With the fragile condition of our eco-system finally breaking through into the mainstream news cycle, we can easily be overwhelmed by the loss of biodiversity and permafrost, the pollution of earth, air and oceans, and the attendant insecurity and danger to life on earth. We might struggle both with the information itself – the amount, the content and the ramifications – and with our emotional response, or what is increasingly being referred to as ‘climate-grief.’
Our lives unfold in constant exposure to loss and grief. Everything is already turning into dust, ourselves included. Whether looking at our own mortality or at the larger picture of our planetary life, conventional culture constantly loses sight of this truth, either in denial or overwhelm. Dharma practice on the other hand, turns our attention towards the heart of our fragile, precious existence. Contemplating endings is a way to honour the mystery and beauty of tis fleeting life, and a way to find the courage, the will and the love to do whatever we can.
Because we naturally protect what we love, and in the end, love is the only relationship to life that truly makes sense; it is love that resolves our sense of unease, helplessness, and separation; love for all the beauty and blessings, and love in the face of inevitable loss and grief. Love that can tolerate discomfort and disagreement; love that cares, and responds; love that allows us to keep our heart open, even when it’s heavy.