do what you can, where you are…

this quote from The Quran, now in the spotlight due to the Oscar win for the Netflix documentary The White Helmets, is profound.

none of us can save all of humanity, but a life at a time can be saved. a good deed, act of compassion and kindness, can have a deep and resonating beneficial effect beyond what we can see or know.

do what you can, where you are.

The White Helmets dive into the very real danger of war ravaged Syria, rescuing Syrians from the relentless bombardment of bombs and weapons. 154 White Helmets have been killed saving lives.

may their work be blessed and may their mission be supported by all of us.

~j

a year later ~ Newtown…

Open Your Heart

“I hold my face in my two hands. No, I am not crying. I hold my face in my two hands to keep the loneliness warm – two hands protecting, two hands nourishing, two hands preventing my sould from leaving me in anger.”

“…remember: man is not our enemy…the only thing worth of you is compassion – invincible, limitless, unconditional. Hatred will never let you face the beast in man.”

~Thich Nhat Hanh

December 14th 2013

here we are.  a year later.

my heart is still clinging to the lost lives of 20 innocent children.  see their faces.  know their faces.  children who someday may have been artists, doctors, teachers, scientists, or parents with children of their own.  what inventions have we missed out on?  how many discoveries will have to wait?  how many inspired dreams will look to find a new home  – a new vehicle of birth into this world? 

questions, we’ll never know the answer to.

6 innocent adults died that day as well.  see their faces, know their faces.

bodies beyond recognition.

and a lone gunman also lost, even it seems before his horrific actions of that day.  see his face, know his face.

such a tragedy, such a dark moment.  27 lives lost, and how many more disturbingly wounded?

and here we are a year later with not much more than our grief, our frustration, and a polarized people frozen in their views.  aren’t we better than this? 

we must get to a place where we can listen – listen.  where we can dialogue without scapegoating the mentally ill, without scapegoating the media, without scapegoating responsible gun ownership.  we must open our awareness to recognize that the issue of violence in our culture runs much deeper than any vehicle in which it is carried out.  we must open our awareness to recognize that the issue of violence in our culture is much more subtle and therefore insidious than quick quotes or talking points that serve as distraction from the deep listening, the deep looking, the deep contemplation that is needed to bring healing and wholeness to our broken attempts at problem solving and our inability to find balance between privileges and rights.  we must be open to seeing how violence lives not only in our actions, but in our words and thoughts…we must look to where this violence is born and how it feeds.

we must come to a place where the news of 20 massacred children at an elementary school stops us cold in our tracks, convicting our hearts into a response so urgent, so necessary that it calls upon our betters selves to deep reflection that motivates us into action.  not action out of reaction and fear or hatred or bitterness, but action out of empathy, out of interdependence and sense of community.  it must be action out of compassion to end suffering at all costs, not perpetuation through the same deluted ideas and philosphies.  action that says – these lives, our children’s lives – life itself – is worth more than the pitiful energy we have given them so far.

if we can’t get to this place, this place of necessary coming together, this place that recognizes the shared responsibility we have in honoring what we so often and emptily claim as sacred – life, then i do believe more is at risk than any rights or privileges.  i do believe we are at risk of not only losing the very heart and soul of this country, but what is the unique manifestation of the divine that is us – our humanity.

life will go on, of course.  it always goes on.

but if we fail to rise to this challenge, to open our wounded hearts, to stand in the face of violence, to look into the eyes of fear –

life very well may look to another vessel with which it can share love, seeing no vacancy in hearts that already have a love affair with violence.

and then we will finally know what it is to be in hell, because we will have chosen to hold it in our closed hearts.

~j

windows (shall we dare?)…

fullwindowmediation

September 11, 2013

 

…still so present

…still so fresh
after all of these years…

 

eyes frozen on images, pulling at my heart, calling on my soul to…to what?  jump up?  to hide?  to fight?

this chest heavy, this throat tight – choked with emotion.  this heart trying to hold it all…

the fear, the anger, the grief.


do me a favor will you?

let us sit.  together.  let us sit and invite these emotions to be our friends, our teachers, shall we?

before we act out of turn, let us allow time and space to do their work, for the fear, the anger, and the grief to shed their weight and reveal their gifts.  shall we?

even as the door to our heart begins to close under the overwhelming burden of it all, even as our chests tighten again and our tears freely flow, let us allow a window in our heart to open.

a window for fear, a window for anger, a window for grief. 


shall we dare?


even as we feel fear, we can allow a window in our heart to open to all others who feel fear – fear of loss, fear of age and illness, fear of death…

even as we feel anger, we can allow a window in our heart to open to all others who feel anger – anger at loss, anger at injustice, anger at feeling powerless…
even as we feel grief, we can allow a window in our heart to open to all others who feel grief – grief for loved ones gone, grief for dreams not lived, grief for the mortality of life…


shall we dare?


shall we dare Life, even in the most tragic of circumstances, to reveal Her Beauty?

if we dare to open the windows of our hearts
if we dare to allow such nakedness – such vulnerability
if we dare to open our eyes – to see how we all suffer the same fear, the same anger, the same grief…

then, even as the Lotus growing out of the mud, reaches up revealing Life’s Beauty
we, too, can grow from the darkest and most tragic places in life, revealing that we are also capable of Beauty


shall we dare?


~ j

letter for April 15, 2013 ~ I won’t stop loving…

i won't stop loving...
Escondido, CA ~ ©Copyright 2012, Jaysen Matthew Waller

beautiful friends ~

sometimes there are no quick fixes or bandages to salve wounds that have etched their presence into our lives with such striking suddenness.
sometimes all we can do is sit, remember to breathe, and coax the courage to keep our hearts open.
sometimes it is all we can do to pull forth from the ground below and the sky above, with Life itself as our witness, that most valiant and sacred of mantras ~
I won’t stop loving. I won’t stop loving. I won’t stop loving.

namasté
~ j

April 15, 2013

September 11, 2012…

spent the evening watching 9/11 footage as i do every year on this day.

i find it incredible that 11 years later, the emotions that rise up from my chest – that turn my stomach – that tighten in my throat, can still be so present. and although the emotions of sadness and anger manifest their presence once again, i do not watch to give them life anew. i watch to remind myself. to remind myself that suffering not grieved, that anger not transformed, that bitterness unchecked – left in its darkened cave, grows into hate. and that hate when held onto, when taught and modeled, finds life in hopeless – desperate hearts. possibly giving birth for generations, slowly separating us from our humanity, from what is divine.

i also watch to remind myself of what it looks like to see such bravery in the face of horrific disaster and tragedy, to watch courage and compassion manifest as it did that day in the police and fire fighters, in doctors and nurses, in coworkers and friends. i watch to remind myself how a nation who can get lost in division, can all at once be unified in their grief, their desire to hold life, and in their humanity.

i know in my heart we are given all we need to heal, all we need to reconcile and restore. the solution is us. our hearts, our minds, our light, our love – together. in moments we see this and in the long arc of history i believe its thread is clear.

but there are dark moments, periods of time that can shake the heart, and i am left to wonder – have we learned?

wishing all of you, dear friends – relief from your suffering, happiness and peace.

namaste.
~ j

September 11, 2012

a letter to Aurora…

a letter to Aurora…

to all those who are suffering from this horrific tragedy in Aurora, our prayers are with you. to all those who are suffering from their own personal tragedies in this life, our prayers are with you. we are connected in our suffering, in our pain, in our confusion as to how such violence can occur. we are connected in these dark moments of life, where our hearts break and our minds spin with emotion, we are connected in our sense of loss as life seems to have lost all that is good.

it is important to feel these emotions, to sit with these emotions. to be where we are at, to grieve. so many of us, in our confusion, our pain, our anger are running from this horrible event. it isn’t easy to sit with tragedy, to be awake with suffering. it is far easier (and even feels good to have some brief relief) to blame. to blame the existence of guns, to blame a broken system, to blame a single individual who has forgotten what it means to be human, to be connected in life and love. and there too, we connect. we connect into groups with missions and we feel some brief relief as we find a place to place our anger, our pain, our suffering…forgetting our truer connection, that we are One.

but there is another way we are connected. we are connected in our Light, in our Love, in Life.

so as we sit in this darkness, in this night of tragedy and pain, let us look to Aurora itself. Aurora means “dawn”…the coming of day. that sacred, beautiful time when the night moves from twilight to day.

there is pain here. there is confusion and anger. but, my friends, there is also hope. the day will come again and with it the sun, shining bright the light of love and life. the Light that lives in all of us – both passed and still present, and the Love that connects us – whether we have passed or are present, whatever may come.

wishing peace and freedom from suffering for us all.

namaste ~ j

Friday, July 20th 2012