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Letter of Support

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In light of hearing from so many who are struggling amid these times of political changes, I felt called to offer this letter, of which I hope will offer some support and benefit.

Dear friends along the path,

I know you suffer, and I am here for you.

I see that your anger and fear are rooted in a fierce compassion for others and out of a strong desire to do what you feel and know is right. As a mindfulness practitioner, the question is not whether or not to be angry, it’s about how we utilize our anger to influence our thoughts, speech, and actions. Is our anger motivating us to become more informed and involved with an open heart and sense of connection and compassion, or with an un-grounded, frantic sense of heaviness and despair? What seeds are we sowing in our wake?

Do you feel as though anger is not only an appropriate response but a necessary one, in order to affect change? I remember feeling this way when I was in my early 20’s. It took me a long while to reconcile my mindfulness practice with my deep-rooted feelings of anger, related to those I felt were responsible for both large and small acts of environmental degradation. Without anger, I queried, wouldn’t I then become complacent and ineffectual? Wasn’t anger a crucial motivator? As my foundation of mindfulness was being built and strengthened, I came to understand that the answer, to both questions, was: no.

There resides a middle path to follow. One that allows us to become involved with matters of injustice, human rights, and environmental advocacy work (just to name a few) while also choosing not to carry around and spread the heavy burden of anger everywhere we go. May our anger and upset start us on the path of active engagement with the world around us, and may we then learn how to transform that anger into mindfulness, concentration, and insight, so that our speech and actions will cause as little harm as possible as we move forward.

Anger isn’t necessarily a bad thing. However, if we’re not careful and attentive, it can easily overtake and overwhelm our lives, causing us to become embittered, cynical, miserable, difficult to be around, and mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted. If we allow our seeds of anger to be nurtured, we will create a very hostile and unpleasant atmosphere within and around us.

Feel your anger, dear friends, experience it as it arises, without judgement or suppression – I would not suggest otherwise. But don’t stop there. Investigate it. Become inquisitive. Understand your internal landscape, so that your actions that carry forth will be well informed. Do not allow your anger to go unchecked. Do not allow your seeds of love, ease, equanimity, inclusiveness, and interconnection to go un-watered. The well-being of our family, community, country, society, and the world depends on our ability to embody and practice the tools that mindfulness affords us, especially in the midst of change, challenge, struggle, adversity, and fear.

With Love and Support,

Nicole Dunn

True Wonderful Flower

Order of Interbeing member, since 2007

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Posted by on February 6, 2017 in Everyday Practice

 

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More Than Words

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Just as important as what we say is how we say it – and, I venture to add, that how we say things has an even greater impact on our ability to skillfully communicate than the actual words themselves. While this isn’t a new concept for me to consider, what is new is how this method might apply to our current political landscape.

After watching the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton a few weeks ago, I was left thinking: Well, I have no way to know who’s right about what information and who’s not, or who’s viewpoints are more accurate. They’re probably both fallible, in some regard. However, I did take notice of how Hilary Clinton’s demeanor, disposition, and energy exchange came through on stage, both while engaged in oration and while listening to her opponent. Assessed solely on the basis of body language and physical character traits, Hilary was the clear winner in the even-temperament-department. Her mannerisms and energy were much more even keeled. In appearance, she seems to possess a greater sense of equanimity, ease, care, and diplomacy, all of which are important to embody as a leader, whether in a government setting or otherwise.

While I tend to lean to the democratic side of the political spectrum, I would consider myself more of a conservative liberal. I hold some values that would resonate more along the republican side of things – and I don’t find it a valuable attribute to cast my vote along party lines simply because someone is a democrat. I think it’s important to intelligently weigh each candidate and decide for myself who I would feel most comfortable with, running whatever office it is they’re up for election in.

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Posted by on October 24, 2016 in Everyday Practice

 

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