Courage and Generosity

by Matthew Lyon

In these anxious times, it is natural to slip into a cycle of hope and fear. We have fear of contracting the virus, and yet hope we won’t. Fear that society and economies will fall apart, and hope for a cure or effective treatments to bring stability. Fear of the dysfunction of our leadership, and hope for skillful leaders to prevail. Fear of the unknown effects of the dramatic changes we are experiencing, and hope that this crisis will bring about a beneficial transformation of human society.

Like most of us I have been processing this emotional cycle. As a financial advisor, it has been a very active time, demanding a lot of physical and emotional endurance.

I feel fortunate that I have the tools of meditative practice available to me as I work with all of this. It is often said that meditative training is most helpful in hard times. When things are easy, the discovery of our courage and inner strength may not be as profound.

The inner path of meditation has helped me to invoke a state of mind that is beyond hope and fear. The current crisis, and the strong emotions that arise within it, create a heightened intensity which calls upon us to really connect with inner strength.

This has much to do with the courageous act of being fully present. Hope and fear are related to potential future possibilities. It’s not that fear is unjustified, or that hope is wrong to hold – it’s just that the cycle takes our mind away from the present moment.

I find myself contemplating the bravery of the countless teachers of the meditative traditions who established the inner path of practice even in dire circumstances. This has been dramatic in the lives of Tibetan teachers who persevered with the teachings even as their culture was torn apart. Their sacrifices gave us a wisdom path which seems more potent than ever now.

As I think of their courage and generosity joined together, passing through the trials of many centuries, I am inspired to follow their example.

May we find solace, strength, and confidence in fully connecting with the powerful present moment. May this bring courage and the generosity to cast light upon our daily lives, even as uncertainty surrounds us.

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