The Precious Human Birth. I love this concept and teaching from Buddhism. It suggests that the gift of having a human birth is exceedingly rare and that when one has not only a human body but the ability and capacity to find a teacher and learn of compassion and wisdom, it is a cherished and precious opportunity. And, we have this. You and I, we have this! Just writing this is a rare gift and having the opportunity to read someone else’s thoughts that lead to contemplation is a grace. We are born into circumstances that allow us to consider what makes us happy – as in really happy. In Buddhism, we call it the happiness free from sorrow. We can choose to take time out of our lives and look into our minds and decide what thoughts to keep and which thoughts lead to unhappiness. Simple. We have the capacity to study teachings that lead to great peace through compassion and forgiveness. And, we can find and be in the company of teachers who themselves have found Joy and who radiate this to us.
This last weekend, I celebrated my own birthday facilitating a workshop on compassion and it was one of the most moving experiences of my life. I have tried to contemplate why this is so and why this birthday was so different from others.
The first and most obvious factor is that I was with great Friends, my spiritual companions. It was an intimate group of such wise women with whom I am familiar for we have shared teachings, workshops, sessions, retreats, chants and meditations over these many years. How do I thank each of you? I was moved by the depth of sharing and the generosity of our hostess and each who arrived with her heart wide open and even those who struggled to unlock the doors shut through fear and self-doubt. I am moved still and deeply humbled. There was also the presence of so many other friends, family, students and clients that were not present but who sent such blessings and good wishes, many of whom I haven’t heard from for years; they, too, brought a gift of remembrance of friendship and community.
And there is the Company of Saints and those Beings who have gone beyond the limited tethers of human existence and through their transcendence show us a way to deep and constant peace, the Christs and the Buddhas, the One’s Gone Beyond. In each group I facilitate, the first step is to invoke this Presence very consciously; to invite them into our gathering and into our heart and mind. This is very important. Invocation is for me the great invitation – I invite into my life and my home, the great Teachers and their teachings so that I, too, can transcend what limits me, and once again, touch into the vast and unlimited space of love and compassion.
We invoked that Presence and that Presence is still with me today as I write this. I know the words are inadequate to express how deeply I am moved, even now. It was a special birthday for I was doing what I love. And, I had the gift of expressing what is my purpose in my life. That is amazing. To live aligned with this purpose – the path of peace – is a most precious gift and having others who allow me to share this, a most generous and humbling experience. I am really struggling here and hope most sincerely that I am expressing this so that it conveys something that is beyond words for it is about the unseen Unity that pervades all of our lives and that we gather for spiritual practice in order to remember it’s Reality. Love is Real. Unity is Real. Peace is Real. We were contemplating this and experiencing that Peace and Unity.
And, I feel it now and hope that you, too, for a moment, can feel this peace and cherish your own heart and soul.
I hope your life is purposeful. I hope you appreciate how precious you are and how precious your birth. I hope you dedicate your own life to returning to teachings that nurture and heal you. I hope you know that you are most holy because you come from Holiness. I hope you remember Truth and that it bring you back into your own heart and that this be your birthday – the day you are reborn by simply remembering your true Self. I hope today you return to Joy.
Thank you. All of You.