Courage in the face of crisis
Posted on 3 May 2020
Weekly newsletter 3/5/20
Welcome to the first newsletter of May. As the lockdown drags on I'm sure that everyone finds themselves being tested in different ways. Speaking for myself there are times when I recognise frustration, impatience, tension, anxiety and it would be all too easy to allow these things to take up more than their fair share of space in my mind. However that only leads to one result, which isn't good!
This week we have two articles on qualities that can benefit all of us. Lama Zangmo writes about courage, while Sarah writes about slowing down - something which can require real courage to do, even when it's forced on us!
To find out more, just read on...
1 - Courage in the Face of Crisis
2 - Slowing down
"Building a society or a life based on greed is a recipe for dissatisfaction, plain and simple" ~ HH the 17th Karmapa, Ogyen Tinley Dorje, in his book "The Heart is Noble"
This Wednesday marked the end of our Earth Week, with a beautiful post by Sarah Wyndham Lewis from Bermondsey Street Bees (at the bottom of the Earth Week page on our blog). Our Earth Week is a platform for different personal stories and sustainable tips from people and organisations connected to London Samye Dzong and South East London. The variety of ideas that were posed expressed all the different ways in which we can adjust our lifestyles to reduce our impact on the planet.
Looking at my personal habits, it is inspiring to see how many small changes I can make, and the positive impact these can have. However, to be completely honest, there is some serious resistance for these shifts. The temptation to still quickly buy packaged fruit and vegetables, or a very cheap jacket that I will only wear a few times but looks so good; or flying home and here and there too often, is still extremely strong. That's why I thought this quote is so helpful. It helps us see how whenever we unnecessarily consume, dissatisfaction will follow, full stop, end of story.
Being quite a frenetic person with lots of energy, I found the idea of life slowing down to actually be a little bit daunting. In a strange way I also feared dissatisfaction from the world momentarily pausing its crazy movement and busyness. Yet, with time, I have found such appreciation and gratitude for the simpler activities. At the centre we have been busy cleaning courtyards and flower beds, stuffing cushions and having daily practice sessions with everyone. Being able to sit down and enjoy a meal with friends and not being in a rush has helped to at least bring a certain satisfaction for everything that was already there. There are so many aspects of life, family, friends and nature to name a few, that we don't need to "buy" or "update". And not only are these parts of our daily experience sources of satisfaction, joy and gratitude, but we don't need to consume or add harm to our world to feel the full impact of them.