PHOTO: AMALIA CHIMERA
“Relax and close your eyes. Open your awareness to the fellow beings who share with you this planet-time, in this town, in this country and in other lands. See their multitudes in your minds eye. Now let your awareness open wider yet, to encompass all beings who ever lived…. of all races and creeds and walks of life, rich, poor, kings and beggars, saints and sinners see the vast vistas of these fellow beings stretching into the distance, like successive mountain ranges.
“Now consider the fact that each of these innumerable lives some act of merit was performed. No matter how stunted or deprived the life, there was a gesture of generosity, a gift of love, an act of valor or self-sacrifice on the battlefield or workplace, hospital or home. These beings in their endless multitudes arose actions of courage, kindness, of teaching and healing. Let yourself see these manifold and immeasurable acts of merit…”
“Now imagine you can sweep together these acts of merit sweep them into a pile in front of you, use your hands, pile them up, pile them into a heap viewing it with gladness and gratitude. Now pat them into a ball. It is the Great Ball of Merit. Hold it now and weigh it in your hands, rejoice in it, knowing that no act of goodness is ever lost. It remains ever and always a present resource. Means for the transformation of life. So now, with jubilation and gratitude, you turn that great ball, turn it over,over into the healing of our world.
“As we can learn from contemporary science and visualize in the holographic model of reality, our lives interpenetrate. In the fluid tapestry of space-time, there is at root no distinction between self and other. The acts and intentions of others are like seeds that can germinate and bear fruit to our own lives, as we take them into awareness and dedicate, or ‘turn over,’ that awareness to our own empowerment.”
“Thoreau, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Dorothy Day, and countless nameless heroes and heroines of our own day, all can be part of our Ball of Merit, from which we can draw inspiration and endurance.”
~Joanna Macy from World as Lover, World as Self
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