"Mindfulness Practice isn't just about escaping to some magical inner realm devoid of life's challenges. The Practice is about calming your mind and opening your heart enough to engage Life directly, to be more fully Present in a kind, clear, and helpful way."

Your MMM Courtesy Wake Up Call! The Musings of a Long-time Student of Meditation

Thursday, December 24, 2015

All Is Calm, All Is Bright

With deep gratitude to the Teachers and Teachings that brought Tonglen Practice into my life.

Hold the sadness and pain of samsara in your heart and at the same time the power and vision of the Great Eastern Sun. Then the warrior 
can make a proper cup of tea.”
― Chögyam Trungpa

 “When you begin to touch your heart or let your heart be touched, you begin to discover that it's bottomless, that it doesn't have any resolution, that this heart is huge, vast, and limitless. You begin to discover how much warmth and gentleness is there, as well as how much space.”
― Pema Chödrön

Looking out the window, it's hard to grasp the fact that today is Christmas Eve.  Although the trees are bare, there is still ample greenery glistening within the soft mist of this springlike, overcast morning.  The forecasters are predicting a day in the upper 60's here in New England. 

Immediately thoughts arise and I notice myself face to face with the spectre of Global Warming, aware that most climatologists say that the change in climate we are experiencing will produce a rise in sea level that threatens the homelands of many island peoples.  My heart aches as a deep sadness emerges.  

Allowing these thoughts to dissolve, knowing that others feel this sadness also, I breath the fullness of this feeling into my heart as I recite two of the traditional Brahmavihara phrases:  "May all beings be safe. May all beings be free of suffering and the roots of suffering".  

As the in-breath continues, I notice a sense of spaciousness re-emerge as first my belly, then my rib cage expands.  My tender, warm, achy breaky heart is comforted in the embrace of a calm, clear, expansive open awareness that seemingly extends throughout and beyond space and time as the in-breath continues.  

As in-breath becomes out-breath, the words "May all beings be at peace" float on that breath as it dissolves into the Essential Oneness, radiating outward on the wings of a translucent visualization of the clear and brilliant eyes of countless beings gleaming in full awareness of their Buddhanature. 

I continue breathing and Practicing for awhile, and my heart glows as a deep joy mingles with a soft melancholy.  The world continues to glisten outside the window.  

All is calm, all is bright.

Sitting here now, I renew my vow to continue working for the changes needed to create a sustainable, cooperative, peaceful world.

Merry Christmas.  

(For more on Tonglen Practice, see The Practice of Tonglen by Pema Chodron)

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