What I Believe

 

I believe that a reasonable degree of happiness is attainable for just about everyone and that transformation can occur in unexpected ways, times and places. I believe that we can lay the seeds for growth, water and nourish those seeds, and hope for the best, but that even under the best of circumstances, their survival and flourishing is not assured. Applying this to our physical, emotional and spiritual health, we simply do the best we can, with the help of guides who take various forms and ride the wave of life as mindfully as possible. Since we really only have this moment, mindfulness, compassion and wisdom about what is actually here and now form my guiding principles for living. This is not to say that we are not our past, for we are, or that we should neglect forward movement with our eyes on the future, but neither the past nor the future should consume us or squeeze out our direct experience of what is happening now. Ultimately it is my ability to live in this way which seems to be the major determinant of my happiness. Even under adverse circumstances, most of us can learn skills that will enable greater control of our ability to be fully present, to increase our understanding of ourselves, to communicate our feelings better and give more to others, and to negotiate life's difficulties with greater resilience.

 

I subscribe to the principles of ethical living. I believe a commitment to alleviate suffering is a crucial part of finding meaning in our lives.  We need to share our values with others, and to be socially engaged at various levels in society. This may mean developing the courage to speak out about the truth as we understand it in difficult situations.

 

I believe in living life with an open heart, with awareness of the need to protect that heart from pernicious influences. Without the ability to open our hearts, our ability to give to, and receive from others can be quite limited. Social, cultural and personal barriers can challenge this process, but most of us have the capacity to transform in this way.

 

I believe there is a natural order of which human beings are a part. This principle of interconnectedness forms the basis for understanding how to find balance in our bodies and achieve greater degrees of health in all respects.

 

I respect the deep mystery of things and the need to sometimes let go of the mind's quest for answers. And so I also take as a guiding principle a commitment to not knowing. By not knowing together, we can learn a great deal!