Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I've been wondering why I've somehow gotten into this talking about pain. The obvious general answer is that there truly is an incredible amount of pain and suffering going on in the world -- food riots in Hati, brutal suppression of Tibetans, tribal slaughter in Africa and, of course, the on-going wounds reported daily from the Middle East. The news is full of it. I don't think I need to provide any links.

Last night, at the end of a Santo Daime spiritual work here in São Paulo, I shared with my Brazilian brothers and sisters that the conservative press in the US is reporting the possibility of an impending attack on Iran here and here. What is significant to me is that this is not scare talk from the Left but news from within the Bush fold.

Is it true? I don't know. What I know is that the Middle East seems to me as a gigantic pain body carrying the wounds and sufferings and hatreds of centuries of ugly history. And it seems that anyone -- all sides included -- who tries to fix it or rescue it or rectify it only ends up making a difficult situation worse.

What to do? I'm not grandiose enough to think even for a moment that the big guys (I do mean "guys") care much about what I (you and I) think. They are going to do what they are going to do. But I do think that there is something that we might do.

In our minds, we can stop judging it or avoiding it or fixing it. Instead, we might just see it and feel it and hold it as a mother might cradle a child who is suffering terribly -- with all the care and calmness and compassion that we can muster.

Maybe, that can make some difference, like turning down the heat a bit. I don't know that it will. It's just the way that I think at the end of a Santo Daime ritual. Perhaps you'd like to check it out in your own heart.

Thanks for considering it.

[UPDATE: 17 April -- it now appears that there are new diplomatic initiatives as well as new severe threats in the Iranian situation. The latest news is that Bush appears to be moving toward a multi-lateral diplomatic perspective together with the Europeans and that Iran is showing more constraint in regard to Iraq. So now is a very good time to be sending a calm vibration toward the situation which is obviously very delicate.]

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