We can look inward at our own worst fears in order to understand our “foes” from the inside out. We have to start with compassion and kindness for ourselves in order to sincerely be able to understand and develop kindness for others, even if we don’t immediately see where that kindness we radiate will fall. If the first step is showing kindness and listening to ourselves, the second may be listening to others without collapsing into judgement and self-righteousness.
Carl Sagan on Moving Beyond Us vs. Them, Bridging Conviction with Compassion, and Meeting Ignorance with Kindness
It’s true! Please go to this link for more information:
Online Weekend Retreat
As those of you that showed up today know, I was not up to the task of discussing this great article, so we talked about confusion, delusion, and our expectations of authority figures, teachers and our relationship with the Dharma and retirement. Now that I think about it, it still ended up being a challenging, but interesting, discussion!
Article: Awakening to Dependent Origination
We talked about how our sense of anxiety, fear and anger is related, how we are dealing with depression, and also real ways we examine how to build up our resilience “muscle.” We also know that it’s great to have “how to” guides encouraging us to be resilient in difficult times, we still have to be patient and gentle. We can also just be overwhelmed and out of balance sometimes.
And here’s a charming take on optimism. It’s good for you!
One Fine Day: David Byrne Performs His Hymn of Optimism and Countercultural Anthem of Resistance and Resilience with the Brooklyn Youth Chorus
We talked about free association in meditation and everyone contributed their totally unique experiences that somehow made everyone feel understood and was every enjoyable. I have no associated online articles about this, but Jason Siff gave a talk on association as part of his Recollective Awareness technique, and I’ll be sure to include a link to his recorded talk when it’s available.
Have a great Thanksgiving holiday and be safe!
Today I sort of subjected you to Marcel Proust, who, besides writing a really long book, had a lot to say about suffering, wisdom, art, and habit:
“In Proust’s view we don’t really learn anything until there is a problem, until we are in pain, until something fails to to as we had hoped.”
— How Proust Can Change Your Life (Vintage International) by Alain De Botton
Proust on What Art Does for the Soul and How to Stop Letting Habit Blunt Our Aliveness
We’re all just trying to recuperate from the tribulations of the election and basically we all agreed we feel like (as our resident poet, ,Mary said) “A wet dish rag that’s been tossed in the trash.”
With that, we considered how to negotiate between forgiveness for ourselves and for others, and how to figure out what we stand for.
Anne Lamott on Forgiveness, Self-Forgiveness, and the Relationship Between Brokenness and Joy
We talked about the need for having hope and how we distinguish between more worldly, or narrow desires and a more loving way of using hope to be kind to ourselves. Here’s a lovely article which I didn’t actually get to talk about.
Octavia Butler on Creative Drive, the World-Building Power of Our Desires, and How We Become Who We Are
And, as promised, a lovely and unexpected vote for hope as we go toward election day, as Stephen draws from his vast knowledge of Lord of the Rings to comfort his bud, Jon.