Contemplative Sitting Network Reflection for May 2024


In a recent outstanding OP-Ed piece New York Times columnist David Brooks tells us, “American society, at every economic level, is  still plagued by enmity, distrust, isolation, willful misunderstanding, ungraciousness and just plain meanness.”  Then in what no doubt will be a surprising turn to some, he looks to Black theologian Howard Thurman and his “magnificent “ book Jesus and the Disinherited for some advice.  It was 1949 when Thurman wrote:  “When the networks of relationships in a society are broken and unjust, national transformation must flow from a tide of personal transformations.”

Hands down, contemplative practice acts as a catalyst for personal transformation.  You will be delighted to know that it is estimated that between 200 and 500 million people meditate around the world. ( There are some 3000 people participating in groups led by the World Community for Christian Meditation and some 15,000 meditating through local Contemplative Outreach groups.  ICCD’s own Contemplative Sitting network boasts of close to 2,000 participants.  It seems then, that the foundation for the national transformation for which we all long is certainly being set down.  

And yet, we wait.  And as we wait we struggle to remember that at the heart of non-violent personal transformation is the art of letting go of the outcome.  And so we wait even longer, bearing at times more grief for the world than we think we can bare. The words of the poet Jane Hirschfield are thus seared into our hearts: “Hope is the hardest part of love to carry .”  

Keep sitting. 

Margaret and Nancy

Click HERE for the Op-Ed

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