Respect Your Youngers

You’ve surely heard the expression, “Respect your elders,” but have you heard anyone say “Respect your youngers”?

Respect your “youngers” came to me because both of my sons recently visited, and I was reflecting upon how much I learn from them.

I think it is important to not only respect our elders, but to also respect the younger generations. The young people today have such fascinating ideas and their views of the world are so different from those of the older generations.

How can we respect our youngers? By being genuinely interested in them, asking them questions, and listening to them with open minds. As I told my older son last week, “Even if I don’t always agree with you guys, I still love to hear what you think about everything. Our conversations are so interesting. You make me so woke!”

On the world stage, we see a brilliant example of a very aware young person, the Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg… You can watch a three-minute video of her speaking here: Greta.

And, as I quoted in my post “Yoda, Thich Nhat Hanh, & Winnie-the-Pooh,” in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Master Yoda said, “Luke, we are what they grow beyond. That is the true burden of all masters.”

Indeed, I believe there is wisdom in seeing that the younger generations grow beyond us, no matter how wise we may think we are! True wisdom contains a natural humility within it. When we respect what young people have to say, we model wisdom and humility.

Does this post resonate with you? Do you know any “youngers” who help wake you up?

May All Beings Be Happy!

 

Photo* of Mama Teja and her older son Zak taken in Audubon Woods, Henderson, Kentucky, during his visit last week! 🙂

* If you are viewing this post in an email, please click on the title of the article and you will be taken to the StarFire Teja Blog where you can see the photo!

 

Transformation Is Always Possible

What does the word “magic” mean to you?

One of my keywords for this month of November was Magic, and in my post “Monday Morning Musings from a Living Starbird” I wrote that I was really needing to experience some magic in my life again… What I meant by “magic” was something out of the ordinary that sparks an unusual quality of joy and fascination.

Well, many wonderful things happened this month, such as my younger son Gabe visiting us, and there was a lot to be grateful for… And yet, I still hadn’t experienced anything that felt like magic to me… until a few days ago… I was sitting at my altar singing the daily prayers, and I began crying over a deep grief in my heart… I prayed for help with the sorrow, and right then I looked down at the book I had just finished reading, Fear: Essential Wisdom for Getting Through the Storm by Zen Buddhist Master Thich Nhat Hanh, and I felt inspired to ask for guidance through the book.

Do you ever use books as tools for guidance? It is a very simple practice that you can do with any book. Just ask a question, then open to a page and let your eyes naturally fall somewhere on the page. Read that section and contemplate how it might contain some wisdom that relates to your question.

So, when I picked up the book, I asked for guidance with the grief that I fear will never heal… And I opened to this section:

“Sorrow, fear, and depression are like a kind of garbage. But these bits of garbage are part of real life, and we must look deeply into their nature. We can practice so as to turn these bits of garbage into flowers. We should not throw anything out. All we have to do is learn the art of composting, of transforming our garbage into flowers. In the practice of Buddhism, we see that all mental formations — including compassion, love, fear, sorrow, and despair — are organic in nature. We don’t need to be afraid of any of them, because transformation is always possible. With just a smile and mindful breathing, we can start to transform them.”

Finally a bit of magic!

Dear reader, I was so amazed when I read that paragraph! Can you even believe how perfect it was? I was especially fascinated by “transformation is always possible,” because my question was essentially about whether or not the grief could ever heal… In total awe, I said aloud, “Thank you, my Deepest Self, for leading me to seek that guidance.”

Can you feel the magic in this story?

With gratitude and a joyful mind,
Sister Teja

 

Photo of Autumn flowers by Alicja on Pixabay.

 

The Bird who watches the bird eating the fruits

“Like two birds of golden plumage, inseparable companions, the individual self and the immortal Self are perched on the branches of the selfsame tree. The former tastes of the sweet and bitter fruits of the tree; the latter, tasting of neither, calmly observes. The individual self, deluded by forgetfulness of his identity with the divine Self, bewildered by his ego, grieves and is sad. But when he recognizes the worshipful Lord as his own true Self, and beholds his glory, he grieves no more.” ~ The Upanishads: Breath of Eternal Life, translated by Swami Prabhavananda and Frederick Manchester.

The ancient sages and mystics of India said the same thing that Jesus said, “The kingdom of God is within.” One way to connect with the Divine inside you is to practice cultivating the Witness.

Cultivating the Witness Consciousness means attuning with the Bird who is watching the bird eating the fruits, which is to say aligning with your deepest self and observing all of your thoughts, words, feelings, and actions. Creating and nurturing this connection, between your deeper witnessing mind and your surface acting mind, can help you to feel more peaceful, loving, and kind towards yourself. The Bird who is watching the bird is like a compassionate friend who is always with you, showing you the truth of how things are with neutrality and wisdom.

Cultivating the Witness is a practice you can do anytime, anywhere by just simply stating the observable facts to yourself. For example, if you are waiting in line at the grocery store, you can witness your thoughts and feelings, and then think to yourself, “Some impatience and irritability are passing through me.” Once you witness what’s happening, then you can work with it skillfully by deciding to focus on gratitude, or to say a prayer, or to send blessings for goodness to all of the other people waiting in line. In this way, your deeper observer self can help your cranky surface self to transmute the frustration into loving kindness. So, cultivating the Witness is a great tool for working with difficult emotions.

In the tree of your life, can you see the Bird who is watching the bird eating the fruits? Do you take time to nourish a loving connection between these two birds?

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Photo of birds and blossoms by Zane Lee on Unsplash.

 

StarFire Teja’s Mission Video

Dear readers, a few days ago I posted a blog with my mission statement in preparation for making a video. Well I made that video today… What I do not have (yet) in terms of high quality production and technical savvy, I pray that I make up for with the goodness of my heart and the sincerity of my intentions.

 

StarFire Teja’s Mission Video

 

May You Be Blessed By the Forces of Goodness.
May your February be Fabulous!

In Fabulous February I’ll be posting blog articles here
on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.

Happy Up by choosing to be happy!

 

 

Background image Courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech