The Principles and Skills of Loving
At the core of my practice for the last 19 years has been the Principles and Skills of Loving. Shalom Mountain's founder, Jerry Jud, came up with them (or they came through him) about four decades ago, and they still hang on the wall of the Shalom Room to this day.
While they don't constitute a comprehensive catalog of spiritual practices, they do point to a whole world of practice.
So, here's my invitation for this day -- pick a single one of the Skills. Focus on it throughout your day today.
And then notice what you notice.
Here they are, for those who don't want to follow the hyperlink I provided above:
- More than anything else, we want to love and be loved.
- Love is a gift.
- Love is not time bound.
- Love is good will in action.
- Love is a response to need.
- Seeing: I do not look over or through you, I see you in your uniqueness.
- Hearing: I listen to what you are saying.
- Honoring of Feelings and Ideas: I recognize your right to think and feel as you do.
- Having Good Will: I will you good and not evil. I care about you.
- Responding to Need: If you let me know what your needs are, within the limits of my value system, I will not run away. I will be there for you.