To divide the reality into either/ or perpetuates the stance of me against you.This kind of stance breaks relationships on all levels and results in the so-called "Holy Wars" that have been wedged for thousands of years. As long our perspective and actions are derived form the either/or stance, the cycle of misery, suffering and destruction is going to continue.
The wisdom traditions have shown a different way of relating to the dichotomous view of thinking, feeling and behaving.Contemplative prayer and meditation offer a way of thinking more in terms of both/and rather than either /or. Such a shift of our perspective happens not just by intellectual explorations but by experiencing the teaching on a cellular, heart and soul level. As the author puts it," In meditation, you are moving from ego consciousness to soul consciousness, from being driven by negative motivations to being drawn from a positive source within." This source within us is a deep "okayness" or "Yes" to life. When we take time out, to go within and be silent, we mindfully observe the whole inner landscape, contradictions become more clear, sadness and joy coexist peacefully. Forgiving and letting go of hurt clears the inner sky and creates pure healing energy.
Recently, I had an in- depth exploration with my friend who felt deeply hurt, upset and angry by my behavior in a group setting. She felt ignored, left out, and deeply hurt as I was relating to my other friends. It was a new group for her and she felt isolated. I invited her to talk it out with me. Instead of judging her and defending my behavior, I maintained my attentive empathic silence. That made me see her agony very clearly. When she became calm, she understood my behavior more clearly. We both felt sadness. This was a healing experience and it made our friendship deeper and stronger. Compassion and mindful awareness of oneself and the other make our relationships genuine and deep.
May we relate to intra-personal and interpersonal joy and sadness, emotional ups and downs honestly and compassionately!