some years ago I was lucky enough to see Leonard Cohen in concert. One of my favorite songs has the following lines:
“So ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.”
These words grab me by the heart time and time again. When he introduced the song he began with the words: “so much of the world is plunged in darkness and chaos…” This was true then and sadly it is just as true today.
How do we bear the violence, how do we respond? France’s president said: ‘..our fight will be merciless..’ while the Buddha stated: “Hatred will not cease by hatred but by love alone. This is the ancient law.” Perhaps each of us finds her or his place somewhere between these two places. At times we might find ourselves leaning this way or that, when anger arises or helplessness or sadness or overwhelm. How we respond creates an inner compass, and determines the kind of contribution we might want to make to the wellbeing of this world. My inner compass is shaped by the words of the Dalai Lama:
Transforming these words into action is a daily practice. Can we respond to ourselves with love and compassion, no matter what? Can we meet people in our lives with love and compassion(even in difficult moments)? Can we bear the suffering we witness in the world without losing love and compassion from our heart?
You may know about the program in Mindfulness and Compassion that Subahana Barzaghi and I have created. We offer a unique model that can be included in one’s life long after the workshop has finished. We offer research that shows the essential aspect of self-compassion to one’s happiness. We guide meditation practices specifically created to nourish the compassionate heart. As always, when Subhana and I teach together, we offer a dialogue between the Eastern contemplative and the Western psychological traditions.
If you wish to join, we still have a couple of places available. Click here for more information and the enrollment form.
Wishing you a cool start into summer.