Saturday, August 21, 2004

How Suffering Can Be Our Greatest Joy

Yes, that's the title of the day-long, people of color meditation session I have signed up for today at Spirit Rock. I had signed up for this day a month or so ago, knowing that I needed to jump-start my meditatio practice--which, outside of my nearly-daily yoga practice, is sorely absent from my everday life.

But I didn't know then that suffering would be the theme of this retreat. And although I know enough about Buddhist philosophy to not take the words too seriously, I was still jarred and became a little anxious when I saw that title describing the retreat when I checked the Spirit Rock web site for directions last night.

Lord (Buddha) knows that I have had my share of suffering in this life, and have been slowly realizing over the past several months how suffering and abuse from my childhood is still (even after many years of therapy and self-healing work) affecting and impacting me in my daily interactions with myself and others. It has been a frightening, often overwhelming, but always worthwhile journey through my suffering into the light and fresh air of peace. And while I have had help along the way, I know that my spirit is strong enough to take on whatever challenges and fears arise for me as I sit and walk in mindfulness today.

I know that there is a reason I signed up for this particular retreat, which is about this particular subject. I know that fate and the spirits have lots of serendipitous surprises in store for us everyday, and that we must face them, accept them, and be thankful for them.

Wish me blessings and insights today. I hope your day is lovely.

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