|People submitted numerous examples on how they are using Finding Steady Ground.
Here’s a sample:
Read more testimonials on how implementing these behaviors helps.
This week we are taking a closer look at practice #3.
#3: I will pray, meditate, or reflect on those I know who are being impacted by oppressive policies, and extend that love to all who may be suffering.
Why is this important?
When we struggle to interact with big social, political, or economic events, it can be hard to remember that, ultimately, our lives and our pain are personal.
Oppression is not “out there” — it too is personal, connected with what we value, what we love, what gives us joy. We cannot shape the world we want to live in by thinking about abstract ideas or principles. Change comes from within us.
That means starting with self-love, to become our full and true selves. It can be hard to stay kind to ourselves, but these are times to be kinder.
It also means feeling the pain of losses, and grieving fully and open-heartedly. From there, love naturally flows outwards. It may flow easily to our cherished loved ones who are vulnerable and hurting, but these are times to widen that circle of love, extending outwards as well.
Scientists have identified “mirror-neurons” which are the parts of us that literally feel the pain we see in others. The hurts we feel are a shared communal pain, not merely mine or yours, but ours. To help us heal, each one of us gets to make the choice to step into that shared pool of pain.
To feel these hurts and extend love is a courageous task—and it’s deeply personal.
Creating categories of people to feel bad about and champion, or to disagree with and dismiss, is too theoretical. That stance keeps us too separated, and will not get us far. We start with being good to ourselves, then to real people we already love, then to real people we can imagine loving (and then to real live people that it’s hard to imagine loving!). All the time, we’re talking about our hearts and the living, breathing people with whom we share this world.
So what to do?
Once a week, set aside time to grieve and to love.
You may already have a practice that sustains you. Or this may be new. Either way, we’ve gathered a few meditations, prayers, and reflections from people of a variety of backgrounds (below!). We hope you explore these writings and find a bit that nurtures your heart.
Try incorporating #3 into your life and please let us know how it goes!
You’re not in this alone. Keep sharing! Keep loving!
– Daniel Hunter and Pamela Haines
Lane Ayre, Process Work
Reflect on how you are impacted by oppressive policies, and by the politics of our time. Notice whatever thoughts may arise, including thoughts about what you can or should do about the situation. Now notice whatever emotions may be present, including perhaps hurt, anger, grief, loss, frustration, or hopelessness. (Read More…)
Rhetta Morgan, Pagan Mystic
|Prayer for Now
I am breathing in the mystery of the universeMay I remember, when my heart breaks
Great Beingness of all
May I remember your endless love
Rabbi Julie Greenberg
Imagine a specific moment when you were treated kindly in the past. It could be an instance with someone you know well or an instance with a complete stranger such as a driver giving you unexpected right-of-way. Let this Chesed/kindness infuse into your body, spreading from behind you through every vein, muscle and limb. Let the kindness deeply soak into yourself. (Read More…)
Imam Steve Mustapha Elturk
|Reflection and Prayer
In the name of God, the most Compassionate, Ever Merciful
In times of distress, suffering, agony and pain, God reassures,
“He is with you where ever you are.” (Quran, 57:4)
The many unpleasant experiences of life, be it fear, hunger, poverty, ailments, death, turmoil among other events of life, are but a test.
Reverend Ken Sehested
|Prayers While Throwing Stuff
We each pray for different
reasons in different seasons,
too often steady-headed,
indelicacy is now needed
—prayers while throwing
stuff against the wall—
Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche
& Liza Smith
|I Can Hold the Human Family in My Heart With Kindness
I can hold the human family in my heart with kindness. Because we are such a diverse culture it is very easy to see the differences between people. Kindness undercuts that. (Read More, including a companion meditation)
En Español! Finding Steady Ground in Spanish (Buscando terreno firme): es.findingsteadyground.com. Por favor comparta con otras personas!
Missed the previous e-mails on Commitment #1 or #2? You can find them in the resources section of our website!