On Thursdays, I teach mindfulness to kids at a local teen shelter. Two boys have been there for awhile. One was wearing a hoodie pulled so tight you could barely see his face. I think he wanted to be invisible. Who could blame him? I know these kids are in pain, doing their best to endure their temporary stay at the shelter. I can see sadness in their eyes. While I’m there with them, I send kindness from my eyes to theirs because it seems on some level that helps. This morning after a few minutes on my meditation cushion their eyes came into my mind’s eye. Unexpected tears started to flow as I touched into an awareness of their current predicament. I didn’t realize this was lurking inside me because it was not in my conscious awareness. My meditation gave the space needed to feel and allow unattended feelings to come through. There was no struggle, nothing guarding me from directly experiencing what was arising. My heart felt wide open. I was JustBE-ing with present-centered awareness. The release connected me to their suffering, their families, my own, everyone’s... The unexpected, beautiful, other side of suffering.
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