Spirit Garden Reflections

Do No Harm

If you can, help others;
if you cannot do that,
at least do not harm them.

-Dalai Lama

Welcome to the Reflection for June!

In many programs that I have taken over the years, there has been a component of identifying our personal ethics, as well as learning the professional ethics of the organization.  In my studies in spiritual direction and interfaith ministry, we had to do a great deal of reflection on ethics and to be able to articulate our own code of ethics that we want to align our living with.

A Code of Ethics is something that we can turn to that orients us toward our hearts, our deeper longings, and desire to live from our truest self.  Naming our personal code of ethics can be an empowering thing that helps us remember how we most want to live. This can help guide our actions when we feel triggered or challenged in life.

I love this quote from Christina Feldman’s book, The Buddhist Path to Simplicity in which she says:

An ethical life is not a state of sanctity that we arrive at, but a verb; we discover genuine integrity in those significant moments when we follow the pathway of ending harm and sorrow, rather than causing it.”

Codes of ethical conduct are found in every spiritual tradition and every profession.  This past month, I have found myself being drawn into moments of pondering the ethics that I hold near and dear.

Our codes of ethics and our values dance together in our living, one helps us live the other, ensuring that our actions are aligned with what we uphold as near and dear to us.  And over these past few months of living with the restrictions and effects of the Coronavirus, I have felt myself drawn into deep reflection on my values and personal code of ethics.  I feel like this time has held an invitation to dive more deeply into living what I profess to hold near and dear.

So this month, our Spirit Garden Reflection touches on some of these ponderings about living our ethics.  I hope you will enjoy it.

When rightly understood and practiced, ethical living –
being kind, compassionate and truthful –
is a gift to everyone, and an essential means to awakening.

-Roger Walsh, Essential Spirituality

Do No Harm

The audio file below offers a short reflection on the creative power that our words hold.  The audio is followed by a handout with some questions that are intended to help you journal your own thoughts and experiences with the power of words. 

Please print these out before you listen to the audio file. You are invited to pour yourself a cup of tea or coffee and take about 20 minutes to listen to the reflection and then answer the questions.  May this be a nourishing and replenishing time of some soul tending.


Reflection Questions

Please click on the button below to download the reflection questions to go along with Do No Harm.

May the words you speak be a tree of life for you and others.
May you speak for what you want, for your words do not come back empty.

-Kathy Roy

spring flowers

Additional Resources

Two days after sending out this Spirit Garden Reflection on Do No Harm, I happened to be out for a drive on a Sunday afternoon and tuned my radio into the CBC show, Tapestry, a show I hadn’t listened to in a couple of years.  By the most beautiful of synchronicities, I happened to tune in on the day when philosopher Alice MacLachlin was being interviewed.  This interview was a beautiful exploration of the ethics and virtues that living with Covid19 calls us to explore.  I invite you to listen to this podcast and hope you will also be encouraged by what Alice shares about living our ethics and virtues.

In Closing

As we navigate these uncertain times, may we use this as an opportunity to examine what we hold most dear to us.  May we examine our habits and discover ways that we might live in deeper harmony and relationship with each other and the natural world.

With gratitude,



Kathy by the Ocean

Connect & Share

Please share any comments about this Reflection in the comments below. Make sure to check out what others are posting and encourage each other!


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