Breathing thru the pain

My dharma friend Maia Duerr has a beautiful perspective on the recent horrors of hatred and violence rife in our world: it’s all the pain of birthing a new life.

In her July Full Moon newsletter, Maia shared her thoughts and a wonderful new video from India.Arie, “Breathe”, which led me to a good cry that I knew I had been needing! Maia says she believes “we are in the throes of some tremendous birthing process.”

With every bone in my body I believe we are on our way to living into a more awakened way of being with each other and being on the Earth. But we are not there yet. Like any birthing process, the going can get very rough and it would be delusional for me to not recognize that things will likely get ‘worse’ before they get better. Those who are entrapped by fear and ignorance are acting out in ever-more terrifying ways. But always remember this is not the truth of who we are as human beings. 

As some in the #blacklivesmatter movement have pointed out, things are not necessarily worse now, they’re just getting uncovered. What we’re seeing is the karmic fruit of centuries of injustice and a mindless, grasping social and economic order. Maia says, “This brutally honest recognition of “what is,” painful as it may be, is a necessary step toward transformation.”

We can only continue to live our lives if we maintain some kind of confidence that this transformation, this world-wide awakening, is possible and is happening despite our difficulty seeing it.

Maia’s words, and India.Arie’s video, are helping me get through this week.


4 thoughts on “Breathing thru the pain

  1. donsalmon says:

    I agree it’s beautiful to develop the equanimity to truly “see” clearly, to not judge or fear what may truly be the birthing pangs of a new world.

    I also know of a great deal of research literature (and, heck, traditional Buddhism and Vedanta:>)) that shows that the clearer our intention and vision for the goodness of what may come, the more likely we are likely to give birth to it.

    The current issue of the Nation has an article on a vision of the future. YES! magazine is frequently publishing articles on this kind of visioning.

    And, in keeping with the present-moment focus of meditation, it’s not really so much about some imagined distant future as honing our present vision of what’s possible.

    There was an article in a recent edition of the NY Times about decluttering being confined to upper middle class and wealthy folks, as opposed to poor folks who can’t afford to declutter or cling understandably to the few extra possessions they have.

    I suggested, in a comment, that it’s not about rich or poor, but a modernist attitude toward ‘Things” that pervades the modern world.

    There was a battle between the organicists – who saw the world as rich, mysterious, intelligent and alive – and the mechanists – who saw the world as meaningless, dead and purposeless, back in the Renaissance. The mechanists won out – temporarily.

    Blake saw their ultimate demise when he spoke of their Satanic mills – but perhaps he was a bit early. Everyone who has eyes to see can see – the old world is falling apart. We can see it in living color every night in Cleveland (and probably will in Philadelphia next week as well).

    What is to come? I think the organicists are returning, but in a very different form from the mechanists. We will perceive, directly, without mediation of priests or scientists, the aliveness and intelligence of the world in which we live, pervaded with non dual awareness.

    • John Eden says:

      That’s a helpful view – ‘organicist’! I certainly hope we are returning to seeing the world as alive and intelligent. I think that’s probably the common strain in Charles’ philosophy and my Buddhist/pagan whatever view. I’ll check out the articles you mentioned – I read the Nation for years, occasionally do now. Especially liked Katha Pollitt. Sometimes I feel I can barely keep my head above water in all this insanity – just want to find a cave somewhere! Not really an ethical response tho!

      Thanks for you comments! Good to have someone to bounce this stuff off… healthy discussion!

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