The article below is by Jaya Ashmore. It arrived in my inbox this morning and I had the urge to share it on this blog. I met Jaya in India twenty six years ago. Since then she has become a meditation teacher with her own flavour and flair.
The artwork is mine. Small images on matchboxes, presently tucked away in a little suitcase, resting.
Is Loving the World Good for the World?
What if liking the world is good for it?
What if letting our hearts open—in direct connection with nature—helps nature?
It may not be the only thing that helps, but is there any one and only thing that helps.
Appreciation and gratitude are good for us—encouraging health and happiness in human beings.
Perhaps—life is mysterious, after all—perhaps our kind attention is also just what the world needs.
It also helps us disentangle from, and disobey, a culture of “using.”
Drenched with a sunset or the scent of jasmine, we overturn the current worldview of lack and the need to earn pleasure and a place in the world. Simple pleasure, freely available and boundless, is radical.
It also helps lower our “alarm system.”
Doing only what we can do for the earth when we are alarmed—it’s not working out so well. Reading the research on climate change is important. But so far, it’s not enough to get us really moving. And sometimes being overwhelmed by predictions stops us from moving.
If we’re willing to do whatever is needed:
What about a more demanding practice, of ease? A practice of coming out of alarm, into connection, even when the situation is alarming. Or connecting to what feels enough and okay, already now, even when our internal alarm system is on high. That is hard practice.
Awe, gratitude and appreciation open us. Open is what we need to be, and what we are. What is.
Open leaves room for love, and grief, and life.
Keenly receptive yet relaxed, we find our own sensitivity no longer works against us. We may even start to have a few good ideas, instead of a million busy ones.
When the simple, unearnable and unownable pleasures of life meet our utter sensitivity—maybe some of that goodness spills over to what no longer feels like a separate world.
And then…maybe it’s possible to leap to a different kind of living and acting from love.
Not because somebody
told you to.
Not because you should.
Not even because it’s a good idea.
Here, there are parakeets—
They are lemon green, their calls
grating the air
from forty feet up.
have never seen a cage.
~Jaya, Sattal, 3 April, 2019