As we work to reweave the strands of connection, we can be supported by the wisdom and lovingkindness of others.
Sometimes people don't trust the force of kindness. They think love or compassion or kindness will make you weak and kind of stupid and people will take advantage of you you won't stand up for other people.
Some people have a mistaken idea that all thoughts disappear through meditation and we enter a state of blankness. There certainly are times of great tranquility when concentration is strong and we have few, if any, thoughts. But other times, we can be flooded with memories, plans or random thinking. It's important not to blame yourself.
If you go deeper and deeper into your own heart, you'll be living in a world with less fear, isolation and loneliness.
Protection, as we use the word in Buddhism, is actually wisdom, it's insight. Protection is seeing and knowing deeply that all things in our experience arise due to causes, due to conditions coming together in a certain way.
I think so many people tend to think of faith as blind adherence to a dogma or unquestioned surrender to an authority figure, and the result is losing self-respect and losing our own sense of what is true. And I don't think of faith in those terms at all.
We need the compassion and the courage to change the conditions that support our suffering. Those conditions are things like ignorance, bitterness, negligence, clinging, and holding on.
As we hone the ability to let go of distraction, to begin again without rancor or judgment, we are deepening forgiveness and compassion for ourselves. And in life, we find we might make a mistake, and more easily begin again, or stray from our chosen course and begin again.
Dedicating some time to meditation is a meaningful expression of caring for yourself that can help you move through the mire of feeling unworthy of recovery. As your mind grows quieter and more spacious, you can begin to see self-defeating thought patterns for what they are, and open up to other, more positive options.
I think we spend so much of our lives trying to pretend that we know what's going to happen next. In fact we don't. To recognize that we don't know even what will happen this afternoon and yet having the courage to move forward - that's one meaning of faith.