Hatred and fear blind us,
We no longer see each other,
We only see the faces of monsters and
that gives us the courage
to destroy each other
by Thich Nhat Hahn.
I read this recently and it explains so much of what is happening within relationships around the world. I have been concerned about the amount of hatred that is present in speeches given by leaders and the actions being taken against groups of people globally. Courage rooted in hatred and fear will eventually dissolve, but after having harmed people and the earth. We have seen this happen over and over again in our history. In destroying others we invariably destroy ourselves too.
Removing fear and hatred within our own minds takes courage. Because we are left feeling vulnerable without the protection of the monsters face to scare others with. As that monstrous face peels of, the authentic, genuine and compassionate face is revealed to ourselves and the world. In the process we alleviate our own suffering and of those around us.
Cultivating peace, promoting well being and harmony in good times is easier to do. When there is anger, fear, hatred, greed and intolerance around us, it takes clarity, discernment, and sheer focus on actions enveloped in love. Courage that leaves us feeling vulnerable and wanting to protect ourselves and others from harm is rooted in love.
There are so many people all over the world who are looking for food, shelter, safety, and belonging. We can choose to turn away from their suffering or alleviate their suffering. We can choose to destroy them because of our own fears or choose to protect them from harm.
I came across this Labyrinth recently and practiced walking meditation. Although walking meditations can be done anywhere, a labyrinth reflects wholeness, balance and coming back to oneself. Labyrinths invite a person to practice taking steps with gentle awareness.
Walking Meditation by Thich Nhat Hahn
Take my hand.
We will walk.
We will only walk.
We will enjoy our walk
without thinking of arriving anywhere.
Our walk is a peace walk.
Our walk is a happiness walk.
Then we learn
that there is no peace walk;
that peace is the walk;
that there is no happiness walk;
that happiness is the walk.
We walk for ourselves.
We walk for everyone
always hand in hand.
Walk and touch peace every moment.
Walk and touch happiness every moment.
Each step brings a fresh breeze.
Each step makes a flower bloom under our feet.
Kiss the Earth with your feet.
Print on Earth your love and happiness.
Earth will be safe
when we feel in us enough safety.
I did my meditation outdoors today. With cool grass under my feet and a gentle warm breeze under the morning sun, tuning into my own inner self was a gift.
Todays meditation was a guided meditation by Tara Brach, an invitation to relax and awaken the body with an openness to receive life as it is.
Cultivating mindful awareness and compassionately viewing our experience is a way to step out of auto pilot. Although meditations can be done at any time of the day, a morning meditation can set the tone for the day. Words and phrases from a guided meditation can serve as reminders to bring awareness to our thoughts and actions. From todays meditation, the phrase “Dance of Aliveness” resonated from me. To be aware and at ease in this world. To be rooted in the present moment and be flexible in each moment.
Hummingbird visiting the Bergamot
At any moment, you have a choice, that either leads you closer to your spirit or further away from it. Be free where you are.
~Thich Nhat Hahn
The entire universe can be seen in a flower~ Thich Nhat Hahn
A recent trip to the Japanese Garden with my family. We walked the paths together and separately. Wandered around looking at flowers, Coy, hummingbirds, trees and spent time being in this calm place. There were a lot of people there, yet it felt spacious enough to sit on a bench and meditate. It was nourishing.
Dwelling in Peace
We already have sufficient conditions to be happy today. We have to pray in such a way that we can be in touch with the conditions of happiness that are in us and around us. They are all there, available. ~ Thich Nhat Hahn, “The Energy of Prayer”