There is a reciprocal relationship between remaking the world and remaking ourselves, between the courage to be with our own pain and the ability to open to the suffering of others. There is no real separation between our inner spiritual landscape and the systems of power and privilege that operate in the world. When we become more aware of the inner obstacles to freedom and peace, we are more able to work for our ideals without recreating the systems we are trying to change.
This is not new. What is potent for me is actually experiencing this in my own mind and body. When I sit in meditation, I can experience the negativity of my own mind up close and personal. I see what my choices are. Just by sitting still or relaxing into a pose. There is also another possibility and that possibility is always the same. You can call it love, connection, intimacy. You can call it generosity, kindness, or, acceptance of this moment.
When I know that this is what is happening right now and the next moment will be different – and, as long as I do not resist it a space opens. This is the space of freedom -- which activates my intelligence, my free will. Neuroscientists explain the physiology of this process of liberation. We can change our brains through taking the time to pay attention to our minds under certain conditions. Amazing!
Furthermore, when we cultivate these contemplative tools, the boundaries of our selves become more porous. We start to suffer less as we become less self- centered.
With clarity and calm we are more able to take the suffering of others into our awareness and care. This motivates us to work for justice.