After meeting at the DO Lectures, I was trading notes with Catherine Powell about her wonderful talk on the London Meditation Project, and she shared some wisdom that she kindly has agreed to let me share on this blog:
It is such a precious thing to be able to give, and we can all give something.
In the Buddhist tradition giving is one of the ‘Six Perfections,’ (we practice them a lot on the way towards perfection!) along with ethical conduct, patience/tolerance, energy and vigour, one-pointed concentration, and wisdom.
Giving is the first of the six.
If there is nothing else we can do (maybe we are distracted, angry, confused, struck down in any number of ways – whatever state we might be in) we can still always give something, and giving is the doorway to feeling better again as part of the world, whatever we can give – a cup of tea, some time, a material gift, the gift of the truth – even just throwing a stick for a playful dog… giving is such a massively healthy and healing thing.
We so need to feel and experience our connection with each other.
The London Meditation Project was created to help returning war veterans cope with their experiences. They could be coping with post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), they might have disabilities, or they could just looking for a safe space to share with other veterans. It’s a powerful project and the kind of thing we should see more of to support returning soldiers. Don’t take it from me, see this great post from a military wife who dragged her husband to one of Catherine’s sessions.
If you feel so moved, you can support soldiers here. Better yet, since “meditation” and “military” usually aren’t in the same sentence, if you know folks in the military who might like this idea, let them know.
And thank you, Catherine, for your words of wisdom.