While I was in San Francisco this summer, I spent an afternoon in one of my favorite places, the Japanese Tea Garden. When I arrived, it was a mob scene because of a special free admission that day. As a result, finding a quiet spot to meditate was a bit challenging. However, as I took in the beauty while walking around, I instead found that quiet space within myself. Eventually a bench on the outskirts of the garden, behind the gift shop, presented me the opportunity to meditate in solitude. As I gently dropped my eyelids and focused inward, the expressions of nature resonated all around me. While the wind rustled the leaves in the trees, the sun melted the cool presence of the fog, and the scent of the earth merged with the residual vapors in the air. In this moment of observing these subtle interactions of nature, I contemplated how the wind can’t exist without moving the leaves and the leaves can’t exist without directing the wind. The sun can’t help but evaporate the fog, and the damp earth’s aroma naturally infuses the atmosphere around it.
And so it is with our human journey that we cannot be in this world, taking up space, without effecting others. In considering this, the question arose as to how one’s most true and authentic nature can effect change. How can simply being in our truth without filtering it to please others, or without using that truth to judge others be a powerful way to create change? To exist fully in our truth, to anchor it into our being without needing words to explain it, holds a great deal of power, and the second we begin to compare and contrast that inner truth with the world around us, it’s power begins to diminish. It takes courage to be fully present and embody our highest truth, no matter how vulnerable it makes us feel, and yet when we are unwavering in the light of that truth, a deep and profound transformation takes place both within and all around us. We begin to act and respond to the world from that place of truth with neither the need to justify it, nor the need to impose it on others. Just as the wind can’t control how a leaf will succumb to its force, we cannot control the response of others to how we present our most authentic essence. But when we present it from a place of compassion, we experience less resistance in life, and a greater certainty that being true to ourselves will lead us to our greatest state of happiness and inner peace.
Being in a compassionate state is not a result of empathy or taking on the suffering of others. Authentic compassion comes from the non-dualistic mind, the inner part of us that understands our truth does not need to fix anything or to make the truth of another wrong. Authentic compassion reaches for an outlet of expression without attachment to an outcome or response, gently asking us to trust that the power within that state of being is enough. Once we are able to experience this, all that is left is to remain centered in that state of authentic compassion and be a loving presence no matter what transpires.
As we consistently show up to our Reiki practice, we are invited to experience deeper states of this unwavering compassion. The Reiki precepts and meditation practices assist us in cultivating compassion within our daily lives. The more we return to this state of being, the better able we become to hold space for others to discover this inner truth for themselves, in a way that is just right for them. This allows for the veil between our spiritual inner knowing and our human personality to lift, enabling the two to merge.
I often times talk about how the heart is where the self that is connected to spirit and the self that is connected to earth blend. When we breathe fully into the heart, we allow that union to integrate even more deeply, and our state of compassion grows stronger with each exhale, creating space for its expression, despite the vulnerabilities that may appear.
Towards the end of October, spiritual traditions around the world celebrate as we enter the darkest weeks of the year and the veil lifts between the spirit and earth realms. This is the time when ceremonies are held to take off the masks we wear when interacting with the world, and allow for the vulnerable space in our hearts to bring forth our deepest wisdom that longs to be fully expressed. This is also the time when the ancestors are honored for their generations of wisdom that holds space for us to be here today, in our truth.
As we prepare in mind, body and soul for nature’s quietest time of year, let us meditate to not only listen to what spirit has to say, but to breathe courage into our hearts to allow our state of compassion to be ever more present as we move through each day. In doing so, not only are we effecting the world around us, but holding space for others to also effect the world from their most authentic state of being.
To fully and completely be in this world is to know and honor the truth of who you are and your unique gifts. Holding a sacred space for their authentic expression returns to us the inner power, strength and resilience that carry us through our suffering and our joy, our self-doubt and moments of clarity, our grief and our reasons for celebration. It is what enables us to inspire transformation without effort and effect change without resistance. It is what it means to be in an unwavering state of unconditional love for yourself and the world.