Thursday, March 3, 2022

Practice amid turmoil

 


As our hearts go out to the Ukraine people, this article is a reminder to keep our practice 'switched on' and stay alert to the human tendency towards 'us and them', even as we express that compassion. 

Amid the heart-warming expressions of solidarity, I think about the many Russian people who are protesting against this invasion - at great personal cost. Imagine deciding to protest against something your government is doing, knowing full well that you will be thrown in jail. Would you do this? 

There are also reports of Russian soldiers at a loss as to why they are there. When I try to put myself in their shoes, I can't help but think they are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Compassion follows.

Putin's behaviour must be stopped. But can we stay alert to 'othering' and resist the temptation towards in-group/out-group thinking? 

(Click on the image or click here to read the article.)

Monday, January 24, 2022

 


Yesterday the much-loved Zen Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh, passed away. As I read about it I saw this quote from him (in Elephant Journal).

Some religious folk look down on secular spirituality, seeing it as sad that we somehow miss out on 'the divine'. As if reality, right here, right now, was droll and mundane - not amazing enough.

However this reality right here, right now, is truly awe-some if we stop skimming past it and look. This world, this universe, nature, our society, our body-minds, are stupendously mind-blowing phenomena. When we truly comprehend that, there is no lack of wondrousness, of spiritual uplift. 

It's not surprising. Us humans are wired to stop paying attention to the familiar. It's a natural tendency that helped keep our ancestors alive. 

But now that we're safe, it's time to un-do that habit and consider the possibility that the drive for transcendence of this life, here, now, is a sign that we've missed the wondrousness right before our eyes. Practicing mindfulness helps us see afresh.