Sometimes, as much as we want to be of benefit in the world, and how hopeful we may feel about our meditation practice, we come up against walls. As much as we want to be present, we just can’t. As much as we want to care about Ukraine, it feels like too much. As much as our hearts break when we see the miseries of the world, we have no idea what to do. How do we work with this?
We can start by letting go of the idea that we can fix things, including ourselves. A fixing mentality shifts us from being a part of the universe to trying to rise above it, move outside of it, or step away from it. Attempting to fix takes us further away from the ease we seek. Meeting suffering requires moving through.
When we first start meditation practice, it can feel like a relief. Only later do we feel stuck. We meet walls in our meditation practice in the same way we meet walls in the world around us. In our sitting practice, when difficulties arise, we stay present. Doing so teaches us the fundamental truth that everything that arises passes away. This is the flow of the Universe.
When we practice moving through, everything changes. We see clearly that everything we do matters. The practice we do on our meditation cushion is deeply connected to the suffering of the world around us. Knowing this intimately, we can help the people of Ukraine right now, with our genuine practice, our genuine heart of compassion—not turning away, not fixing, but attending to the suffering that is here, in this moment.