Photo Copyright : Samart Boonyang
Thanks to our Guest Blogger Bonnie Clifford. I asked her to write about her practice of sending light.
A well known Buddhist teacher, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, once said, “regard chaos as extremely good news”. When I first heard that, I could barely fathom its meaning. My response, literally, was “huh?” My life at that time was full of stress and chaos and I could not imagine adding more chaos to the mix and believing that would be good news.
Over time and practicing meditation, it became clearer to me just what the teacher meant by his statement. Meditating taught me how to watch thoughts passing with awareness. I did not have to change any of my thoughts, only watch with pure awareness. Believe me, many, many thoughts came and went and many, many emotions and feelings came and went. For example, when fear arose, I gradually learned to relate to it by observing the fear and letting it pass through me.
Of course, there were times when I could not hold my seat any amount of time to allow the fear to pass like a cloud in the sky. No matter how much time I spent in meditation, the fear would not pass. With more practice, however, I saw that I could strengthen my ability to watch with pure awareness and only observe without falling into restlessness or agitation.
Now I understand what the Buddhist teacher meant by “regard chaos as extremely good news”. I have experienced and know firsthand the practice of watching and observing something that can be quite challenging. I can better relate to it and not get all caught up in it. More and more I try to simply observe and watch with awareness. So, with more chaos arising I can practice just being with whatever is arising.
With each passing day I am more aware that we are all connected. This too is a concept that I have struggled to understand. It does not necessarily come easy to me, maybe because I see so much separateness in the world around me. If we are all one, then there is no separation, no matter what appears to be the truth staring at us every single day. Around us is political posturing, out of control gun violence, natural disasters, countries at war, to name a few of the disruptions. In addition, each of us has our own family and friendship problems, work environment issues and sometimes financial struggles. It does not stop there. I could go on and on.
Grasping a sense of oneness and connectedness can be a stretch. Sanaya Roman in her book “Spiritual Growth” suggests that within each of us (not some of us) there is light energy in our hearts. We can actually recognize and allow this energy to expand inside us and move on beyond ourselves and even send loving, light energy out to others.
We are all challenged by the world news which exists in abundance all around us. Each passing day brings a new and sometimes disturbing message shock, disbelief, fear and hopelessness. I find that with my awareness meditation practice, the belief that we are all one and the suggestion of sending loving, light energy out to others enables me to escape the pit of overwhelming despair. Through this practice, I have a much better chance of converting any negative energy into something loving and supportive rather than getting mired in doubt or cynicism. So, when the Chris Christies of the world, or the National Rifle Association (NRA), or the countless injustices of the globe take over the news, I am more resourced to hold each situation in loving, light energy as an observer and not succumb to overwhelming and irreversible despair. I can watch the news and actually watch as an observer, without expectations, but with the intention of sending loving, light energy to those beings and situations for the highest good. This could be a golden opportunity for us to transcend the ways of the world that engulf us and could take us to a higher vibration to increase the level of love and light for us all. For me, it has taken “regard chaos as extremely good news” to a whole different level.