This quote written in 1667 by Isaac Penington, an early member of the Society of Friends, calls us into right action. Just as the Dali Lama expresses his skepticism about the limits of prayer and encourages us into action, so does this stunning set of spiritual intentions.
What if spiritual practice really is about re-training our brains so our behavior can change, opening our hearts to one another so the inherent unity between all living things can be strengthened? If ever there were a time for practice, the moment seems to be now, my friends. The world needs our practice. We need each other’s practice, as we need our own.
I invite you into one of these intentions—which speaks most deeply to your heart? Walk through its doorway. Make it real—do something different. Make this centuries’ old Quaker dictate alive today, as July, 2016, opens her arms to us.
- Is there one thing you can do this week to embody tenderness?
Tenderness toward yourself? Tenderness toward another?
- Is there one person you can talk to this week with heart and truth?
What would that look like?
- What is a peace-filled gift you can give yourself? Do it! Do it today.
- Who might you pray for? What would that look like? What would that sound like?
- Who can you help up with a tender hand?
Offer that gift to the other, to yourself, and to the world.
Give yourself full permission to choose practice. May this week of independence free us from the habitual responses we hold toward life and bless us with the freedom of choice.