The Sweetness of Connection
Just before the new year started, I was listening to an interview with Roshi Joan Halifax on Dan Harris’s 10% Happier podcast (second week in a row 10% Happier is mentioned in our blog!). She recounted a time forty years ago when she had first met Sharon Salzberg. She asked Sharon what her practice was and Sharon answered “Loving Kindness”. Halifax, a Zen practitioner, said that at the time she thought she would slip into a diabetic coma doing a practice that sweet, to which Salzberg replied, “Just do it.” So she did, largely because she had such a strong appreciation for Salzberg. It has been forty years and Halifax believes she’s a better person for it.
I was so taken by this story, that I set just one New Year’s Resolution for 2019 - to engage in a year of Loving Kindness practice. I’m coming at it from a place of curiosity: will deliberately wishing well for others every day in a formal practice help me to be more present with those around me? Will it help me to connect and feel more at ease with people who aren’t close friends (I’m an introvert)? Will it help me to be kinder to myself and accept kindness more easily from others? Will it soften my reactions to those who irritate me: on the road, politically, in mundane daily situations? Will it ease some of the anxiety I feel about the well-being of my children?
Coming at it with inquiry rather than aiming for a specific outcome has let me sit with it more lightly, giving me a real chance to let the practice do whatever it’s going to do. So how is it going so far? I do feel more at ease in some situations, and I tend to see the good in others more easily. My interactions with my kids are less fraught at times. Mostly, though, it just helps me start my day with a smile and a sense of inner warmth.
Please join us this week as we sit with a felt sense of connection to those around us, and a sense of care for ourselves.
May all beings everywhere, without exception, feel connected and cared for.
Your friends at CMP
Community Sits this Week
Monday 12 PM and 1 PM Trumbull Library, Trumbull
Monday 7:30 PM Sama Yoga, 45 Grove Street, New Canaan
Tuesday 1 PM Ferguson Library, Stamford
Wednesday 12 PM New Canaan Library, New Canaan