When the waves of unbearable emotion come rolling in, can you be the ocean that welcomes it all?
When an intensity rages in your heart, can you stand open as the sky and let it all come and go?
When you feel wronged or insulted or ignored or just plain misunderstood, can you allow that which offends you to be absorbed and transmuted in the softness of your heart?
My friend, can you be non-violent in the midst of the storm?
The storm appears when we least expect it, when an immense feeling rips through us and brings us to our edge, when we’re sideswiped by our own reactivity. And then the storm is whipped up into a cyclone when when we hate ourselves for acting impulsively or with venom or with desperation.
The storm pulls on our unresolved fear of survival, our unexamined self-righteousness, our shame and guilt and judgment. But whilst the storm appears to be a rally-call to war, its deeper invitation is to end the war. Every storm invites us to be non-violent — to meet the intensity with tenderness, to stand as unwavering openness, to be rooted in unshakable presence. This is not spiritual bypassing or suppressing our feelings, this is not pretending everything is ok or putting up with things. On the contrary, this is spiritual — and emotional — maturity. This is the wisdom of the samurai warrior, who does not act from hatred or personal desire to be the “victor” but from the true sovereignty of inner silence.
Action taken from the “I” in the midst of the storm is always non-violent, even when the enemy’s head is chopped off. Because it’s not the one who is the cause of the storm that is the real enemy — it’s not the one who offends us or appears to oppose us, it’s not the unwelcome intruder of rage or grief or horror — but fear itself. When you can be non-violent in the midst of fear, then the storm resurrects itself into the peace that is always at source.
When you can smile at that which scares you or repulses you, then you are resurrected into the light of the world.
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