How Does A Heart Of Service Respond?
Dear Bay Area Friends,
Coronavirus has uprooted the fabric of our lives. How does a heart of service respond to an unknown cause, how do we build resilience when we can't be physically together, and how do we amplify lotus in the mud?
To share reflections, a crew of elders, experts and everyday heroes are coming together on a video conference call this Tuesday, March 17 @8:30PM PST. We invite you to join as well! Details/RSVP here.
Uncertain times raise significant questions that can architect a new story for our future. Carbon emissions have dropped dramatically, but xenophobia is rising. Government surveillance is increasing, while global scientist cooperation is going up. Nursing homes are being evacuated, only to bring elders home to their families. Shopping malls are empty but family meals are on the rise. Awakening of kindness is pervasive, but the inequality of human suffering is evident. Borders are still present, but the boundaries of our shared humanity are getting blurry. Yes, undercurrents of fear are everywhere, but so are prayers. Jack Kornfield recently shared, "The virus isn't happening to us; it's happening for us." May we all embrace this invitation to step into our highest aspirations and serve this inflection point in history.
While "social distancing" might be a trending phrase, when we see Italian neighbors lean out their windows to sing songs together, we know that creative calls to social connection are alive and well. :) A reminder of other spaces to engage -- our Wednesday Awakin Circles are still on, but virtually. Every Saturday, we host inspiring calls that you can dial into. And if you're called to deepen in a solitary retreat, Banyan Grove has two huts that can be used for meditation.
This week's Awakin Reading is a beautiful poem -- and reminder -- by Lynn Ungar:
"What if you thought of it, as the Jews consider the Sabbath -- the most sacred of times? Cease from travel. Cease from buying and selling. Give up, just for now, on trying to make the world different than it is. [...] Know that our lives are in one another’s hands. Do not reach out your hands. Reach out your heart. Reach out your words. Reach out all the tendrils of compassion that move, invisibly, where we cannot touch. Promise this world your love -- for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, so long as we all shall live."
Audrey, Nipun, Tim, Helen, Dustin, Liz and many others ...
P.S. From what seems like a long time ago, here are some inspiring reflections from a profoundly powerful retreat in January: Gandhi 3.0 -- Vortex of Noble Friendships