I listened to one of Thich Nhat Hahn’s talks and chants today in the kitchen – Day of Mindfulness at Blue Cliff Monastery. I’ve used his talks at various difficult times in my life, like a virtual sangha. I wept. I felt so angry yesterday. I heard myself say aloud that I wanted others to feel as badly as I did. Then I felt worse for that wish. This morning I understand that I was saying I needed others to help me hold the pain, because it felt like too much for me alone. I feel better now, somehow.
This made me think of a certain toddler I love, and her anger and her needing someone else to help hold the pain. Oh, child.
I know that we all suffer - every single one of us. Yet, when my pain is high, that awareness doesn’t help, it feels minimizing. The suggestion that someone else’s pain is worse also feels minimizing. We each have our own hardest thing.
When my own pain has passed, I am able again to take my place in the collective sangha and help to hold the pain of others. Each of us needs moments of feeling held, I think. What that looks like varies.
My pain has passed for now. And I take my place in the collective, holding, feeling gratitude.
Happy new year, day, morning.
I use creative non-fiction, autobiographical fiction, and poetry to communicate, connect, and understand.