Man looking out over body of water - Image by Clément Falize

 Reflections

These 12 Reflections are refreshed monthly.

Click here to see archived Reflections from previous months.

The Five Principles of Reiki:

Just for today, let go of anger. 
o    Anger results from one’s inability to control situations or people encountered in life. Step back, take a breath, clear your mind, step forward.

 

Just for today, let go of worry. 
o    Worrying about what has occurred in the past is useless and can lead to shame and regret. Worrying about what may occur in the future is equally futile because it is unknown. 

Just for today, be grateful and humble.
o    To feel gratitude and humility is to be thankful for all of the circumstances in one’s life. 

Just for today, live honestly. 
o    Deal with both oneself and others with integrity.

Just for today, be compassionate. 
o    Be considerate of one’s environment and strive not to cause unnecessary harm to other living beings and life forms. 

***

On a larger scale, dharma means the essential order of things...rightness, justice, goodness, purpose rather than chance. Underlying this idea is the oneness of life...There is an ancient Sanskrit epigram, Ahimsa paramo dharma: the highest dharma is ahimsa, nonviolence, universal love for all living creatures; for every kind of violence is a violation of dharma, the fundamental law of the unity of life.

By Eknath Easwaran, Indian-born spiritual teacher, author and translator and interpreter of Indian religious texts such as the Bhagavad Vita and the Upanishads

***

Sometimes we might remember that all other animals have every bit as much right to be here and to be unmolested as any human does.

By Sir David Frederick Attenborough, English broadcaster, biologist, natural historian and author. Also, the “away” message for Ingrid Newkirk, co-founder and president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. 

***

Little Dog’s Rhapsody in the Night

He puts his cheek against mine
and makes small, expressive sounds.

And when I’m awake, or awake enough,

he turns upside down, his four paws
in the air and his eyes dark and fervent.

“Tell me you love me,” he says.

“Tell me again.”

Could there be a sweeter arrangement?

Over and over he gets to ask.

I get to tell.

From Dog Songs, Poems by Mary Oliver. Contributed by Elaine Hutchison, Compassion Consortium member.

***

Desire

Those who do not achieve their desires will continue to desire.

Those who achieve their desires will desire more.

Desire does not rest.

It is an infinite, endless hedonic treadmill of diminishing and unfulfilling returns.

Those who do not desire will achieve liberation and internal peace. 

The easiest way to gain happiness is to learn to desire the things we already have. 

The Compassion Consortium by Rev. William Melton (with a little assistance from The Buddha and Epictetus)

***

Ahimsa is not mere negative ‘non-injury.’ It is positive, cosmic love. It is the development of a mental attitude in which hatred is replaced by love.

By Swami Sivananda, a yogi and medical doctor from India, awarded the Padma Shri by India in 2022

***

For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfill themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

 

By Herman Hesse, a German-Swiss poet, novelist and painter, who received the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1946

***

Every creature is better alive than dead, men and moose and pine trees, and he who understands it alright will rather preserve it’s life than destroy it. 
 

By Henry David Thoreau, American essayist, naturalist, poet, and philosopher, best known for his book Walden, a reflection upon simple living in natural surroundings. 

***

When a child kills an animal for fun, we fear mental illness, when an adult with the capacity for reason does it, we call it “sport”. 


By Seth MacFarlane, American actor, director and producer

***
I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice that it always coincides with their own desires. 


By Susan B. Anthony, American social reformer and women’s rights activist

***
A bloodless sportsman, I –
I hunt for the thoughts that throng the woods,
The dreams that haunt the sky,
The woods were made for the hunters of dreams,
The brooks for the fishers of song;
To the hunters who hunt for the gun-less games
The streams and woods belong.

From The Bloodless Sportsman by Sam Walter Foss, American poet and librarian

***

Of all the creatures that were made, man is the most detestable. Of the entire brood he is the only one – the solitary one – that possesses malice. That is the basest of all instincts, passions, vices – the most hateful. He is the only creature that has pain for sport, knowing it to be pain. Also – in all the list he is the only creature that has a nasty mind. 

By Samuel Langhorne Clemens, known by his pen name Mark Twain, American humorist, writer and lecturer.