“The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven.” (Paradise Lost, Book 1, 247).
“Whatever an enemy might do to an enemy, or a foe to a foe, the ill-directed mind can do to you even worse.” (Pali Canon, Udāna 4.33).
“Wonderful it is to train the mind, so swiftly moving, seizing whatever it wants. Good is it to have a well-trained mind, for a well-trained mind brings happiness.” (Pali Canon, Dhammapada 3.35).
The delta variant of COVID-19 is concerning. Recently, Austin Public Health announced we are moving back to Stage 3 of the COVID-19 risk-based guidelines. Our wider environment impacts our thoughts, emotions, behaviors and relationships. Pandemic-related stress mirrors societal concerns of economic and cultural tension. Now, more than ever, it is important to slow down, and watch and understand our mind so we can bring more compassion and healing into our society.
It is important to acknowledge that many good things are happening in our society. When the night is darkest it is also when we can see the stars most clearly. And, we don’t ever want to minimize the tensions and challenges that exist in our society. Sometimes we can feel quite divided, and we don’t want to exacerbate those divisions. By facing those divisions honestly and