by Julie Nadler
For me this decade began with a sense of completion, balance and anticipation. My belief at the time was that we were in an era where social & political progress had been made and the future looked promising. I retired from one role, that of high school teacher, and became a retiree looking towards years of responsible recreation and volunteerism.
If Buddhist meditation has taught me anything it is that everything changes. Doors that I had not even seen began to open and they were too tempting to resist. I entered a new role: being loved by a good man, accepting weightier responsibilities and losing my optimism about the future.
As one of my students recently said to me, ‘this is a scary time’. She is right. Not only is the living Earth in grave danger…perhaps of paramount concern…but our hold on democracy and social justice is losing its grip. These are scary times indeed.
“What you are is what you have been, what you will be is what you do now.”
This is some of what I will be meditating on this New Year’s Eve.
As I let go of the past decade, I remind myself that much good has occurred. These things…what we have learned and how we have grown…are part of who we are now and will not be released. What we can let go of are behaviours that did not serve us or the greater good. What we can let go of are any expectations that things will remain the same: everything changes. Change is neither good nor bad, it just is. And it is inevitable. Rather than clinging to things, that same energy needs to be channelled into accepting and working with change.
So, we let go.
Then we Call Forth: bringing intention to the coming year and maybe even the coming decade.
We cannot control the future no matter how much planning or scheduling we do. But we can advocate for certain changes and we do have control over how we respond to what results. In calling forth, we give ourselves an attitude or an approach that will be open, accepting and, when the need arises, fierce. We find or carve out a path of responding to events while doing the least harm. A way to respond that is optimistic and balanced. We work on our compassion and our equanimity,
We call forth a quality or set of qualities we believe we may need to see us through. To better our own lives and, simultaneously, better the lives of others.
Letting go & calling forth is what we will be doing this New Year’s Eve. Why not join us?
Tuesday, December 31st; 5-6:30. A gentle yoga class with guided meditation.