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Two worlds

I was at a meditation teacher training weekend when Hamas attacked Israel.


We were sitting in comfy chairs; a group of seekers, committed to exploring our hearts and quieting our minds. Gentle music is playing as we meditate and reflect, traveling within, breathing deeply and exhaling what keeps us on rewind. The room hums with acceptance and peace.


We are in a bubble of love and camaraderie on the day hundreds of innocent people; including children, babies, and the elderly, were shot, maimed, raped and beheaded.


I am between two worlds and can’t find a place to comfortably sit or stand.


The power of the collective commitment to choose lightness and truth.


The power of the collective commitment to choose to obliterate Jews.


On one hand, a world of inner peace, harmony among people committed to exploring what’s inside them, finding their still, small voice and listening from within. Allowing ourselves to be quiet, to share only from the heart; willingly exposed and overflowing with love.


And then, the world of hatred; of violence, epic trouble and the absence of hope.


I want to feel the warmth of people who choose love; the group of strangers who become family while engaging in a loving quest for peace.


But how do I when the world is upside down and women are being led, naked and bloody through streets, their captors victorious?


The world is torn asunder.


It’s a world so far from mine I ache.


I am sick.


I am torn apart.


How do these worlds co-exist?


Is there any chance of peace when hatred and evil seem to dominate?


Is there value in going inside, writing from the heart when the world is upside down?


What really matters in a world where explosion, murder and torture come so readily; the will to kill so unrelenting?


How do we manage to stay hopeful, to believe, protest, plead for a better world?


I want the love.


I want the peace.


I want the togetherness that I had over the weekend.


I struggle to look directly at the images of war.


I think of my friends with family in the line of fire.


My soul needs to trust that working on love, believing in peace is still worth my time.

Is that infantile? Insane? Stupid? Shallow?


Perhaps.


But when I sit next to a stranger in a circle, letting go of our fears and choosing love, breathing in and out, I connect with the power of love. The stranger next to me begins to cry, I know not why

and yet, it doesn’t matter. I reach over and take her hand in mind. I smile. She smiles back.


I choose to believe that any act of decency, any gesture of love, any word of comfort is valuable, especially when it feels like nothing can make any difference.


I will continue to work to support people in their journeys of self-discovery because it’s important. How can we do what it takes to create a more loving world if we don’t start with ourselves?


May we all look inside and take steps to heal our own wounds.


May we all do our inner work so that we can then look outward and stand tall, speak the truth and do whatever we can to represent the best in humanity.


May we join together to support one another, committed to human rights and dignity.


May we believe in the power of love.


It may not feel like much but we don’t have much of a choice.


We need to keep going, joining together in this time of crisis.


And when it seems useless and unimportant to go about the day doing mundane tasks, reading, writing, fixing dinner, or even meditating, I try to bring myself back and think about the saying “it starts with you.”. I commit to continuing to go inside and reflecting on how to be the best version of me and why it still matters.


In the wise words of Thich What Hanh, “peace in the world starts with peace with oneself.”


So, let’s start there.


And then, go hug someone, smile at someone, cry with someone, listen to someone, love someone. Pass it on.



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