Kobayashi Issa's most well known haiku was written upon the death of his young daughter. It speaks to the Buddhist teachings that one must not cling to this dewdrop (fleeting) world. And yet...Issa implies his feelings of pain and loss.
In this time on earth as we are bombarded with continuous information on climate change, species extinction, and endless war, it is no wonder that many of us rely on anti-anxiety medication and other forms of self-medication. Our sadness and anger is not a pathological condition necessarily, but a healthy response to the suffering of the world.
And yet we cling to these feelings of unresolved sorrow without the support of community to cultivate a sense of balance, a stillpoint where we can hold the grief as well as the beauty in the world. How do we learn to embrace loss as an integral part of life as we move through decades of our human existence? Can we surrender to something bigger than ourselves?
One of my teachers, Joanna Macy, frequently offers a meditation in her workshops that allows us to take in the pain of the world and breathe it through our open hearts, allowing the toxicity of undigested grief to leave our body and encouraging our hearts to open more fully to the web of life.
May this practice invite you to open your heart and allow the pain for the world to flow through you instead of armoring the heart.
For more information about Joanna Macy and the Work That Reconnects please follow this link: http://workthatreconnects.org.