Practice Day Three: Mercy for us All

Updated: Mar 3

Theme/Mantra: “Mercy- for myself, for you, for all of us”


Reading:

I Can’t Help you by Ryszard Krynicki

Poor moth, I can’t help you.

I can only turn out the light.


Meditation:

Let us get into our meditative position for today, and begin with some deep cleansing breaths. Focus on the idea of mercy. What it means to you. How you show mercy to those in your life. Ask yourself how you show mercy to yourself? To your community? To your elected officials? And what is mercy? Is mercy doing the kind thing? The Right thing? Turning off the light for the attracted moths? How can you do that today?


Physical Movement:

Giving and Receiving Motion

Stand with both legs hip width apart.

On an inhale, step forward with one leg, extend both arms forward, as if you are reaching forward, and opening yourself up, perhaps releasing a package you had been holding in your arms.

Lean forward with your upper body as you do this.

As you step back, gather your arms in an embrace of yourself as if you are pulling a package to your bosom to hug.

Exhale as you bring your foot back to join the other.

Repeat on the other side.

Do this motion slowly allowing your breath to guide your forward and backward movements.

Repeat as many times as you feel is helpful to practice the feeling of giving and receiving.


Reflections:

Oh my, we are such critical beings. Critical of self. Critical of others. But I think what the world needs is more grace. More mercy. I have spent my adult lifetime trying to learn how NOT to be so hard on myself when I mess up in any way. The lesson to not be hard on others has been easier to learn. Holding out mercy to others helps us to cultivate more empathy for them. Holding mercy for ourselves allows us to cultivate more empathy for ourselves. What I love about the poem from Krynicki is that it reminds me that mercy isn’t about taking on shame or regret or responsibility for something that I didn’t do- or couldn’t do. Yes, we can feel compassion for people who are hurting. But it may not be my fault they are hurting. I am reminded to ask myself what can I do in this situation? If I can save the life of the moth, then by all means, let me do so. But if I cannot, then let me find ways to turn out the light, and accept what I can and cannot do.

(I realize this is all suggested with the backdrop in our world of the invasion of Ukraine by Russians- The desire in us to be angry and even hate is so strong when such an injustice is done to a whole country of people. Still, I remind us all- to practice connecting the humanity you feel in yourself with the humanity you imagine in each of the Russian Soldiers- the humanity you feel in yourself with that of each Ukrainian suffering. Remember that peace begins in our own hearts. I don't pretend to have answers. But I do know that I cannot do much to stop war in Ukraine. What I can do is keep from going to war in my own heart, with my neighbor. I do believe hate leads to violence- violence is unnecessary harm to everyone involved. My question for myself is- what light can I turnout, so the moth might be saved?)


Song: Mercy Now by Mary Gauthier

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IT7NiFpJmvI

Lyrics:

My father could use a little mercy now

The fruits of his labor fall and rot slowly on the ground

His work is almost over it won't be long, he won't be around

I love my father, he could use some mercy now


My brother could use a little mercy now

He's a stranger to freedom, he's shackled to his fear and his doubt

The pain that he lives in it's almost more than living will allow

I love my brother, he could use some mercy now


My church and my country could use a little mercy now

As they sink into a poisoned pit it's going to take forever to climb out

They carry the weight of the faithful who follow them down

I love my church and country, they could use some mercy now


Every living thing could use a little mercy now

Only the hand of grace can end the race towards another mushroom cloud

People in power, they'll do anything to keep their crown

I love life and life itself could use some mercy now


Yeah, we all could use a little mercy now

I know we don't deserve it but we need it anyhow

We hang in the balance dangle 'tween hell and hallowed ground

And every single one of us could use some mercy now

Every single one of us could use some mercy now

Every single one of us could use some mercy now


Until Tomorrow- Peace


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