“A non-toothache is very pleasant.” – Thich Nhat Hanh A couple of years ago I was driving with my nephew. He was around 12 at the time. At one point we hit a lull in conversation and he blurted out “I’m bored”. It was a foggy night (which makes everything look more interesting in my opinion) … Continued
Select pieces written over the past few years. Click here to see the Newsletter Archive.
When we say we want change, on a societal or personal level, we mean only certain types. I mean, I want to be a “better person”, but I’d prefer to skip the bifocals if that’s cool. Change in that direction is scary, for it reminds us of our own ephemerality.
The most honest line I’ve heard to describe how meditation changes people, or at least how meditation has changed me, is: “Hurt more, suffer less.” Things go through more quickly, because there’s less blocking and protecting. But they also hurt more, because … there’s less blocking and protecting. That’s what happens when you let life in.
Fortunately, a similar dynamic applies to the sweetness of everyday pleasures.
So how do we heal from lifelong habits forged in times we can hardly remember? What can we realistically expect when it comes to healing and addressing the deep traumas and challenges of our lives? And how does this healing relate to the larger social and intergenerational trauma all around us? Because none of this happens in isolation. My struggles have emerged out of my own unique circumstances of nature and nurture, but also from the cumulative trauma of the families that made my parents, and theirs, and so on, as well as the societies that informed all of them. Including this one. There’s so much healing needed, individually and collectively, as a species and as a planet, it can be hard to even know where to start.