof.
Faith shows how much one trust someone or something, not necessarily a God but perhaps a belief or someone or something you need to rely on. Faith with in religion – not as the religion: faith consists of the belief in one or more gods or deities, or none at all. However, this always does not have to be the belief in deities and gods as all religions do not believe in the god concept, but follow teachings taught by teachers and mentors instead. So, faith in this case is the faith in the teachings of someone and the lessons of life. Faith is usually accompanied by hope because when we use the word faith to show that we trust someone, we are hoping that our trust is placed correctly. If we study how faith is built, we can see that faith is built on the belief. When faith becomes strong and unshakable, we become strong within ourselves which can be called awaking into our belief or some ball it being called to our religious choice.
Religion is not Faith, so what is it? Religion is based on cultures and the rules they have created over time which they have named beliefs. At the same time, religion influences the culture too. Religion builds character and morality.
Religious leaders at one time were the Kings and Queens advisers, they helped draw up the rules which governed the people. Today religious leaders impart primary knowledge about the respective dogmas and tenets, which governor the people who follow different religions. They try to build faith in the corresponding religion in the minds of the people. Thus, religion and faith are related to each other although they are different from each other.
Below is my way of life that guides my faith: I do not think of these rules as my religion because I do not have a “religion” I practice Buddhism as in I try and live a lifestyle guided by the teachings of Buddha and Buddha says their is no almighty God. This I do not believe (this is not my faith. What I trust within my heart/soul). However, I do believe that the rules we live our life by, that guides our faith, are also what should be what guides our daily lifestyle and with this in mind – these are mine:
The greatest achievement is selflessness.
The greatest worth is self-mastery.
The greatest quality is seeking to serve others.
The greatest precept is continual awareness.
The greatest medicine is the emptiness of everything.
The greatest action is not conforming with the worlds ways.
The greatest magic is transmuting the passions.
The greatest generosity is non-attachment.
The greatest goodness is a peaceful mind.
The greatest patience is humility.
The greatest effort is not concerned with results.
The greatest meditation is a mind that lets go.
The greatest wisdom is seeing through appearances.
– Atisha of the Buddhist faith and teachings
Back to the horrible actions around the world, religion has been said to be the center of all this. So, perhaps FAITH is the end to it all? All who have Faith in something good has the ability to bring Humanity back into line of peace and goodness.
I have yet to master any of the above rules I try to follow on a daily basis, that I pray (to my Creator and Earth Mother) for the strength to continue my lessons they have for me, To my teacher Buddha (who is not a God but a Teacher) to keep teaching me, and give me strength in my faith to hold strong in each of these life rules to be able to live a lifestyle that honors each of these life rules every day.
Since I started learning and following Buddhism I have thought the above rules should be the commandments on how to live life –
The greatest achievement is selflessness. – To think of others perhaps not always before thy self but perhaps as you are thinking of yourself. If you are going to do something. Think of how it will effect others before doing it. If you are going to the kitchen and live with someone ask “would this person also like something from the kitchen?” If you are at the store perhaps look at the products and think of others in need before thinking of your wants.
To master The greatest achievement is selflessness, and thinking of others leads to The greatest worth is self-mastery. With self-mastery, one learns to control one urges, addictions, actions, etc. To master oneself isn’t the ability to master one’s life but it does help. It makes one’s life much more clear, much happier. Yet Buddha teaches you can not have good with out the bad, happiness with out sadness. So, even though self-mastery can make your life a happier life, it does not mean a life with out bad or sadness.
The greatest achievement is selflessness and The greatest worth is self-mastery leads to: The greatest quality is seeking to serve others, which leads to continual awareness, etc. As it is taught one rule mastered leads to the next rule, and the next rule should become easier to master. This of course is not always true, their are stumbling blocks in life at every level in life, we may fall off those steps and need to start re-climbing.
But – imagine if just the majority of people followed their faith/ their code of ethics/life rules – be they these ones or others which they hold as dear as commandments, imagine how much better humanity would be all over the world. Yes we still have sadness, bad times, and lessons to learn, but with faith and a sit of rules which makes life easier to life by, to each other, as well as, ourselves with kindness and peace those hard times will be less harsh and we would be able to learn our life lessons with less effort and more awareness.
I send blessings to each person and pray for peace among humanity.
I am testing out some free apps, and programs which are suppose to help make extra money, Free Gift Cards, such as Amazon, GooglePlay, iTunes, Xbox, PlayStation, Steam Wallet Gift Card, and cash to your PayPal & Alipay accounts. This one is Snapshop.
If you would like to try it you can download here: http://bit.ly/RU28WE Please input my invitation code after installation, and you will get extra 100 Points from me.
I will report back with details about this app and others.