26 Soul Qualities

Our minister quoted these qualities today at Self Realization Fellowship  Phoenix Temple from the book  God Talks with Arjuna, Paramahansa Yogananda’s scripture commentary on the Bhagavad Gita. Today’s talk was on “How to Be Stronger Than Life’s Trials and Tests” and how to use your highest qualities to overcome life’s challenges. He spoke about how we should recognize which of these qualities we possess and work on strengthening  and perfecting them. He used Mahatma Gandhi  as an example of someone who became great from practicing two of these qualities: Truth (satya) and Noninjury (ahimsa).

1:  Fearlessness (abhayam)
2:  Purity of heart (sattva samshuddhi)
3:  Steadfastness (jnanayogavyavasthithi)
4:  Almsgiving (dana)
5:  Self-restraint (dama)
6:  Religious rites (yagnas)
7:  Right study of the scriptures (swadhyaya)
8:  Self discipline (tapas)
9:  Straightforwardness (arjavam)
10: Noninjury (ahimsa)
11: Truth (satya)
12: Absence of wrath (akrodha)
13: Renunciation (tyaga)
14: Peace (shanthi)
15: Absence of fault-finding and calumny (apaishunam)
16: Compassion toward all beings (daya)
17: Noncovetousness, absence of greed (aloluptvam)
18: Gentleness (mardavam)
19: Modesty (hri)
20: Absence of restlessness (achapalam)
21: Radiance of character (tejas)
22: Forgiveness (kshama)
23: Patience or fortitude (dhriti)
24: Cleanness of body and purity of mind (shaucha)
25: Nonhatred (adroha)
26: Lack of conceit (na atimanita)

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Cactus Hotel

Arizona is beautiful in March and is also why so many people visit the state this time of year.  Living here is certainly challenging in the summer months but we are rewarded with endless blue skies and perfect spring days in March. Last Saturday I went to Desert Botanical Garden and took these photographs. The ones with the gorgeous coral color bloom were taken on a recent afternoon walk. Can you see the bird peeking out of the hole in the saguaro at the Cactus Hotel?   

Spring has sprung

When the sweet acacia trees bloom and their fluffy yellow balls  float through the sky and my husband starts sneezing, I know spring has arrived in Arizona. The pyracantha shrubs in my yard which normally have tiny red berries are now bursting with little white flowers.

Springtime has always been a favorite season for me. This time of year brings a sense of rebirth and renewal as plants show you their new blossoms. The flowering plum trees were spectacular in downtown Prescott last Thursday when we arrived there. All across the country, the landscape is giving way to the many blossoms and blooms. Bird’s nests are plentiful in the trees awaiting the arrival of chicks. A metal wall pocket full of artificial flowers on my covered patio gave birth to many sparrows over the years during the spring. I always marveled at the ingenuity of the sparrows to make a nest there sheltered from the weather.

One of my favorite scents is the sweet aroma of the blossoms on the citrus trees everywhere in Arizona in the spring.

I am grateful for all the beauty in nature around me. Spring has sprung!