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Compassion is Contagious

Dearest Dancers,

Hello. My apologies for not writing last week. I got out of my routine and managed to get myself completely distracted, but in a good way. A wonderful distraction occurred.

The beloved husband attended a day-long meditation retreat today (via zoom, of course). The dharma talk centered on compassion. It was argued that when people are fearful and they see other people responding in fear to any given situation, it only compounds and amplifies the fear throughout the community. In a similar way, when people are fearful and they see other people responding with compassion, that too can take root and be amplified throughout the community. Compassion is contagious. Lets’ work to change our collective response to fear. Let’s respond with compassion. I’d invite us all to be agents of compassion. We know this so well. We know how it feels in the body. We know how it moves in the body. We can readily see how our country is becoming so divided. Often we’ve heard the saying, “as on the dance floor, so in life.” But I did not feel this type of divisiveness on the dance floor. Ever. Mostly, I felt loving kindness and compassion (at best) and, to be truthful, sometimes moments of anger or frustration or sadness could also be found on the dance floor, but rarely divisiveness. We all know one another as dancers. We have this in common and so we can appreciate that we might have other things in common too. So perhaps the assumption I’m going to begin making about EVERYONE is that they are a dancer, and work from there, finding a sense of compassion right there. And may it be contagious.

Tickles me to report that our beloved Davida will be our talented guide tomorrow on the dance floor.

Here’s that helpful link: https://www.openfloordance.org/community-dances

Famous

Naomi Shihab Nye - 1952-

The river is famous to the fish.

The loud voice is famous to silence,   
which knew it would inherit the earth   
before anybody said so.   
 
The cat sleeping on the fence is famous to the birds   
watching him from the birdhouse.   
 
The tear is famous, briefly, to the cheek.   
 
The idea you carry close to your bosom   
is famous to your bosom.   
 
The boot is famous to the earth,   
more famous than the dress shoe,   
which is famous only to floors.
 
The bent photograph is famous to the one who carries it   
and not at all famous to the one who is pictured.   
 
I want to be famous to shuffling men   
who smile while crossing streets,   
sticky children in grocery lines,   
famous as the one who smiled back.
 
I want to be famous in the way a pulley is famous,   
or a buttonhole, not because it did anything spectacular,   
but because it never forgot what it could do.

May we never forget what we could do; that we might be compassionate in any situation, even the fearful ones. And that our compassion might be contagious.

Sending love & hugs,

KB

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leah@openfloor.org

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