This is an image I came across on Facebook, posted by a Zen monk I follow. It came up at a time when my energy and spirit felt too heavy to lift. Like all of us, I had been feeling the weight of these past few months. Sometimes, it feels too difficult to do the very thing that helps the most--sit. Sit with the feelings, examine their sources, and letting the spirit settle.
It's more work, and more difficult, than I had thought it would be to do. It was easy to ignore this act of sitting when I used to do it all for me--my anxiety, my stresses, my health. I had a day when I was especially tempted by the thought in my head that said "I'm too tired to sit today." Then this image reminded me: We do this for others as much as we do this for ourselves. So off I went to sit. What I do for me, is also done to help those around me.
Sit well, they need you.
With deep bows,
Growing older has its charms, as most of us live harmoniously with the bucking rodeo that this life can be. With time on our side, we have the ability to know that the road ahead eventually straightens out. We turn to softer moments and quiet times for nurturing and have figured out how to sidestep drama and gossip in favor of friendship and caring.
It doesn't stand to reason then why sometimes the negativity of other people crawls into our heads and takes us hostage, robbing us of peace. Whether it happens on a scale large or small, these demons nevertheless take a bite. We have learned that there is no safe place: not our churches, our schools nor our places we work.
It can seem futile then to count blessings and give thanks when the fury has outscored love and kindness. Close-knit communities unravel, and for lack of a better word ugly prevails.
Or does it? With the display of power-hungry, moral-poor action, a voice comes out of the wreckage, and we pull together. We are tired, with tears flowing, shoulders drooping. But as weak as hate tries to make us and tear us apart, we come together and find that the bigger the tear the more fiber we will make to sew it back together.
We need to teach this lesson to the younger generation because they will hold the needle and thread in the future. For every wolf in sheep's clothing and every assault on mankind, the goodwill prevail, and love will champion.
Rev. Anwol Devadipa
A blog by the Lotus Heart Zen Sangha
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