I started this post by lighting my Quan Yin candle. Quan Yin is known as “She who hears the sounds or cries of the world.” I put her above my computer so we could join forces in compassion.
I facilitate the Chronic Pain and Illness Practice and Affinity Group at InsightLA. How do you cultivate peace and ease in the presence of Pain? Together, we learn how to do this, and how to hold ourselves in great compassion as we work to alleviate the suffering. I’ve been leading this group for four years. During the height of the pandemic up to now we meet twice a week; I noticed that as the world becomes more stressful, this impacts my student’s pain and illnesses. I create new meditations for the body to cultivate compassion each time I lead the group. This has deepened my own practice and opened my heart.
In November 2022 I had my fourth spinal fusion. Unfortunately, this was followed by complications and a fifth surgery two months later. When I was in the rehabilitation hospital, I received support from the very community I created. The fierce compassion we hold from being together was nourishing and healing. I felt delight and gratitude for InsightLA, Trudy Goodman, Christiane Wolf, and all the folks at InsightLA I have been connected to via studying the dharma.
These times we have been living in for the past several years have been like no other for most of us. Many of us have been filled with different kinds of “chronic pain.” InsightLA provides a community and refuge from the chronicity of these challenging times. It is a place where we can renew our strength, peace, compassion, and ability to embrace what is difficult—a place to observe our thoughts and detach from reactivity and judgment. With mindfulness practice we do our best to hold it all in a tender embrace.
May we all be free of pain.
May we all find peace and ease.
May we all be held in love.
May we all spread the light.