Spiritual Action for the New Year
Inspired by my dear friend Lillian Pearl Bridges and her yearly choice of a Spiritual Action (see her Spiritual Action of the Year post on Acceptance for this year), I have been contemplating my own path. As I am beginning to prepare for a retreat on Virtue Healing in a few weeks, my head and heart are much concerned with the traditional Chinese Five Virtues 五德 or Five Constancies 五常: Empathy 仁, Propriety 禮, Integrity 信, Righteousness 義, Wisdom 智, or in their elaboration by Wang Fengyi as Firmness of Purpose (zhuyi 主意), Illumination of the Heavenly Principle (mingli 明理), Integrity and Trust (xinshi 信實), Radiance of Sound and Light (xiangliang 響亮), and Softness and Harmony (rouhe 柔和), associated with Liver-Wood, Heart-Fire, Spleen-Earth, Lung-Metal, and Kidney-Water respectively. All of these are obviously much needed these days, both in my personal life and in the universe at large, and I will spend as much energy as I can find in myself on cultivating each one of these. Nevertheless, I found it impossible to settle on a single one of these. Instead this morning, as I was getting ready to see my beloved daughter off to college a long day's drive away, it came to me:
Apologies for that long string of words, but that's the message I got while waking up. So here it is. Spelling it out in a public post will hopefully make it more real, strengthen my intention, and hold me to it. Unlike fossil fuels, love is an unlimited renewable resource, and the more we spend the more we have. Plus "love conquers all." So I invite you all to join me in this practice for the tender souls out there, young and old, who might need a bear hug, a bedtime story about kangaroo moms loving you to the moon and back, a shelter from the storms of the world, a bowl of chicken soup when you are down, a respite to regroup, a peaceful haven to mend the sails of your spirit and anchor of your heart. Let us make the world a kinder place in this coming year.