For this post I am again going to take from some of the religious traditions that were shared on Oprah’s Belief series and then share some of my own ideas of how you could incorporate the ideas into your world. Enjoy.
Zen Buddhist Lotus Flower: In one part of the series you were able to catch a glimpse into the life and traditions of Zen Monks. They shared a special lantern celebration. I did a little bit of my own research and found The Lotus Lantern Festival that celebrates Buddha’s birthday. It is traditionally called the Yeondeunghoe (Lotus Lantern Festival) and was originally more of a religious and national event, not like a festival. Here is a link to give you an idea of what it is like. It looks amazing–lanterns take the form of fruits, animals…it looks beautiful. People can even make their own lanterns.
In Buddhism the lotus is a symbol of the true nature of beings, which remains unstained by the mud of the world and is realized through enlightenment. Traditionally the lotus (“padma’’) is a very important symbol in India and for Buddhism. The lotus has been ascribed with special meaning since the time of ancient Indian mythology.
The lotus flower grows in muddy water and rises above the surface to bloom with remarkable beauty. The flower closes and sinks underwater at night, to rise and open again at dawn. Untouched by impurity, the lotus symbolizes the purity of heart and mind.*taken from buddhachannel.tv
My idea: Create your own lotus lanterns with your family & then hang them somewhere special–above the dinner table, outside in a tree, etc. Here is a Youtube with an idea of how to make them This may be a great idea for a New Year celebration. You could create lanterns & even write something on them–hopes for the new year, gratitude for things from this previous year, dreams, desires, etc.
Bringing people together through music: In the series it explained how Israel is a place torn apart by religious separation, but luckily a music group was bringing together young people from different religions and having them work together to create something beautiful–music. Music has a power all its own–it heals, it transcends, it liberates, it inspires, it brings people together. It is a heavenly gift that swells hearts here on earth.
My idea: Step out of your usual music comfort, listen to something completely new, maybe even foreign and see how you feel. Music can have positive and negative effects, so make sure you select genres that lift and inspire the soul. Also, step out of your music comfort by attending a local concert and experience the symphonic melodies first hand. Try it out and see how you feel.
Trust yourself: This part of the series I can honestly say, I was yelling at the television. I could not believe this guy would free climb (no ropes or anything) to such incredible heights. It was somewhat terrifying. You would definitely have to have tremendous faith in your personal belief in what you could do. One slip–you would be gone.
My idea: Do something that you have never tried or something that scares you. When you are able to accomplish a personal hurdle, you definitely feel you have reached a higher point for yourself. When you continue to trust your instincts, feelings, gut, desires, etc. you will be in a better personal place.
Pray: Prayer was a huge message throughout the series. Whether it was the woman with cancer and was surrounded in a prayer circle to people praying in a sacred place, prayer beads to traditional dances that went on for days…prayer was shared in every culture and religion. It was a beautiful sentiment. Prayer I believe holds a very strong gift, whether you pray alone or in a group, there are answers to what you need.
My idea: Give thanks in all you do. Hold a prayer in your heart. If you have a big decision or struggle you are facing, do not be afraid to ask others to help pray for you and your situation. Have faith and know you are not alone. I just read a great story this morning that shares some great examples of prayers being heard. Check it out—http://www.faithit.com/the-refs-said-if-he-points-at-god-again-hes-done-thats-when-his-sister-slipped-him-a-note/
Well, I hope these ideas help you to have a beautiful day. Peace to you. -H