sábado, 27 de agosto de 2011

Face to Face

There are times when the last thing you want to do is deal with conflict, with negative feelings, with hurt and pain. Being as it is, the world is conflicted, hurting, being torn to pieces; what can we do? Each of us is capable of kindness, of compassion, and generosity, but often we feel so bogged down with our own concerns to find this place of peace within ourselves. Perhaps if we could let it sink in that this is really all we have to do, the world’s troubles wouldn’t seem so great. We can work, move through life’s events, both good and bad, confront issues, resolve problems, all the while maintaining a connection with our true selves. None of us are “useless” or adding to the problem as long as we maintain in our intentions this thread with our own and other’s humanity. Each of us can acknowledge that the path of life is the path to peace and that we don’t have to buck and revolt in order to find this.

We can create the spaciousness in our lives required, regardless of how busy we are. Taking time to acknowledge a moment, to observe, to take a breath; this can be done in any situation. There is a grumbling happening on a global scale; many things are not OK. Together, we can be with this unsettled, ungrounded world, and be not-OK together. As a human population we can relax into life with its shit and love and disease and healing. What a sigh of relief this could be, to allow the messed up nature of things, knowing that we are meant to be here, sitting with it all. This certainly isn’t a petition for apathy or laziness, quite the contrary; it takes a lot of work to be able to sit with all that we feel and experience, without judging it.

I recently read a book by Pema Chodron, a renowned Buddhist teacher from the US. This is my take on some of her teachings, and how I interpret them for myself and for a global movement for change. My favorite line of hers is one in which she says that we should “Give up Hope.” She says this in the context that we are all chasing something, a better personality, a better job, a different family. Just give it up and sit with it as it is, “hoping” for something better is potentially leading us on this destructive path. It’s very un-Obama, but I please ask you all to just Give up Hope.

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