There has been a bombing in the city of Manchester last night at at pop concert, and there are many who have been killed and hurt. We have a tendency to see each thing like this in some kind of isolation, and we ask questions like how could 'they' do this? But in our hearts we know where all actions like this stem from. We know that every situation where there is loss of life, through terrorism, or through political action, anywhere in the world, it is rooted in the greatest of ignorances. We know in our hearts that in all our of our history, ignorance has never lead to peace. The ignorance I'm speaking of is the concept that we are somehow separate from life, and from each other. This ignorance is that we see ourselves as 'I,' 'We,' or 'They,' and believe that we can somehow win, if we destroy the 'other.'
As I write this I have to say that my heart really hurts - Manchester has always been a home to me. I was born near the city, and would go there as a teen to escape and be free from my family situation. Then I lived there for many years, and even now I usually visit the city at least once a week, sometimes I run classes there. I was in the city the day the IRA bomb went off in June 1996, no one was killed then, but over 200 people were hurt, but the love and support the people of the city from all walks of life and all backgrounds showed each other, was nothing short of a miracle.
Presence and love can be found in every situation. But of course it is natural to grieve as a human being, authenticity and sacredness does not make us inhuman, they make us fully human, we feel more, yet we have sight that can see the conditioning that has led to each event. At this time fascism is on the rise as part of the egoic struggle for identity across the world, and this coupled with the loss of life, psychological pain, and the potential for happenings like this to create further hurt for others, and to exploited in the name of terror, and fascism pushes hard in my heart. As the wheel of death goes around seeking fulfillment or a kind of false freedom in blame, labels tend to be applied, and innocents are blamed and scapegoated from the compounding of conditioning.
I sat all night in meditation to be a space in this swirling world, and if anyone knew that I'd done that, they might ask, what use is that? How does that help? How does that end terror, you naive fool? And the answer is the same as it always is, that in this one heart at least there is space and love and non reaction. Having been in the city at the time of the last bombing, and knowing the people of Manchester so well, gives me hope however, that while there will be pushing and pulling in all sorts of ways, especially politically, Mancunians have a basic tendency towards love. The staunch northern quality of standing by each other will be in more hearts that not. While days like this are so, so hard, they are also portals into presence and love - if we can allow ourselves to not pick up the voices of reaction, if we will come into our heart of hearts, and if we can allow ourselves to be in our bodies, even though we hurt and we don’t know what happens next. If we can grieve without blaming in a way that creates more even personal and global pain body. We might then begin to see and understand the conditioning that always leads to days like these, which is the same in every situation of such ignorance. If we see that we have a choice. If we respond from the heart, then we do make a difference. Responding from the heart means that there is a healing in us and in the world. It might just be drops in the ocean, but even one drop is part of the totality of all things.
Please feel free to pay this piece no heed, I don’t know any answers to anything and do not pretend that I do. I’m only trying to write out of love.
Love and peace