Heart Thoughts: The Season for Nonviolence

Happy February 1st! If you have been in any of the stores recently you will see all the valentine’s candy on full display. So yes, February is known as the “Love” month. We will spread that love around by sharing food together. Our next potluck will be on February 12. Let’s have some fun… while you are out and about pick up a package of valentines that the children give to each other and address them to your friends in our community. We can exchange valentines!

The Season for Nonviolence began on Monday with the anniversary of the assassination of Gandhi in 1948 and will end on April 4 with the anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. in 1968. I found it fitting to do a series that aligns with the Season.HeartEthics For The New Millennium written by the Dalai Lama. Although the book was written in 1999 just as we were to move into the 21st Century, the material is as relevant today as it was then.

The book is neither religious nor about Buddhism; it is a book based on universal principles. The Dalai Lama believes that all humans are in pursuit to find happiness and avoid suffering.

It is his impression that people living in modern materialistic urban societies are less happy and experience greater emotional and psychological suffering than those living in relatively poorer agrarian societies. It seems a paradox that this inner suffering is so often found amid material wealth. What is found is that people in modern societies have a greater dependence on machines and services with much greater independence/autonomy relative to other human beings.

Many of the problems of modern life – crime, abusive relationships, addictions, divorce, and suicide – are fundamentally ethical problems. They differ from the sufferings of sickness, old age and death in that none of these problems are by nature inevitable. They are of our own making. As we strive to gain happiness and fulfillment via material gain, we limit ourselves to satisfaction at the level of the senses.

Dalai Lama goes on to say that an emphasis on independence minimizes the importance of “the other” in our striving for happiness as well as makes insignificant the happiness of “the other.”

If you missed the service or want to view it again, click or tap here.

Here is a question you might want to give thought to… The Dalai Lama suggests that the desire to be happy and avoid suffering is universal. What is it you seek in your life …at the soul level?

This Sunday will be the continuation of Part 1 “The Foundation of Ethics.”

You are a blessing in my life,
Rev. Patricia Bessey


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