Thank you

It is with much gratitude that I write this last post. Thank you so much to everyone. This whole experience has highlighted the value and strength of community and how coming together makes such a difference. I feel we have created a collective happiness and for that I am so grateful and thankful.
It has been a profound month and I am definitely feeling the benefit of this past months 20 minute meditations. I have noticed that my sense of witness has strengthened, it is a solid sense of calm and space that is strengthening. I only have to sit and there it is, underneath emotions, stresses and general mind chatter, there is it and it is always there. I have begun to look forward to getting on my mat to connect with that. The space I have created with my puja table is something I cherish and hold dear. I remember Thich Nhat Hahn saying that every room should have a “breathing room” we have a dining room for eating, a bedroom for sleeping, why not have a room for breathing. It is very important after all.
I have become more aware that my reaction to things is paramount and although there have been times that I have lost my temper with my children, ( I suppose I am human 😉 there have been times where I have been able to create space around situations such as this ; my 10 year old who has learning difficulties often takes out his frustrations on me by hurling insults, screaming, ripping things and throwing things. I managed to sit quietly and calmly amidst one of these episodes this week, acknowledge him and just breathe. It really helped. I also managed to be with him at bedtime , to breath with him and offer him loving kindness aloud at night which really helped him. These are a few of the many gifts of the practice that I have consistently worked at this month. I am seeing a direct link between the metta practice I have done on the mat and the sense of connection I have felt to people around me and a sense of my heart expanding.
I am also stopping to just take in the world’s natural beauty more. At breakfast time, there have been a few moments amidst the rush when I have stopped and pointed out the clouds to my children and how beautiful they are and how they are slowly changing, just like life. Which brings me to think about how everything is changing all the time. I love Sharon’s description on her book Lovingkindness;
“Everything in life changes. The true path to happiness is one of integrating and fully accepting all aspects of our experience. This integration is represented in the Taoist symbol of yin/yang, a circle which is half dark and half light. In the midst of the dark area is a spot of light and in the midst of the light area is a spot of darkness. Even in the depths of darkness light is implicit. Even in the heart of light, the dark is understood, acknowledged and absorbed. If things are not going well for us in life and we are suffering, we are not defeated by pain or closed off to the light. If things are going well and we are happy we are not defensively trying to deny the possibility of suffering. This unity, this integration, comes from deeply accepting darkness and light and therefore being able to be in both simultaneously.”
Thank you with all my heart Sharon for your books and teachings and thankyou with all my heart to everyone who has made this challenge possible. May all beings be safe, happy, healthy and live with ease.