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A Note From Spring Washman: A Fierce Heart

AN EXCERPT FROM SPRING WASHAM'S NEW BOOK, A FIERCE HEART:

In Buddhist tradition, humanity is sometimes described as being lost in a vast ocean. I always imagine all seven billion of us, dog paddling and flailing around desperately, looking for security, some safe place to stand. This is the ocean of samsara, the endless cycle of our collective confusion. We all long for happiness, yet we unconsciously do the very things that lead to unhappiness. We drown over and over. In the midst of all the chaos, is there a place where we can find solid ground?

As we slow down and become present, we begin to see an island in the distance. We swim there and find a dry, sunny beach with a coconut tree we can sit beneath. We've found a place we're safe, a refuge from the pounding ocean. As we survey the ocean from our new perspective, we see millions of others flailing desperately, not yet able to see the island. We shout out to them, but they don't hear us. They're not ready yet. We look around at our new island home and see we are not alone. Others have taken refuge here as well.

We're living in a house of cards: all life is fragile, and we don't know what the future will bring. This is the nature of reality. It's always fluctuating; one day it's this, the next day it's that. There are multiple causes to everything that happens and an intelligence that governs everything lawfully. As soon as something arises. it begins to dissolve. Without steadiness, it can feel terrifying. The Buddha taught, "Live in joy and love, even among those who hate. Live in joy and health, even among the afflicted. Live in joy and peace, even among the troubled. Look within, be still, free from fear and attachment. Know the sweet joy of the Way."


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