Last night, my son Zach and I watched a documentary titled Samsara. It’s a beautiful film with no voices to explain the images depicting the cycle of life, death and rebirth – Samsara.
Within this film, images of nature are woven together with images of people, cities, industry and many elements of a societies, religions and cultures. Some of the images are painful to witness, but they do portray the aspects of samsara that are part and parcel to the life cycle and the world we live in today. These have to do with what would be considered animal cruelty, but for the purpose of feeding the masses, it is what it is.
My response to these images was to ask myself some questions: Should I stop eating meat? Can my behavior effect a change in the practices necessary to feed the people of another country? What is my role here as a conscious being? Do I retain the images in my mind, so as to experience guilt for the way that it is?
During the night, as I lay awake, I found myself intentionally bringing to mind the images in the movie that were most disturbing. My thinking was that by keeping the images of those suffering in the forefront of my mind, I’d lesson their suffering somehow; I’d also be punishing myself for my ignorance and wastefulness – ways that I contribute to the problem. Choosing this particular strategy meant that I wouldn’t go back to ignoring, wasting and wanting needless things. But, from a position of higher wisdom, this doesn’t seem to do anything positive; it only maintains a worn out strategy within a worn out paradigm. How does the shift take place? How do I contribute to a paradigm shifts?
Many years ago, a client of mine shared that she intentionally carried the suffering of women in India; that she didn’t have a right to enjoy a happy life when others live a life of poverty, hunger and pain. I asked her: Do you think those women in India will find value in you suffering? Do you think that if they were in your shoes that they would intentionally take on the suffering of others? How does your suffering truly serve them and the world? My clients wasn’t ready for the possibility that her choices may be of a self-serving nature. She didn’t return for a second session.
This client’s commitment to healing the suffering of others, and my questions regarding the value of that specific way of making a difference in the world, has stayed with me. My own coaching isn’t lost on me.
Here’s what I believe to be true:
1) All beings who are suffering (this means ALL of us) do not ask others to suffer for their sake. There’s no point in that.
2) Utilizing Guilt as a strategy, in service to somehow mitigating suffering in others or myself – well that just doesn’t work!
3) If these suffering beings know that my suffering will not effect their suffering than what I need to do is be present to what is, without causing more suffering for myself or for others.
4) By ending the suffering within myself I end the suffering within all beings.
Now the Work Begins: Ending the Suffering Within Myself
I have no doubt that millions of us are in the midst of this dilemma – the dilemma being: Do I ignore, deny and distract myself from all the horrors in the world, which is a way to end suffering within myself; or do I cultivate a larger perspective, one that engages my highest truth and my highest knowing. It also require that I do not close my eyes to the horrors, nor do I unnecessarily bring them to consciousness; I accept that they exist within this current consensus reality, without denial or ignorance. As most of you know, the latter strategy is the one I’ve been practicing, though it is a most challenging one.
Accepting the Is-ness of this reality of this moment, I practice returning to my mantra: I am the eternal presence of Divine Grace. Every aspect of reality is the eternal presence of Diving Grace. Underlying the suffering is the eternal presence of Divine Grace. This also is the Is-ness fo the reality of this moment.
As I repeat these words slowly, intentionally experiencing the truth within these words, there is a shift. In this this moment, compassion arises for all beings who are suffering. This feels like a step in the right direction.
In service to cultivating consciousness, the process of discerning truth from non-truth is one that is essential. It is a big leap for any of us to truly decide what is our truth and to commit living in alignment with this truth. One step at a time is what is required. I’m ongoingly challenged to take these steps, however I couldn’t know myself in my full potentiality if I were to do anything else.
I’d love it if you’d share this with others who you think might find value in this blog. And, of course LIKE IT, if you do, so others can see what is important to you.
Who is Dr. Rosie? Dr. Rosie Kuhn is a preeminent thought leader in the field of Transformational Coaching and Leadership Development. She is available for Speaking Engagements, Coaching Sessions for Individuals, Organizations and Executives, as well as Trainings. Her books can be found at Amazon.com. And, be sure to check out many of her other blogs as www.theparadigmshifts.com.
A course in Self-Empowerment is available at http://www.dailyom.com
And, as always I’m here to empower you into your fullest expression of your essential self. A coaching session is just a phone call away. 360-376-4323.