When former U.S. president George W. Bush was thrown by shoes, then the former Libyan president Muammar Qaddafi was replaced in a very disrespectful way, honestly the world of leadership is in deep mourning. In ancient times, civilization could be bright because leaders were well respected. At that time, leaders were one source of light. The question then, in the age where cosmic instabilities happen everywhere, where will the light come from?. Honestly, sadness is the only shelter of this time. Not sadness that can burn anger, but sadness as the opening door of connectedness.
It is often heard, sadness – especially when frequently appear, with more and more intensity – is a sign that one grows too far from home. It is a bell ringing to remind mankind to go home. Only in the true home then we can have a sense of connection.
In the far past, when civilization was still very barbaric, grief was concluded as the gods disappointment, threatening demon. It is understandable because people were still stupid then need to be frightened. Now, when the average education is high, science and technology growing so rapidly, the world becomes a global village through the internet, face book, twitter, people need a much more mature ways of looking.
We all live in the same world, but we meet the different pictures of life. Grumpy man see injustice everywhere. Then express protest to many other people. The protests then invite the anger of others. As a result, everything is on fire. Envious people find that other people are wealthier and having more power. Because of such findings, then they radiate hostility to all direction. This hostility then invite hostility of others. People who are full of compassion find there are many beings that need our help. The poor suffer in poverty, the rich suffer for fear of losing, sick people endure pain, potential suffering happen to the healthy for forgetting to exercise. As a result, compassionate people received hugs of friendship everywhere. Life is like water meet water. Everything appear to be fountains of coolness.
The difference between these two pictures of life (the one which is hot like fire, the other is like cool water) is simple, how successful one heals anger. In the mind that has not recovered from anger, every movement leads to misery. On the contrary, when the mind is fully recovered from anger, then life is an opportunity to practice the touching compassion. Consequently, all the way is peace, all voice is the song of joy.
And meditation is a tool that can heal the anger. Whenever anger comes, learn to whisper like this: “Breathing in, I recognize there is anger here. Breathing out, I’m bigger than anger”. Guiding breath like this is important, because a lot of person who are angry and then dangerous because it does not realize they are angry. In addition, anger is frightening because its energy is greater than the energy of awareness. And the result of meditation, energy of awareness can be much greater than the energy of anger, and finally anger can be like a thief entering an empty house. When there is no time for sitting meditation, one may choose walking meditation. Walk slowly, then realize with footsteps that everything is impermanent, appear and disappear. Anger happens because life is flowing while mind is frozen. Stepping slowly, feel every step passes like water flowing in the river.
Visualization also helps healing the anger. Visualize anger as a crying baby. And awareness in none other than the mother with a single son. Some people love goddess Kwan Iem. Whenever anger comes, imagine anger is the suffering beings, and awareness is the goddess Kwan Iem gently embracing all suffering. Happiness is charming, but one does not get any lessons from it. Sadness is scary, but grief often guides people to the gates of connectedness. And connectedness is one of the important characteristics of people who are healed already.
Life as a Song
Once anger is healed, life has a totally different picture. Joy is a motivational song that makes waking up well-energized. Grief is the song of the universe that calling: “go home”. Since everything sound as song, life becomes a dancing cosmic of connection.
Look at the message of St. Catharine of Siena: “Every step of the way to heaven is heaven”. Every step to Nirvana is Nirvana. This coincides with the meditation approach that emphasizes being one with the journey. In a journey like this, every step is peace.
Borrowing the wisdom of the eastern elder, from the beginning, on the way, until the end of it all is joy. Let’s contemplate deeply one of the beautiful lyric of children song: “See my garden full of flowers. Some are white and some are red. All watered daily. Roses and jasmine are all beautiful”. Life is similar to gardening. Not only outside, life is also colorful inside. Sometimes happy sometimes sad. However, do not ever get tired of watering it. Meditation, prayer, puja are sorts of watering the inner garden. As a result, everything is a cosmic song. Especially when life is seen in the eyes of compassion.