The Seasons of Us, Our Winter

“You nights of anguish.  Why didn’t I kneel more deeply to accept you, inconsolable sisters, and surrendering, lose myself in your loosened hair. How we squander our hours of pain.  How we gaze beyond them into the bitter duration to see if they have an end. Though they are really seasons of us, our winter…” - Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926)

This week we practice opening our hearts to extend compassion to all those in discomfort.  In this practice, we offer deeply heartfelt wishes for an end to the suffering of others, and of ourselves.  Though we are wishing for an end to suffering, the practice is actually about sitting with the reality that there is suffering, and knowing that we often can’t make the suffering go away, or even make a dent in its magnitude.  We simply can’t undo the reality of the loss of a loved one, the atrocities of conflict, the presence of disease. Suffering is, as the poet Rilke notes, “seasons of us, our winter”.   In sitting and acknowledging the suffering of others, and of ourselves, we are building our capacity to be present for all that life offers, learning not to wrestle with what is the reality of the moment, becoming better able to clearly see what our options are.  Moreover, by witnessing the suffering of others with a compassionate heart, we become kinder, gentler creatures. And isn’t that an uplifting notion?

Community Sits This Week:
]Monday 7:30 PM Sama Yoga 45 Grove Street, New Canaan
Tuesday 2:00 PM Ferguson  Library, 1 Public Library Plaza, Stamford (made possible by a grant from Bankwell)
Wednesday  12:00 PM New Canaan Library 151 Main Street, New Canaan