This Too Shall Pass

I recently completed the Chopra Center meditation challenge and one of the days (spoiler alert if you haven’t done it) was focused on this great parable that I am referencing at the bottom of this post. What I got from reflecting on it was that at the end of the day, we have the opportunity to choose who we get to be in our situation at any given moment. Our default way of being is to let the circumstances dictate our experiences in life instead of being aware that we are capable of choosing our reaction to life. I think that is one of the ultimate practices we can master. There is so much power in that. Here’s the parable: 

 

“This too shall pass.”

There was a king and he once said to the court sages, “I have a ring with one of the finest diamonds in the world and I want to hide a message under the stone that can be useful in a situation of extreme despair. I will give this ring to my heirs and I want it to serve faithfully. Think of what kind of message will be there. It must be very short to fit in the ring.”

The sages knew how to write treatises, but did not express themselves in one short sentence. They thought and thought, but did not come up with anything.

The king complained about the failure of his venture to a faithful old servant who raised him from infancy and was part of the family. And the old man said to him, “I’m not a sage, I’m not educated, but I know such a message. For many years spent in the palace, I met a lot of people. And once I served a visiting mystic whom your father invited. And he gave me this message. I ask that you don’t read it now. Save it under the stone and open it only when there’s no way out at all.”

The king listened to the old servant.

After some time, the enemies attacked the country and the king lost the war. He fled on his horse and his enemies pursued him. He was alone, his enemies were many. He rode to the end of the road. There was a huge deep cliff before him, if he fell there, it is the end. He could not go back, as the enemies were approaching. He already heard the clatter of their horses’ hooves. He had no way out. He was in complete despair.

And then he remembered the ring. He opened it and found an inscription: This too shall pass

After reading the message, he felt that everything was quiet. Apparently the pursuers got lost and proceeded in the wrong direction. Horses were no longer heard.

The king was filled with gratitude to the servant and the unknown mystic. The words were powerful. He closed the ring. And set out on the road. He gathered his army and returned his state.

On the day when he returned to the palace, they arranged a magnificent meeting, a feast for the whole world – the people loved their king. The king was happy and proud.

An old servant came up to him and said softly, “Even in this moment, look at the message again.”

The King said, “Now I am a winner, people are celebrating my return, I’m not in despair, not in a hopeless situation.”

“Listen to this old servant,” the servant answered. “The message works not only in moments when everything is bad, but also in moments of victory.”

The king opened the ring and read: This too shall pass.

And again he felt a silence fall over him, although he was in the midst of a noisy dancing crowd. His pride dissolved. He understood the message. He was a wise man.

And then the old man said to the king, “Do you remember everything that happened to you? Nothing and no feeling is permanent. As night changes day, so moments of joy and despair replace each other. Accept them as the nature of things, as part of life”

Look at the events in your life (both good and not so good) while considering the words of the parable: “This too shall pass.”

A Tribute to Moms

I wanted to write a post today to acknowledge how grateful I am for my mom. It’s Mothers’ Day today. Normally we would be out at a restaurant together but they are all restricted for dining due to the Corona Virus pandemic shelter in place rules enforced by our government. So today, I did a quick FaceTime call with my mom and sister during their lunch. I have always appreciated my mom, especially on Mothers’ Day, but I feel more grateful today for her. Maybe it’s because it seems like we have been forced to pause, reflect and take the time to appreciate everything in our life during these days of confinement in our homes (it’s amazing how it took a pandemic for the whole world to take the time to do that). Maybe it’s because I lost my mother-in-law this past September and I am so very present to how precious our time is together here.

Whatever the reason, I invite you to take a pause and appreciate your mother. I invite you to appreciate all mothers. I have been blessed enough to have been raised by women of strength in my family who have huge amazing hearts and unbreakable faith. If you have had a less than decent upbringing and experience with your mother, or if you are estranged from her, I have compassion for you – and I’d still encourage you to appreciate her, because you wouldn’t have been brought into this world without her. If your mother is no longer with you on this Earth, I too have compassion for you. Believe this or not, but you can still talk to her because she is always with you. Thank you to all the moms out there.

Journey to Peace and Overcoming Mediocrity

I am so proud of my friend, Valerie Mrak! She is a contributor to a book called “Victorious Women – Overcoming Mediocrity”. She has also done a talk on Tedx called “Peace Inside/Out”. I saw her today at a reunion for an organization we both volunteered for called Youth Technology Corps. I officially met her weeks before our trip but got to know her better while sitting next to her on a plane ride to Mexico for YTC’s annual trip in partnership with a network of schools in Durango. I knew that she worked with film and taught students film-making.

Valerie had given me permission to share the story about our conversation on the plane. I had asked her what kind of work she did as a filmmaker since I hadn’t really heard her speak about her work in our previous group meetings. She told me in a very nonchalant way that she did a documentary about the Dalai Lama called “Shadow Over Tibet” where she traveled to India to interview His Holiness the Dalai Lama and that the documentary was narrated by Richard Gere. I was baffled at how she had never shared this before, so naturally I stood up in the plane and announced to everyone about her great achievement. She told me how embarrassed she was from that incident, but how it had ultimately changed her life. Now, I am not sharing this because I want you to know how great I am, but for the purpose of expressing the importance of speaking up, being bold, adding value and uplifting other people – because a world leader may arise from you taking action and opening your mouth.

Valerie’s book – you can purchase it here
Me with David Finkel (Founder of Youth Technology Corp.) and Valerie Mrak
Us in Durango, Mexico

What are you thankful for?

This week is Thanksgiving. I’m so glad I came across this article on LinkedIn by Forbes. Normally this week I would be going through the motions of starting the holiday season and looking forward to relaxing a bit, but reading this article has made me look into the inquiry of being grateful. It has been an interuption to my routine. Sometimes we need interruptions like that to actually make a stop and take a moment to acknowledge and reflect. Sometimes it seems like we even go through the motions of being grateful and not let it really sink in.

Here’s a great clip from the article that really got to me:

“In fact, it is precisely under crisis conditions when we have the most to gain by a grateful perspective on life. In the face of demoralization, gratitude has the power to energize. In the face of brokenness, gratitude has the power to heal. In the face of despair, gratitude has the power to bring hope.”

I know that you may have read something like this before, but gratitude really does create the space for abundance. It’s for real. Yes think it’s the sense of feeling humbled and being in wonder of life.

Read the full article on the Forbes website here

Reiki Master Teacher

I became a Reiki Master Teacher this past weekend. It was a life changing experience. I have been practicing for ten years and getting attuned to the Master Teacher Level is the culmination of all the practice and study that I’ve done. It has been quite the journey and it’s ongoing. My intention for being a Mater Teacher is to share the Light of Reiki with others who want it and to raise the vibration of the world. This is a gift and I certainly do not take it lightly. It is a responsibility to bring light to the world. Thanks for all your guidance over the years, Robin Shapiro!

Amma ❤️

I got to be with Amma for the first time this past weekend at her ashram in Elburn, Illinois. They call her “the Hugging Saint” because when you are in her presence and she has you in her embrace, it’s like being enveloped in pure love. I was really moved by the her life’s work. Her organization, Embrace the World has donated millions to help disaster victims around the world and to provide housing and food for the poor. So many world leaders have been around Amma and her embrace. I was amazed by how organized her event was and the duration of her hugging sessions. She would sit all day and just hug people. I really felt my heart open when I got to embrace her and I feel like she will always be with my after that. This is how impactful it can be to be around her space. I highly recommend it. I really felt like I was home in her environment. I will never forget the experience.

Repost – You. Me. Some. One. Now.

Right now there are Tibetan Buddhist monks in a temple in the Himalayas endlessly reciting mantras for the cessation of your suffering and for the flourishing of your happiness.

Someone you haven’t met yet is already dreaming of adoring you.

Someone is writing a book that you will read in the next two years that will change how you look at life.

Nuns in the Alps are in endless vigil, praying for the Holy Spirit to alight the hearts of all of God’s children.

A farmer is looking at his organic crops and whispering, “nourish them.”

Someone wants to kiss you, to hold you, to make tea for you.

Someone is willing to lend you money, wants to know what your favorite food is, and treat you to a movie.

Someone in your orbit has something immensely valuable to give you — for free.

Something is being invented this year that will change how your generation lives, communicates, heals and passes on.

The next great song is being rehearsed.

Thousands of people are in yoga classes right now intentionally sending light out from their heart chakras and wrapping it around the earth.

Millions of children are assuming that everything is amazing and will always be that way.

Someone is in profound pain, and a few months from now, they’ll be thriving like never before. From where they are, they just can’t see it .

Someone who is craving to be partnered, to be acknowledged, to arrive, will get precisely what they want — and even more. And because that gift will be so fantastical in it’s reach and sweetness, it will quite magically alter their memory of angsty longing and render it all “So worth the wait.”

Someone has recently cracked open their joyous, genuine nature because they did the hard work of hauling years of oppression off of their psyche — this luminous juju is floating in the ether, and is accessible to you.

Someone just this second wished for world peace, in earnest.

Some civil servant is making sure that you get your mail, and your garbage is picked up, that the trains are running on time, and that you are generally safe.

Someone is dedicating their days to protecting your civil liberties and clean drinking water.

Someone is regaining their sanity.

Someone is coming back from the dead.

Someone is genuinely forgiving the seemingly unforgivable.

Someone is curing the incurable.

You. Me. Some. One. Now.

~ Danielle LaPorte via Mary Standing Otter