Even if your house is flooded or burnt to the ground, whatever the danger that threatens it, let it concern only the house. If there’s a flood, don’t let it flood your mind. If there’s a fire, don’t let it burn your heart. Let it be merely the house, that which is external to you, that is flooded and burned. Allow the mind to let go of its attachments. The time is ripe. --- Ajahn Chah
Here in California, as thick, heavy smoke engulfed the San Francisco Bay area and fire raged around Los Angeles, many of us were left stunned that the entire town of Paradise was burnt down in a raging inferno. Thousands lost homes and their businesses. There are still about one thousand people missing, and as of now, eighty-one dead. The heart-break deepened knowing so many animals, small creatures, forests and plants were also burnt and lost.
These days, with extreme weather as our new reality, we are in unchartered territory. With so much being lost, so much at stake, the mind's citadel of illusion that we are in control has been overwhelmed, leaving the heart in shock. Yet, however much we feel everything is going wrong, within this intensity is a profound invitation.
We are being asked to move from denial, bargaining, distraction and justifications to embrace what we are experiencing as fully and deeply as we can. Why? Because this intensifying pressure is the needed catalyst for birthing a radical new world, not only for survival, but so we can fulfil our hearts true destiny.
This is an immense process. One that entails a recalibration of our whole system. Everything is up for questioning. What has been in the shadow is being pulled into plain daylight so we can see through layers and layers of the obscured. Every choice we make, the way we understand our world, the very premise of our reality is up for review. Every day is like a leap into the unknown. As the dogs of anxiety, grief, outrage, and despair snap at our ankles, gnaw at our innards, we are compelled to draw ever deeper from our own hearts knowing.
As the old political, economic, and social systems fail, revealing their craven corruption, and as historically erroneous categorisations of people are manipulated to divide us further, we are being asked to reach out beyond our limitations. To meet "the other" with humane-ness. To be more real, to take more risks, to give up and renounce what pulls us down, and to withdraw our collaboration with the destruction of nature, of life, beauty, equity, justice and love. Love is where we must finally land. Let's not sleep walk into our future, but let's wake up together. Let us be more authentic, build resilience, and take heart in our brilliant shared human spirit.
Thanissara, November 2018