A friend and I used to do road rallies for Father's Day. We really enjoyed it, and those were the days when gas was cheap and the children were little, and we were less environmentally aware, so we have decided that the times of today demand a walking rally/scavenger hunt, and we will do it as the birthday party for a friend.
I was down by the marsh today, getting ideas and planning the route. It really is the way to view the world, because I noticed every smell, every plant, every bird. Well, probably not every one but I was very aware and what a day it is to be aware. Wow!!
This is from Ram Dass;
There are many levels of the heart. And the human heart will break because it empathizes. The deeper heart... that heart is the one that looks at the universe, just as it is, in a non reactive way and says, "Ah so," "Yes". And it includes your human heart which is breaking, but your identity isn't only with your human heart. Your identity is with a deeper, intuitive heart wisdom which is different. You don't deny the pain, but you don't get reactive to it.
The hardest state to be in is one in which you keep your heart open to the suffering that exists around you, and simultaneously keep your discriminative wisdom.... Once you understand that true compassion is the blending of the open heart and quiet mind, it is still difficult to find the balance. Most often we start out doing these things sequentially. We open our hearts and get lost in the melodramas, then we meditate and regain our quiet center by pulling back in from so much openness. Then we once again open and get sucked back into the dance.
So it goes cycle after cycle. It takes a good while to get the balance.... You have to stay right on the edge of that balance. It seems impossible, but you can do it. At first, when you achieve this balance, it is self-consciously maintained. Ultimately, however, you merely become the statement of the amalgam of the open heart and the quiet mind. Then there is no more struggle; it's just the way you are."
Ram Dass - see "How Can I Help" by Paul Gorman and Ram Dass for many more inspirations - also RD's recent book "Still Here!" reflections on aging with wisdom, patience and compassion---which he completed after a serious stroke that left him impaired in a number of ways. See film Fierce Grace.