More Kindness for Ourselves and Each Other
This beautiful rainbow of nourishing fruits was made by local lesbian artist and DJ extraordinaire, Page Hodel. She makes a heart every Monday in honor of Madalene, the love of her life who passed away more than 10 years ago. Receive an weekly heart of enduring love in your inbox here. I wasn't sure whether Page would give her permission for us to use this heart, do you think: "ABSOLUTELY YES YES YES AND MORE YES....I would be honored.Thank YOU for the great work YOU are doing." is a clear enough answer?
“Mni Pejuta: water is medicine and Mni Wiconi: Water is Life,’ says Wakinyan LaPointe, Lakota community organizer. ‘In our Lakota way, it is our responsibility to strengthen our relationship with water.’”
Modern research continues to affirm indigenous wisdom, that water is one of our most useful medicines. Water can improve energy, mood, anger, concentration, and focus. The brain is very sensitive to small changes in levels of water in the body. Water is vegan, free, and in most cases comes with few side effects. You can do an experiment on yourself.
Like many of you, I've been deeply moved by what is happening at Standing Rock. Lakota Sioux have been joined by hundreds of indigenous nations from the Americas and the world, as well as other people of conscience called to protect the water, support the rights of our First Nations to their sacred ground and water and to protect the earth from from further global warming.
I read that the water protectors received word that the police had put out a list of requests including granola bars, energy drinks, soda, and warm clothing and gloves. The indigenous water protectors were the ones to respond to the police request. They said, we gave them everything they asked for except for the soda and energy drinks, because water is life.
If you are moved to do more to support the water protectors, the current request is to contact the banks funding the pipeline.
In socially engaged mindfulness, we may engage with full energy but not attach to the results of our actions. 2 unexpected healings at Standing Rock were forgiveness ceremonies from the church and the military over the 500-year history of colonialization.
For heart-opening images, see a video clip of the 13 year-old Lakota Sioux girl, who had started the Standing Rock petition, after a successful goverment response to her efforts, and images of the elders from many Native nations who gathered as water protectors.
Thank you. Water is life. Mni Wiconi. Water is Medicine.
I heard a great teaching story from Sufi mystic, spiritual leader and professional musician Imam Yassir Chadly about how all of us – yes, including spiritual leaders, can be vulnerable to reactivity, and can transform our reactivity into forgiveness.
Imam Chadly was speaking at the Open-Faith Salon, at Jewish meditation center Chochmat HaLev in Berkeley at an event, “Ecumenical Exploration of Forgiveness,” exploring forgiveness from Jewish, Muslim/Sufi, Christian and native Hawaiian perspectives. The Open-Faith Salon is dedicated to the memory and legacy of our beloved teacher –- African-American, queer, deeply feminist, leader in Muslim, Jewish, and Christian communities -- Sheikh Ibrahim Farajajé, “whose work to build bridges between different faith communities remains an inspiration to all who seek to create peace and understanding through interfaith dialogue,” according to the Open Faith Salon.
Imam Chadly talked about being cut off by another driver. Like many of my favorite spiritual teachers, he made us laugh with clear observations, like noticing how difficult it is to drive at 5 in the evening “because everyone is hungry.” Reflecting on being cut off by the driver, he gave a concise and beautiful teaching about the impermanence of our thoughts and feelings, saying "I was very upset because at the time I was very important."
I was very upset because at the time I was very important.
When the other driver gave him the finger, he responded in kind, and then immediately felt regret for his behavior and wanted to find the other driver to apologize. But the other driver had already gone, “so I had to give it to the One who has no beginning and no end”.
Imam Chadly suggests that we establish an annual Finger Day. “First time you wake up in the morning, give someone the finger. Then you buy a Hallmark Finger Day card. Next week, someone gives you the finger, you say, ‘Oh, sorry, that was last week. You're late.’ ”
Knowing how people are, I can only imagine the responses to someone else hearing that they are too late for Finger Day. Yet telling MYSELF that I'm too late for Finger Day could be brilliant.
This warm and funny teaching reminds me of a classic intervention around worry, which is to schedule the worry. The assignment is to worry every day for example between 5 and 5:30. When worry arises at other times, the reminder is, oh, it's not the right time, Worry Time will be at 5 o'clock.
Happy Finger Day!
Reba Connell teaches Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindful Eating classes in the Rockridge neighborhood of Oakland.
Want to talk more about how I could help you? Call 510-594-8224.
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Integrative Health Education for Anxiety and Depression,
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