Courage. I’ve contemplated, wrote and signed off with Courage for so many years now- certainly it is available to be drawn from the ‘bank account’ of practice. I feel simultaneously up to the task and so very inadequate. Courage—from the French cour and sage—or at least that is how I like to think of it, courage as ‘wisdom of the heart.’ The marriage of intellect and highest compassion coupled with the capacity to confront and in that, access whatever skill held to act in accordance with the heart’s deepest desire.
The Heart here defined as Consciousness writ large, the source of all creative impulse and manifestation and also its dissolution. To borrow from Abraham Lincoln, it is the home of “our better angels.” How can we listen? How can we invite this wisdom? We must go there, experience must be had, there is no other way.
I have spent many years forging a clearer path to the Heart; I have steeped and continue to do so daily, in its dynamic throb. I have soaked in the light of Consciousness and take great comfort from its unending source and I feel the pain of challenge not less, but oh so much more potently! How can this be? Meditation makes you stronger and also weaker; weaker to do that which is deleterious to cultivating our higher circumstance. Perhaps this is why I cannot look away from the terror that is all around now in the time of Covid 19, and feel it more acutely.
My inadequacy to the task at hand has me grieving. Yes, I fear for myself and those I love but it is so much deeper than that. Truly I am not worried about myself. I will move through with grace as cultivation of grace is ongoing. But how can I assist and ease the suffering I feel mounting? It is hard to separate the personal from the public here and I am not sure it is even warranted.
So, I continue to nurture courage and the heightened capacity to act with skill and compassion. In communicating with our various groupings, we fertilize the seed of desire. The incipient sprout needs tender care to blossom. It matters. What we do matters even if it is simply to add a drop of courage to the collective bucket of light, the scale is tipped.
Tend Your Garden March 11, 2020
When you wake up one morning and the air smells fresh and clean, the sun pulsing a bit warmer, the harsh breeze of winter now softening, something stirs in the heart and we instinctively know, it’s time to plant! We yearn to get outside and put our hands in the dirt. For some, this is literal, we really do want to plant our garden; plan out the vegetables and flowers that will bring nourishment and beauty to both the body and soul. Regardless of whether this vision calls to you, all humans have an inbuilt mechanism, a cyclic clock that signals that it is time to begin anew.
Spring is synonymous with beginning but in truth we can begin at any time, even right this moment. We reap what we sow, say the scriptures. What are you planting? What is the condition of the soil in which you place the tender seed? How do you nourish it?
When one wishes to plant a garden, they look at pictures of what the seeds will become. Choosing what speaks to our desire, we purchase the necessary items that will support the project and off we go. We cannot leave the seeds in the packet and hope they will somehow magically grow. There is work to be done, we must make the soil ready.
Meditation is both the tilling of the soil and the planting of the seed. It is up to each individual to daily nourish the ground of their being so that naturally life burgeons. Whatever we wish to do on the surface of life flourishes. Even if we are not quite sure what that something is, in time it will show itself. Think of this simple teaching from the Upanishads, “water the roots." For a plant to blossom the roots must be watered. We can sprinkle water on the leaves and flowers and they may look good for a while, but this is really window dressing, and ultimately, it will not grow. The same holds true for humans. We want not to just survive but to thrive! Take awareness to source, “water the root of attention” and then anywhere you place attention life blossoms. It is cumulative in effect, refining the body-mind and heightening the senses which is, after all, the way we perceive, take the world in and offer our gifts back.
The world needs you it needs me it needs all of us. It is tempting to think one person cannot make much of a difference but this is incorrect. Yes, our meditation practice is personal, it is for us and in knowing the source of who we truly are, we understand, we experience authentically, that we are all already and always connected. Raise the consciousness of one being and effect those they touch. This effect ripples out into the world. It’s not magic, but it is mysterious and it is real.
So, on this day, I am sending you love, light and perpetual encouragement to dive deep and water your roots. Tend to your garden, meditate. The world needs you.