Stability in Times of Change

posted in: Dharma Topics | 0
Silver Spring, Maryland, Community Online on Thursday Evening
August 26, 2021, 7:00 to 8:45 pm
Open to all Online on Friday Evening
August 27, 2021, 7:00 to 8:45 pm

Dearest Still Water Friends,

In the past few weeks, I have had a growing sense of discomfort. I feel thrown off balance by changes around me. The first change was health related. I had a diagnosis of Raynaud’s syndrome (an auto-immune disease), a string of minor illnesses, and low energy. The news about covid variants and safety guidelines are constantly changing as well. I got comfortable with post-vaccine freedoms and wanted them to be set in stone. Finally, there have been many natural and political global disruptions. I felt unsteady and rattled.

Since I have worked hard to make friends with the reality of impermanence and have even been heard to say with confidence that “change is the only thing we can really count on,” I was surprised by my reaction.

I asked myself the question, “How do I find stability in times of change?”

The answers came: mindfulness, meditation, the practice of the eightfold path, the mindfulness trainings, my family and loved ones, the sangha, writing, mindful walking, singing etc. The list went on.

There are so many ways to “ride the waves” of life. I imagined an accomplished surfer, balanced on a wave, standing in perfect concentration and confidence. Like the surfer, I can also stand in balance and stability as change swirls around me. When I topple and fall, my mindfulness practice helps me climb back on, come back to myself, and ride the waves again.

I invite you to consider these questions for our Dharma discussion:

  • What throws you off balance?
  • What practices can you turn to in times of change?
  • How do you nurture stability?

Another practice that is immensely helpful to me is connecting with Mother Earth. She is solid, changing, firm and fluid, all at once. During our time together on Thursday and Friday evening we will listen to Stability, a guided meditation on Mother Earth, written by Thich Nhat Hanh and read by Sister True Dedication.

I look forward to being with you, dear Sangha.

Below is a Plum Village practice song that I find helpful.

Linda Jackson

The Buddha’s Enduring Counsel — Still Water Online Fall Practice Retreat, Friday, October 8 – Sunday, October 10, 2021

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Island of the Self
Plum Village Practice Song

Breathing in, I go back

To the island within myself.

There are beautiful trees within the island.

There are clear streams of water

There are birds, sunshine and fresh air. Breathing out, I feel safe.

I enjoy going back to my island.

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