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Reverence for a Life Dedicated to Justice

Updated: Jan 24, 2022

Our topic of the month for October is reverence. When I think about what I have the most reverence for in this moment, it is for this person who dedicated her remarkable talents, intellect, energy and heart to the pursuit of justice for all: Ruth Bader Ginsberg. Although I can hardly stand that she's gone, and what might come next in the wake of this loss, it's a helpful frame to come back to reverence.

Honestly, I'm very daunted by the potential for fear and reactivity brings up. So much so that I've taken a news hiatus. Not an activism hiatus - I'm still taking all the actions I can to bring democracy back to our nation. But I've decided that for now, I need no other fuel for the fire that burns.

Reverence, however, doesn't feel like fuel for the fire. Rather, it feels like connection to something else that is also true. Like if we're angry or sad, but then go to the ocean or the Columbia River Gorge, and remember that in addition to the madness or the sadness, that there is also this true greatness. And that greatness is truly bigger than my current emotional state. And that we can let ourselves be in that state of reverence. We can decide to let the greatness wash over us and hold us for awhile, and give us some perspective.

There is inspiration for reverence all around us. For me, RBG is way up there at the top of my list, because of her exceptional ability to face down institutional oppression at perhaps the most influential level in our country, while contending with gender discrimination for decades. That's literally amazing. But what is it for you? Is it younger people like Greta Thunberg? Is it someone battling a disease? Is it some artist's creativity? Is it some aspect of the natural world? Or a spiritual practice? Is it yourself?

And can we take some time let ourselves find and be held by reverence? Can we let ourselves sit in awe of the wonder of the good, the amazing, the inspiring? My theory is that this also motivates action for a better world, but that it's something that's a bit more steady, more connected and more inspired.

We will be exploring the topic of reverence all month at Unfold. Each class starts with a short dharma talk, to provide perspective, connection to everyday life, and a frame to connect these healing qualities to our practices. Sign up for any class on our schedule here.

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