On This Day (of all days)…
I woke up early this morning with a song in my heart. A song of joy? Of hope?
It was Mr Horrible complaining that ‘Someone Keeps Moving My Chair’
(From TMBG’s iconic 1990 album, Flood.)
I got up. Put on my favourite Sunday morning music — Vivaldi’s Gloria — desperate for it to drown out Mr Horrible’s words.
I went for a walk. Stepping out into the early morning light, I walked mindfully through our neighbouring field, paused by the river below to listen to the rushing water, to contemplate the fallen leaves beneath my feet and to look up at the sky. To give thanks for simply being alive and — you know — for yesterday’s election result.
The song was still there.
I searched for mental clues. For the random synaptic connection that had caused this seemingly ridiculous song to claim my brain waves.
But the more I looked for an answer, the stronger the vibration in my head. It was clearly loving the attention.
Aversion and diversion were no solution at all. “So what now?” demanded my mind. “Subversion?”
In all these years of practising mindfulness, what had I actually learned?
Moment of truth…
Acceptance. You idiot! (sic)
The most difficult — for me — of all the mindfulness teachings:
To accept what is, just as it is. Because only then are you able to let it go.
I read a page from a beautiful book of daily Asian wisdom. This has been my daily ritual for a good 10 years or so. The wisdom mostly makes sense to me. My struggle is putting it into practice.
This morning’s, from Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, is no exception:
“It is important to learn how to listen with compassion. Listening with compassion means listening with the will to relieve others of their suffering, without judging or seeking to argue.”
Even horrible people. (Heavy sigh). Particularly horrible people.
With this, the song in my head loses its power.
On this day, of all days…
Let’s remember our humanity.
In the words of Nobel Laureate Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn:
“If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.”
And so, with compassion, let it be.