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Old 08-04-2008, 03:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So today's dharma teaching was about patience... actually the month of August is about patience as an opponent to anger. Anyhow, today we specifically discussed patient acceptance. Accepting the situation for what it is, no expectation (or attachment?) that it should be any different.

I'm having a hard time with this. On the most extreme side, what if someone is in an abusive relationship? On the much smaller side, do you patiently accept situations that distress you eternally, an example being an annoying habit of a family member?

Or am I hearing this all wrong...? Patiently accept a situation (any situation) and simply act from a place of rational thought, instead of reacting from a place of fear/anger?

I'm currently finding myself seriously working on the mind of compassion and patient acceptance in my family, but start feeling like I'm being taken advantage of for not standing up for myself. And then swinging back to "but I'm not the most important person in the universe", and then back to "but neither are they"...

Ugh. You can see I'm just generally having some issues. So how does patient acceptance fit into your life?
I have the same problem at times - I wonder where the line is between compassionate patience and being walked on. What I've come to terms with now (ever evolving) is the idea that the patience is with trying to respond with "noble speech" or not til I can. I think it's good to defend myself, and state my wishes, but as compassionately as possible. This is a trial... always in practice.
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Old 08-04-2008, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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oh, and I really like this idea of a teaching to focus on every month or week or so... thank you!
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Old 08-04-2008, 04:50 PM
 
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the first example of patient acceptance that comes to my mind is the situation of Tibetans in exile. (i know that more recently there has been violence, but i'm thinking of overall.) i think of it for these reasons:
1. some people escaped when the Chinese invaded. they were not going to remain in an abusive untenable situation. they acknowledged that the chinese were acting with violence, and resolved to act instead from a place of couruage.
2. while in exile, people have worked to respond to the situation from a place that is not reactionary, a place of patience.
3. i have seen film of people who remained behind, who were imprisoned, who continued to cultivate a sense of patience and lovingkindness even while incarcerated.

in part, i think that "acceptance" does not necessarily mean "doing nothing". and "patience" is partly sitting and waiting for wisdom to show us the best response. i hope the illustrations above make sense. and of course this is just my thinking here in the moment! i will try to respond alter with more personal experiences.

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Old 08-04-2008, 05:48 PM
 
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I'm subbing and learning.

 Me + dh = heartbeat.gif ds (7/01), ds (11/03), ds (6/06)
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:22 AM
 
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I have the same problem at times - I wonder where the line is between compassionate patience and being walked on. What I've come to terms with now (ever evolving) is the idea that the patience is with trying to respond with "noble speech" or not til I can. I think it's good to defend myself, and state my wishes, but as compassionately as possible. This is a trial... always in practice.
Bolding mine. What you said here really speaks to me. Being new to all this, I sometimes forget about the root of it all, the four noble truths and the eightfold path. I think I need to plaster both of these on my walls... paint them in two foot letters.

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in part, i think that "acceptance" does not necessarily mean "doing nothing". and "patience" is partly sitting and waiting for wisdom to show us the best response. i hope the illustrations above make sense. and of course this is just my thinking here in the moment! i will try to respond alter with more personal experiences.
I wonder if maybe "patient acceptance" doesn't translate as well in the English. I looked up "accept" in the dictionary and it refers to acts of receiving favorably. I'm being too literal. I know that, I just get lost in my head a bit.

I completely agree with you though, that patience is waiting for wisdom on how to act. I truly am looking at this as the ability to act instead of REact.

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oh, and I really like this idea of a teaching to focus on every month or week or so... thank you!
I go to an NKT group and there's usually a focus for each month. It's been nice since I can't always make it each week. At least this way I can get the gist of an idea over time.

Patience, patience, patience. Man, this one is a doozy...

Ecstatic mama to our one and only Aurora (Apr 07)
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Old 08-05-2008, 12:50 PM
 
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Old 08-05-2008, 02:50 PM
 
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:just subscribing ...
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:05 PM
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Hi. Just wanted to say hi! I have been on the journey to Buddhism, it seems, my whole life, but mostly in the past 10 years. It is something I keep coming back to, but have never fully commited myself to the point of calling myself a Buddhist. A lot has happened in my life lately and I find myself feeling the need to come back and learn more about this religion. I wanted to get in touch with others on the same path and discuss and share experiences. I am also wondering if anyone has any advice for me on where to go from here...I feel I should be reading something, any suggestions?
Thank you, I am so glad to be here!!

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Old 08-11-2008, 12:31 PM
 
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'll take a crack at the patience/acceptance discussion... how my teachers have explained it (or at least how I've understood their explanations!) is that accepting a situation means completely letting go of our ideas about how it should be, or how we want it to be, and being present 100% with the way that it is. Once we are in that place, we are choosing our actions and responses from that place, as opposed to merely reacting based on our views, opinions, fears, hopes, etc.

So accepting a situation completely as what's going on in this moment right now does not preclude action. For example, when my daughter is upset and hitting me, it is not beneficial to her well-being (or mine) to allow her to hit me. However, I've found that when I am accepting more fully with what's going on, and accepting how she is behaving, I am able to respond more compassionately, and can look more deeply into the underlying causes of her behavior, as opposed to how I respond when I'm just tired and overwhelmed and distant from the present moment. Does that make sense?
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Old 08-11-2008, 02:19 PM
 
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Hi mamas,

Does anyone mind if I subscribe to this thread? My children and I have been devout practitioners of Nichiren's buddhism for quite awhile now, though we study everything. I think I actually have leanings towards a more zen approach but for now I have faith that my practice will lead me where I'm supposed to be.

Kothi - I was just talking to my counselor about patience the other day (she is buddhist also) and she brought up the word "surrender". My affirmation is to surrender to where I am, in the moment, right now. When there is patient acceptance, it is almost like you are looking out and in at yourself at the same time; you can look deeply into a situation from inside yourself and utilize it as a lesson in compassion - especially the hard situations. I think that's what the "acceptance" part means, opening ourselves to the lessons that come up.

More later, kids are calling...

Look forward to meeting all you wise and beautiful women.
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Old 08-11-2008, 11:21 PM
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sometimes acceptance requires some really strange and often "hard" lines, when it often seems that buddhism takes such a soft approach.

but then, i'm reminded of a zen stick.

anyway, my SIL is in a pickle and compromised us a bit in that pickle. it's a gangster pickle, and no lie. so, here we are at some actual risk.

it's modest, we're not afraid, the police are informed. but here's the harder part. she's chosen criminality over family, and at this point, has managed to put the baby 'at risk.' the cops agree, the baby is 'at risk' because of her involvement, and she didn't "realize" this, of course, and is terribly apologetic.

amazing, though, how this has a lot to do with acceptance. i mean, we've often fought her choices--how she chooses this criminal man over family, even over an innocent unborn baby. and we also used to feel sorry for her, because, man these choices suck.

but, then there is this acceptance. she is actively choosing this. she's been actively choosing this man over anything else for years. and if i accept that choice, then i have to accept the consequences of that choice.

if i accept her choice, then we have to protect ourselves from her and from the criminality that she brings forth.

and i don't mean in any violent way, but just being clear, careful, and certain.

do we still care about her? love her? want her to move into healthier patterns? absolutely.

but can we blindly trust her? can we help her when she consistently offers us only half-truths or lies?

if we do help her, then we are not accepting the reality of the situation--that she hasn't earned trust, and that we cannot trust. that she chooses poorly and has put us at risk.

so the only way to accept is to simply be. i suppose i cannot assume everything is a lie, but likewise i shouldn't hope or anticipate that it is the truth or the whole truth.

sad really, the whole thing.
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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zoebird, your post makes me think of the significant need to come from a place of honesty and clear seeing in all of our choices. whether we choose patience over anger in an everyday situation, in order to nourish seeds of patience, or whether we extend love to someone whose choices we can't support, we have to come from that place of clear seeing.

hence the need for sitting daily, even if it can only be brief. i have experienced how that helps my thinking to be more clear, less muddled.

and to remind ourselves that prajna, wisdom, needs to be the foundation of all that we do. i think when we start with clear seeing, our choices can feed our store of prajna, if that makes any sense.

acceptance...well, those things we can't change we need to work with in a wise manner. the weather is my favorite simple example. snow? bundle up. complaining won't change the weather, but wise choices can make the weather less important, less likely to muddle your thinking.

mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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Old 08-12-2008, 04:58 PM
 
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'll take a crack at the patience/acceptance discussion... how my teachers have explained it (or at least how I've understood their explanations!) is that accepting a situation means completely letting go of our ideas about how it should be, or how we want it to be, and being present 100% with the way that it is. Once we are in that place, we are choosing our actions and responses from that place, as opposed to merely reacting based on our views, opinions, fears, hopes, etc.

So accepting a situation completely as what's going on in this moment right now does not preclude action. For example, when my daughter is upset and hitting me, it is not beneficial to her well-being (or mine) to allow her to hit me. However, I've found that when I am accepting more fully with what's going on, and accepting how she is behaving, I am able to respond more compassionately, and can look more deeply into the underlying causes of her behavior, as opposed to how I respond when I'm just tired and overwhelmed and distant from the present moment. Does that make sense?
Beautiful!
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Old 08-13-2008, 02:55 AM
 
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Hello. I found this by happenstance and I think I'll stick around. I'll add more later.
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Old 08-14-2008, 01:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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zoebird, your post makes me think of the significant need to come from a place of honesty and clear seeing in all of our choices. whether we choose patience over anger in an everyday situation, in order to nourish seeds of patience, or whether we extend love to someone whose choices we can't support, we have to come from that place of clear seeing.

hence the need for sitting daily, even if it can only be brief. i have experienced how that helps my thinking to be more clear, less muddled.

and to remind ourselves that prajna, wisdom, needs to be the foundation of all that we do. i think when we start with clear seeing, our choices can feed our store of prajna, if that makes any sense.

acceptance...well, those things we can't change we need to work with in a wise manner. the weather is my favorite simple example. snow? bundle up. complaining won't change the weather, but wise choices can make the weather less important, less likely to muddle your thinking.
All very good stuff with last several posts...

zoebird - so sorry you're dealing with such difficulties. Hat's off to you for handling it all with such compassion and wisdom.

I have really been slipping on the sitting and mindfulness lately - things are a bit zooming out of control. I just have to make it a priority - it's just that I whenever the LO's are sleeping i really need to crash too. Somewhere there are answers to the consistency of my practice.
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Old 08-14-2008, 01:11 PM
 
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having one of those times when i know that, without sitting, i will just go crazy. and i have not been able to sleep without "reclined maitri practice"--that is, i am lying down to go to sleep and my brain is still jumping, and i just recite until i fall asleep. not counting sheep, but countless aspirations?

here's the situation: my Nana has cancer (incurable). she lives 7 hours away, so there is little i can do to provide physical support. meanwhile, i lost my Grammy a year ago Oct...so am facing that i will lose 2 grandmothers in one year. thankfully she is not scared to die. (actually, she is christian and eager to see her parents and sister again.) yes, of course, i'm lucky to have had them as long as i did, yes grateful, but loss is heavy. meanwhile my grandfather will soon move to a facility that can support his Alzheimers, so he does not go wandering down the highway while Nana is at doctor appts.

i lay awake thinking of all the questions i want to ask her.

our human birth is so precious and brief. may we be awake in each moment. thank you for this virtual sangha, and for holding my family in your maitri practice if you feel so led.

mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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Old 08-15-2008, 01:31 AM
 
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Subscribing late to this thread with humility at all the wisdom...
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Old 08-15-2008, 04:27 AM
 
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To zoebird and kangamitroo, you are in my daily prayers.

Thanks to each of you for discussing how patient acceptance is understood and practiced in your own life. You have each given me something to think about and ways to put this into daily practice.

My sitting meditation has been non-existent lately, but I find myself singing prayers to my daughter as she falls asleep. It's about the only still time I get with her massive desire to explore. I love that "om mani padme hum" is actually a cue for her to settle down and rest her body.

As a total aside to the current conversation, I find myself wanting to have some sort of permanent shrine in my home. We live in a two bedroom condo, so not a ton of space. For those of you both in and through the toddler phase, do you have any recommendations on where to keep the shrine? Were there any safety issues? I have a small Buddha on the mantle, but of course the little one wants to love on it. Do you let your children explore the elements of your shrine?

Ecstatic mama to our one and only Aurora (Apr 07)
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Old 08-16-2008, 07:01 PM
 
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I don't know how others practice, our family is somewhat traditionally Japanese, but we do have a small butsudhan set up in our living room. My children are allowed to open it and look at it at will, even the toddlers - they each have their own set of prayer beads and book of sutras that we recite when chanting. We believe that the shrine, or in our case, the Gohonzon (mandala) is a representation of our life. Therefore, by putting it in the center of our home we are putting our life out there in the center of our home - allowing it to be felt and present in all that we do. My children have special "jobs", such as picking out fruit and flowers to put on the table next to the butsudhan, filling the water cup, being the bell ringer and so on.

My daughter and I have been learning mantras from one of our teachers who just attended a kundalini yoga retreat. For this week, I am sitting with "Ong Sohung" (I am thou, I am peace) and focusing on opening my heart. My dd's focus is on learning "hari hari" and channeling her anger down into the root chakra and bringing herself down to the ground. (she is three and in the midst of the tantrum phase). I am finding that I need to use "hari hari" myself a bit too....
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:23 AM
 
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...I feel I should be reading something, any suggestions?
Peace is every step, by Thich Nhat Hanh

Everyday Blessings, by Jon Kabit-Zin (and his wife, but I cant think of her name!)

I'm sure folks have many others to add to that!....
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:27 AM
 
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what a wonderful thread!! thank you!


I'll be sticking around as well, and hope I someday have something to add to all the loveliness and wisdom here.
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:31 AM
 
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'll take a crack at the patience/acceptance discussion... how my teachers have explained it (or at least how I've understood their explanations!) is that accepting a situation means completely letting go of our ideas about how it should be, or how we want it to be, and being present 100% with the way that it is. Once we are in that place, we are choosing our actions and responses from that place, as opposed to merely reacting based on our views, opinions, fears, hopes, etc.

So accepting a situation completely as what's going on in this moment right now does not preclude action. For example, when my daughter is upset and hitting me, it is not beneficial to her well-being (or mine) to allow her to hit me. However, I've found that when I am accepting more fully with what's going on, and accepting how she is behaving, I am able to respond more compassionately, and can look more deeply into the underlying causes of her behavior, as opposed to how I respond when I'm just tired and overwhelmed and distant from the present moment. Does that make sense?

oh--it definitely makes sense.
this is wonderful--I copied the whole thing to my file of 'great mdc posts.' thank you- :0)
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Old 08-19-2008, 02:44 PM
 
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Peace is every step, by Thich Nhat Hanh

Everyday Blessings, by Jon Kabit-Zin (and his wife, but I cant think of her name!)

I'm sure folks have many others to add to that!....
Some of my faves are:

The Heart of the Buddha's Teachings, by Thich Nhat Hanh.

The Art of Happiness, by the Dalai Lama

Against the Stream, by Noah Levine (Dharma punx)

No River to Cross, by Zen Master Daehang

The Buddha Next Door....not sure of the author.
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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tricycle - the independent voice of Buddhism magazine's feature article for fall 08 is "bringing up Buddhists- how some of us are doing it" - haven't had time to read it yet but I'm anxious to get some reading minutes into it!
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:32 PM
 
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I just picked up the Spring 08 and Summer 08 issues from my library. Looks like I'll have to get this one as well, as soon as it's in circulation.

I really should just subscribe. There's always so many beautiful pictures that I want to post on my walls.

Ecstatic mama to our one and only Aurora (Apr 07)
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Old 08-23-2008, 05:48 PM
 
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this thread is lovely, and so what i need to read right now - acceptance. I have been dabbling in Buddhism for some years but also never wanted to make a full commitment as I'm a bit allergic to religions (having been brought up very OTT Christian then rebelling against it all) and I feel I have a spiritual path with my kundalini yoga. But there's something I keep coming back to in the Buddhist path, something about the heart, the love, the compassion, and the truly engaging with the world through ecology and activism that I see in many Buddhists. I lived in a Buddhist community for a few months a couple of years ago and it was a great experience (although had its challenges).

Anyway I've learned a lot from this acceptance discussion and wanted to add my two cents - that I think for me, it's about learning to be with what's happening and trusting that there is an implicit order in it, that there is a beautiful harmony underlying whatever's happening, no matter how ugly or difficult it may seem.

I also enjoyed the mention of mantra's - the Kundalini yoga mantra's being familiar to me, but of course also om mani pedme hung - i love the idea of singing these to one's children. My little one has done morning sadhana with me since he was a few weeks old and so has heard the kundalini chants many times! I think the mantra's are such a gift to uplift us and remind us what it's all about.

IN terms of books to read,I find that books by Lama Surya Das have been helpful to me in understanding basic Buddhism and connecting me with the spirit of it, and I also loved a book about Zen Buddhism whose title I wish I could remember, but it was something about 'the eye' (that could be a lot of books, I know!) Was just so simple yet true, always coming back to just sitting, just sitting. I wish I had more time to sit but my life is full of constant interruptions with a baby and am often too sleepy to meditate properly at night when he's gone to sleep. So I try to meditate with open eyes, but I miss sitting practice.
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Old 08-27-2008, 12:19 PM
 
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**Just posted this in july thread by mistake (and it's almost september!!). now I see others have spoken very eloquently on patience already**

Hello and thankyou for this thread. I'd love to join you all.

I practice Tibetan buddhism. My main center of practice is Shambhala; my root teacher is Khandro Rinpoche.

I was just fortunate enough to spend the weekend in a program with Rinpoche and she brought up patience with me directly. As she puts it, patience is not about giving in to negative situations necessarily, rather about not adding to the cumulation of negative karma through our reactivity and actions.

I had asked about selflessness in relation to being the target of aggression. She was quite clear that we should practice patience and awareness but also to stay "away from trouble" (!), and to use wisdom to recognize when to act and when not to. She stressed the importance of knowing our potential in any given situation, not trying to take on more than we are able. A lifetime of practice for me right there.

She also stressed that whenever we make a decision or contemplate an action we should always base it on the 4 Noble Truths. So it doesn't mean we don't act, or try to change a situation, but we do that from a place of awareness, patience and compassion.

ETA: reading suggestions, on top of those already suggested, I'd recommend anything by Pema Chodron; Start Where You Are, The Wisdom of No escape, When things Fall Apart...all wonderful...
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Old 08-29-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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Hi all! I am excited to see this thread! I am pregnant right now with my first little one : I've been practicing Nichiren Buddhism for the past almost 2 years after my SIL introduced me to it when she moved to the u.s. and moved in with me and my DH, her brother. I really enjoy my practice but sometimes am not the best at keeping up with it (reciting a portion of the Lotus Sutra and chanting a mantra twice a day). I am hoping that the baby will recognize the sounds of my chanting when s/he is born, after hearing it while in the womb, and that it'll be a source of comfort.

I am also working on keeping an even temper and maintaining patience and compassion Glad to join you all!

Bloomingstar Mommy to DS born 1.16.09 :
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Old 08-29-2008, 11:01 PM
 
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i had an experience last week among family, where i felt i wanted to shelter dd, cover her ears, for there was talk of how we are "all sinners, lost without Jesus"...i held my tongue and breathed deep, did not want to speak reactively or with aggression. tried to acknowledge to myself that i surely don't have all the answers. but i found myself feeling so grateful for my confidence in bodhicitta, my confidence that we all have inborn compassion that can guide us to intelligent, wakeful choices when we take time to practice. it was an anchor.

however, i hope i can help dd feel that anchor, to ground her when messages come at her that are so...potentially harmful.

thank you for this sangha, for the reminders to practice for the sake of our children and for all beings. thank you for sharing your journeys as they unfold.

mama to one amazing daughter born 1/2004
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Old 08-30-2008, 01:01 AM
 
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