At this time when we may feel uncertainty and anxiety about the future, our own lives, and those we love, can we challenge ourselves to step into a place where we know our truth? Where we know our kindness, or joy, and try to live that regardless of what we are faced with?
I have a friend who lives in New York. Each day she walks her dog in her neighborhood. Every day this friend, Diane, encounters the same woman, who is always alone, and she looks directly in her eyes and says hello. It’s not just a casual hello, but more in the way of hello, I see you.
Diane has been saying hello to her for several years now, but still doesn’t know the woman’s name.
Last week, the woman said hello to Diane, asking her if she was doing okay. She asked Diane if she was staying in the city or leaving, due to the coronavirus.
“I’m here,” said Diane.
“Good!” said the woman. And then she said this: “Do not leave me! Do you hear me? Never leave me!”
Diane was deeply touched by the woman’s passionate appeal, and it made her wonder if it is possible to hold something for another person that we, ourselves, are unaware of.
We each hold grace differently. But if we can find the strength to just hold our gift of love, peace or camaraderie and hold it generously, without wishing to change anything or wanting something, we can help each other through this crisis, more than we can ever realize.
If we each do this, we can be not only a light to one’s self, as Buddha said, but also a light for each other.
This, I believe, is how we can deepen our understanding of feminine healing.
At this moment, we grieve for centuries old racial injustice, now so visible. We grieve how the sacredness of all life has been forgotten. How can we hold this too?
Several months ago, just before the pandemic, I had a dream in which I saw one word on my laptop screen: Courage.
At the end of the day, when the household is quiet, we might sit for a few minutes. We can review our day, and see how we lived it. We can notice what touched us, or what strong emotions rose up in us. Then see if we can bathe ourself in kindness, for only then we will find that we can review our day without judgment.
In the morning, quietly again, just for a moment, think about how we want to live our day.
Slowly, very slowly, we might see things change. You might see yourself softening, in your home, around people, at work.
And you may find that this kindness will be felt by others, even more than ourselves.
Life presents us with the ever-deepening surrender to how we experience our surroundings. We may find that the chafing of daily life reveals a deeper self.
During a tumultuous time in my own life, I was told in a dream: It is vital that you stay true to what is aligned to the deeper truth within you. I feared that I didn’t have the capacity to ‘stay true.’ But over time, amid tears and prayer, this deeper truth within me took hold. Only then could I reach the deep roots of compassion.
Recently Tibetan teacher Anam Thubten spoke about responding to the world from courage and compassion. I share it here. His words honor the power of being inside whatever we do each day.
“We live in a very volatile time. How do we respond? We need to learn to live from the center of our being, and not to exclude other people from our heart. Life throws us into imbalance, but it is time for us to be ready to respond…with an open heart. To respond to loved ones, people in our lives, to respond to them, to hold them in our heart as much as you can. Life is constantly presenting us each moment with this opportunity. If we know how to respond to the world from that place, it will be healing for life and for the world.”
Quote used with permission from dharmata.org