Wednesday, December 14, 2016


Because there's this country, richer beyond any yet bankrupt in all the ways that count --

Because there's Syria --

Because it's the anniversary of Sandy Hook --

Because our planet is being plundered --

Because my own heart is bitter --


Breathing in the suffering of the world and others, breathing out love and compassion. Taking on the world's suffering seems ridiculous, except that it's not.

I am tempted to take care of my own, to tend my own garden, to go within as without seems dark. The hammering next door, the squirrels' chatter over a tangerine, the way the sun slanted through the window this morning.

The sense of the country going to pot. Our country, the wretched led by the morally bankrupt. The impossibility for me of not looking out, not being engaged and informed. The impossibility for me of only looking within. Illusion.

My reliance on meditation, specifically tonglen, forgotten and remembered. Relief.

Acknowledging misery -- the world's and my own -- is just that. Acknowledgement. There is peace in acknowledgement. Breathing out love and compassion.

Love is a verb.


  1. Thank you. I'm joining you in this. It is the most important thing we can do, if only because it reminds us that we are all connected, that the world's suffering IS our suffering, that looking within is part and parcel of connecting and finding grace and strength for ourselves and all of us. From my heart to yours. Namaste.

  2. When I'm suffering I tend to shut down. Everything hurts too much and I feel the need to curl into a tight ball to protect myself from even more pain and suffering.

    I know I'm not alone in suffering. I need to try this. Thank you. Lilycedar

  3. Thank you for such a precious gift this morning, Elizabeth.

  4. One of the most powerful practices we can engage with! Thank you for sharing this. Tonglen helped open my heart and really turn it towards further opening. It ignited a desire to be of benefit to others and to do what I can to alleviate suffering. It's useful to break our habit of self-cherishing.

    Wishing you all the best, always!


  5. So beautifully expressed, Elizabeth. Thank you.

  6. I like the sense of engagement you encourage here. I believe in acknowledging the limits of our individual ability to address some of these planetary problems -- for me, that's an essential part of maintaining my sanity! But at the same time, it IS crucial to remain informed and engaged. So, yes, Tonglen. A great idea.

    I love your new header photo, by the way. Terrific!

  7. There is peace in acknowledgement.
    Thank you for this today.



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