Friday, February 5, 2016

For Reflection:
Before moving on to Mission #6, take a moment to reflect on yesterday's mission. How did it feel to have such a mindful, intimate experience with your meal? Have you ever thought about food being such an expression of values, or even a spiritual experience? How might you bring more mindfulness into your experience of eating everyday? If you haven't done so, post your reflections and experiences on theCompassion Report Map to amplify your compassionate action!

NO!  I realized the meaning of taking things that are important for granted.  I will decrease my intake of meats because I want to at least do something to help the planet.  I will be thankful in my mind as I chew to all the people who helped bring that morsel to my mouth.

“The longest journey you will make in your life is from your head to your heart." 
The Teaching of a Sioux Legend

Today’s sixth mission, Agents, is to heed the call of our hearts by opening its secrets to someone we love.
Too often, our experiences in life lead us to believe that having an open heart is a form of weakness, a way for others to hurt us. In response, we learn to build great barriers around our hearts so that we can protect ourselves from pain. Sadly as a result, the way to our heart becomes overgrown with thorns, brambles, and the path is nearly forgotten.

Yet the heart needs no map, for it always calls to us to return to it. We know - from decades of research and thousands of years of teachings from wisdom traditions - that an open and loving heart is central to our happiness and well-being. When we express the deepest parts of ourselves to others who care for us, not only are we more joyful as a result, but those we care for are happier, as well.
It takes courage to open one’s heart, but to live an authentic life, one must be willing to take those risks to transcend our fears and find peace within ourselves. By doing so, we inspire others to share themselves as well, and together with open hearts, we can find our way to a more peaceful and loving world.
Today’s mission, Agents, is to share something that is close to your heart with someone you care about. It may be opening up about something you need help with but were too afraid to ask. It could be sharing how you feel for this person, or how much you care about them. Identify within yourself a meaningful way to open your heart to another, and see what effect it has on yourself and on them.
As you fulfill your mission, share your experiences on the Compassion Report Map to amplify its power! Check out all of the inspiring reports posted on the map so far!

Going Deeper:

Want to take this Mission a bit further? Dr. James Doty, Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery at Stanford University and champion of compassion, developed an mnemonic alphabet of the heart to deepen the practice of opening the heart every day. Read the alphabet of the heart here, and use it to guide and support your journey in opening your heart to another for today’s mission.

Inspiration for Mission #6:

Inspiration for this mission comes from the teachings and lifelong commitment of His Holiness the 16th Dalai Lama, who says, “My religion is simple. My religion is kindness.”

Additional Resources:

Review Past Missions!

Missed any of the previous missions or want to review them? View them here!
For Reflection:
Before moving on to Mission #5, take a moment to reflect on yesterday's mission. Mission #4 went from the universal of the Golden Rule to the deeply personal. How did it feel to identify the acts of kindness you find extra meaningful when you are the recipient? Was it difficult? Why do you think this is? Was it challenging to treat others in this special way? Was it rewarding? If you haven't done so, post your reflections and experiences on the Compassion Report Map to amplify your compassionate action!

Peaceful, Happy, valued, balanced , " I matter" " I am not invisible anymore" are the first thoughts that came to mind.

One person thought enough of me that she wanted to nominate me for an award.  I declined the honor, but, it felt so nice to realize that whatever I am doing to be a better person and to empower teens ,children, and adults to activate kindness, respect for diversity, and unconditional collaboration, is appreciated.  
It is not difficult, but I guess we are too busy to be intentional doing acts of kindness and compassion.  I do not know why, it is so simple and rewarding.  As Mrs. Amstrong says, we have to practice ACTIVATING KINDNESS DAILY!, just like a ballerina.

“Three times a day we get to express our values through food.” 
- Michael Pollan, Author, Journalist, & Food Activist

Our fifth mission, Agents, is to become radically attuned to the life-giving experience of eating, by one’s self or with others.
Watch this clip of our friends Michael Pollan and Oprah Winfrey explain the premise of our fifth mission!

Eating is a direct, daily reminder and connection to all of the unseen and interrelated forces that we depend upon to live. This is an incredibly profound experience that human beings share universally around the world. Yet, often it is difficult in fast-paced modern societies to slow down enough to be mindful of how meaningful and important of an experience eating actually is!

To counteract this problem, we’ve developed a Compassion Games “Power-Up” to help us more fully connect with our food, one another, and our Mother Earth. This Power-Up is called “Yum the Meal!”
There are only four guiding actions of play… share this experience alone or with friends.
Yum the Meal!

Guiding Action #1: Ground yourself fully in the moment by taking 3 slow, deep breaths. Let go of whatever has been on your mind, and tune into the sensations of your living body, of your windy breath and the feeling of existing as a physical being in this very moment.

Guiding Action #2: Think of as many ways to thank the food you are eating as possible. Pour gratitude into everything about your food. For instance, you can give thanks to each animal, and each plant that you are about to eat. You can give thanks to the trace minerals in the food that our bodies need to survive every day, and even the particles of energy within the food that will soon become our very bodies. You can give thanks to the farmers who grew the food, to the soil which provided the nutrients within it, and to the Earth for providing the precious conditions for life to exist!

Guiding Action #3: Enjoy the first three bites of your meal as much as you possibly can. Savor every nuance of flavor, every micro-landscape of texture, and how everything about your food coalesces into the river of a life-giving experience.

Guiding Action #4: With every bite, give thanks to your beautiful body for sustaining your life. Day after day, year after year, our bodies work so that we can live, so that we can live our one wild, wonderful, and mysterious life.
As you fulfill your mission, share your experiences on the Compassion Report Map to amplify its power! Check out all of the inspiring reports posted on the map so far!

Going Deeper:

Going deeper in our experience with food is recognizing that everyone has a relationship with food, and recognizing that for some, food poverty is a reality. Many of us are privileged to have healthy and abundant food in our lives, but for many this is not the case. One of the featured Ways to Play during Harmony Week is the Souper Bowl Food Drive as a way to support our brothers and sisters who are hungry and in need of food. A little compassion and thoughtfulness can go a long way if we all come together to donate food to our local food pantries to give them some support. Participate in the Souper Bowl by organizing your community to share the abundance of food so there is less hunger and suffering in the world.

Additional Resources:

Review Past Missions!

Missed any of the previous missions or want to review them? View them here!


For Reflection:
Before moving on to Mission #4, take a moment to reflect on yesterday's mission. Each of our voices are powerful, and our voices together can be magical and unstoppable. Combining our voices can also be challenging, even in private. What was it like to add your voice to a piece of music from another culture? Were you able to express yourselves with the music the way you wanted to? How might you fully express your voice in other areas of life to speak your personal truth more powerfully? If you haven't done so, post your reflections and experiences on the Compassion Report Map to amplify your compassionate action!

I react to music and movement, both are nurturing connectors to our mother and the world outside while we are in the womb.  Dios te salve Maria, el senor es contigo. Bendita tu eres, entre todas las mujeres y bendito es el fruto de tu vientre Jesus! Prayer is music and movement of every organ in our body.  I love the positive passion of a song of love.  I connect to it because no matter from which perspective is given, is what builds relationships on subjects that matter and are lasting!  If it touches my heart, it touches who i am, what I value and if other people do not like is irrelevant now.  It did not use to be that way for me, especially when I was younger and very insecure of my identity and my values.  I still question everything, but somewhat I fell more balanced
Our fourth mission, Agents, is to identify one way you really like to be treated, and then today seek out an opportunity to treat someone else that way.
Visionary of the Charter for Compassion Karen Armstrong introduces us to the idea of the Golden Rule on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday!
Virtually every spiritual tradition recognizes the Golden Rule as the most important practice to live one’s life by. Within the spiraling array of traditions that circumnavigate the globe, the Golden Rule is truly a universal teaching!

Let us take a moment to explore the ways we really like to be treated. Although the Golden Rule is universal, we each can receive a type of kindness that is extra meaningful to us. It might be the 
quality of the time someone spends with us. It could be physical touch, such as a hug or a hand on a shoulder in a show of support. Maybe it is hearing affirming words of kindness, someone doing something kind for you, or even someone giving you a thoughtful gift.
Agents, identify what actions are especially meaningful to you, and then treat someone else that way today!
As you fulfill your mission, share your experiences on the Compassion Report Map to amplify its power! Check out all of the inspiring reports posted on the map so far!

Going Deeper:

Want to go a bit deeper in exploring the Golden Rule from the diversity of spiritual expressions? Our partner Spiritual Playdates has created an interactive Golden Wheel to learn about the Golden Rule! It’s really fun, and provides beautiful insight on how the Golden Rule is expressed both uniquely and universally in the world’s traditions. Check it out here!

Inspiration for Mission #4:

This mission is inspired by our friend Karen Armstrong, world renowned religious scholar and visionary of the Charter of Compassion. In 2008, Karen was awarded the TEDx Prize where she was granted one wish: to launch our partners, The Charter for Compassion, a global campaign to activate compassion at the center of our lives and social institutions through collaborative partnerships worldwide.

Additional Resources:

Review Past Missions!

Missed any of the previous missions or want to review them? View them here!