This podcast episode is offered humbly as a practice to support and uplift in times of crisis. This is recorded as America experiences widespread protests and riots in response to the deep, and too-long-ignored racism prevalent in every layer of our culture. This talk and this practice, I hope, are useful for all beings everywhere as we bravely and unflinchingly face the oppressions, discriminations, forced exoduses and genocides that occur anytime we create the label “other”. 

I encourage you to listen to a myriad of voices alongside my own:

Reverend Angel Kyodo Williams, Sebene Selassie, Spring Washam and Joanna Hardy are a few of the teachers I follow.


I can’t remember who said it or where I read it, but I remember reading somewhere in my studies that meditation eventually asks you to feel The Great Heartbreak of the World.

At the time, I remember thinking, “ummmmm. No thanks.” Who wants to feel heartbreak?!

What I wanted was to feel better: less stress, more happiness. So, I meditated. Sometimes regularly; sometimes not. Usually not for more than 10 minutes, and I did start to feel better. So, I meditated with more consistency for longer time frames. I read some books and studied with teachers I respected, and the more I practiced, the more I found myself moving from my head to my heart.

I was feeling MORE. I was more aware of my own feelings in everyday situations, and I was more aware of when I was purposely NOT feeling or numbing out to world events as if they didn’t affect me. Eventually, there was a moment when “The Great Heartbreak of the World” finally resonated – I understood what that teacher meant. He/she meant we have to feel it all. We can’t ignore the pains of any being’s suffering if we are truly awake.

In this moment, as cities across America experience the rage of oppression and racism gone on for far too long, we meditate. We meditate not to feel better but to feel. As Pema Chodron says, 

“To stay with that shakiness—to stay with a broken heart, with a rumbling stomach, with the feeling of hopelessness and wanting to get revenge—that is the path of true awakening. Sticking with that uncertainty, getting the knack of relaxing in the midst of chaos, learning not to panic—this is the spiritual path.” 

Today’s meditation practice is a compassion practice that can apply to any person or group of people that you choose to practice for – it can be practiced for yourself, if you are the one who needs that loving support today. When we practice, we are deeply connecting to the thread of humanity we all share. Let us stand {and sit} together in solidarity and in love.

Reverend Angel Kyodo Williams:

Sebene Selassie:

Spring Washam:

Joanna Hardy:

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