sitting. breathing. in this moment, i come home to myself. body and mind in union, with all life.
take a moment today to love yourself, to simply sit and breathe, to feel the earth beneath you, rooted and held. to feel your lungs fill with air, receptive and open. to feel the air exhale, with freedom and release. ~j
pain and sufferingsitting with a heavy hearti offer my love. ~j
as we look around us, as we listen to the news, the burden of this moment is heavy. Haitians suffering from a 7.2 magnitude earthquake on August 14th. nearly 1500 lives lost and 6,000 injured with an impending tropical storm. these dear people can’t catch a break. panicked and desperate Afghans trying to exit as Taliban takes over complete control. the images at the airport are harrowing. we have failed them in our exit. so many who have fought side by side with our military, as interpreters, as informants. women will suffer the most, many who had hope, who were receiving or received education and prominence in professional fields and politics, burning their degrees, their documents, leaving no trace. if these events break your heart open and engage your empathy – good. allow it. allow your heart to feel, to love. let that love move into compassionate action.
for Haiti, i suggest Doctors Without Borders www.msf.org(please do not donate to Red Cross, they were criticized for not forwarding donated funds during the previous earthquake).
to assist in getting our Afghan allies out who assisted during the war and who are in danger of being locked away or killed, i suggest supporting the organization, No One Left Behind www.nooneleft.org please list any other beneficial organizations in the comments. lastly, please practice self-care for yourself and others. i’ve been doing Metta (Lovingkindness) Practice tonight. i’ve included a longer version that i have written in the second photo. ~j
it’s so simple, feels almost too simple really. to just sit and breathe. to do so without goal. to come back to something so natural, sitting and breathing. in our habits and patterns of being busy, of getting lost in or avoiding, we can forget to just allow stillness, to allow the opportunity for relaxation and natural ease and calm.
it is also something that we can have some joy in doing. it doesn’t have to be some epic journey to enlightenment. the simple pleasure of just sitting and breathing, of feeling our body rooted and held by the earth, feeling the calming coolness of air coming into our bodies, the release and freedom of air leaving. this can be quite enjoyable and peaceful.
there’s no reason we shouldn’t have this joy, this peace, this simple pleasure, which is always available. and with practice we can even tap into, settle into this feeling in all kinds of environments. it can be our anchor as Thich Nhat Hanh shares in this quote.
whew. we can use a big reminder to practice empathy right now.
empathy seems to be what we are lacking most regarding many areas of life whether it be the pandemic, immigration, poverty, healthcare, and more particularly in the last day or so regarding Simone Biles – our veneration of celebrity and athletes.
we have this perverse habit of becoming awed by people in their excellence, lifting them up, nearly worshipping them, only to tear them apart when reality sets in – they are not the gods we have created them to be. they are what they have always been – human.
we have a responsibility to allow people to be human, to be authentic, to be vulnerable, even fragile. their humanity, their welfare, and their wellbeing should be more important than our idea of who they should be, who we want them to be, or the dollar signs that accompany their name or image.
there’s a teaching in Buddhism that we can approach life in a way that everything is workable. we can engage our life in a way that whatever we are experiencing can be worked with as a way to go deeper, to learn, to let go, to wake up.
what we are experiencing can actually be the fertilizer for our growth, for our steadying of mind and our opening of heart. others like Ram Dass and Richard Rohr have called this “grist for the mill.”
what life gives us can be used for our benefit and the benefit of others. life itself gives us the material to wake up to our life.
in our discomfort, we often overfill our plates. the more we have or the busier we are, can seem to be better.
however, these can be distractions from actually engaging with our lives in a way that is authentic, revealing, clarifying, and that transforms pain and allows for healing.
the superfluous additions to our material possessions and an overbooked calendar can add unnecessary complications and chaos to our lives which can bring more suffering. the imbalance brings stress, exhaustion, less connection – more suffering.
simplicity allows for life.
it is refreshing and allows for natural cycles and patterns to be seen. it allows wisdom to reveal herself. it assists in calming and steadying our minds, and opening our hearts.