Greetings from the hills of Marche. I left here last Monday and returned yesterday to a taste of winter after the previous gift of sunshine and warmth. Like nature around me, and many others, internal storms are also present in these particularly dark times on the planet. We stopped for a coffee while visiting Urbino and this packet of sugar was just the reminder I needed that everything and everyone is interconnected. You don't have to be an empath to realize that what is happening in the external world affects our internal landscape. In the same light, it's important to realize that our inner landscape is also what we bring to the external world. This not only affects our ability to function in the world, but also how we influence one another.
Daniela forwarded a wonderful short dharma teaching of Thich Nhat Hahn recently on what it means to go home to yourself. It was a perfect reminder that to be present in the here and now and simply focus on our in breath and our out breath, can be the catalyst for change. He compared our true home to a house. If we have all the windows and doors open and there is a wind storm, there will be a disaster inside also. As we close the windows and the doors, we can regain our strength and balance. Closing our eyes, ears, smells, body and thinking and give space to just the breath, we can create warmth and regain our equilibrium again. This is a powerful place to begin, like oiling the machinery of functionality. Sometimes it is as simple as that.
How can we imagine calming the conditions of our world from inner turmoil? It is not possible, yet in my own experiences, when I have tasted inner peace, I also got to witness it ripple to the conditions of my world and we are all interconnected. This is the power of practice.
On my drive here yesterday I listened to another of Plum Village's podcast The Way Out Is In with Brother Phap Huu and Jo Confino. This episode is with a special guest Christiana Figueres and it is worth a recommendation for anyone who is feeling the call for change and or stepping up in their life. It also touches on the power of 'doing' that comes from a rootedness in 'being'. It is inspiring.