Nothing is to be Added, page 43

In modern society we are rewarded for our fancy cars, big houses, acquiring the latest and greatest in technology and the dollar amount in our bank account. Our level of success is measured how large our salary is or status on the corporate ladder. Many believe happiness is found in the purchase of material items instead of appreciating the simple things like walking your dog in the evening while enjoying the sunset. The more we get, the more we want and the more we want, the more we strive to get. The gripping desire for money, power, fame, and status is like a vicious cycle that keeps spinning and spinning to the point of losing control and forgetting who we really are.

The phrase "Money is the root of all evil", I feel is a myth. It our relationship to money that causes the problems, not money itself. We can choose how we relate to money and whether it is a positive or negative tool in our lives. When we cling to money and the need for more, it gives rise to greed, ignorance and delusion. When we let go of the desire for money, it creates opportunities to give for the sake of helping others and see the ordinary, but at the same time, the special things in our life.

I am struggling financially, but it's teaching me to appreciate simplicity and be grateful for what I have. I may not be able to buy an iPad but at least I have a computer from work that my boss graciously allows me to use at home. Hunter doesn't wear costly brand new clothes from the corporate chain store, but we are able to take walks together downtown to the thrift ship and buy what he needs while helping a local business thrive. I may not have a lot money but everyday that passes, the lack of money allows me to see how rich I am deep down inside with the love and support from my family and friends. Nothing more really needs to be added.

Describe a time in your life when you were struggling financially, lost some material items you really enjoyed or were forced to lose status in your career, social circle, etc. Where you able to truly see and appreciate the things that mattered in your life? What were they? Did you learn to more about yourself and dig deep to see your true nature?

Beautiful Words, page 45

Speaking is a mindfulness practice in itself. Cultivating awareness with our speech and being more mindful with what, when and how we speak creates the door for peace and feeling connected with others. Unskillful speech can cause harm to those around you and creates deep wounds that takes years to heal.

Listening just an important as speaking in dealing with right speech. How many times did you find your mind wandering during a conversation? Or thinking about what to say next while the person in front of you was talking? Listening with the intent to really hear with our mind, body and heart creates harmony and shows respect for speaker. Being still in our minds cultivates the inner silence needed to feel empathy and allows the speaker to fully communicate what they need to say.

Describe a time when you were able to be still and fully listen to someone in need. How did that help your friend or family member? Do you think they felt your full presence? How about you? Was there a time in need when you opened your heart to someone and their full presence felt healing? What did you learn about yourself in this process?

Thank you for your practice,