East-West Dharma Message..

Facing Pandemic Fears with an Awake Heart (Tara Brach)

While it’s natural to feel fear during times of great collective crisis, our challenge is that fear easily takes over our lives. This talk explores how the mindfulness and compassion of the RAIN meditation can help us find an inner refuge in the face of fear, and deepen our loving connection with each other.

Listen to the talk at:

dharmaseed.org/teacher/175/talk/61259/  (Click here)

Experience tells us that it is best to listen (or listen again!) to the talk as close to the meeting time as possible, and to take a few notes on items you wish to discuss.

For reference, here are some of of the outside sources quoted by the speaker.

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle (It is believed that Ian Maclaren was the original source of the quotation, now widely misattributed to Plato or Philo of Alexandria.)

Clearing (Martha Postelwaite)
Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
patiently,
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worth of rescue.

May whatever arises serve the awakening of wisdom (Click here) and compassion. May whatever is going on in our lives, whatever circumstances, may they serve. (Buddhist prayer)

When the crowded refugee boats met with storms or pirates, if everyone panicked, all would be lost. But if even one person stayed calm, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive. (Thich Nhat Hanh)

Whatever you frequently think and ponder upon, that will become the inclination of your mind (the Buddha)

 Lockdown (Brother Richard Hendrick – a Capuchin Franciscan living in Ireland) 

Yes there is fear.
Yes there is isolation.
Yes there is panic buying.
Yes there is sickness.
Yes there is even death.

BUT, 

They say that in Wuhan after so many years of noise
You can hear the birds again.
They say that after just a few weeks of quiet
The sky is no longer thick with fumes
But blue and grey and clear.
They say that in the streets of Assisi
People are singing to each other
across the empty squares,
keeping their windows open
so that those who are alone
may hear the sounds of family around them.
They say that a hotel in the West of Ireland
Is offering free meals and delivery to the housebound.

Today a young woman I know
is busy spreading fliers with her number
through the neighborhood
So that the elders may have someone to call on.

Today Churches, Synagogues, Mosques and Temples
are preparing to welcome
and shelter the homeless, the sick, the weary

All over the world people are slowing down and reflecting
All over the world people are looking at their neighbors in a new way
All over the world people are waking up to a new reality
To how big we really are.
To how little control we really have.
To what really matters.

TO LOVE…

So we PRAY and we remember that
Yes, there is fear.
But there does not have to be hate.
Yes, there is isolation.
But there does not have to be loneliness.
Yes, there is panic buying.
But there does not have to be meanness.
Yes, there is sickness.
But there does not have to be disease of the soul.

 

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