I hope this note finds you well, and having a pleasant fall. It can be such a lovely time of transition. Often times, for me at least, transition and change can trigger this mind into it habits of doubt (will I get it right?), judging (shoulda, woulda, coulda…), and general story telling (what if…..). It happens so quickly, and by the time I am aware, I’m well down the path. But there is a Y on this path: I could shift the theme from “I should have the garden out by now” to “I have wasted so much time spinning on this!”, or I can extend a little patient friendliness to myself: “Honey, you’re doing the best that you can. You might not get to everything. Can you be okay with that?”. I admit it’s sometimes tempting to continue with berating myself (old habits are hard to break), but more and more I can acknowledge that habit doesn’t get me anywhere that feels good. I am remembering that each moment is an opportunity to begin again.
In the talk we listed to last week from Sister Kinh Nghiem of Deer Park Monastery, she shares some clear ‘how to’s’ for compassion practice. She offers a Zen perspective on The Four Abodes, and discusses the Four Immeasurable Minds, also known as the four elements of true love. Then, she clearly connects them to the Four Mantras as developed by Thich Nhat Hanh, guiding us in applying these mantras in our lives to cultivate true love.
I look forward to hearing how this teaching supports your compassion and lovingkindness practice.
We will gather again next week, Thursday October 20th @ 6:30pm; hope you are able to join us.