Philadelphia will be offering the world something two of the planets’ great spiritual leaders wish that all living beings could provide: a full day of kindness.
That’s right. My home town will be the site where Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama will visit in September and October of 2015 bringing their messages of peace and brotherly love to a world that deserves more of each. As part of the once in a lifetime gathering, Philadelphia will sponsor “A Day of Kindness” on Oct. 27th, the three hundred and thirty-third anniversary of the founding of Philadelphia by the Quaker William Penn. Continue reading
Kids I grew up with in the tough section of North Philadelphia said that I had “a lot of heart.” I cherish that statement more than any I later heard as a teenager, a young adult or even someone in his middle ages looking back on what made him the most proud in his short lifetime. You’d have a “lot of heart” if you didn’t care for the consequences when sticking up for a black kid when a white “friend” called him the “N” word and then classified you as a “N-gger lover” for coming to his defense.
Reiki melts away stress. That’s how it works on me. I feel parts of my body easing up, relaxing and “collapsing in” on themselves, if that is possible or, rather, imaginable. I liken the feeling to the green-colored Wicked Witch of the West who, when splashed accidentally with a bucket of water by the Tin Man trying to douse a fire engulfing the Straw Man, the personification of evil in the Merry Old Land of Oz declares, “I’m melting. I’m melting.” Water melts away the bad, and Dorothy is proclaimed all that is good. Continue reading
Summer always served as a “new beginning” for me when I was in the army. I got drafted on the Third of June and did my Basic Training in the hot, dry air of Fort Bragg, North Carolina. I can’t tell you how many push-ups I did during the two-month training session as the meanest drill sergeant I ever seen brought fire to my poor soul by running me everywhere and cussing me out to force me into fighting shape. Continue reading
Much of what I know about war was what I learned while playing as a kid. You know, using a stick or a broken branch from a tree, I’d pretend it was a rifle to shoot the bad guys who were out to get me and the rest of the good guys in my old neighborhood. Continue reading
When I write, I try to tap into the child within. I try to “feel” something that I can share with another, be it humorous, educational or shocking. I have stories to tell from my past that brought me to this point, and I think they may help another to feel what I feel and to take action even if that action is simply to refrain from acting or even thinking.
Listening to the story about the Buddha, I was reminded the other day about something I have meditated upon for a number of years. And that is returning to a point in my life as a youngster who felt unconditional love.
Siddhartha was a prince who left his father’s kingdom as well as his wife and child in search of why there was so much suffering in life. He tried to understand life by depriving himself of pleasure and after 6 years of wondering through India, he nearly starved himself to death looking for the answer.
Upon reflection one day, he remembered a moment when he was a child and felt a calm and peaceful feeling encompass his entire being. There was no worry, no wants and no “thing” that bothered him. He was one with the Universe and the Universe was one with him. He tasted what poets and holy men later called Nirvana and Heaven on Earth.
I believe that I too have felt that direct contact with whatever you want to call that entity inside of us. Some call it God, Buddha Nature or the Christ Consciousness.
I call it the “wisdom I was born with.”
I have found that I can tap into it when I become as guileless as a child who sees no past and no future, but only the present which is a glorious thing if you simply dwell on it.
It starts with seeking silence and reflection on what you remember as love as a beautiful child.