Some moments feel all-consuming, don’t they? Especially moments of profound hopelessness, despair, or fear. Moments when it feels like there is nothing to be done and nothing will change…. These can be difficult personal moments in our work life or our family life, and they can be difficult times in the state of our world – the ongoing trauma of hatred, the intense feelings of separateness.
As I sat with these feelings this week, I found myself doing a modified lovingkindness practice almost by default. Traditional teachings offer Lovingkindness practices as the antidote to fear, and I as leaned into my practice searching for hope and trust, I suddenly found myself reflecting on The Overview Effect.
The Overview Effect is a shift in awareness reported by some astronauts during space flight. As described by Wikipedia, the Overview Effect refers to “the experience of seeing firsthand the reality of Earth in space, which is immediately understood to be a tiny, fragile ball of life, hanging in the void, shielded & nourished by a paper-thin atmosphere. From space, national boundaries vanish, the conflicts that divide people become less important, and the need to create a planetary society with the united will to protect this pale blue dot becomes both obvious & imperative.”
Take a moment to look at this image taken by the Voyager 1 of our pale blue dot: http://www.planetary.org/explore/space-topics/earth/pale-blue-dot.html.
That is us. All of us. The Overview Effect makes sense, doesn’t it?
Our meditation practice can provide this same effect. We are shielded and nourished by this practice. We understand our connectedness through this practice. We step into a planetary society through this practice.
Join me today on The Mindful Minute as we talk through a Lovingkindness practice as an antidote to fear and then practice together with a united will.