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  • Henry Schoenfield

Open to hearing

Let's face it -- these months have been hard. It's hard not knowing what is coming next. It's hard not knowing when life will look remotely familiar again. It's hard to take deeps breaths in order to respond to the present moment rather than react. And it's hard to do it all day after day.

And, this is the work. These are the circumstances in which we are living. These are the structures that we have built, individually, and collectively. These are the times in which we can attend to the work of awakening.

Awakening is not easy. It means facing what we might not otherwise want to see -- in ourselves, in each other, and in the world. Awakening means holding what is painful, what is uncomfortable in the tender arms of compassion. Awakening means coming into the present as it really is so that we can be alive right here and now.

Awakening means growing through the ways that we have paved over our own hearts and letting what is good and true and beautiful come to light.

Greg Levoy puts it this way: "The lovesong birds sing to attract mates also draws the attention of predators. We have to be open to hearing what we do not want to hear, to attract att

ention of bad news as well as good, suffering as well as passion. Awakening is attached to suffering like a rope to a bell, and you're not going to pull on it without making some noise."

Greg Levoy puts it this way: "The lovesong birds sing to attract mates also draws the attention of predators. We have to be open to hearing what we do not want to hear, to attract the attention of bad news as well as good, suffering as well as passion. Awakening is attached to suffering like a rope to a bell, and you're not going to pull on it without making some noise."

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