Svaha Spirit Series ~ Charter for Compassion

Happy Earth Day Everyone!

“Compassion is a virtue — one in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy (for the suffering of others) are regarded as a part of love itself, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanism — foundational to the highest principles in philosophy, society, and personhood”. ~ (Wikipedia)

Treating all others as you wish to be treated yourself. Simple really isn’t it, The Golden Rule.

“Charter for Compassion is a document that transcends religion, idealogical, and national differences. Supported by leading thinkers from many traditions, the Charter activates the Golden Rule around the world.” ~

Adrian Grenier The 1st Assignment ~ “There isn’t ANYONE you couldn’t learn to LOVE once you’ve heard his or her story.”

The Charter of Compassion ~ 

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Svaha Spirit Sunday ~ Change For A Dollar

Is he asking for Change, or is he asking for CHANGE?
Follow a man as he affects multiple peoples’ lives with just one dollar, proving that it doesn’t take much to be the change in someone’s life.

Written and directed by Sharon Wright
www.imdb.me/sharonwright
www.shesalwayswright.com

Winner – Best Short Film – Maryville Film Festival
Winner – Audience Choice Award – Gateway Film Festival
Winner – Audience Choice Award – Moonlight Film Festival
Nominated – Best Female Filmmaker Award – Action On Film Intl Film Festival
Nominated – Sirrocco Award – Action On Film Intl Film Festival
Nominated – Best Silent Film – BareBones Intl Film Festival

I loved this little film.  It warmed my heart and made me think about how important compassion and empathy are.  I hope you will enjoy it too! Happy Sunday everyone. Svaha!

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Parenting ~

Parenting is an ongoing struggle. Being a single parent is a challenge most of us wouldn’t want to face! The stereotypical single Mom is one who just gets by, has two kids, rents an apartment and gets some sort of social assistance. It’s the hardest job on the planet in my eyes. Holding it all together, while teaching your kids about life and love. There’s a reason why no one tells you the truth about how incredibly hard it is to be a parent. But it’s not because they want you to experience the same difficulties as they have, it’s because at the end of the day, it’s still worth it…no matter what you have to go through! Human beings are miracles created on earth, it’s a gift to become a parent. And to have a family is a blessing!

Not many women choose to be a single Mom, but it happens! Moms who do find themselves raising their children on their own need to remember that although they can’t give their child their entire wish list, they can give love and children would trade everything for love!

Single Dads have the same challenges, but they aren’t programmed like women are for being the care-giver, which in my opinion is even more difficult. Single Dads definitely have their work cut out for them.

Family today is anything but traditional, in most cases. What we need to remember is that our children are blank canvases, it is up to us to teach them by example. Be who you want them to respect and love. Show them acceptance and love of others. Let them see your compassion and empathy for other human beings. Teach them to give more than they take. Have the integrity they will strive for as they live and learn. Show your kids that anything is possible when the truth and honesty is present. Allow them to make mistakes and teach them that its what we do after we pick ourselves back up that matter, not what knocked us down. And most of all let them see you being true to yourself!

What I think is the most important element of family is love. When you have love you have it all. As long as your child feels loved, they will learn to give love. Kids naturally live authentically, and we as parents can learn a lot from these incredible little human beings. As parents it’s our responsibility to live truthfully and show them that whatever comes their way they have love and support from both their parents regardless of the structure of their family unit.

I can’t imagine my life without my kids, still to this day they’re the best thing I’ve ever done. You may not always be married to your husband or wife forever but your kids will always be your kids and you will always be their Mom or Dad. Being a parent, is forever and a blessing. Be the parent you want your kids to be!

I think what ever you choose, marriage, kids, or not, it’s YOUR choice to make. That’s the greatest part of life…choice!

We make choices every single day that are based on our thoughts, ‘thoughts become things…choose the good ones’ (Notes from the Universe).

Svaha ~

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Zack the Little Black Dog~ 1994-2010

Zack as a puppyOver 16 years ago I called Scott at work because I saw an ad in the newspaper that said Border Collie Lab X puppy. I felt like a child asking “can we get one, can we get one!”  Scott couldn’t resist because deep inside he really wanted a puppy too. We drove out to a farm 40 minutes from our house in the dark. The puppy was the last one left, on sale for only $75.00! What a deal! He had been sent to sleep with the cows! He even smelled like a cow. His Mom was a working Border Collie on the farm, his Dad was the Chocolate Lab from next door! I loved him already! When the owner put him up on the deep freeze for us to see, he wouldn’t even look at us. I don’t know how many times he had been through this process but I am glad he was left for us, it was meant to be. The best 75 bucks I’ve ever spent!

I fell in love as soon as our eyes met. He was mine. When we got him home he hid under the kitchen table. His Border Collie instinct kicked in as soon as we went for our first walk, trying all the way to heard us as he trotted sideways.

My  Mom is getting married...Zack spent every waking moment with us. He was the smartest, fastest, most well mannered dog I have ever met. He knew he was loved and trusted us with his life. He protected us and we took care of him. The perfect union! If he stepped on a prickle he would simply look at me and lifted his paw, we understood each other. He saved my son Jesse and I from a Black Bear when Jess was only 16 months old. Zack jumped right over top of us to the Bear we never saw coming, and chased it into the bush so we could run away. He was courageous! When I went into the grocery store he waited patiently outside, never tied up, and sat where he could see if I came out the other door. I could give him hand commands from inside through the window and he would lie down when I asked him to.

Jordan always shared her pink "B"Zack was our best friend for over 16 1/2 years which is why I write this with overwhelming sadness. With compassion and love we made the decision to put his body to rest so his spirit could be set free. We will love and miss him forever! His spirit was kind and fit into our family perfectly!

It will never be possible to replace Zack and some friends said it might be a good idea to get another breed to avoid comparing to Zack, but a Border Collie Lab X is the best breed in my eyes so when I saw an ad in the local paper I knew I had to love another. Lulu, a female this time got to meet Zack which I am grateful for.

After we got home from the Vet I spent a few moments alone behind closed doors thinking of the last 16 years of love Zack brought me. I looked out the window to a grey sky and just as I said goodbye for the last time to my old friend the sun broke through the clouds and shone brilliantly into my tear filled eyes. At that moment I knew Zack was letting me know he made it to where he needed to be.

If you cross my path in the next little while please don’t mention Zack, it will take awhile before I can talk about him without tears. If I don’t look quite myself, you will understand why. Thanks everyone for letting me share my little black dog tribute with you! Deep Breath!

Thank you to the wonderful Ladies at Paws and Claws for their support and love that made this difficult time a little easier. Your compassion and thoughtfulness was so appreciated by all of us. xo

Tracy signiture

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Charter for Compassion

Bonnie Johnson's PostI hinted on our last Sunday team post that “compassion” has been coming up a lot for me lately.  The reason is because about a week and a half ago I discovered Karen Armstrong on TED.com.

Karen ArmstrongKaren Armstrong is a British author of numerous works on comparative religion, who first rose to prominence with her highly successful A History of God.  A former Catholic nun, she asserts that “All the great traditions are saying the same thing in much the same way, despite their surface differences.”  They each have in common, she says, an emphasis upon the overriding importance of compassion, as expressed by way of the Golden Rule:  Do not do to others what you would not have done to you.

On February 28, 2008 Karen Armstrong won the TED Prize and made a wish:  “I wish that you would help with the creation, launch and propagation of a charter for compassion, crafted by a group of inspirational thinkers from the three Abrahamic traditions of Christianity, Judeaism and Islam based on the fundamental principle of the Golden Rule”.   Since that day, thousands of people have contributed to the process.

Some local to us here in BC, may remember that on September 27, 2009 Karen participated in a session on compassion in action at the Vancouver Peace Summit with the Dalai Lama and many Nobel Laureates.

And finally on November 12, 2009 the Charter for Compassion was launched.  A call to bring the world together…

The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism, or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others—even our enemies—is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings—even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensable to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.

Wow.  And there you have it.  The charter is precisely and perfectly stated.  Compassion really is the common thread that runs through all of humanity and every religious, ethical and spiritual tradition.  Now it’s up to each of us to affirm the charter.  I have already affirmed it myself on the website below.  Charter for CompassionVisit charterforcompassion.org to affirm the charter for yourself if you believe in these words.  If we could all just believe in and act with this one common thread – compassion…

I’m holding on to another common thread – hope.

“A spiritual moment is when the boundaries of your ego dissolve. You feel interconnected to everything around you… You feel you are in the complete presence of love.”  -Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

“Compassion, this is the word of which everyone has to remind themselves. Throughout the centuries, humans were one of the most cruel, harsh animals on the Earth. There was time when they spilled blood without a reason. There was a time when a small gunfire drove many countries to the war. There was time when millions of innocent souls died by a single press of button. We overcame every single problems that we faced. But we are having greater conflict ahead. Now, it is time to make some changes with care, kindness and motivation. Compassion, this is what we need.”  – Ho June Chun, Agnostic/Athiest, Afghanistan

“This compassionate feeling is what drives us to act and it is in acting that we are free. We may not be able to measure the results of our individual action but as a group we shall surely be able to help humanity and in helping humanity we are also helping ourselves and providing for a sustainable future.”  -Chandrabhan Sharma, Hindu, Trinidad and Tobago

“As technology brings us closer to one another it becomes more obvious that compassion as a catalyst for exercising love is the single most important characteristic to be nurtured by any society. It is the trait of harmonious coexistence, preventing and stopping war and bloodshed, helping the poor and broken, mending dispute and also spiritual insight. It is the responsibility of all in society who work with shaping people to promote and strengthen compassion and love in one another, to encourage greater understanding and tolerance and to praise helpful and unselfish acts of love.”  -Carsten Nørgaard, Christian, Denmark


Bonnie

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Image is Everything ~ Arya Tara

There are literally thousands of representations of the Goddess Arya Tara to be found on the internet, in print form and as statues.  She is the oldest Goddess still worshiped extensively in modern times and can be found in pretty much every cultural back story on the planet.  Of all the images of Tara out there, which ones are bringing meaning to your life right now, and why?

post-insert-jacquie3Jacquie~

You know those gorgeous postcards art galleries send out when a new exhibit is going to take place? Well, I have a number of them displayed on my desk at any given time and piles of them in my ‘inspiration’ files in my studio.  I collect them whenever I visit a gallery and want to take home a piece of the artist’s workArya Tara but can’t afford an actual painting.  Just looking at these treasures brings me joy and reminds me of all the beauty being created in the world.  On, or is that ‘in’, my computer, I also have a file of images of the Goddess Arya Tara that I like to wander through whenever I need a spiritual fix.  I’m a very visual person and seeing the Goddess in her many colourful depictions makes it easier for me to feel her warmth and her message.

I was thinking last week that we needed to display our own modern version of Tara more prominently on Tara Cronica and that’s what prompted me to ask Tracy and Bonnie about the images of Tara that inspire them right now, and why.

Arya Tara Image

This image of the White Tara has been jumping out at me each time I enter my Tara file and so I wanted to figure out why.  I love the colour choices, but I knew there must be a reason why I’ve been especially drawn to it, besides that fact that it reminds me so much of our own design by Akiko Michael.  I’m curious as to why her leg isn’t outstretched like a typical Tara, ready to jump up and offer help at a moment’s notice, or set to travel upon the road to enlightenment.  Does that mean I’m not ready?  Am I analyzing this waaaay too much?

I was a bit shocked when I read that White Tara doesn’t work (I may be at home but I think I do work)!  She “doesn’t step off her lotus like Green Tara does, but just by ‘being’ she shows her compassion and good things come from that”.   She is also known for helping her followers overcome obstacles.  So, maybe being at home playing on the computer is my way of showing how much I love interacting with people?  Maybe a touch of what I write hits home and allows others to feel more connected, even if I’m just talking about shoes.  We all go through those times when you question everything you’re doing and if it’s making any sense, and so I’m going to look at White Tara as a sign that I AM doing something right and stop doubting myself!  Anyway, that’s what’s been on my mind.   Love you all!  Thanks, Tara!

Bonnie Johnson's PostBonnie~

Jacquie has asked us to find one of our favourite images of any of the colourful Taras and tell what inspires us most about the Goddess right now and why.

I thought it would be difficult to choose but I was immediately drawn to this picture of Green Tara.

shakti_grtara-compassionhealingprotGreen Tara represents compassion.  Compassion has been coming up a lot for me lately so this beautiful aspect of Arya Tara is an easy choice for me at this time.

When the Buddha was asked “Would it be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is a part of our practice?”  The Buddha replied, “No.   It would not be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is part of our practice.  It would be true to say that the cultivation of loving kindness and compassion is all of our practice.”

One of my favourite quotes is by the Dalai Lama when has said,  “If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.   If you want to be happy, practice compassion.”  I love that!

I also love that in this depiction of Green Tara she emanates light.  She is, after all, the archetype of Inner Wisdom and the Goddess of Spiritual Travel along the road to Enlightenment.  No wonder she glows!

Om Tare Tuttare Ture Svaha!

TracyTracy’s Tara~

My favorite Arya Tara picture is the one we had drawn by the artist Akiko Michael.  We gave Akiko a few web links to pictures of Arya Tara and asked her to come up with a simplified drawing of Tara that would be unique to our site.  The simple clean line reflect what I love about our Tara.

Arya Tara Line Drawing by Akiko Michaels

I love that she is seated among a bed of flowers.  Tara inspires me to live my life authentically and be true to myself.  Arya Tara crossed my path at a pivotal time in my life.  She was also a “Critical Choice” in my life.  What I love most about her is that she is the “Goddess of Spiritual Travel along the  road to enlightenment.”  Tara is an archetype of our own inner wisdom. She guides and protects us as we navigate the depths of our unconscious minds, helping us to transform consciousness, our own personal journeys of freedom.
It is the goddess Tara who helps us to remain “centered”. The myths of the Goddess Tara remind us of our “oneness” with all of creation and the importance of nurturing the spirit within.

Tara is completely pure and joyful in her endless giving, generosity, patience, and wisdom. She is not jealous of other deities!  Jealousy is a sign of insecurity, not a sign of love!

I have grown and and unfolded in many ways since meeting her for the first time.  Tara was our choice for representing us here at Tara Cronica for so many reasons, if you visit Goddess Tara’s bio page you will see all the reasons we chose her to represent us, as our Goddess.

I just came across another gorgeous Tara that I couldn’t resist sharing with you!  There are so many beautiful pictures of Tara it’s hard to pick just one!  Enjoy !

White Tara Purple Light

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Two Wolves

Happy Birthday Jacquie !

Happy Birthday Jacquie! We wish you a day filled with laughter and love with family and friends.  Well finally we three are all on even ground !!  Your such a beautiful woman inside and out who is filled with creative soul.  We celebrate you today being a unique, strong, artistic, confident women who is capable of surpassing any goal that is set before you.  You shine a light in areas of life we might not have ventured not having met you!  We love you BFF!  Happy Birthday Beautiful ! Tracy & Bonnie Muah Muah !!
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Two Wolves.

One evening an old Cherokee Chief told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority,and ego.

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

Wolves 2

Tracy

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