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Let Us Go Forth Together, In Peace April 2, 2023

Posted by ajoyfulpractice in Abhyasa, Art, Books, Changing Perspectives, Depression, Faith, Healing Stories, Hope, Lent, Life, Loss, Love, Music, One Hoop, Pain, Peace, Philosophy, Ramadan, Religion, Suffering, Tragedy, Vairagya, Wisdom, Writing, Yoga.
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Blessings to anyone observing Palm Sunday or Great Lent! “Ramadān Mubarak, Blessed Ramadān!” to anyone who is observing the holy month of Ramadān. Many blessings to all during this “Season for Non-violence” and all other seasons!

“And if a book ever comes from another shelf,

because someone or something drove it away,

make room.

It fits next to you.”

– quoted from the 2023 International Children’s Book Day message “I am a book, read me.” by Vagelis Iliopoulos (translated from Greek by the author)

“Here we see the abyss of our evil immersed in a greater love, with the result that our isolation becomes fellowship.

Brothers and sisters, a love like this, embracing us totally and to the very end, a love of Jesus like this, has the capacity to turn our stony hearts into hearts of flesh, and make them capable of mercy, tenderness and compassion. It is the style of God, this closeness, with passion and tenderness. God is like this.”

– quoted from the 2023 Palm Sunday homily by Pope Francis

How are you feeling today?

How ever you are feeling, these messages are for you:

I hope that, where ever you are (and where ever you roam), you do not feel alone – even if you are by yourself. I hope that you are either physically surrounded by people who respect you, love you, and treat you well – or that you feel the respect, love, and kindness of people who may not be with you physically.

I hope all of that, for everyone; and yet I know that there are people today – way too many people today – who are not feeling that. I know there are people feeling alone, lonely, maybe even abandoned and cast aside. I know some of those people may even be people I know and love and whom I would like to feel my respect and lovingkindness. I also know that, for some, the feeling is just a momentary bleep on the radar – part of being human – and there is no real crisis or danger.

For others, however, the crisis and the danger is a disaster waiting to happen (or already happening) It is something we should all note – and consider what we can do to alleviate the suffering or, at least, to not make it worse.

I know all of this. So, I should not have been surprised that Vagelis Iliopoulos’s International Children’s Book Day message and Pope Francis’s Palm Sunday homily are so closely aligned and so tied to that sensation of abandonment. Because both know it is a human feeling that can absolutely break us. They both also know that even though our individual circumstances may be different, we are all in this life together.

“Brothers and sisters, today let us implore this grace: to love Jesus in his abandonment and to love Jesus in the abandoned all around us, in the abandoned all around us. Let us ask for the grace to see and acknowledge the Lord who continues to cry out in them. May we not allow his voice to go unheard amid the deafening silence of indifference. God has not left us alone; let us care, then, for those who feel alone and abandoned. Then, and only then, will we be of one mind and heart with the one who, for our sake, ‘emptied himself’ (Phil 2:7). Totally emptied for us.”

– quoted from the 2023 Palm Sunday homily by Pope Francis

In addition to being Palm Sunday in Roman Catholic and Western Christian traditions, today is International Children’s Book Day, an annual celebration of children, books, authors, and illustrators that coincides with the anniversary of the birth of Hans Christian Andersen’s (born today in 1805). Many children learn lessons about abandonment, loneliness, and togetherness from fairytales, books and poems by Christian Anderson and other authors, just as they/we learn those same lessons from the Bible (Old and New Testaments).

Those same texts also teach us how to let go, release, our fears and insecurities and to embrace peace… and each other.

Click here to read my 2019 blog post about International Children’s Book Day. You can find Vagelis Iliopoulos’s full message (and accompanying artwork by illustrator Photini Stephanidi) here, on the International Board on Books for Young People website.

Click here to read my 2019 blog post about Palm Sunday. You can find Pope Francis’s full homily here, on the Catholic News Agency website.

“I am a book.

You are a book.

We are all books.

My soul is the story I tell.

Every book tells its own story.”

– quoted from the 2023 International Children’s Book Day message “I am a book, read me.” by Vagelis Iliopoulos (translated from Greek by the author)

Please join me for a 65-minute virtual yoga practice on Zoom today (Sunday, April 2nd) at 2:30 PM. Use the link from the “Class Schedules” calendar if you run into any problems checking into the class. You can request an audio recording of this practice via a comment below or by emailing myra (at) ajoyfulpractice.com.

Sunday’s playlist is available on YouTube and Spotify. [Look for “Palm Sunday: Peace & Passion”]

In the spirit of generosity (“dana”), the Zoom classes, recordings, and blog posts are freely given and freely received. If you are able to support these teachings, please do so as your heart moves you. (NOTE: You can donate even if you are “attending” a practice that is not designated as a “Common Ground Meditation Center” practice, or you can purchase class(es). Donations are tax deductible; class purchases are not necessarily deductible.)

If you are thinking about suicide, worried about a friend or loved one, or would like emotional support, you can dial 988 (in the US) or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255). You can also call the TALK line if you are struggling with addiction or involved in an abusive relationship. The Lifeline network is free, confidential, and available to all 24/7. YOU CAN TALK ABOUT ANYTHING. 

If you are a young person in crisis, feeling suicidal, or in need of a safe and judgement-free place to talk, you can also click here to contact the TrevorLifeline (which is staffed 24/7 with trained counselors).



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