Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Shining Your Own Light

Today is Tuesday, November 26, 2013.

The Pāli Canon is a collection of scriptures in the Theravada Buddhist tradition written in the Pali language.  It is the most complete early Buddhist canon.  It was composed in North India and preserved in oral form until it could be written down during the Fourth Buddhist Council in Sri Lanka in 29 B.C.E. It is composed of three parts.  One part is rules for Buddhist monks and nuns, one is discourses attributed to Buddha or to one of his disciples, and one is general philosophy, psychology and metaphysics.  The discourses are thought to be the direct teachings of the Buddha.

According to the Pāli Canon, as Gautama Buddha lay dying, one of his young disciples, Anan, began to weep.  Buddha asked him why he was cryng, and Anan answered, "Because the light of the world is about to be extinguished, and we will be in darkness." 

Buddha's answer to his disciple were the last words he ever spoke:  "Anan, Anan, be a light unto yourself!" 

All true spiritual teachers have encouraged their followers to shine their own light in the darkness, even though most of us would be happy just to bask in the light of the spiritual greats.  It's much harder to face the darkness and shine your own light.   

How can we shine our own light in the darkness?  Here are some more quotes that give us a clue. 

“You cannot get sick enough to help sick people get better. You cannot get poor enough to help poor people thrive. It is only in your thriving that you have anything to offer anyone. If you’re wanting to be of an advantage to others, be as tapped in, turned in, turned on as you can possibly be.”

- Esther Abraham-Hicks, inspirational speaker & author.

“Only by its own roots does a tree stand tall and only by its own light does the sun shine brightly and bring life to our world. So it is with you – only when you’re trusting, loving and rooted in your true Self will the life that is your highest potential begin to manifest. Only when you are walking on the path of your highest potential will you ever be able to shine brightly and bring light to the darkness in others.”

- Jackson Kiddard, author & polymath (expert in a number of different areas)

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world. There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us, it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

- Marianne Williamson, best-selling author and speaker.

Our individual challenge is to find a way that we can shine our own personal light in the darkness.  When each of us shines his or her light, the darkness has no power over us.  :-)

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