I was in a discussion today that focused on “Conversing and Interrupting”. How do we enter an ongoing conversation, discussion, or interactive group? How do we find our part, claim our space, or do we sit back in childhood programming of being seen, not heard, and told not to interrupt? And in that, are we actually seen? Are we seeing ourselves?
Instead of the word “interrupting”, I wrap in the words converging and engaging. These words give me a gentle entry, a cushion for reflection on the subject of conversation with others and with myself.
How do I bring myself into a group, or into the diverse voices I am? How do these inner voices converge, engage, and interact? Do they shout or whisper, speak with invitation or confrontation, flow or contract?
As His Holiness the Dalai Lama says, “My religion is kindness.”
How am I kind to myself, and in that, others?
In the conversation today, we, who were of the age of wisdom, agreed that aging is humbling. Where we once felt formidable, strong, and able to do anything and everything, now there is vulnerability. We have to ask for help.
On Wednesday, I was at the beach with a friend. We brought food and settled ourselves on the sand to watch the sun set. She went to open her water bottle. It wouldn’t budge. I tried. Nothing! And then a lovely young couple walked by, and my friend said to him, “You look strong. Do you think you could open this for me?” And he did, and he opened it so easily, the four of us laughed. It was so funny, and perhaps, as I type this a little sad, but isn’t that where we find humor, in the truth of what it is to be alive, and in the connectivity that vulnerability brings?
I’m with these words from The Power of an Open Question by Elizabeth Mattis Namgyel.
The way we know things depends upon the mind, nothing more. Most of us have moments of deep contentment when we don’t feel a need to alter, express, run from, or invest some special meaning in our experience in any way. Deep contentment shows us that, at least momentarily, our habit of cherishing and protecting ourselves from what we call “other” has subsided. In moments like these, we have stopped objectifying things. We can let things be. And when the mind rests at ease in this way, it accommodates everything, like space.