I, like many of you, watched in horror at the surreal insurrection at our nation’s Capitol yesterday. My emotions certainly ran the gamut of shock, anger, pain, and sadness. The words “unprecedented” and “never in our history” and “unseen in our modern history” resounded over and over. The stress and fear of the day and what might come certainly played over and over on the news and I could feel myself being swept away with the events of the day and any emotions that surface.
As this was occurring, I was grateful that I was registered to attend Tara Brach’s Meditation and Taking Refuge Ceremony for the New Year. Those 90 minutes in sangha away from the events brought me back onto the path of sanity. It is important that I cultivate the wisdom and the caring that can help heal our world and I do this through my own mindfulness practices.
During our time together on Zoom, Tara shared with us the RAIN practice. This is a practice that is a peaceful way to pay attention to what is occurring within us in the present moment. I have used this practice for a long time and have taught it in classes and with clients. I share it with you here from an online session I offered in April 2020 on Acceptance. I read a passage from Tara’s book Radical Acceptance and share the RAIN practice. You can listen to it below.
In Tara’s session, we meditated, and she spoke as we reflected on what the Buddhists call, the three refuges, and these are our typical pathways to awakening our heart and mind. In this we deepen our trust and remember presence. Here in the world, most often, we take refuge in what is false, getting caught up in ideas and fears, addictions to anything and everything including the news, and it really can be anything at all that leads us to separation and pain.
The three gateways or refuges are pathways to freedom. These are Buddha, Dharma and Sangha. In other words, awareness, truth and love. In these paths, one can learn and know oneself and the world with compassion. At the end of the session, we did a ceremony creating our own protection cord from a strand of red thread or cord inquiring within as to how we see Buddhanature, Dharma and Sangha in our own lives. After we lit a candle so that our inner and collective light may shine amidst all that occurs. We see our Light emanating to all, letting our light continue to shine from our heart with peace, love, hope, and with the knowing that universal consciousness is One.
Despite all that has happened, may I still see all with loving-kindness and know their basic goodness.
If you are interested in this session with Tara Brach, you can find it here Wednesday Evening with Tara Brach | Taking Refuge Ceremony