I’m writing this on Thursday instead of my usual Sunday because I have felt fuzzy about the mindfulness focus for the week and its connection to the gardening world. I woke up on Sunday morning to find that a young woman had been killed by Nazis on American soil and the person currently in charge of the country unable and unwilling to admit it. It has felt challenging to define an intentional focus for the week. However, I realized today that I’ve been practicing all week without saying it out loud. The focus is on mindful action.
The nature of things
If my garden has a grasshopper infestation but I refuse to call them grasshoppers or figure out a way to deal with them, the garden will be in shambles pretty quickly. The nature of grasshoppers is to eat green leafy things. Pretending I don’t know the nature of grasshoppers, won’t save my garden from harm. And for those who pretend they are surprised when hate groups act hatefully, or worse, pretend they are not even hate groups, that seems like a bad Jedi mind trick.
Spiritual Practice begets Mindful Action
The amount of hatred and vitriol that is being encouraged by people in high places is overwhelming. It is easy to slide into thinking of all the things we can’t do to counteract this. But I have to return to myself and what I can do. When I shift my thinking to doing, then meaningful actions pop up. Simply speaking the truth and calling things by their true names is important. Hate is hate. Bigotry is bigotry. Irresponsibility is irresponsibility. And taking action to counteract this energy, in whatever way is possible is the next step.
I love this quote by Noah Levine about spiritual practice and action.
The point of spiritual practice is both to have a meaningful and fulfilling life of ease and well-being and to utilize our life’s energy to bring about positive change in the world. The Buddhist intention was not to live one’s whole life in silence on a meditation cushion. It was to bring the wisdom and compassion that develops in formal spiritual practice into our relationships with each other and into all aspects of our lives.
So this week the focus words have been and continue to be mindful action. Drops of water wear away the stone and a single candle drives away the darkness. What are the things we each can do?
For more information on weekly focus words click here.