"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:
Musings on Life and Practice
by a Longtime Student of Meditation

Saturday, October 9, 2021

A Good Cry

“Crying is one of the highest devotional songs. One who knows crying, knows spiritual practice. If you can cry with a pure heart, nothing else compares to such a prayer.  Crying includes all the principles of Yoga.”


“In the Lakota/Sioux tradition, a person who is grieving is considered 
most Wakan, most holy."
Tara Brach,  


Emmett Kelly 1898 - 1979

 
Some time ago, I came across the above quote by Swami Kripalvanandji while preparing for a yoga class that I was going to teach that day.  I immediately emailed it to a dear friend who was having a rough time.

She called me later to tell me it helped -- a lot.  After reading it, she immediately headed out to her garden to have a good cry.  She said it was exactly what she needed. 

Big Boys (Girls) Don't Cry
 
Growing up in contemporary society, most of us have learned to avoid crying like the plague.  Widely seen as a sign of unacceptable weakness and frailty, we are conditioned to keep a stiff upper lip, to steel ourselves against this natural expression of heartfelt feeling.  Although this conditioning is considered to be a "male," thing, most of the women I know often fight back their tears as well. 
 
(Strain's of the Four Seasons singing "Big Girls Don't Cry-yay-yay"just ran through my inner iPod)

Hmmmm.  Maybe I shouldn't plunge ahead here.  Although I'm an amateur and would never charge for yakking about Mindfulness Practice, I might get sued by the Commercial Mindfulness Cartel.  The pro's tend to skip right ahead to Buddha's Third Noble Truth: the Cessation of Suffering?  You don't see any glitzy promotional commercials proclaiming -- Mindfulness Practice: Guaranteed to Make You Cry!  It might be bad for business.

And yet...
(READ MORE)
Over the years, it has become quite clear to me (and many others*)Emotional pain doesn't cause suffering.  It really is just what it is.  It is our conditioned resistance to the pain that causes suffering.  Adrift in the pervasive conditioning of today's society, we shut down.  Our hearts become closed.   We lose our connection to our True Nature.
 
Yet it doesn't have to be that way.  With Practice, we can to learn to embrace Life As It Is -- wholeheartedly.

A Good Cry

Pain, sorrow, and grief will naturally emerge as we open to the infinite permutations of Life and Death that are inherent in the human condition.  Yet, living in contemporary American society, most of us have been conditioned to shield our hearts.  Our hearts become armored with layers of anger and fear.  These calcified emotions tend to generate and thrive on story lines full of blame and judgment.  This energy fuels the cycle of violence.   It's why we are in the mess we are in today.  

Yet, it doesn't have to be that way.  Over time, with courage, gentle effort, and patience, we can move past this conditioning.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu at Truth and Reconciliation Hearing 1996
Ultimately,  our hearts and our bodies will respond authentically to the immediacy of the moment --  our heart will open and honest tears will flow more readily.
 
Opening to the tears, accepting and embracing Life As It Is moment to moment, changes everything.  We regain our fundamental Connection to ourselves, to one another, and to the One Love that exists within and beyond all that is.

Opening to the Darkness, we open to the Light!  How cool is that?  
 
It just takes Practice.

 * The tears I shed during the course of a five-day retreat led by the late Stephen Levine and his wife Ondrea were among the most healing moments of my life.  Levine's talent at crafting guided meditations capable of "opening the heart" was unparalleled.    (See  Your MMM Courtesy Wake Up Call: Good Grief.)

Originally Posted, May 15, 2015.  Revised. 

5 comments:

Kathy McVicker said...

I saw that this was originally in 2015, however I know it is needed now more than ever! I love every word every thought every bit of clarity you shared with us. We need to get this out there bigger than on notifications. Let me know if I can help I don’t know how I would but I know that I could, with the help of love love love within my heart. Namaste‘ ����❤️

Kathy McVicker said...

I must tell you...l did NOT put question marks (4 of them) before or after, NAMASTE’ in my post, l just posted.
AND...I JUST READ THIS ALOUD TO SOMOME WHO WOULD NOT TAKE THE TIME TO READ THIS♥️
WE (OUR WORLD) NEEDS THIS BRILLIANT INFORMATION NOW...PLEASE ATTEND TO OUR WORLDS’
IMMEDIATE NEED‼️πŸ™❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️NAMASTE’
P.S.IF YOU NEED SOMEONE TO READIT TO SOME ‘ONES’, WHO CANNOT READ IT OTHERWISE, LET ME KNOW...
I AM A PROFESSIONAL SPEAKER...ANYWAY TO GET THIS EVERYWHERE NOW♥️

Lance Smith said...

Hi Kathy,
I'm glad that you found this worthwhile. Email me at thishazymoon@gmail.com and we can communicate further?

Unknown said...

Brother Lance ❣️. This is a WONDERFUL, SUPER message..SOOO needed ❗❗❗. Much Love πŸ’•πŸ˜ŠπŸ˜Š

Unknown said...

Kathy ❣️. I TOTALLY AGREE with you that this is the most essential message for our time ❣️❣️❣️ Let's get it out there ❗❗❗. Much Love, jontz