Inspiration

There Is a Sacred Happiness for Us All

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May all beings have happiness and the causes of happiness;
May all be free from sorrow and the causes of sorrow;
May all never be separated from the sacred happiness
which is sorrowless;
And may all live in equanimity,
without too much attachment and too much aversion,
And live believing in the equality of all that lives.

—Buddhist Chant

This post is an excerpt from The Woman’s Book of Prayer by Becca Anderson, which can be found at Amazon and Mango Media.

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Inspiration

A Guide for Those Who Lost Their Way

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May I become at all times, both now and forever
A protector for those without protection
A guide for those who have lost their way
A ship for those with oceans to cross
A bridge for those with rivers to cross
A sanctuary for those in danger
A lamp for those without light
A place of refuge for those who lack shelter
And a servant to all in need.

—Buddhist Chant

This post is an excerpt from The Woman’s Book of Prayer by Becca Anderson, which can be found at Amazon and Mango Media.

Inspiration

Prayer to Start the Day

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O Infinite God, of life, goodness, and generous love,
I dedicate my heart, my life, to you.
Help me to cherish all human life
and do the good you want me to do.
Make me a loving example of your generous love
and a blessing to everyone I see.
May your goodness be fully in us,
and in all that we think and say and do.

—Unknown

This post is an excerpt from The Woman’s Book of Prayer by Becca Anderson, which can be found at Amazon and Mango Media.

Inspiration

When Times Are Hard

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Children, everybody, here’s what to do during war:
In a time of destruction, create something.
A poem.
A parade.
A community.
A school.
A vow.
A moral principle.
One peaceful moment.

—Maxine Hong Kingston

This post is an excerpt from The Woman’s Book of Prayer by Becca Anderson, which can be found at Amazon and Mango Media.

Inspiration

Find Courage and Comfort in the Everyday

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Wage peace with your breath.
Breathe in firemen and rubble,
breathe out whole buildings and flocks of red-wing blackbirds.
Breathe in terrorists
and breathe out sleeping children and freshly mown fields.
Breathe in confusion and breathe out maple trees.
Breathe in the fallen and breathe out lifelong friendships intact.
Wage peace with your listening: hearing sirens, pray loud.
Remember your tools: flower seeds, clothes pins, clean rivers.
Make soup.
Play music, memorize the words for thank you in three languages.

—Judyth Hill

This post is an excerpt from The Woman’s Book of Prayer by Becca Anderson, which can be found at Amazon and Mango Media.

Inspiration

Let There Be Peace and Justice for All Creation

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Let us see one another through eyes
enlightened by understanding and compassion.

Release us from judgment so we can receive the stories
of our sisters and brothers with respect and attention.

Open our hearts to the cries of a suffering world
and the healing melodies of peace and justice for all creation.

Empower us to be instruments of justice
and equality everywhere.

—Jean Shinoda Bolen

This post is an excerpt from The Woman’s Book of Prayer by Becca Anderson, which can be found at Amazon and Mango Media.

Inspiration

Faith, Hope, and Charity

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A faintish journey do I make
as through this frazzled world I wind,
with heavy heart and weary steps,
but with determined mind.

Beseech I for a flicker of
the faith that can a mountain move,
and hold that tenet close to me,
believing where I cannot prove.

The pow’r that comes when sinking low
to man who grasps for straw or rope,
will clutch til has he breathe no more
for where there’s life, there’s hope.

If my good turn be given to
my fellow man’s deficiency,
I’ll try to share my lowly gifts
of Faith and Hope and Charity.

—Anne Shannon Demarest

This post is an excerpt from The Woman’s Book of Prayer by Becca Anderson, which can be found at Amazon and Mango Media.

Inspiration

Practice Kindness Day and Night

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May we practice kindness day and night, forever,
not only towards friends, but also to strangers,
and especially to the enemy;
not only towards human beings,
but also to animals and other beings
who want happiness and don’t want to suffer.

May we constantly enjoy our lives by rejoicing.

May we constantly enjoy happiness
by rejoicing in all the positive things
that bring benefit to others and to ourselves.
And may we especially rejoice when we see
all the good things that happen to others.

May we develop patience to achieve
all happiness, temporal and ultimate,
and to bring that happiness to others;
not only to our family, but to all sentient beings.

May we develop all 16 human qualities,
an understanding which makes our lives different.

May we become skilled in not harming sentient beings,
and may we become only the source
of happiness for sentient beings, like sunshine.

May we practice contentment.

May we learn contentment and satisfaction,
an understanding which makes our lives different.

May we learn contentment and satisfaction.
May we learn to enjoy contentment,
which brings great freedom into our lives
and brings us so much happiness.
May we be an example to the world.

May we practice these good qualities and,
when somebody abuses or harms us,
may we immediately forgive them.
In daily life, when we make mistakes and harm others,
may we immediately ask forgiveness.

May we be able to develop courage,
to be an inspiring example
and to be of benefit in so many ways
for the happiness of others,
not only for ourselves.

—Lama Zopa Rinpoche

 

This post is an excerpt from Prayers for Hard Times by Becca Anderson, which can be found at Amazon and Mango Media.

Inspiration

Veg Out! Healthy Food for All Is Essential

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All families and growing children should have easy access to healthy food.

Have you hear of “food deserts”? I certainly never did until reading last year in the New York Times about entire swaths of urban areas with nothing but corner stores filled with processed packages foods and no produce whatsoever.  I started paying attention and it is true.

There is something you can do about it: make a donation at Wholesome Wave which provides fresh fruits and veggies to these under-served communities.  How great is that? Actually, it is even better, as Wholesome Wave obtains their organic produce from small and mid-sized farmers.

Inspiration

Make More Time for People

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Everyone you see has a story worth hearing. Just say hi!

Try something new this year and check out the Just Say Hello Campaign on Oprah’s website. The campaign (find it here) encourages kindness and strives to combat loneliness by encouraging us to reach out and connect. A howdy-do to a stranger might make your day and a new pal in the process. I read about this excellent friendliness project in Oprah’s O Magazine a few Sundays ago and immediately felt inspired to try it that day. My boyfriend and I went to do our weekend chores, which include buying fresh flowers from our neighborhood stand. An older gentleman was standing there smelling the roses, always a good idea in my mind. I remembered to say “Hi” as instructed by Oprah and he responded with a big smile and wanted my input on flowers he wanted to buy for a lady friend.  As you might imagine, quite a conversation ensued and my boyfriend joined in, who is even friendlier than I am. Soon the florist was involved and our new gentleman friend turned out to be a fascinating conversationalist. He had been a fighter pilot in the Korean War, very highly decorated and has traveled all over the world before returning back home to El Cerrito. Widowed some years back, he was only beginning to get back out there and date. After landing upon a carefully selected bouquet of red roses and pink lilies, he headed off to the dance at the senior center. I noticed he has a good bit of pep in his step, and I remember having a good feeling about his first date. We kept our eyes peeled for Colonel Jarvis when in the vicinity of the flower shop and sure enough we saw him and he had pictures of his lady friend from the dance featuring a corsage he had gotten for her. Things were looking pretty swell all around and he looked pleased as punch.

So, thanks Oprah for another great idea!