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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Highs and Lows

Our meditation reading this week was, "Don't be swayed by external circumstances." Easy to say, not so easy to do.

There are so many things in our lives we cannot control and perhaps not even influence. We can be tossed about on a current of emotions if we let our center be guided be the whims of loved ones, strangers, or events across the world. On the other hand, we may appear cold-hearted if we don't respond at all to the joys and tragedies happening around us.

So how can we be responsive and keep our balance at the same time?

I remember reading an interview with the Dalai Lama. He was asked if he ever gets angry? His response was that of course he does. But rather than hold on to that anger, he said he lets it touch his heart lightly and lets it go. It is the same with every emotion and experience.

I try to practice this (emphasizing the word practice!) and to teach this to my children. As they struggle with peers, teachers, or circumstances beyond their control, it is a good lesson to keep your balance by finding your center. Experiencing and observing what arises without clinging to it. When we get swept away by the struggles or the successes in our lives, we can crash hard when things do not end up exactly as we thought they would. Things that seem positive can have unintended negative consequences. Things that seem negative may have a silver lining.

We can only be here in this moment as present as possible, observing, learning, experiencing, and moving on to the next.

Do you know where your center is? Do you know when you are grounded? How?

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