Serve the suffering

There is a lot of suffering at the moment. We are witnessing heartache and hardship at all levels: for individuals, families and communities, states, nations and countries. We exist in a time of worldwide hurt. Often it feels like there is no escape as we face pandemic, fire, flood and war, alongside the ongoing day-to-day challenges and injustices we experience in our human lives.

For many, there is a feeling of overwhelm and deep despair. Coping strategies vary from extreme avoidance to intense interest, and everything in between. Some cannot bear to listen. Others need to talk and share the horrific stories they have heard or read. For some, it is about leaning in and giving. And then there are those of us who get lost in the outrage of it all. 

Recently, my motivation to sit and meditate waned. And I lost my breath. My will to write dissolved. My Wayapa and yoga practice became challenging or mechanical. I lost my lightness of being. I felt weighed down by the sorrow of the world.

I tried not to judge myself for the pause and lack of joy in my practice. Every morning I would awaken to fiercely reach out and grip some gratitude. I tried to remember compassion and listen deeply to the energy of my heart. And I kept reading and listening to the things that kept me from falling off the edge: The Upanishads, somatic meditations and old recordings of talks by Ram Dass. Each of these became my yin to the yang of the news of the day. And they weaved into a poultice for the wounds of my heart.

And as I listened and let the words settle into my bones, the texts, talks and meditations awakened the bodhisattva inside me. 

 Anyone can be a bodhisattva. Everyone has the possibility of cultivating awakening, empathy and compassion for the benefit of all sentient beings. Any one of us, and all of us can take the vow to put others first, to serve them and to serve their suffering. We can all dedicate our awakening to the benefit of others.

A bodhisattva finds true happiness in the happiness of others. This does not mean we do not look after ourselves. Our journey to wellbeing helps others on their path. We are well, so others are well. And these 'others' can be human in nature but also include animals, plants and mother earth.

Like the unbroken circle of breath, which sustains us as we sleep, we are one. Interconnected. Inter-being. Your suffering is my suffering, and mine is yours. My peace is yours and peace for the world.

Service is the answer to the question of suffering. It is the rainbow of solidarity, gratitude and hope.

If you feel moved to do so, please join me in the bodhisattva prayer for all humanity and beyond.

"May I be a guard for those who need protection, a guide for those on the path, a boat, a raft, a bridge for those who wish to cross the flood."

2 comments

Thank you Bec, I am so grateful for your kind words.

Kristina Garla May 04, 2022

Beautiful, K. “We are well, so others are well.”
Seems like you got your mojo back. :)

Bec Crozier April 27, 2022

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