Thursday, March 23, 2017

Grief Changes

I’ve been thinking about grief lately, as March 15 marked the 27th anniversary of my dad’s death. This year, though I was tender – as I often am – I didn’t shut down as strongly. And whenever I do get caught up in the intense pain of the loss, I can finally find relief in Maitri practice (loving-kindness/metta/unconditional friendliness). For many years, the practice made basic sense to me but didn’t seem to budge my most fundamental struggles. Over time, however, my heart has opened up enough to want to be relieved of the suffering of believing I am alone in my loss, and so bringing to mind others who have felt grief like this gives space around my feelings, and a salve of support.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

Receiving Generosity

Over the last few months, over 100 people gave to my Karuna Training Graduate Program fund. It was an act of giving based on little received in return - literally little - a 17-syllable haiku thank you. Their generosity has been gratitude for all I have given, or for the sake of giving, rather than reward. I was – and am - grateful. But I also experienced discomfort, a revealing of my own funky ego beliefs around money, giving, and receiving.

While everyone has given to me in love-filled ways in the last few months, I have not always received with clarity. I wanted to share some of the underbelly aspects of my experience. These have nothing to do with others’ generosities and everything to do with my hyper-independent identity, difficulty in asking and receiving help, and working with entitlement and privilege.