Light a Candle by Bart van der Borst on Flickr
The last few weeks have been a challenge. Last week the most challenging of all. Loss and heartache, sadness and grief all came to visit with the passing of someone very close. Family.
I am still processing the many parts of the journey. Time seemed to shift and I let myself drift according to the needs of the moment. A new lesson in mindfulness.
When life is particularly challenging .. you realise again the power of family and friends. Support came in many disguises: a friendly call to check in, soup and fresh bread, flowers, parcels left on the doorstep and kind words handwritten in pretty cards. Sometimes it was just a hug or a smile, sitting for a moment in the sunshine and being still.
I lit a candle. I lit some incense. Small ceremonial practices can keep us grounded and connected to those in our thoughts. Sacred rituals allow us to remember and honour .. with action.
I recited a mantra. Om Mani Padme Hum the mantra of compassion and Just Breathe when I needed to just breathe. I missed having a ritual to follow. In the Buddhist tradition there are practices, actions and milestones for the journey .. in this way ritual can provide us with a strong hand to hold. We may not understand the place we find ourselves, but we can understand the ritual.
I realised that:
~sitting quietly with someone experiencing extreme emotion is often enough
~holding hands can be the deepest of connection
~letting go .. is always hard and will always be our big lesson
~being crazy with it is ok too
~we all process things differently and maybe we won’t understand the ‘other person’s’ way and that is not our place
~sacred practices (whatever yours might be) can provide us with a powerful anchor in times of crisis
~meditative exercises and relaxing breath practices – are immediate tonics for ‘too much’
.. and noticing that the sun is shining can make a difference.
And I realised (again) that my meditation practice continues to provides a refuge and anchor for my day, my mind and my sense of balance.