The Practice of Compassion
June 7, 2018
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What Feeds You

I’m sitting at the dining room table with laptop before me and books strewn around me. Today the crowd that’s gathered includes: Santideva’s Guide to the Buddhist Path of Awakening (8th century CE), The Mindful Therapist (I love Dan Siegel!), Krista Tippett’s Becoming Wise, and Brene Brown’s Braving the Wilderness. Also, Rilke is keeping me company and sharing thoughts On Love and Other Difficulties, and other mystics as well in The Enlightened Heart: An Anthology of Sacred Poetry (gift from an old lover and one of the most pored over). Tree of Life: Buddhism and Protection of Nature, Shift into Freedom, by Loch Kelly, a Sierra club magazine, and three journals are here too. Every book feeds me in some way — feeds my soul or mind, my curiosity or need for beauty or understanding, or my desire to be better at something (meditating, teaching, loving, healing, caring for the Earth). The journals are the place to ponder, integrate, and express the life moving through me.

Every so often I lift my eyes from the small screen to the scene to my right. Out there, outside the sliding glass doors, huge clouds hang in a sky that is a sweet blue above them and a soft gray beneath them. Faraway rain falls on a calm ocean. When I first moved here, my friend Patricia came over and she stood next to me on the balcony and said, “I’ve lived on the river and it’s beautiful, I love it. But the ocean ... the ocean is God.” Every day I feel into that truth as I interrupt myself to turn and gaze and breathe. I look down for a moment to see the name of the chant that’s playing. It’s Gratitude Joy . . .  and then I hear the antiphon of thunder from the voice of the sky.

May you too find what feeds you, and let beauty surround you.
May you find more and more your own amazed ways to explore and express
the life moving in and through you.
May you hear Creation singing Its perfect song . . . even now  . . . even now.
May you pause often to let God in.

With love,
Elizabeth

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