All posts tagged: empathy

Leaving flowers on an altar for peace after the New Zealand shootings

For New Zealand: “If you hate one person, you hate the world. If you love one person, you love the world.”

So spoke my Buddhist Dharma teacher last Sunday, as we 32 women sat in a circle, meditating for the day. We were grieving the shootings in New Zealand, the hopeful joy of the climate change striking schoolchildren, and the intimate loss of one of our women, who had just died from breast cancer, leaving behind two children and her husband. The teachings of the Dharma encourage us to take Wise Action, use Wise Speech, and choose a Wise Livelihood. Much has been made of the photo of New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern mourning after the shootings, and rightly so. It’s easy to see: she’s in her sad heart, feeling and expressing both empathy & sympathy for the Muslim community, and the larger New Zealand population and culture. Her wise speeches and actions are inspiring people all around the world. Why is this such an unusual phenomenon? World leaders NEED to be empathetic, generous, kind, and most importantly, compassionate. We all do. The Dharma Circle involves meditation, sharing a brief check-in of where we’re at, listening …

Eco Village Intensive, Day Two

If you’ve missed what’s going on, please read about Day One here. After a huge day of study, I’m a bit exhausted as I blog this. But, I have had an Empathy Bath! Do you know what that is? Well, I’ll tell you later… First, we have to do the 9am Check in. So we all arrive, to sit in our wooden chair circle, then rather than ask how we’re feeling, the facilitator sends us out into the bush to find a plant that embodies how we’re doing today. Fine. I was awake till 1.30, and so was ’17’; we have no idea why we couldn’t sleep (an overstimulating dahl and rice?). The cat also escaped, so wanted to come in at 5am (by the way, there’s a No Pets policy at the proposed Eco Village, so I’ll be happily bringing that up with him real soon). We overslept, then the tradesman arrived at 8.15 as we were cranking up for that final 10-minute frenzy before actually leaving home… Anyway, everyone returned to the sacred …