Sarah Blondin is one of my favorite meditation teachers. I access her guided meditations on the Insight Timer app and through her Live Awake podcast.
In one of her mediations she begins with this story…
In hope to finding solace and healing for all that was ailing her, a woman seeks help from a wise elder. She sits on her knees in front of the wise man and spills before him her angst and stories of woe. She speaks of how afraid she is of the world warming, of her children’s unruly behaviors. She speaks of her fear of the unknown and what the opaque future may hold. She tells him of the anger that erupts sometimes seemingly out of nowhere, how her body aches and how at times her heart feels like it is a stranger to her.
He listens to her stories and great pains with his eyes deeply fastened on hers.
There is a long pause as the woman waits for the wise elder’s response.
And finally he speaks.
“Ah yes,” he says. “But tell me beloved, what do you love?”
These days it is so easy for us to identify what we fear, what is troubling us, what causes us anger and frustration.
Today, inauguration day, this day of transition and new beginnings, I invite you to identify that which you love. First, identify the people you love. Call up their names and faces and give thanks to God for the people in your life.
Next, think more broadly about what you love. Identify experiences and rituals that you love. Here is my very partial list:
- the smell and taste of coffee in the morning
- the faces of my college roommates on Zoom
- the sound of crunching snow under my boots as I take a walk
- how I feel AFTER I exercise
- the taste of risotto
- the laughter on Zoom game night with friends
- the warm feeling I get when I have done something that makes someone else’s life a little easier or a little less lonely
I invite you to think more broadly about the community you live in. What do you love about it? Here are some of the many things I love about central Ohio:
- the diversity of the people who live here
- an amazing restaurant scene
- the nerdiness of this area – the high percentage of students and educators
Identifying what we love is an excellent starting place for imagining what our communities and nation need moving forward. It is the best way I know to move past fear and anger and shape an agenda for our shared life together that leads to abundant lives for all. It’s a great way to connect with God, the one whose love for all is the most powerful force in the universe.
What are 5 things you love about your life right now? What are 5 things you love about your local community?
-Written by Amy Miracle
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