Compassion is the only answer I know

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Just the sight of these mountains brings a peace and calm to me.
My breath slows down and I connect to myself right here, right now.

My 12 days in India, but more specifically the six days in Bir in the Himalayas were a magical experience; one I haven’t even started to process since my return to London 10 days ago.  Those mountains (and all I learned there) have felt very far away since I have gotten back and I am quite amazed how quickly and easily the pull of busy has seduced me, and how utterly shattered I am at the end of each day.

Yet last night as I dozed in front of the television, reviving myself every so often to see what the House of Commons were deciding about the airstrikes on Syria I was drawn again to the mountains. To the compassion and love that is shown at the Dharmalaya Institute where I stayed in Bir. At the sense of community they have formed. At a different way of being and living.

Now I don’t even admit to understanding 1% of the complexities of the issues with Isil and Syria. I can’t understand Isil’s motives or modus operandi. I don’t have a clue how to stop them and I understand they are reeking havoc and terror on so many people at the moment that we can’t turn our backs and pretend it isn’t happening. Yet I know within my heart of hearts that bombing them isn’t going to stop them. And that the collateral damage of so many innocent people (which is almost guaranteed) isn’t right.

As the results of the vote were read out last night (397 for the strikes and 223 against) my heart sank and I questioned (once again!) about the people in power and how differently they see the issues at hand. My immediate reaction is to want to run away to the mountains, to breathe in the fresh air, have my cup of tea and be able to look into that moment with peace and love. But that also feels cowardly; running away from something that is staring me in my face.

I feel that the answer is compassion but it also doesn’t feel enough.

Not palpable, real, IMMEDIATE enough.
Yet bombing is immediate but not lasting. A blunt tool for a specific problem. It seems to be missing the essence of the issue and ignoring the root causes.

So where does that leave me? Sitting here doing some loving meditation and wishing for all beings to be healthy, happy and free from suffering. It has me writing this blog post sharing a little bit of me and my thoughts, but realising I am most likely to be preaching to the converted.

Is that enough? Probably not.
But right now it’s all I know.
I shall draw to mind those magical mountains and just breathe.
Breathe and trust.

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