The Two Promises
Tuesday, October 23, 2007 4:35:25 PM
"I vow to develop understanding
In order to live peacefully with people,
Animals, plants and minerals.
I vow to develop compassion
In order to protect the lives of people,
Animals, plants and minerals."
- The Two Promises
"Eric the Earthworm" is a children's story on the Two Promises by Sr. Cuc Nghiem)
After a weekend of skies so clear, they looked like you could swim in them, the rain came. Yesterday it rained. Last night it rained. This morning it rained. And now, as I sit in my rocking chair, enjoying a lazy no-car day at home, it is raining.
For a moment, the rain stopped. I went outside to do some yoga. Stepping carefully, I noticed snails. First one, then another and another. Slowly moving along the now-wet earth, as snails do so well.
"Looks like it's been raining snails," I said to Mom later.
If the Five Mindfulness Trainings provide a road map for a rich spiritual journey, the Two Promises set the aspiration to move in that direction. Simple and sweet, they are also quite profound. They water seeds of understanding and compassion. They declare an intention to live peacefully with our fellow inhabitants of the world around us. They proclaim an aim to do what we can to protect life.
This coming Monday, we will learn the Two Promises song and discuss ways to practice these promises in our daily life. Please let me know if you will be joining us. And, as always, if you are far away, and would like to share your experience practicing with the Two Promises, feel free to write to share your stories!
Here's wishing everyone a peaceful, healthy, and nourishing week.
Global Healing Action #2: Eat less meat. According to "Livestock's Long Shadow: Environmental Issues and Options," released in November 2006 by the Food and Agriculture Organization, “The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global. . .Livestock’s contribution to environmental problems is on a massive scale and its potential contribution to their solution is equally large." If you are a dedicated meat-eater, why not practice eating vegetarian one day per week? If you eat meat occasionally, why not practice eating it every day? Each meal makes a difference.
Remember the post a few weeks ago on the practice of writing Love Letters? Well, Thich Nhat Hanh ("Thay") has written one to the community. Click here to read the complete text of this Love Letter on the subject of the situation in Burma and what we can do to protect the environment.