Reflection: Transforming Suffering and Awakening the Heart

Reflection: Transformimg Suffering


Reflection: Transforming Suffering and Awakening the Heart –

[Excerpt from Darkness of the Womb – Four Key Steps in Transforming Suffering a talk given on January 25, 2017.]

[read the transcript: Darkness of the Womb: Four Key Steps in Transforming Suffering – a transcription]


There is power and potential in a time of darkness to remind us of what we really cherish. In this reflection, we practice ways of paying attention that can help us transform suffering into freedom, in our own lives and in the world around us.

The reflection closes with a reading of “School Prayer” by Diane Ackerman:

In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,

I swear I will not dishonor
my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly
as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery,
as a messenger of wonder
as an architect of peace.

In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,

I will honor all life
—wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell—on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.[1]

[1] Ackerman, D. (2000). School Prayer. In I Praise My Destroyer (p. 3). New York, NY: Vintage Books.


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