Life today can be a cacophony of events, activities and information, a relentless cascade that draws on a multitude of our resources. From our mental energy to our immune system, our emotional selves can start to fray in the repeated overwhelm and before we know it, we are miserable.
We cannot allow ourselves to feel that life is an uphill battle, a groundhog day phenomenon with a to-do list on an endless, repeating loop. How can we allow ourselves to miss out on beauty and wonder, the loveliness of trees and human eyes, of light refracting off wet surfaces, the miracle of being alive?
It can sometimes feel like a clamp is tightening in our contemporary world – news of corruption, obscene violence, our brains bent with normalized brutality.
It is our task to hold and nourish our hearts, to keep the channels open and do the work to clear them out when the debris of negativity clogs them up.
How we do this is to stop. To sit still and be quiet. To listen. Observe. Daily. Every, single day, this is the medicine, this is the dosage, a minimum of 20 minutes per day, once a day. More if you’re able.
I’ve spent the last 4 years working in rural South Africa with environmental and human rights activists, and what I have witnessed has left deep trails of despair in my heart. All of the injustice, the abuse of government and corporations has left us all scarred, but I have been blessed to work with and get to know these activists, who draw on deep wells of resilience that I had no idea existed.
So I know that it is possible to witness the horror of the world AND to connect to the softness, vulnerability and sweetness of my heart. I know this and I have seen dozens of people do it. The ability to navigate this polarity is a fine skill, a tool we can hone that opens us up and that builds tremendous resilience.
In the times when my mind has been crazed with injustice, furious about corruption, mangled with the complexity of race and culture, I have sought refuge with Tara Brach’s guided meditations. Thank God for Tara. Many of my clients have benefitted from her podcast and website, where she generously offers meditation advice for beginners and those more advanced.
I love the mindfulness meditations on her podcast for when my mind is roaring and for whatever reason, I struggle to sink into a skillful vipassana or period of silence. With Tara’s help I can come quiet, into my center, into my body and marvel at the spectrum of energetic activity in my being and bring connection to the field of awareness all around me. I can come out of feeling bombarded, isolated and reconnect with the world in a soft, safe way.
So if you need some sanity, or to clear a channel to your tender heart, or some help with your meditation, spend some time with Tara. Her website is https://www.tarabrach.com/.
Wishing you peace, rising delight and resilience.