Right Speech

 What is Right Speech?

Right speech is part of the eightfold path that are the guidelines for Buddhism.  Many other groups, self help gurus and religious organizations use a similar mantra for their groups.  

In the CoH and in the Sanctuary of Hecate Brimo we follow the Five Virtues:

■ Compassion – Sympathy and/or concern for others who are suffering or find themselves in an undesirable position.
■ Courage – Strength or character or fortitude to stand firm in your convictions and face adversity or distress without fear. 
■ Temperance – Moderation and self-control are both acts of Temperance.
■ Justice – Moral and physical rightness are both aspects of Justice, as is the sometimes contradictory act of behaving fairly towards other people.
■ Wisdom – To have the common sense, foresight and understanding to think or act in a manner most objectively and beneficially to any given situation.

For me, I align myself with these virtues. All of which can be found in the eightfold path.  The eightfold path is a guideline for ending suffering. We know this as it is part of the Four Noble Truths.  The Four Noble Truths guide to the the Eightfold Path and this is our path to enlightenment.

These are guidelines to help us use the right path to move towards the place where we can exist with our suffering but not allow it to take over our lives.

We can also see this same message in the Four Agreements - "Be Impeccable with words." falls directly in line with this mindset. 

Take some time today and sit with your speech. Review what you say.  
Is it true? Is it helpful? Is it kind? Is it necessary? 

So many times in social media before I began to practice this I felt the urge to battle on the internet. I'm sure if you search this blog you'll find dozens of "rants" where I'm yelling into the void my opinion and my words that are cutting, hateful and unhelpful. Each day I work to stop that behavior. I work to challenge myself with impeccable words, true words, helpful words and kind words. As part of my journey living with Hecate Brimo and following the path of the Buddha I still struggle from time to time and fall back into a negative space.  I don't dwell in that negativity when I stray off the path. I realign and start my journey again.

What does your path guide you? Do you have a similar teaching to the eightfold path? Do you have the four agreements? What do you do to right the ship when you stumble?
Take some time and ponder these questions. Now take the right action.

Rev. Renee Sosanna Olson
Keybearer to the Covenant of Hekate - Founder of the Sanctuary of Hecate Brimo


Full content of the five virtues from the COH Website:

– Sympathy and/or concern for others who are suffering or find themselves in an undesirable position. A person attempting to develop the virtue of Compassion within their daily life and practice would desire to aid in the alleviation of any undesirable situation or at the very least not be a contributing factor towards it.

Real Life Example – You could try to help the homeless or less fortunate be they of the two or four legged variety. Volunteering at local shelters or organizing food drives are great ways to learn and show compassion.

– Strength or character or fortitude to stand firm in your convictions and face adversity or distress without fear. A person attempting to develop the virtue of Courage within their daily life and practice may chose to stand firm against those who would chose to undermine their beliefs or convictions or to speak out against those who hurt and undermine others.

Real Life Example – Try standing up for someone you or your friendship group may deem unpopular. Also when someone shows remorse for a wrongdoing some people will continue to be angry and unforgiving. Instead state your position calmly (in itself an act of courage) and then allow the situation to pass.

– Moderation and self-control are both acts of Temperance. A person attempting to develop the virtue of Temperance within their daily life and practice may chose to restrict some part of their life be that thought or action in an attempt to find a balance rather than choosing to allow extremes.

Real Life Example – Try abstaining from certain types of food or drink or showing restraint in discussions online. An example would be to learn to hold one’s tongue and listen a bit more before jumping into an argument.

– Moral and physical rightness are both aspects of Justice, as is the sometimes contradictory act of behaving fairly towards other people. A person attempting to develop the virtue of Justice within their daily life would strive to act fairly, truthfully and with personal integrity when dealing with others and themselves.

Real Life Example – Try to treat others fairly, in action and tone be it online or in person. Try to not pass judgement on another based upon your own feelings for a person, your understanding of the situation or hearsay. There are often two (or more) sides to a story and the truth lies somewhere between. If the truth cannot be ascertained then try being impartial.

– To have the common sense, foresight and understanding to think or act in a manner most objectively and beneficially to any given situation. A person attempting to develop the virtue of Wisdom within their daily life would strive to apply their knowledge and experiences in a prudent and practical way.

Real Life Example – Try volunteering to share on a topic that you are knowledgeable on with a local group or center. Offer to do a guest blog post or write an article for an eZine on a particular subject.

Is the Power of Positive Thinking Real?

 Is the Power of Positive Thinking Real? Well, what if I said maybe?  When we think about things today we often reflect on how we feel about the world in general. Are we happy? Do we have what we want?

Usually the answer is, I could be better.  I find myself doing that as well.  All around me I'm in a fact driven environment. At work we proudly proclaim we make fact based decisions. It goes without saying that with my love of science the facts are something I strongly strive for. The lifestyle I follow is a fact based lifestyle that is proved by the scientific evidence to be the best diet for over all health, wellbeing and longevity. I am solid in the fact based mindset. 

So all that being said, I find myself in a spiritual place that can sometimes have little to no facts. I am a spiritual advisor, I provide intuitive readings for clients and fully believe in the force of spiritual healing through the sharing of energy from one person to the next. 

I started on a change a month or so ago on cleaning up my language. I just wanted to not swear so much. I started tracking on a little dry erase board. A week or so later I started reading about the Toltecs and of course the book, The Four Agreements.  I ended up with a deep dive by reading 5 other books on the topic and several investigations on the author. Some claims that the book wasn't "real". It led me to think about all the places in my life where I tell myself to chin up, or say it will get better. Knowing this is a subconscious way of attempting to manifest a positive outcome to the current situation. 

Immediately I remember my own thoughts, 10 years ago or so where when I saw all the "Light and Love" folks on Social Media, I was immediately skeptical.  We even called them "Fluffy Bunnies" or something like that. Is that me now? 

My only answer is, perhaps. Do I think the author is on the up and up?  Is this positive thinking thing, real?

Again, my answer is perhaps. I think about all parts of my life and how facts rule the day. Yet, I play my bowls and I feel the energy coming from them and moving through my body. When I pull my cards I see the energy from the cards and can feel it move out to others. When I swear, when I'm grumpy and negative, I feel grumpy and negative.  When I stop swearing, when I stop waiting for others to like me; I feel better. I feel happy. 

To me this is very similar to the mindfulness movement, where we stop worrying about the past or the future (impeccable words, don't make assumptions, don't take things personally) and be present here giving all your attention here (do your best). I have been a devotee of Hekate for quite a while as well as following the teaching of Thich Nhat Hanh so this is very familiar to the practices I already keep. 
With Hecate I try to follow the five virtues.  With my mindfulness I try to remember that we all have suffering and do what I can to not cause suffering to any living being. 

As I began researching this whole topic my mind immediately bounced back to my "fact based" mindset and what I heard often on Dr. Greger's presentations about WFPB living was something called the placebo effect. This is something that happens in a scientific trial where a particular item is being tested. They will split the test group into two and one group will not get the treatment being tested and the other group will.  The group without the treatment is called the control. There are times where members of the control group will begin to improve as though they are getting the treatment. This is the placebo effect. A patient thinks that they are getting better because they are doing the action and therefore they get better.

So if we get better.  Is it real?  To me this is where the facts may not always be exactly what they seem.  Looking at the results,  what does the evidence show. If our intent when we go about our day is to be happy not hurt anyone, and we achieve that goal isn't that a success? 

I think we have to keep a logical thought process while we go through these types of self-help situations. We have to remember that we need to eat and have a place to live. We need to be mindful when it comes to our finances and our physical well being. We also can completely start each day on a positive note. With a positive affirmation.  We can be good to each other and do our best.  We can be polite and kind to each other and to animals.  We can be loving and caring and offer support without the expectation of reward. None of these things leads to harm and in most cases makes the giver "FEEL" happy. 

To me, Yes, yes it does.

What are you thoughts on this. Feel free to leave a comment or start a chat over on the chat icon.

Paddles, Mallets & Bowls .... Oh My

 This afternoon I decided to compare the two different striker/mallet/paddle that came with my crystal bowls.  One is a ball on a stick and the other is a tube that is covered in faux suede. 

Rubber mallets are probably one of the most common mallets on the market. If used with frosted crystal singing bowls, the tone they produce is usually a strong, pure pulsing. They are usually rounded like a sphere, and are played by applying friction to the side of the bowl. They come in various colors however white is the most common. Due to the wooden handle, care has to be taken when playing to avoid a rather unpleasant sound.

Suede mallets bring their own unique texture to frosted crystal singing bowls, causing a subtle pink noise or hiss underneath the crystal singing bowl tone. The hiss is pretty noticeable and due to the shape of the mallet, it was tough to continuing playing for more than 5 minutes or so. I recorded two sessions one with each mallet so you can compare. 

Here are two videos.

First, one with the round rubber ball paddles that I have used in other videos.

Second, this is my first session with these style.  They are hollow tubes wrapped in what appears to be a faux leather. 

What did you think? Is one better than the other? I have my own opinions on this but will hold those to myself for now.  I'd love to hear your thoughts, feel free to comment or send me a private message.

After this warmup I went on to make a 14 minute video with the rubber mallets that I called Clarity.  The focus was on grounding, passion, healing and speaking my own truth for 2023.

I hope you enjoy.