Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hissy Fit

Ok week.  You win.  Our hearts and guts are wrenched.  Or maybe a better word is rendered – rendered speechless, breathless and more than a little off-balance.

But once again, albeit painfully, we were reminded of the sacred sub-set where we all intersect, the radiance of the human spirit. That’s not a bad place to be after a week like this.

The mystic Rumi wrote: “Look carefully around you and recognize the luminosity of souls. Sit beside those who draw you to that.” 

Giving it up to bitterness, disappointment and fear is tempting but the ending is predictable and bleak. Tending the fires of your soul and others, now that will light the world.

Yesterday, my husband and I joined his family in helping their beautiful and brave mom move from a house that had become too big and filled with too many memories to an apartment in a retirement home a few blocks away.  We all carried what we could lift, took breaks when we needed, sifted through the debris of life, shared meals, and shed a tear or two.  

I think that’s what it looks like when you move forward with grace, and we sure saw a lot of grace this week.   

Hate, rage, ignorance and bigotry are powerful forces. Do we have the fortitude to meet them wielding the strength of clarity, love and compassion?

I love this story told by author and yogi Judith Lasater about the practice of “ahimsa,” or nonviolence:

“There is a famous story about ahimsa told in the Vedas, the vast collection of ancient philosophical teachings from India. A certain sadhu, or wandering monk, would make a yearly circuit of villages in order to teach. One day as he entered a village he saw a large and menacing snake who was terrorizing the people. The sadhu spoke to the snake and taught him about ahimsa. The following year when the sadhu made his visit to the village, he again saw the snake. How changed he was. This once magnificent creature was skinny and bruised. The sadhu asked the snake what had happened. He replied that he had taken the teaching of ahimsa to heart and had stopped terrorizing the village. But because he was no longer menacing, the children now threw rocks and taunted him, and he was afraid to leave his hiding place to hunt. The sadhu shook his head.  ‘I did advise against violence,' he said to the snake, ‘but I never told you not to hiss."’

Lasater goes on to write that practicing ahimsa means “we take responsibility for our own harmful behavior and attempt to stop the harm caused by others. Being neutral is not the point. Practicing true ahimsa springs from the clear intention to act with clarity and love.”

I’m up for sitting together and hissing in the name of love. How about you?

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