Change takes place in every single moment. Within the mosaic of body, heart and mind, as well as in the structures of the outer. We can witness change. We can welcome it or refuse it. How we relate to it decides about ease or suffering, action or despair.
We wish for change. The time of the old is up. Its structures, habits and perspectives have lost their appeal. We sense the potential for something fresh to start.
We can witness change. Feel victimized or beaten by it. Or find ways of empowerment and respond with wisdom.
At times, the sheer number of imbalances makes us feel overwhelmed. Prejudice, injustice and exploitation appear overpowering. We feel too small to make a difference. Our own habits and tendencies can feel rock solid, too. Where to start? How to make changes last?
Meditation, mindfulness and reflection provide us with the tools to stand tall in an ever-changing universe. They offer the tools to find out how to make a difference.
Compassion guides us, motivates us, and protects us along the way. It is far from being docile or passive. Compassionate action neither shies away from nor drowns in the suffering, the pain, the heartbreak. The vastness of the compassionate heart reaches out and proclaims the necessity for change. Compassion brings the courage needed.
I invite you to contemplate in community on the changes we wish to see in our lives. Wisdom is the steady companion of the unchained heart.
What is driving my wish for change?
What support do we need to make a first step?
What will give us the energy needed to follow through when times get rough?
A practice suggestion – The Breath as a Refuge
Mindfulness of breathing can be a refuge in challenging times. Next time you find yourself in a conflict, feel threatened, anxious or overwhelmed, can you reconnect with your breathing?
Put aside impulses to act, fix, lash out or defend yourself for the moment. Do not rush into action, if not needed. Act, if non-action would cause harm to you or another.
Come back to the breath. Make a commitment to give yourself to your breathing for a couple of minutes. Can you trust in coming home to the breathing more than trusting in reactive action or thinking?
Give priority to reconnect with the rhythm, the steadiness of the breath. Where within the body is the sensation of breathing most obvious? Tune into the immediate bodily sensations of breathing. Lay aside all other concerns. Take refuge in the breath.
The breath-body might be contracted or tense. The mind can be restless due to the stress you are experiencing. Offer spaciousness and kind patience to the body. Allow it to relax into the immediate space around you.
Tune into breathing until you settled back into your body. See whether the impulses have lost their forceful command. Is there more space for clarity and compassionate action?