By Paul Woodward When I was a Buddhist monk and the Dalai Lama visited us in France, there was a meeting of most of the Western monks and nuns in our community. At that time, the majority were living in a monastery and neighboring nunnery near Toulouse, but others were visiting from elsewhere in Europe, […]
For now our society remains seriously disconnected. Trauma is a symptom of disconnection. Psychiatry too often ignores trauma because, it, too, is disconnected. We don’t know how to take care of one another and therefore we don’t know how to take care of ourselves. We get this from our parents and we pass it on if we don’t become conscious. Healing requires learning how to do these things as a species not just as individuals. In the end healing is radical community building. … [click on title for the rest of the post]
Community means caring: caring for people. Dietrich Bonhoeffer says: ‘He who loves community destroys community: he who loves the brethren builds community.’ A community is not an abstract ideal. We are not striving for perfect community.
Community is not an ideal: it is people. It is you and I. In community we are called to love people just as they are with their wounds and their gifts, not as we would want them to be. Community means giving them space, helping them to grow. It means also receiving from them so that we too can grow. It is giving each their freedom; it is giving each other trust; it is confirming but also challenging each other. We give dignity to each other by the way we listen to each other, in a spirit of trust and of dying to oneself so that the other may live, grow, and give. … [click on title to read and view more]
Years ago I showed a film to a group of men who were newly bereaved about how Tibetans once – maybe still – cared for their dying and their dead. When the film ended, the long silence was finally broken when one of the men said, “I feel like I come from nowhere.” And that seems to be what happens inside most of us when we see or hear of a people wholly at home where and how and who they are: we feel the shadowed hollow of our immigrant, refugee history, and our lack of ceremonial instinct and experience, or we try to fill it up by stealing something from those people who are miraculously still deeply, ancestrally, ceremonially alive. … [click on title for the rest of the post]