Daily Riches: Seeing Your Enemy as a Human In Distress (Susan Edmiston, Leonard Scheff, Thich Nhat Hanh and Cynthia Bourgeault)

“Action taken when I am angry is going to be irrational and probably stupid.” Susan Edmiston, and Leonard Scheff

“In dealing with the emotion that arises when we are attacked, it’s necessary to first allow space for the other person’s anger without reacting. …Deliberately, do not take revenge. In Buddhism, the basic vow is benefiting all beings, not everyone except this particular person. …Your most powerful tool in some situations may be what Thich Nhat Hanh calls ‘compassionate listening.’ ‘Sit quietly and listen with only one purpose: to allow the other person to express himself and find relief from his suffering.’ …When you no longer view the person who directs anger against you as an adversary but as another human being in distress, you have made a good outcome more likely.” Edmiston/Scheff

“Life provides plenty of opportunities for this practice [surrendering to the divine life that lives in us and wants to bubble up in us]; in fact, sometimes it seems as if life is comprised of a ‘twenty-four/seven’ surrender immersion! The problem is, most of the time we’re not aware of it and ‘fall asleep,’ as it’s called in wisdom work: when we brace and tighten and get thrown back into that smaller self. We go unconscious automatically. But if you stay alert and grounded in sensation and are willing to wake up as soon as you realized you’ve started bracing or clinging, then you can use all the adventures and misadventures life throws at you to strengthen and deepen your heart connection—and your Christ connection.” Cynthia Bourgeault

“My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this:
Everyone should be quick to listen,
slow to speak and slow to become angry,
because human anger does not produce
the righteousness that God desires.”
James 1:19-20

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Can you “allow space for the other person’s anger” before responding? Do you?
  • How often to you think you succeed at “compassionate listening?” Where could you practice that (at work, with your kids, in your marriage, on social media)?
  • Try to be sensitive to what your body is telling you. Next time you start simmering, stressing or clenching up, let that remind you to recollect your better self. Don’t fight your anger or beat yourself up, just take a deep breath and surrender to the One who lives in you and wants to live through you–and try to learn that as an habitual response.

Abba, remind me often that I’m not to love everyone–except “this particular person.”

For More: The Cow in the Parking Lot by Susan Edmiston and Leonard Scheff

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These “Daily Riches” are for your encouragement as you seek God and God seeks you. I hope you’ll follow/share my blog. Thanks for your interest! – Bill

Daily Riches: Mindfulness – “Now, Here, This” (Ruth Haley Barton, Cynthia Bourgeault and Richard Rohr)

“Discernment is first of all a habit, a way of seeing that eventually  permeates our whole life. It is the journey from spiritual blindness (not seeing God anywhere or seeing him only where we expect to see him) to spiritual sight (finding God everywhere especially where we least expect it.)”  Ruth Haley Barton

“The spiritual life can only be lived in the present moment, in the now. All the great religious traditions insist upon this simple but difficult truth. When we go rushing ahead into the future or shrinking back into the past, we miss the hand of God, which can only touch us in the now.” Cynthia Bourgeault

“Most of Jesus’ contemporaries missed the ‘Real Presence’ that was right in their midst, and most of them were religiously observant people…. They were looking for religion, and he was just a human being.” Richard Rohr

“He came into the very world he created,
but the world didn’t recognize him.
He came to his own people,
and even they rejected him.”
John 1:10, 11

Moving From the Head to the Heart

  • Which describes you – unaware of God, looking for God in expected places, or expecting God everywhere? (Is God ubiquitous or “everywhere present” for you?)
  • We confess God ‘s activity in the past and anticipate God’s activity in the future. Do you expect God to show up in the present? …to “touch you in the now?”
  • Imagine all the people who saw and listened to Jesus when he walked the earth – God in their very midst – who “didn’t recognize him” and even “rejected him.” I wonder how often we fail to recognize him in our day.
  • What practices can you adopt that would help you to be more mindful of the God “in whom you live and move and exist?” (Acts 17:28)

Abba, help me to really “stop, look and listen” as I go through my day. Teach me to be more present to myself, to others and to you.

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For More: Sacred Rhythms: Arranging Our Lives for Spiritual Transformation by Ruth Haley Barton

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The “Daily Riches” from RicherByFar are for your encouragement as you seek after God, and as he seeks after you. My goal is to give you something of uncommon value each day in 400 words or less. I hope you’ll follow my blog, and share it with others. I appreciate your interest!  –  Bill (Psalm 90:14)

“I practice daily what I believe; everything else is religious talk.”