Here's part one of a talk I gave in Nelson a few weeks back, the day after a screening of my feature documentary on spiritual activism, "Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets Action".

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Comment by Velcrow Ripper on February 24, 2009 at 4:52pm
Hi Ruach...
thank you for all your positive support!

The question of when and how to face pain is always unique to each and every one of us. Sometimes we do simply need to turn away from it. Eventually we will need to deal with it, as it doesn't tend to actually go anywhere - nothing we've experienced does - it just becomes submerged. In the making of Scared Sacred, I discovered the most powerful way to approach suffering was to learn how to transmute it - like alchemy, turning lead into gold. The medititative practice of Tonglen, which is one of the DVD extras on the Scared Sacred DVD is one such way - you breathe in suffering, and breathe out compassion. In the case of our own pain, we can actually consciously embrace that pain, breathe it into our hearts, not hold onto it, but imagine it dissolving into a flash of diamond light, then send it back out on the out breathe, as compassion. You can direct that compassion to yourself. And you can direct to everyone anywhere who has suffered the kind of pain you have experienced. The idea of transmuting negative energy is truly empowering. But what will work for you is very very specific to the time and place and nature of it.

Being vulnerable to pain does not mean being helpless, being a victim, or being self destructive. It means keeping our heart open, which is actually a powerful place. The heart is powerful. It is truly fierce. It is actually the source of true power. So we needn't crumble, crumple or implode - unless that is what the heart calls us to do, and sometimes that's a good and necessary thing - but we can somehow transmute that pain, if the time is right.

In fierceness and in light...

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