The Desiderata ~ Moments of Grace, Days of Wonder …

The Desiderata

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.

Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

~ Max Ehrmann ~
Copyright 1952

Dear Ones,

With my mother’s endstage in hospice taking longer than we had imagined, I decided to keep myself busy by starting to work on The Maitri Ministry portion of the new website. It will be a large part of the website, multi-faceted, and yet very simple in intent. I was ordained last January and have been weaving a tapestry made up of myriad strands of spiritual practice and beliefs culled over decades and through teaching, writing, and constant study, and how I view the work I am to do in this world. And then I reread The Desiderata, and I thought, “That, right there, says it all.”

When I was ordained in the Christian Church as an interfaith minister it was with a sense of awe and wonder, and also a waking up to my life’s purpose. Raised Catholic, I became a Buddhist in my twenties and still follow the path of Buddhist teachings today (… with bits of Catholicism weaving their way through…). I pray to Mary, to the saints and angels and to my special guardian angel. God the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I feel the presence of my spirit guides and animal guides. In everything around me, more and more as the years go by, I see the sacred in everything, and rather than preach to people about how they should live, what they should believe, I want to tell people to walk in the world with an open heart, to judge less and listen more. Every step I take forward I bring with me all that came before and I keep picking up treasures for my basket of knowledge, ever growing, always opening, to new ways to see and touch and feel and experience Spirit.

It is a hard thing for people to understand and even harder for me to describe but even as I was ordained I knew I would have no ordinary ministry. When I took the name Maitri, legally, in 2005, it was, to me, a bit like a nun taking the veil. The ordination sanctified the vows I had made to myself, and the life that I have been leading since my marriage ended, and my children grew and took flight into their own lives, has been one almost exclusively of solitude, and silence. I live in a cloistered world where my many rescued animals inside, the wildlings outside, the garden beyond my windows and the book, plant and fiber filled cottage that I live in, study in, where I meditate and pray, write and do fiber art, this is my sanctuary, and it is from within these walls that my messages of love, light, hope, compassion, kindness, grace, and joy will filter out into the world, like messages in bottles. That’s what a blog entry is like to me. I share my thoughts and my heart on little scrolls, put them in bottles and cork the bottles tightly, and when I hit “Send” my words are floated out into the world. I never know where they will land, who will find them, it is my job to write the words and wrap them in a blanket of love and tenderness, and pray that they land in places where they might be of help to someone, anyone, everyone that they might reach and touch. In this way my soul connects with those of another and we both are changed, in ways we will never be able to imagine, by the exchange. I receive much more than I will ever be able to give, but I just keep sending out messages in bottles, and rather than preach from a mountaintop I send quiet little messages out from my little cottage and hope that they might mean something to even a single soul. Each one, reach one. That is one of the most important tenets of my belief system. I am a quiet woman leading a quiet life, say few words during the day, walk barefoot in the grass outside with my dogs, kiss my parrots beaks, and tend my huge collection of African violets that, like my family of animal companions, were often castaways when I got them, marked down in a sale shopping cart in the middle of fresh flowers for sale all around it, and many of the violets I purchased for 25 cents or 50 cents, with no flowers and perhaps only a few good leaves left, are now the size of dinnerplates and flower in such abundance people are taken aback when they see them.

If you love things, if you nurture them, they will grow. If you are soft, and tender, and yield to life’s lessons and visitations from Spirit, it doesn’t matter if you are sitting in a pew in a church, a synagogue, a temple, a monastery, or walking a pebbly path through the woods. What you believe in doesn’t exist in a building, or a book, nor can it be constrained by a set of rules and do’s and don’ts. What we believe in lives in our heart, and in the whole world around us. In every one we meet, even the encounters that are difficult, we change and grow and become more than we were. And I am not some starry eyed optimist who lives with my head in the sand. I know that there are wars and people who hate and innocent people are hurt or killed, and people are hungry and homeless, and infinitely more than I can write here, but I also know that our responsibility is to do what we can, with what we’ve got, from where we are. That is what I am doing.

If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…

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