I have appreciated a handful of good mindfulness teachers in the last decade and a half. My favorite teachers are not only soulful people and good at explaining the dharma or practice of mindfulness, but also have their feet firmly planted in what's actually going on in our country and show their own sense of bodhichitta by striving for ending all beings ' suffering. Among them, Tara Brach. Here's a page of resources that Tara Brach has shared with us and I pass on to you.
We are inspired by wise souls. Sufi Teacher Vilayat Inayat Khan: Overcome any bitterness that may have come because you were not up to the magnitude of the pain that was entrusted to you. Like the mother of the world who carries the pain of the world in her heart, each of us is part of her heart and is, therefore, endowed with a certain measure of cosmic pain. You are sharing in the totality of that pain. You are called upon to meet it in joy instead of self-pity. Desmond Tutu: Discovering more joy does not, I'm sorry to say, save us from the inevitability of hardship and heartbreak. In fact, we may cry more easily, but we will laugh more easily, too. Perhaps we are just more alive. Yet as we discover more joy, we can face suffering in a way that ennobles rather than embitters. We have hardship without becoming hard. We have heartbreak without being broken.
Mark Nepo: In truth, the more we let love flow through, the more we have to love. This is the inner glow that sages and saints of all ages share: the wash of their love over everything before them; not just people, but birds and rocks and flowers and air. Beneath the many choices we have to make, love, like water, flows back into the world through us. It is the one great secret available to all.
Our Monday Mindfulness Group (everyone welcome!) spent some time writing last week and we stumbled upon the helpfulness of prompts. The group asked for a few prompts for the week to help them focus their thinking and their being present with all that is painful and tumultuous in our world right now. So, after a practice of taking in and sending (Tonglen) this week, I have suggested three prompts that might enliven their week. Here they are. Feel free to use them and to post anything you'd like about your own experience with these prompts:
I breathe in the suffering of…….and I breathe out the love…. because/by…..
I choose joy by…
What am I adding to the planet right now….