There is so much violence and conflict going on at the moment. It echoes and screams out of the news and from people’s reports. Unthinkable things suddenly become a bare reality, showing us what human beings are capable of doing. Many questions may arise out of this: Where does this come from? What is this? What is my responsibility in all this?
When we hear the news from people who are suffering so much, a feeling of injustice may come up fast and emotions like anger, hate, and violence sometimes appear with it. We notice the body tightening up and everything seems small and worrying.
The “I-my-me headphones”
How can we listen to this? Let’s start right here and now: There is a lot of violence and conflict in different forms inside and outside. We usually care about a good life for ourselves and for those close to us. We want to be heard, and we like to listen to those we love. However, whenever there is “I-my-me energy” appearing, the caring quiets down, and we mostly hear only ourselves. How my world should be and how this “I” wants to be. My hurt, my knowledge of right and wrong, my knowledge of being correct. It may be subtle, but it can be experienced ever so often in our everyday life.
We put on our “I-my-me” headphones”, and listen to the “my-good-opinion sound” and to the “my-story voice”. We hold on to “my hurts” and those we identify with, those we feel for. With time, we will even get better headphones – just seems to happen by itself – this time with noise reduction. Very good sound quality, amplifying what we want to hear. We completely immerse ourselves in our “I-my-me” stories and don’t hear almost anything around. One needs to shout really loud that you hear the shout through such headphones.
What do you hear now?
Do we need to follow that impulse to put on these headphones? What if we don’t follow this impulse, not suppressing it, and not going along with it. Can we listen to what’s happening right now: the sound of breathing, the computer fan, the smell of the air. Can we stay with it for a moment. Right now.
Do you hear?
Is it possible to stay with it and not follow “any-thing”?
What do you hear now?
Without labeling it with a name and a form, what is it? Keep returning to the listening, then compassion may arise by itself, and we notice something like an opening, a clarity that settles in. Then what?
How can you help?
Someone asked what should we do when there is the feeling that we cannot do anything? Sometimes we just cannot do anything to help, then what? Zen Master Wu Bong used to ask a question: “A person that can’t see, hear, smell, taste, and feel, how can you help?” – All gates are blocked – what can you do?
There is still something we can do. What is it? It comes from deep within.
Please find it and help this world!