Continuing with Sally Armstrong’s talk, “The roles of mindfulness, metta and equanimity in our practice” – about the practice of metta – and also to balance out the negativity in the news…
We can be very overwhelmed by the dukkha, the suffering, in the world, the negativity. … where we know every disaster that’s happening in every part of the planet. … We can feel the impact of that. … What’s also important to know is there are countless acts of kindness. … There’s much goodness, but it doesn’t make the headlines because it’s not so dramatic.~ Sally Armstrong
She shares the story of “Norah and Mr. Dan” as one example of a natural expression of care from a four-year old towards an old man at the grocery store. (If you haven’t listened to the talk, check out the link for the story.) Sally concludes:
That’s the possibility of metta, the open heart, the feeling of connection, and wanting other to be happy. Our own happiness and well-being can come out of that external wish, that caring about others. We can train in this capacity.
To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places–and there are so many–where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.~ Howard Zinn
So in the vein of being hopeful and cultivating energy to act, have you seen this recent video from retired Canadian astronaut, Chris Hatfield, An Astronaut’s Guide to Optimism 2020?
I propose to dedicate Mondays to sharing this type of news. What do you think? Send me your good news stories to include in upcoming weeks!
Guided meditation: Here’s a 40 minute metta meditation recently led by Vinny Ferraro
Feel free to share your reflections or comments below, or by email.
With warm wishes,