There’s much wrong with the world — corruption, war, abuse, inequality, pollution, poverty, greed: the list seems endless. And not just in the world at large), but right here, close to home, at work, and with people down the street. And, even more problematic, things get messy in our own hearts.
In commenting on my post of the 23rd, Fiona writes from England:
” … much as I try to fight it (and I try a lot!), the truth slowly dawns on me that the reality of life is that it is riddled with difficulties, and they will not go away! It means the only power I have in facing the suffering I encounter on a daily basis, is in how I respond to it – both in myself and in relation to others.”
She cites Jack Kornfield who, in A path with heart (1993), speaks of the war we fight against everything which makes us face the fact that things are not perfect or as we want or expect them to be.
In a weird twist, I spoke with my spiritual coach last night about the absence of worry and unhappiness in my heart. “What am I to make of all this calm?” I half-complained. Equanimity has become my steady companion as I navigate everyday obstacles, including the complex relationship with my brothers, declining an opportunity to be part of a fascinating pilot project, co-creating an intimate relationship based on mutual respect and deep liking, and starting an in-home hospice project. All are potentially difficult, yet I experience them with ease.
Say more about this ease, Ange asked, what images arise for you? “I’m walking through a shallow pool of water. As my legs push forward, the water parts, flows past, then closes in with only the slightest ripple. Looking ahead, the water is undisturbed until I step in it; then, looking behind me, it’s smooth again without a trace of me.”
And how are you experiencing this in your body? “At first a tingling in my knees,” I explain, “spreading upwards and downwards; now gentle vibrations in my hands and feet, becoming streams of energy flowing up and down, in and out of my body.” . . . . . “It’s as if there’s no ‘me’, no constructed persona, no Peter-this or Peter-that; no effort, no struggle, no resistance, no confrontation. Merely energy connecting with energy.”
Who then is ‘passing through’? Who’s getting all these things done, with his brother, his lover, his community? . . . . . “Maybe the question is ‘how’ are things getting done. There’s no strong sense of ‘who’; the ego is stepping aside. Things are less and less ‘about me.’ They’re what they are: suffering is part of the human condition and each day starts with the resolve ‘so save all sentient beings’ regardless of long odds.