From the Heart

Thich Nhat Hanh writes:

“Someone asked me, ‘Aren’t you worried about the state of the world?” I allowed myself to breathe and then I said, ‘What is most important is not to allow your anxiety about what happens in the world to fill your heart. If your heart is filled with anxiety, you will get sick and will not be able to help.’

“Yes, there is tremendous suffering all over the world, but knowing this need not paralyze us. If we practice mindful breathing, mindful walking, mindful sitting and working in mindfulness, we can try our best to help.”

We hear the good monk remind us that mindfulness, and the meditation practices cultivating mindfulness, can help us in our work to alleviate suffering in the world.

There is a deeper truth here as well. Our meditation practices can also bring us relief and refreshment and respite – all valuable on their own merits. We deserve these whether or not our work to help others is more effective.

I struggle to be gentle with myself and remember this. The Universe offers us these spiritual practices – invites us into the relief and respite and refreshment.

Let’s accept this invitation.
Rev. George Buchanan