Building community in a changing world

January 31, 2022

“I turn towards my suffering with kindness”

As part of a 30-day intentions/restraints practice, I’m back to reading Roshi Joan Halifax’s “Being with Dying.” In Chapter 10, Roshi Joan talks about how one can’t fully help others unless we help ourselves first. She suggests using a series of mantras as one way to get the ball rolling in that regard, mantras such as “I turn towards my suffering with kindness” or “May I be happy.”

She talks about having a spirtual practice to develop a concentrated, still place in which to cultivate calmness and kindness, including these principles for self-care:

1. See your limits with compassion
2. Set up a schedule that is sane
3. Know what practices and activities refresh you (and make time for them)
4. Actively involve, include and support other caregivers
5. Develop a plan for doing your work in a way that is mindful, restorative, wholesome and healthy