NEW MOON – The Power of Gentleness

May Those who speak truth
and give gentle encouragement, 
contending with no-one, 
these do I call great beings.

Dhammapada v. 408

Holding a newborn child, naturally we would want to be gentle. To a degree at least, gentleness is something we already know about. But perhaps we need to build on this. For instance, might there be times when we equate gentleness with weakness. If so, bring to mind the image of a surgeon sewing severed nerves, or a mechanic calibrating the settings on a car’s braking system. Where precision is required, subtlety is essential. Similarly, when we admonish ourselves regarding progress in spiritual matters, sensitivity, gentleness, is essential. Yes, there are times when assertiveness is called for, but let’s take care we are not being contentious out of habit.

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