The World Could Be Otherwise

Hello, Glory Beans.

I’m heading to Esalen tomorrow, so I wanted to get this sent off before departure.

Here’s the big news in terms of who will be teaching and holding space on the dance floor:

Saturday: Lori

Sunday: Claire

I read this piece from Norman Fischer’s new book, THE WORLD COULD BE OTHERWISE, and I wanted to share it with you.

He’s writing about the bodhisattva path and how it’s defined by six practices, called paramitas, which translates to “perfections”, the first of which is generosity. From page 32,

“The third traditional gift is that of fearlessness, which seems like an impossible gift to give. But it can be given. You give it by giving love, because when you feel loved, you feel confident. To give the gift of fearlessness is to give others the sense that they matter; that they are respected, cared for, secure within a loving reality, and therefore ultimately protected. You can’t fake this. To be capable of giving fearlessness to others, you must have genuine confidence that there really is nothing to fear because love actually is built into the order of reality. It’s not just a good idea: you feel it in your bones; it comes forth in you from your practice. Knowing that reality is inherently generous and loving certainly doesn’t mean bad things can’t happen. But when you are fearless, bad things can be okay. You can accept them. Shame, loss, physical pain, and even death are part of life; they are folded into the bodhisattva’s imaginative vision of the path ahead. Bodhisattva fearlessness doesn’t deny catastrophe. It recognizes its inevitability. Everything that exists will one day not exist—this is how existence works; this is its beauty and the source of its bounty. So bodhisattva fearlessness is very solid, very tough, very large. When you feel it, it’s easy to give the gift of fearlessness. You will give it all the time.”

I don’t know, friends, somehow that paragraph just pierces me every time I read it. What if we could practice love like that? To be a conduit for unfettered love; letting it flow from us and receiving it into our being. What a wonderful notion to grapple with. And also, what gets in the way of this type of fearless loving? The world needs this generosity, this fearlessness, this love. And it comes from practice; from mindfulness, from dance.

And here’s a lovely poem:


Let a stalk of wheat

be your witness

to every difficult day.

Since it was a flame

before it was a plant,

since it was courage

before it was grain,

since it was determination

before it was growth,

and, above all, since it was prayer

before it was fruition,

it has nothing to point to

but the sky.

Remember the incredibly gentle wheat stalk

which holds its countless arrows fixed

to shoot from the bowstring --

you, standing in the same position

where the wind holds it.

~ Ishihara Yoshiro ~

What if those “countless arrows” were arrows of love, of joy, of generosity, of fearlessness? Pondering. . . . let’s launch ourselves into this world as arrows of loving kindness.

Loving you,


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