The first step

Without meditation, where do we even begin to find a place to stand and speak the whole truth? The four noble truths teach that there is suffering, that it’s caused by human ignorance and selfishness, that it stops when these attitudes stop, and that we have to live in accordance with that. Maybe the truths of suffering and its origin don’t lead to the ceasing of suffering on the sociocultural level right now. But through meditation, through directly accessing the heart, one can at least see and speak the truth of how suffering feels in this moment, where you experience it in your heart and body. A way of action can evolve from that, but the first step is to speak truth, feel truth, live truth.

Ajahn Sucitto, Heart light in Dark Times

Hope is a choice

The other spiritual discipline and way to stay grounded is that however seriously we must take what’s happening in the world and what the headlines are reflecting, it is never the full story of our time. It’s not the last word on what we’re capable of. It’s not the whole story of us. And we have to take that other narrative that’s not reaching the headline point, which is a very specific bar. Journalism, the way it came down to us from the 20th century, is absolutely focused, utterly and completely, on what is catastrophic, corrupt, and failing. And then, at the same time, there are good people. There are healing initiatives. There is a narrative of healing and of hope and of goodness, and we also just, as a discipline, have to take that in, as well — not instead of, but the both/and of humanity and of our world.

And I think it’s only in doing that that we keep flexing and strengthening our hope muscle. Hope is a muscle. It’s a choice. It is a vigorous choice, to see what is wrong and what needs healing and needs repair and needs our attention and also to keep our hearts and our imaginations and our energy oriented towards what we want to build, what we want to create, what we’re walking towards.

Krista Tippett, On Being Blog

Nature

Many indigenous cultures and spiritual traditions recognize four natural sanctuaries where we can remember and come home to who we are: the desert, the mountains, the waters, and the woods. Nature comes from the Latin ‘natus,’ ‘to be born.’ Native peoples look to these places for remembrance, soul retrieval work, and to be reborn or renewed. Because we are made from the natural elements- fire (our energy), air (our breath), water (our blood), and earth (our bones),- we are always drawn to come into harmony with the beauty of nature around us. It nourishes the soul and opens us to be born into the mysterious presence and promptings of our own vast inner world.

Angeles Arrien

At a time of not knowing

 

People are afraid to forget their minds, fearing to fall through the void with nothing to break their fall. 

They do not know that the Void is not really void, but the place of the real dharma

Huángbò Xīyùn, died 850, Chinese Chan(Zen) Buddhist master