I came across an article in Yes! magazine that had a piece on the work of Ruth King and the Mindful of Race Institute: https://ruthking.net/
Ms. King speaks of three universal laws that make mindfulness distinct from ordinary awareness: Nothing in life personal, permanent, or perfect.
From the article:
Not personal: “Anything can happen to us at any time; life happens. Yet there is no enduring of reliable self. We are a series of ever-changing elemental processes; each feeling, thought and action arising and passing away. Shit happens and sometimes it happens to us!”
Not permanent: “Change is constant. Everything in life has an element of dissatisfaction and surprise because it does not last forever. All phenomena arise and pass away. Thank goodness we are not who we were five years or five minutes ago! We are constantly changing, as is everything and everyone else.”
Not perfect: “Whatever happens in life is unreliable, unpredictable, and imperfect. …We are not in control of what happens, yet we are responsible for improvements.”
In the context of the war in Ukraine, in the context of any challenges or difficulties you and I face at the moment, it seems fitting to journey together that we might reach a deeper, heart-centered understanding of one or all of these laws of “wise awareness” or to explore one of the questions King articulates below:
I often invite students to pause and ask themselves: “What’s happening?” Where am I holding tension right now?
Am I taking this situation personally–as a personal experience instead of a human experience? How many people before me have felt this way? Where else in the world are people feeling similarly trapped?
Do I believe that how it is now is how it will always be? Am I distressed because I am insisting that this situation can be other than it is, right here and now? Can it be any other way right now?
How can I care for the pain I’m in here and now? And what action can I take that would inspire belonging?”
I hope you will take some time to mull over these laws and follow-up questions in the days ahead, perhaps joining us for our weekly journey circle this week dedicated to cultivating wise awareness in our lives and world.
While I regularly suggest a theme for the weekly journey, you are always welcome to journey for any intention you may hold in the circle.
If you would like to join us this Wednesday, March 7, from 4-6 pm PST, feel free to email me at anna “at” gaiashamanism “dot” com. All skill levels are welcome.