photo: Fighter jet flight path
Bombs. Bombs are dropping.
When I hear this news my body cringes with memories of watching Israeli fighter jets launch rockets; of smoking sites on the landscape where Hamas rockets landed in my view.
I think of the years it took before I could hear a plane overhead and not inwardly cower. Healing modalities helped, they extricated the trauma that was trapped in my body’s cells from being in Israel during Operation Cast Lead in 2008-2009—an infinitely small experience of war relative to the horrors that exist in the world.
Now, another high concentration of bombs is falling from the sky.
I want so much for there to be peace, and yet who am I to think I have a say in the politics of an area that world leaders have tried for
decades centuries to soothe.
photo: smoke from explosion on hillside
One day a knock came on the door at the house where I was volunteering. Hamas rockets were now being launched farther than ever and I was within range.
I naively slept with my shoes and passport at the ready in case I would hear the signal in the night and need to run across the street to the moshav’s, agricultural settlement’s, bomb shelter.
I spoke with a young Israeli about the conflict. She was about to enter into her mandatory military service that everyone in Israel goes through. I remember her bright, searching eyes and tight blond curls. “You mean you don’t have war in Canada?”
All I could do was look back at her, this beautiful mass of cells and consciousness. I wanted to take her and every child ever affected by violence into my arms to a world where bombs don’t drop and everyone gets along.
I wish that world existed. I do what I can to create it around me.
And where I can’t, I extend thoughts of loving kindness.
Metta Sutra—The Sutra on Loving Kindness
May I be free from greed, hate and delusion.
May I be full of self-sacrifice, love and understanding.
I charge my heart, which is now temporarily pure, with thoughts of Loving Kindness.
I charge every cell of my being with Loving Kindness.
I build, a healthy, happy, aura of Loving Kindness around me, so that no wicked thought or evil intention can penetrate. Now I am protected.
I now send forth thoughts of Loving Kindness, to all beings and creatures, to everything animate and inanimate, to everything that has taken rise in consciousness, and to everything still in its causal state.
I send forth these thoughts around me, around my dwelling, around my district, around the continent, and around the world.
Loving Kindness to all, Loving Kindness to all, around the universe, Loving Kindness to all.
Around the cosmos Loving Kindness, Loving Kindness to all.
Loving Kindness to all those who dwell above, Loving Kindness to all those who dwell below.
May all beings and creatures, everything animate and inanimate, everything that has reached consciousness and everything that in its causal state, may all be happily minded.
May none hurt each other in anger and in ill will.
May their minds be wholesome.
May all have what is sufficient for their needs.
May all be fortunate enough to encounter the dharma.
Humbly, I accept the Loving thoughts of everyone in return. None excluded.
And now I share the benefit of this meditation with everyone.
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Travis May
Photos: via author