How to Center in an Age of Turmoil
Our world today is a lot to take in. My husband calls much of what we see in the news “The Anger Movement” because so many people seem so violently upset.
How do we maintain our center and participate productively in this environment?
Last weekend, I attended an online meditation retreat with Zen Priest Angel Kyodo Williams, author of Radical Dharma and Being Black. She told us the single capacity that will never do us wrong is coming back to ourselves through sitting meditation. So much of the constant rush of our lives keeps us from feeling into our bodies. We’re habituated to take off and run away from ourselves. But by quietly abiding when we sit in meditation, we come home to ourselves. This is the antidote to a society and culture that wants us to forget our true selves, she says. Through mindfulness, through showing up for ourselves in meditation over and over again, we find the world that has always been waiting for us, that invites our truths and our complexities.
When we know who we are, when we can stay settled in our own bodies, then we can go forward in our world. During my recent week at Chautauqua, one speaker told of the remarkable and resolute African Americans in Montgomery, Alabama, during the 382-day bus boycott who kept on keeping on. This is what I try and keep in my awareness – not outrage but inspiration and gratitude for the giants on whose shoulders we stand. I try and remember that how we are on the inside ripples out into the world and has an effect.
When our lives get difficult, as the Dalai Lama says, we need to meditate more. We also need to help others more and speak our truth more. Every little bit makes a difference. Everything you do makes a difference. Let’s encourage each other to keep promoting peace within and without because while it’s a solo journey, Rev. Angel says, the paradox is that we do it together.
Peace to Each of You,
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