On Monday Marie will facilitate.
We will build on last week's theme, "Protecting the Vulnerable" by practicing the Five Touchings of the Earth, a guided meditation that can help us return to our roots in the earth and in our ancestors and to feel that connection.
Last week, Mary shared a powerful poem by Jack Kornfield, called "Protecting the Vulnerable." He reminds us that we are not alone; we are connected to a whole stream of land, blood & spiritual ancestors that flow through us and will continue to flow into future generations. By connecting with this stream, we can find compassion, wisdom, strength and equanimity (you can find the entire poem here).
"...You are not alone. You have generations of ancestors at your back. You have the blessing of interdependence and community. You have the great trees of the forest as steadfast allies. You have the turning of the seasons and the renewal of life as your music. You have the vast sky of emptiness to hold all things graciously.
You have been training for this for a long time. With practice you have learned to quiet the mind and open the heart. You have learned emptiness and interdependence. Now it is time to step forward, bringing your equanimity and courage, wisdom and compassion to the world. The Bodhisattva shows the way to alleviate suffering amidst it all.
As Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh explains, "When the crowded Vietnamese refugee boats met with storms or pirates, if everyone panicked all would be lost. But if even one person on the boat remained calm and centered, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive...
...Now a time of change has come.
We must listen deeply, bear witness, honor everyone, and choose our actions wisely and courageously.
Do not worry if the Right Action is not yet clear to you.
Wait in the unknowing with mindfulness and a clear heart.
Soon the right time will come and you will know to stand up.
I will meet you there."
To what extent does connecting with your ancestors effect how you feel/act with respect to protecting the vulnerable? On Monday night, after our walking meditation, we will practice the Five Touchings of the Earth and then share from our experience. As you reflect on the current state of the world and your relationship/s with it, I invite you to notice how your thoughts/feelings/actions change. What effects these changes? What are the wholesome seeds that you would like to water, and how have/might you water them?
As Mary wrote so beautifully in her email last week, "may our sharing reassure us that we are not alone and that we are not powerless to stand up for what matters. May we plant some seeds of goodness in each other. May our practice bring us the steadiness and calm needed to craft our particular words and actions. May we be reminded that non-violent resistance is not passive. May we be inspired by so many who have come before us to act with courage and strength."
I look forward to being with you on Monday night.