The Amazon and Congo, if you didn’t know, are so important, first, because they are simply precious but, also, because such forests absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen. Maintaining robust forests is part of the answer to climate change. That so much of the Amazon and the Congo is ablaze is scary and worrying and sad. So I went to the prayer circle.
I don’t know whether you believe in prayer or not (I don’t know if I do!). But to me, in some ways, it doesn’t matter whether it works. When people don’t know what else to do about something that concerns them, they come together to pray or hope or set an intentionality. Just the simple fact that people gathered in this circle out of their concern for the world felt sweet to me and gave me energy.
(Maybe giving participants the energy to follow their compassionate intention is the true purpose of prayer? Who knows?)
Some people, in the prayer circle, called upon the spiritis of their ancestors. Others called on the spirit of the Earth itself or the force that they called God. Everyone sincerely asked whatever forces in the Universe exist to help our world and all beings. That a group of people would gather to so humbly offer such sincere requests to whatever forces in the Universe that there may be felt good to me.
When it came to my turn to offer a hope, what I hoped for was just that we all just wake up to what we can see, hear, taste, smell, touch and intuit. I prayed that we simply wake up to our senses. That we stop sleep-walking through the fog of our desires and fears and angers and stories and just see what is.
Similarly, I hoped that I could try not to participate in actions that create fear and anger and attachment in others. Maybe if I can find a way to treat others with compassion and love, then they will be less scared and angry and might be able to see and hear and respond to the suffering in our world, too.
Humanity–that which is essential about us–is so wonderful, in my view. I believe that when we see throught the clouds of our anger and fear and delusion that we naturally respond with love and compassion to what is. That is humanity.
So, on Saturday night, at the prayer circle, in a backyard, that’s all I wished for. That we all set aside the illusions that seduce us and wake up to and believe in the reality presented by our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, skin and intution.
I trust us. Maybe all we have to do is really pay attention? If we do, maybe the love and compassionate action will be automatic?