Awakening to Love in the Midst of Chaos: May 31, 2020
"With all the chaos in the world, sometimes it’s hard to believe that we are awakening to love. I have a friend who is an ordained Buddhist. He's the gardener at the Chalice Well; his name is Art and he’s been there for over 20 years. And I first heard his words when he said to me…What we need is an outbreak of a karuna virus….And I had to think about that for a moment. And imagining all those weeks ago at the beginnings of this pandemic what might be possible if the world woke up to love. In Buddhism, karuna is the practice of thinking with compassion and lovingkindness of beings who are suffering mentally and physically and to remove any harm to those….Avalocatisvara Is considered by Buddhists to be a bodhivista, the enbodiment of compassion who has vowed to forego nirvana to relieve all beings from the karmic wheel of samsara, which is death and suffering.
"I was reflecting this morning during my practice on the many acts of friendship, kindness, and love I have felt from family and friends and those I did not know before now. I was moved—moved with the realization that in this enforced time of isolation and separation there has been such a reaching out, a time of genuine connecting, a meeting of the hearts and minds in the space between us in a way that I don’t think has happened before. And so in looking at a world that is changing in front of my eyes I have not felt alone. I have felt connected to something far greater than an I, something even greater than a we. The closest I can come to describe this is with the words of a 13th century mystical nun. Her name was Saint Julian. She said “All shall be well, all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well,” a mantra I have started to repeat to myself this morning. Because there is a force of love moving through the universe that holds us and will never, ever let us go.
"I have felt that moving, felt it as I write this, felt it as I look at the chaos in the news. I felt it as I saw a social media post resound with love and kindness and hope. I felt it in the quiet moments of the night when all around me is sleeping. I want you all to know, all of you, that I am so grateful for your love and your kindness. You are all that is beautiful, all that is beautiful, good, and true. Knowing all of you that are here has given me such an encouragement in these strange and uncertain times, and more than that you have permanently opened the gates up to the kingdom of my heart and to know that you will always reside there is lovelier than words can ever contain. Life is flowing, ever changing, and amid it all here I am with you, waking up to love…"