Image / Willyam Bradberry
"Go take refuge in nature, and find a cause where your heart doesn’t feel inactive and in despair. This is the medicine.
We go out and we help...
Don’t allow hate and anger to take over your world. There are other things happening...
Right now people in our family are still there, and they might need us. Our friend may be somebody who is being discriminated against. You can only be there to offer them kindness if you are stable. You cannot help them if you are filled with hate and fear. What people need is your non-fear, your stability, solidity, clarity. This is what we can offer...
Our minds and hearts need food. And meditation is a kind of food. So we feed ourselves like that. You need to eat, and your peace, kindness, clarity need to eat as well. Meditation is not just praying; no, you’re cultivating this so you can offer it to others.
When you sit with someone who’s calm, you can become calm. If you sit with someone who’s agitated and hateful, you can become agitated and hateful.
Meditation is not an esoteric practice; it’s not something you do only in a meditation hall...It can happen right in whatever activity you’re doing — while walking, in the office. It means you are there, present with calm and peace."
- Brother Phap Dung, Vox (January 28,2017)
Healthy anger can serve to alert us to the fact that our boundaries have been threatened or violated. In it's proper moment, anger can inform us of the need for action, where previously we were complacent. But anger itself is not a sustainable fuel for ongoing efforts, not the fuel with which to build an energized and balanced life. And unless we're talking about immediate, direct physical threat, anger-filled moments are not the moments that allow us to plan or enact our best responses to the situations life brings us. We need access to greater powers than anger and fear if we're to act in the world with wisdom and endurance while cultivating a life we wish to live and retaining our sanity.
The powers of joy and internal peace are great enough. They are great enough to fuel us in creating lives of engagement that also nourish us on every level. They are great enough to sustain us even when the waves coming at us look something like this:
In each of our lives exist many relationships, and many ways of relating. We relate to the world, to other individuals, to information, to concepts and ideas, we have relationships with devices and machines, we relate to nature, we are in relationship with our own thoughts and emotions and with the thoughts and emotions of others. If the ways in which we are currently relating to any of these is causing us real distress, we can make changes. If the ways that we're currently relating actively keep peace and joy from establishing themselves in our world, we can try on new ways of relating. We can experiment. Within ourselves, internally. And in the world and with others, externally. Right now.
We don't have to wait to start making space in our minds, hearts and lives. Peace and joy are available in every moment.* Every single moment, regardless of what's happening on the surface in the outer world. We find and sustain our center when we prioritize finding our peace and cultivating our joy. When we move from this centered place, our action has sustainable power, greater wisdom. And, perhaps most importantly, moving from this place feels really good.
We still get knocked around, and we still go under and we still crash and eat sand sometimes, and yet a thrumming invisible center within us holds it's ceaseless rhythm. We'll fully experience the sun's warming rays, the vitality coursing through us, the breathtaking honor of vulnerable connection with another, the life-altering power of truths expressed, the wonder of the sand, of gravity, of time and timelessness. And, when we're not limiting our experience by moving or acting from the angry and fear-filled place, this immense and unruly beauty that is our life can also become the ocean we want to keep dancing with, wave after wave, after ever-shifting wave. Surf's up!
Breathe deeply, practice often, be well.
Dana Wyss Healing Arts
*Need some help finding your own experience of this? Yoga, meditation and Reiki are all practices that facilitate finding and cultivating your own deep center, ultimately helping you to surf life's big waves with an internal peace that wavers less and less over time. If that sounds like something you're ready to cultivate, contact me today and we'll find the practice that best fits your needs, goals, and lifestyle.