I Forgive You


Sacred writings usually show God as a forgiving God. The unity of the religions each show a different side of Divinity. When I was a child, I tried to grasp forgiveness. I was suspicious of why I should forgive. I had and have an alert which goes off in the face of hypocrisy and injustice. They are  the two things which I cannot tolerate. So, of course, the Universe gives me opportunities to practice forgiveness. Practice brings a healing to yourself. This is something most people don’t realize:  forgiving another heals us.

 

Buddha told a story of a man who had been slighted and who was angry with justice.  Buddha stated that the man decided he was going to remain angry. Time passed and he held on tightly to his anger. It began to worm itself into his heart and soul.  He became a different man. He was bitter, resentful and filled with hatred. Buddha says that anger that we hold on to  is like holding onto a hot piece of charcoal in our hands. The anger tightens the hold the hand has on the burning charcoal. The result is that you are left with a terrible burnt palm. The anger has left you scarred and damaged. The person who needs to be forgiven has no idea that anything has happened. Whether he feels sorry or not for the original action, has no effect on the outcome. The only thing that would change the situation would be the words, I forgive you.

 

In the Torah, there are instances of Moses talking with G-d and reminding him that he promised to forgive his people.  “Pardon  the iniquity of this people according to the greatness of your mercy, as you have forgiven this people, from Egypt until now. G-d’s answer was I have pardoned according to your word.” These words of forgiveness by G-d  become the central theme of the Jewish High Holidays. These holidays are coming up in September. Because of God’s forgiveness the Jewish people, despite its shortcomings, exists to this very day.

 

This is relevant to today because we so often hear news stories where forgiveness is the major point. I remember when the Pope forgave Ali Mehmet who shot him in Rome. It raised  tremendous controversy. Studies actually show that it is more life-changing to forgive than to be forgiven. There are many stories, though, of people who are forgiven changing their lives and becomiing the person they were meant to be.

 

One such story, is about  an idealistic California college student who won a Fulbright Scholarship to travel to South Africa to assist the anti-apartheid movement; she went there and was murdered by a black mob during a riot. Her parents grieved for years, then decided that they should honor the work that their daughter had been so dedicated to. So they quit their jobs, sold their home and walked away from their comfortable middle class life. Eventually, the parents met two of their daughter’s killers. The two men, who have been pardoned, tried to atone for their actions by doing public service for a foundation the parents established in their daughter’s name. The parents forgave the two killers and they became friends, and the young men now call the mother, “Mom.”

 

Forgiving what has been done to you,  and offering forgiveness for what you have done to another, is a concept that needs to be remembered and chosen in today’s world. It is a life-changing experience to decide to forgive. It is an important act to do in your life. It is one of the things we have moved away from in this so-called modern world. We have also left behind generosity, compassion, kindness, and gentleness. When we begin to put these concepts back into our lives, we will be on the road to peace. Peace within ourselves and throughout the entire world.

 

 

 

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Don;t let the sun go down on your anger. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2012. Sunset in the Caribbean.

Don’t let the sun go down on your anger. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2012. Sunset in the Caribbean.

 

 

Winter - Snow - Peace

The Essential Wisdom of the Dalai Lama


The Dalai Lama is a very special person. He is the political and spiritual leader of Tibet which was taken from the Tibetan people by the Chinese. They say that having at one time owned Tibet, they do now also. I think it is kind of like Russia saying they own the Ukraine. Greed for land and minerals and egos are behind these actions. Tibet was invaded by the Chinese back in the fifties and a teenaged Dalai Lama was secreted out of the country and took refuge in India. Many Tibetan people left with the Dalai Lama and in the weeks and months thereafter. The Dalai Lama was the spiritual leader of the Tibetan Buddhist religion. The temples were invaded and monks and nuns were tortured, raped and murdered. The world stood by and watched it happen. They really had nothing to make them valuable to the rest of the world, so the country was devastated.

 

 

I have met him back in the eighties and I found him to be a wonderful spirit with a good sense of humor, and a sincere and peaceful energy. It would be so easy for him to be angry, resentful or to have turned away from his faith. Instead, I found a man of peace, a man who worries about his people, and a man who has never held any grudges against the countries who didn’t come to the aid of his people. His teachings are wise, peaceful and full of compassion. We are so lucky to have him and his wonderful spirit here in the world. I believe he is the source of much positive energy that fights the darkness that is also here.

 

It amazes me that a country at the top of the world would have been worth stealing from its people. To seal the immoral bargain, the Chinese people were moved into Tihet and encouraged to marry Tibetans. People who didn’t always have a choice. It is a form of genocide because  there will be fewer and fewer people who can claim they are of Tibetan ancestry.

 

The Dalai Lama has taught and spread his message all over the world and he is seldom still, except in meditation. I thought I would share some of his teachings with all of you. No matter what path you follow, you can add these teachings. They do not contradict any other teachings.

 

 

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“Love, compassion, and concern for others are real sources of happiness. With these in abundance, you will not be disturbed by even the most uncomfortable circumstances. If you nurse hatred, however, you will not be happy even in the lap of luxury. Thus, if we really want happiness. we must widen the sphere of love. This is both religious thinking and basic common sense.”

 

” Unless our minds are stable and calm, no matter how comfortable our physical condition may be, they will give is no pleasure. Therefore, the key to a happy life, now and in the future, is to develop a happy mind.”

 

“If the basic human nature was aggressive, we would have been born with animal claws and huge teeth—but our are very short, very pretty, very weak! That means we are not well equipped to be aggressive beings. Even the size  of our mouth is very small. So I think the basic nature of human beings should be gentle.”

 

“Anger cannot be overcome by anger. If a person shows anger to you, and you show anger in return, the result is a disaster. In contrast, if you control your anger and show its opposite—love, compassion, tolerance, and patience—then not only will you remain in peace, but the anger of others also will gradually diminish.”

 

“As people alive today, we must consider future generations: a clean environment is a human right like any others to ensure that the world we pass on is as healthy, if not healthier, than we found it. “

 

 

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“Tibet is distinguished by its extraordinary geography, the unique race and language of its people, and the rich culture they have developed over 2,100 years of recorded history. approximately six million Tibetans populate our country, which covers around 2.5 million square Kilometers, an area the size of Western Europe. In the Tibetan culture, our relations with nature, including animals, were very peaceful. We lived in great harmony with nature. At its foundation and thereafter, after the arrival of Buddhism in Tibet, Tibetan society in general was characterized by compassion and openness. It was a society where people felt at ease. For those reasons I believe it might serve as an example.”

 

“Fundamentally, the issue of Tibet is political. It is an issue of colonial rule: the oppression of Tibet by the  People’s Republic of China and resistance to that rule by the people of Tibet. This issue can be resolved only through negotiations and not, as China would have it, through force, intimidation and population transfer.”

 

” Violations of human rights in Tibet have a distinct character. Such abuses are aimed at Tibetian as a people from asserting their own identity and their wish to preserve it. Thus, human rights violations in Tibet are often the result of institutionalized racial and cultural discrimination.”

 

 

             This is a short prayer written by the Dalai Lama

 

For as long as space endures,

And for as long as living beings remain.

Until then may I, too, abide

To dispel the misery of the world.

 

 

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 The Buddha

 

 

The Dalhai Lama and his wise and love filled words.

The Dalai Lama and his wise and love filled words.

 

 

What is dying inside of you?

What is dying inside of you?  

Time to Begin Healing


He is my brother

He is my brother

The town of Newton and the country need to begin the long process of healing. There has been a frightening amount of negative energy released into the world this year. Yes, it does happen every year, but somehow this one felt worse. So what to do?  What is the response of rational, thinking, feeling, caring citizens?.

There is a lot of negative energy right now and the numbers of people who have died due to violence is escalating. How should we react in the face of all of this negativity? We use love and light. We walk our spiritual paths and we surround our country with white protective light.

I am talking about working on the spiritual plane right now. The government can and I hope, will handle the issues of violence and gun control facing us now.  When we face people with negativity, hatred,  greed or power seeking, we need to use compassion, love, and light to carry the message of love and peaceful living into the world.

The idea of meeting violence with violence is not good because it escalates the issues. Caring about other beings is vital for us as children of the Universe. Meeting violence with love is the place I think we need to begin. We need to use forgiveness, compassion as well as light and love to heal our own hearts and to  prevent hearts from filling  with hatred and violence.

There are a lot of people who are working very hard to doom our beautiful world into darkness. We need to be more positive, show more kindness, act with more compassion and find more of the beauty that is in our lives. We need to give more, stand up and speak the truth more and deal with our anger. We need to go to anger management or therapy. We need to realize our anger does not give us the right to react violently when we disagree with someone.

We need to praise good work and honest effort. We need to listen to the wisdom, gained through years of living, of those who have earned their wisdom from facing and dealing with the many issues that come up in the journey of a lifetime.

The Wild Rose of Praise

“Those unable to grieve,

Or to speak their love,

Or to be grateful, those

Who can’t remember God

As the source of everything,

Might be described as vacant wind,

Or a cold anvil, or a group

Of  frightened old people.

Say the Name. Moisten your tongue

With praise, and be the spring ground,

Waking. Let your mouth be given

Its gold-yellow stamen like the wild rose’s.

As you fill with wisdom,

And your heart with love,

There’s no more thirst.

There’s only an unselfed patience

Waiting on the doorsill, a silence

Which doesn’t listen to advise

From people passing in the street.”

————Sanai

The poet Sanai lived in the twelfth century.                                                                                                                                                                                                            Children laughing once again                                            

Let Peace Happen

Let Peace Happen

Happychildren

Love, Harmony and Beauty


I am writing because despite the fact I am not 100%, the world is calling to me.
I am so sorry that this man made a video which disrespected Allah. This is a thoughtless, selfish and sad use of free speech. The ability to exercise free speech is a responsibility and this man ignored his responsibility.

It is of no comfort, I understand, but people have made fun of Jesus, Moses, Abraham, Buddha, and the Goddess religions.

What I have seen on the television is a situation where hatred and violence have erupted and lives have been lost. Not just Americans, but also many protesters.

People who have a love of the Divine need to remember that violence and hatred are not in harmony with sacred writings or sacred love.

I ask all of God’s people here on Mother Earth to reach out in love, harmony and beauty to heal the hearts of all who are in pain and grief. There is Unity in our beliefs and the love of The One who is everywhere and constantly within us even though you may not understand or believe .

Please stop the violence and hatred. We must all live here together. The only way to do that is to live in love, harmony and beauty; to grasp that all the illuminated souls are united within Divinity. It matters not what Divinity is called, there is One World, One love, and One life. We are all loved and we must begin to acknowledge our responsibility to live in a manner that will bring us closer to the One.

“Thy light has illuminated the dark chambers of my mind;
Thy love is rooted in the depths of my heart; Thine own are the light of my soul; Thy power worketh behind my action; Thy peace alone is my life’s repose; Thy will is behind my every impulse; Thy voice is audible in the words I speak;
Thine own image is my countenance. My body is but a cover over Thy soul; my life is Thy very breath, my Beloved, and my self is Thine own being.”

—Gayan

May we all forgive those who are unable to see the world through God’s loving eyes. May we embrace each other with harmony and may we see The One in every other person we meet. Blessings to all.

The Flow of Love


Moody Gardens, Tx.,  Photo by Barbara Mattio

” All the creatures of this cosmos are sustained by love,
and in the end they emerge into the same cosmic Being.
That is why love is so essential.”
—Swami Muktananda

In the Universe, galaxy, planet, country, state, city, home that I reside in; I am part of Divinity. The beautiful part is that this fact is not just truth for me. It is truth for you. All of you. No matter what gender, race, religion, language you are, we are all loved the same in the eyes of the One.

All the sacred writings teach us to live in harmony and devotion and love with all other sentient beings. Love is not judging, nor is it unforgiving. Yet Love never includes violence. Your act of violence to another or their’s to you.

Freedom is a necessary state of being for sentient beings. Freedom is a requirement of real love. Helping someone to find freedom is a blessing. A blessing for both of you. It is also the reason that people will finally stand up to dictators and tyrants and say, “This is enough”

Love is an aspect of Divinity that does not diminish with distance. Cherishing those we love and letting go of them is what we are required to do. You still have the memories you have created together and hold close to your heart.These memories will never leave your heart and mind.

Love is a beautiful gift that only grows more as we give it away. In a relationship, you open your hand and release the ropes that bind someone to you. You will find often, that the bond of love will sustain distance, destiny and bad timing . A deep appreciation for that bond will grow and comfort you.

Love requires generosity and expansion. Love requires loyalty, forgiveness and acceptance. You never loose the love you give away. It returns to you three-fold.

“Be a lamp, or a lifeboat, or a ladder.
Help someone’s soul heal,
Walk out of your house like a shepherd.”

Rumi

Written by Jim Morrison of The Doors

 

Baby Steps for Peace


Photo by Barbara Mattio

So here we are. We realize that peace must begin within ourselves. Okay, now what? It is easier to be forgiving from a distance. It is easier to just look away and not see missed opportunities.

There are ways for us to begin. It starts with little things. Giving respect to those who deserve it. Picking up a fallen object for an elderly person. You can not scream at the kids when you have just had the worst day in your career. You can take cake to a new neighbor and say welcome.
You can be flexible with your friends and really care what is happening in their lives. When you can get through the day without a moment when you think, wow I shouldn’t have done that. You have begun to add peace to your journey. The person at the bank that made a mistake and you chose not to be short or mean to them will carry that kindness forward. They will hold the door for a young mother with a baby in arms and a toddler next to her. She will get home late from her errands with 2 crying children. She will sing them lullabies as they fall asleep.
The next day the toddler goes to a play date and is very kind to the other children. And so on and so on.

It is easy to say it begins with me, but assume that others should be the ones to start practicing peace. It is each of us, the 7 billion + people who need to throw the first stone into the ocean of hatred and violence.
Violence grows the same way as peace does. A neighbor fights with another neighbor. They are very angry and others take sides. This escalates the anger and fear enters as others begin to look at each other in distrust. Governments don’t keep promises. Politics become more important than agreements. Nations argue and then war becomes a topic of discussion.

We each need to make peace in our own lives. At times, it takes walking away. Sometimes it takes loving someone more than we love ourselves. We need to remember that we are not alone in our desire to live in a peaceful world. The Divinity that dwells within us wants that also. We make our own decisions and we must accept responsibility for the lack of peace in our own lives. We must hold elected officials to govern in a peaceful manner without ego and without a quest for power.

I encourage everyone to walk the path of peace as well as to talk it. It isn’t enough to just say we need World Peace. We have to live it in our lives each day. Others will respond to the peace within. For the times you lose your own peace, it is okay. Just start again with a fresh slate. Just don’t give up because The One has never given up on us.

Photo by Barbara Mattio

Photo by Barbara Mattio