April 2020 Newsletter for Boundless Compassion Facilitators
Hello to each of you,
Although I have been absent from you regarding the monthly newsletter, I am continually present to you in my daily remembrance through prayer. Hope gathers in my heart when I think of your presence and how we are united in the bond of compassion — certainly one of the most essential gifts we can keep alive and share during this pandemic.
In the BC retreats, we learned the value and effectiveness of morphogenic fields. Now is the time to strengthen the fields of hope, kindness, caring and peace. When we begin to feel helpless by our inability to assist someone or be in direct in contact with them, we can use our practices of compassion. Whether some form of Metta (Loving Kindness), pauses of mindfulness or other practices, we can turn inward, gather the love and peace dwelling in us and deliberately breathe these gifts outward to anyone, especially persons suffering directly or indirectly from Covid-19, and those who give medical assistance to infected patients.
With the intensity of Covid-19 hovering around every aspect of our lives, we can get caught in fear, discouragement, hopelessness, anger and other thoughts and emotions that block the flow of our compassion for self and others. Tara Brach writes: “Empathy is our capacity to feel the emotions of others and/or take the perspective of other people. But therein lies the trap: If we become too distressed by their suffering, we may not have the cognitive or emotional resources to help them. …Empathy alone can lead to burnout, but the mindfulness and care inherent in compassion foster resilience, connectedness and action.”
When we feel ourselves becoming engulfed with uncertainty about the future or distraught by the amount of infections and deaths, remember Rami Shapiro’s wisdom: if we take on the suffering of another, we’ve only added to the suffering. We’ve done nothing to alleviate it. Instead, we hold this suffering with compassionate care, trusting our loving presence to be strengthening and supportive. (i.e. Build a strong morphogenic field) If there is a “gift” in this pandemic, it might be the countless opportunities we are given to practice what we have learned about compassionate presence.
A plethora of insights and support exist on the Internet. Much of it is worthy of consideration. However, it could also be a subtle distraction away from compassionate presence by filling up our stressful inner space and glazing over the churning concerns we have. Nancy Brown sent some links related to mindfulness, a good reminder to return daily to a quiet base of presence in order to keep from being “overloaded” with social media. Here are several links to meditation/reflection that may be of help to you:
If you’ve found some website resources that are especially helpful to you in relation to compassionate presence please send to Wendy Mospan (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she will post them on the BCF Facebook page.
Let us hold ourselves, our loved ones, and the larger world with the tenderest of care,
Discover Peace for Ourselves
If we practice with great intent and dedication, the practice becomes our life. Instead of practice being something we do, it is something we are. We become aware of a great secret treasure within our own hearts: an ease and peace that cannot be destroyed. Of course, this is not really a secret. It has been realized, understood, and taught by countless sages before. However, it is completely different to discover this truth for ourselves than to hear it from others. We meditate to discover that which is beyond conditions. We meditate to tame our minds and to train our hearts to discover, for ourselves, a peace that is truly unconditioned.
(The Magnanimous Heart, Narayan Helen Liebenson)
Programs Related to Boundless Compassion
Go to my website, Events 2020 and scroll down to the BCF section to view the Four Day Retreats, etc. being offered.
Be sure to send information on BC programs/projects you are leading or organizing so I can include them in future newsletters.