It's the middle of the first MLTT 2022 Intensive and another intense moment in the world.
It feels like a good time to bring in G.R.O.U.N.D., a practice I began working with last year.
Please join me to practice and to contemplate President Zelensky's invitation to be a leader of peace.
Maybe he was talking to all of us. I hope so.
Hi everyone, it’s Judi Cohen and this is Wake Up Call 343.
Here in my small corner of the world, we’re in the heart of the first Intensive for MLTT 2022. Our students are amazing: brilliant, resilient, powerful. And it’s an honor to work with this teaching and support team.
Between the Intensive and the many other things that are going on in the world, it feels like a good time to offer a practice I’ve been working with on and off since last year at about this time. The practice arose out of an exploration of equanimity: the practice of looking at what’s happening internally and externally and simply dropping in, with the intention of exploring what’s here and realizing that in each moment, that’s all we can do.
It doesn’t mean that’s all we can do in our lives, in the world – we can do a lot. We do do a lot.
But as a formal practice, the cultivation of equanimity is some of the most important work we can do. In cultivating equanimity, we are staying balanced in an ever-shifting world. We are ensuring that our lovingkindness practice is wholehearted and not clingy or graspy. We are checking that our compassion practice doesn’t slide over into pity, on the one hand, or dispassion or nihilism, on the other hand. And we’re modulating our empathic joy – the joy we feel in the happiness of others – so that it remains steady and true, not tipping over into jealousy, or shifting the other way into a kind of over-exuberance that belies a kind of panic-state.
I’ve been practicing G.R.O.U.N.D. as a formal practice and also in life, as a portable practice. Here is it.
- Connect to earth - to the ground beneath your feet
- Ancestors, family/community/tribe: the connection is both vertical & horizontal
- Right now, and as a place to return to during the day
- Rest on the out-breath
- Open to what’s here: the body, the mood/affect/tone, the mind
- How does this moment feel? Difficult? Relaxing? Scary? Hopeful? What else?
- Is there anything you’re holding onto? See if you can let go, unclench. Is there anything you’re caught around or twisted around or that feels wound up? Untwist, unwind, let go.
- Is there anything you’re trying to change, trying to get better at? When I see frustration, sorrow, fear, anxiety, so often the thought arises, when will this end? Or what skillful means can I use to get rid of this. Can you let go of this for right now, too?
- To the extent you can't let go, can you see the things you're holding onto as your teachers?
- What’s it like now?
- What’s needed right now? Can you remind yourself you're ok? Do you need some kindness? Some self-compassion?
- Drop everything - all of the above
Yesterday this fierce, courageous, former comedian, President Zelenski of Ukraine, said, “Being the leader of the world means being the leader of peace.” I'll leave you with that.