In a dream I ask,“How can humanity endure the suffering that is taking place in the world? A teacher tells me, “There is a way, I believe, to relate to the inner – this is the way.”
Is this not the feminine? To turn to the inner, which allows us to hold the outer?
I am humbled by the women I meet in the shelters. Last time we sat together, six of us in a circle. There was a new woman who came, and her first words of introduction were, ”I am so grateful”. Then she cried. And this is what we often hear, that the women feel gratitude. I do not know the reason. It seems that sitting in the silence, being in a place where they feel safe and can listen inside, is enough in that moment.
But no matter how many times I have sat with the women, I see that life can be so challenging at times for all of us. A neighbor, a friend, a relative, so many people are experiencing difficulty right now.
Recently I felt I was losing my focus, and could not hold this inner awareness, so I walked up into the hills. It was less than an hour that I was away from work, from family needs.
In California we are in a drought, and many of the creeks dried up quickly after the sparse winter rain. But I followed a creek bed until I found water that was flowing. And there I stood quietly, at the base of a cedar tree several hundreds of years old. I took off my shoes and waded in the cool stream. So quickly came a feeling of connection. Of gratitude.
This morning, in our circle at the shelter, we began as usual, with a brief introduction as each woman states her name, and shares a little about her life. The first woman to speak, on my left, said this:
I am Native American. I am grateful. I live in a shelter right now. I pray for the women there, and for the women at this center. I pray that they are grateful. Women are so powerful. But many do not know gratitude. And this is so important. I pray for them.
The other women spoke, but with few words. We meditated in silence. There was a little sharing that followed, but then the women asked if we could sit in silence again.
In the second meditation I became aware of a shift in my heart, how it was softening, opening in the light of gratitude that filled the room. Each women was visibly strengthened as we closed the circle. They spoke of beauty.
And I think about the dream I had, and the meaning of Relating to the inner – this is the way.