In recent days, there was yet another school shooting in the United States. Reports keep coming about human atrocities within our own borders as well as in other parts of the world. We are surrounded by political partisanship, obsession with power, and widespread controversy and scandal. Today, we as an American society are long on accusation, blame, and attack. We are short on responsibility, curiosity, and compassion. Perhaps most importantly, we are short on lifting up the human spirit and the caring for the natural world. We seem to have lost any connection to the idea of brother’s/sister’s keeper. It’s everyone for him or herself.
I fully acknowledge that this is a broad blanket statement. The truth is that there are many open-hearted people committing extraordinary acts of kindness, compassion, and care every single day – people who are committed to supporting the wellbeing of others and of our world. And for those people, I am extremely grateful. Yet we still have a ways to go to reach critical mass.
Hearts open in compassion through personal experience. When something touches us at the core of who we are – at a deep feeling level – we are much more likely to take action for a greater good. When we feel a sense of connection to another person or group, we are much less likely to attack. Instead, we are more likely to be curious and open-minded, seeking out the truth of what is happening.
The bottom line – what we do not love, we will not save. When we do not see the good in something or someone, we are less likely to care what happens to them. This does not create sustainable societies or a sustainable world.
With each heart that opens, with each expression of compassion, and with each feeling of connection, we step closer to a tipping point – a shift in the mass consciousness towards awareness that we are all connected.
Therefore, this week, I offer a meditation that I adapted long ago from the Buddhist practice of Loving Kindness. I invite you to set aside 20 minutes today and join me in this guided meditation. It is a simple yet effective practice that opens hearts and minds – one that you can also offer to others.
I have no delusion that this simple practice is the answer to all of our ills. However, I know from experience that it can be a powerful starting place. Hearts that are open with compassion and love become hearts in action for a greater good.
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If you wish to go straight to the meditation, it begins at 4:00.
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