nothing is as kind as true intention

We are experiencing an event unlike anything any of us has ever gone through before. There is much unknowing about the road ahead and where it will take us. We know that there will be more loss of life to come and with it the tremendous grief that accompanies it. Many of us are fearful both about the potential impact on our health and also on our financial futures and livelihood. I sit in this messiness with you. I do not have all the answers.

What I can offer are practices rooted in ancient wisdom. Practices which will help us to navigate the treacherous journey with more kindness, more compassion, more grace, and more hospitality to all of our deeply tender and wounded places. Monasticism flourished in the Dark Ages, when communities centered around attention to the divine and to each other.

For those of us who are not in essential services (and we are seeing how not only medicine and science is vital right now, but all those who are serving our communities through food production and distribution, waste management, and much more) instead of filling our time with distraction, we have an opportunity to turn inward and do some deep reflection. Like Jesus’ 40 days in the desert, we too are sitting vigil in the wilderness of our hearts. Our experience this Lent has been magnified. 

My deepest hope is that through this time of compassionate retreating, we might begin to see a new way forward when all of this abates. That we might rebuild a society and culture on profound compassion and solidarity, and one that helps Earth to thrive and be nourished again. 

~Christine Valters Paintner

we are here. and so it goes on.

inquiry for today~ what practices support an inner release?

to deepen the query

Faithless is he who says farewell

when the road darkens.

~J.R. Tolkein

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