In many ways, this first season of UC Mindful Moment was as much a conversation between myself and you, the Listeners, as it was myself and our Conversation Guests. Your insights, comments, reactions, and feedback helped to shape the course and content of each episode immensely, probably far more than you may realize. I can’t thank you enough for your contributions to the conversation. As we continue our contemplative journeys, I invite you… I implore you, to continue to engage with the topics we explore. Share your thoughts. Be brave. It’s through bravery that things that should change, will change, for the better.
Season One started a month into a global pandemic. Season Two may launch with us still in the midst of it. We are being presented with challenges that, in many respects, no one currently alive has ever faced. Those are some pretty heavy words for me to say. I am certainly not someone who has the solutions, and even if I did, I’m certainly not someone with the means or the platform with which to implement those solutions. But I do believe in one thing, one key component that, if we are to truly make a difference, if we are to come through this struggle on the other side and be the better for it, if this is our aim, then this component. Must. Be. A part of it.
In order to best respond to the challenges we are being presented with, we must practice being present with them. To respond reactively from reflexive patterns formed over the years, from biases based on personal pain or too narrow a perspective, is to all but ensure that we arrive in darkness. Using darkness to combat darkness will. Not. Yield. Light. We must instead begin to see with new eyes. With new lenses. With renewed minds. With renewed hearts.
We must turn on the Light.
We must see our neighbor. Not just through the paradigms that we are predisposed to, but through the practice of being present with them. Inviting their voice to our conversation. Inviting their hands to be a part of our efforts toward self-improvement. Inviting them to sit at our table.
Only then do see our streets, our blocks, our complexes, our high-rises, filled with neighbors.
Only then do we see our newsfeeds, our tweets, and our list of followers, filled with neighbors.
Only then do the homes we make for ourselves transcend their little plots and square feet, virtual and literal, and become neigbor-hoods.
When we are struggling in darkness, there is only one solution; we must. Turn on. The Light.
And then we must look. Look intentionally and attentionally. Look with love. Listen with love. Smell, taste, feel… with love. And then, to the best we can discern, we must act with love.
How do we do that? How do we receive and then respond with love? Our actions will need to be different with each instance, with each and every moment of which we are mindful.
But where we start is the same. I believe this. To truly love the world and love our neighbor and to see our neighborhoods, our communities, and our nations through to a better place, a better time… we must.
Turn on the Light.
Take moments to be mindful.
Look from hearts and minds centered on Love.
And then we must act.
It may sound simple. It’s not. It is, I believe, our greatest hope, and our greatest calling.
Thank you for being a part of my neighborhood. I invite you to come share your voice, lend your hands, and present your favorite pot-luck in this growing community we call Urban Contemplatives. If you haven’t already, join our Mindful Moment Listeners Group and let us know what’s going on, the wins, the struggles, however you feel led. Message me. We’re in this together. God-willing, see you in September for Season Two. God bless -eb