Recently I was off the grid so to speak for a short reprieve. No phone, no internet, no external stimuli or distraction. All I had with me was a collection of essays by Edward Abbey, my thoughts, and the teachings I have received from my generous gurus. After coming out of this mini-“retreat” here are the two stand-out reflections that I would like to share.
Mindful consumption: This is already a strong part of my daily experience, but I think its time to take it a step further. We live in a society bound by consumerism and commerce. It’s numbing and disconnected in a way that renders many of our basic interactions inert and devoid of meaning. By taking these basic acts back from the monolith of industrial ease and its voracious appetite for natural resources we can “feed two birds with one hand” by decreasing the harm we do to our fragile mother and replacing blind consumer hunger with intentional decision making. We can practice ahimsa in even our most basic choices and connections to our vast shared mandala.
Ferocious Compassion and Gentleness: There is a ferocity to real, meaningful compassion. It doesn’t sit idly by and observe suffering. It is the fire in the heart of true warriors. That is what we must be, warriors. True warriors are ferocious in their dedication to protecting others from harm. This ferocity takes many forms, among the most under-appreciated is gentleness. We can be ferociously gentle with our dedication to nurturing those we love and expanding that to our greater communities. Holding space, holding each-other. Listening with diligence at our post, our post as lovers, friends, bodhisattvas,…warriors.