I can’t even begin to understand the times in which we find ourselves. With each passing day, instead of understanding more, I look into the world and I “get it” less and less. I’m baffled by power structures simultaneously restricting reproductive rights and a woman’s agency over her own body while (still) stalling on legislation for fundamental, common sense gun control measures that could save countless lives. My rising fury while listening to on-the-ground and near-term projected realities in abortion clinics, superimposed with photos of children murdered at school with a semi-automatic assault rifle, with a side bar outlining more atrocities in Ukraine, followed by images from the 1.5 million acres currently being ravaged by wildfires throughout west as freshwater lakes and reservoirs dip to all-time lows is incapacitating. I look out and see chaos. I don’t look out and see hope. And whenever this happens, I know it is time to look in.

Einstein is quoted as saying “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” And this is where I lean now. Because let’s get clear on one thing: we collectively created these problems. We have collectively shaped and allowed for these realities. Every vote, every dollar spent, every resource utilized, we are complicit in this mess. And the energy of the moment— rife with fear, grief, rage and loss is not the energy that will get us out of the catastrophic realities of our time. While anger can be an excellent catalyst to stir us from our complacency, we are incapable of making a positive contribution when we are spun out with rage, drowning in hopelessness or paralyzed by fear. We have to change what’s on the inside, first. 

I want to make good choices, speak compassionate and healing words, and take actions that will have a positive impact, somehow and in some way every single day. And so this morning when I found my way to my cushion, I returned to hope. I returned to the remembering that we are all in this together, as divided as we may seem; that we all want and need the same things; that underneath the mess there is love. And if we don’t figure out a way to embody it, to be it, to teach it to others by how we live our lives, we are lost. The best methodology I know for a full-system reset like this is metta. Maitri. Lovingkindness. 

I’m fully aware that holding an intention and sending out energy at a specific vibration is not enough. But as yogis, seekers, humans on the path, we can’t afford to be contributing to this energetic pollution with ever more fear, anger and violence. This is one way, one small way, one single step to start to change what has made its home within us that is not aligned with the vibrations of joy, peace, and compassion– and to insist on being part of the solution. What possibilities or opportunities might reveal themselves if we were in alignment? We can’t see the way forward when we’re stuck in the energy of the problem, so this is where we begin. 

If you know the practice, do the practice. If you don’t know it, here’s a recording from last fall of the meditation I’m talking about. It includes a brief, 3-minute talk about the locks & keys sutra- something of an explanation about why this helps, why it matters in both the micro and the macro. Total system reset. This is what we need. And step one is an inside job.

Join me.