864th Week: Subtle Activism on Behalf of Ukraine

As I sit down to write a practice for this week, I can’t seem to be anywhere but with my concern for Ukraine as the Russian invasion occurs. That’s where my heart is staying at the moment, so I wanted to offer a practice that reflects what so many of us are focusing on at this time.

There are many forms of what is called “subtle activism”. All it means is offering support at a distance, for those times when we aren’t able to engage a situation or need physically. An example of subtle activism is prayer and offering blessings. Another is distance healing. I’ll offer an example of subtle activism below that you can adapt to whatever your belief system or whatever your usual practice of offering support to others.

A Practice on Behalf of Ukraine

  • To begin, take a moment to settle into a comfortable position, sitting or lying down, a position that allows you to be relaxed and yet alert.
  • Follow your next out-breath down into your body, all the way to the bottom of the breath.
  • At the bottom of the breath, within the space between breaths, notice that there is an ever-present stillness right there, in that space between breaths.
  • Allow yourself to enter the stillness in whatever way makes sense to you and rest there for a moment. Notice that here in the stillness there’s nothing to do, nothing to change. Instead, there’s an opportunity to just be.
  • Next, notice the surface supporting you and also the ways in which your body meets that surface. You may notice that as you do this you settle even just a little bit more.
  • Now, bring your awareness to your heart space. Remember that the heart’s perception and perspective are different from that of your head brain, so notice the quality of your awareness as you orient to your heart space.
  • Take a moment to bring Ukraine and all its people into your heart’s awareness and notice how your heart automatically wishes them well.
  • Also notice how your heart’s awareness and good wishes for the safety and well-being of the people of Ukraine joins with the countless other hearts orienting to the same thing. All around the world, people are sending prayers and blessings to the people of Ukraine, prayers for protection and safety.
  • You might imagine this collective focus of the prayers, blessings, and heart-felt wishes is like a radiating light that enfolds Ukraine and all its people—a light that radiates protection and comfort to all those suffering from the Russian attack. Remember that heart energy encompasses the essence of love, and that love can express compassion as well as the fierce energy of protection.
  • At the same time, imagine all the people in Russia who are doing the same thing, who do not agree with this attack, and who offer their own support to the people of Ukraine. Imagine them as part of this collective field of radiating light.
  • Spend as much time as you’d like being present to our collective field of prayers, blessings, compassion, and the protective expression of the fierceness of love.
  • When you’re ready, reorient yourself by wiggling your fingers and toes and take a few moments to look around the environment you are in, bringing yourself all the way back.
  • Remember that, when you come back from this kind of practice, you are still connected to the process and to the collective radiating presence of all the people who are also offering their awareness to the people of Ukraine. As you move into your day or whatever is next for you, remember, as well, that you continue to offer your heart-based prayers, blessings, or other representations to this collective presence regardless of whatever else you may be doing.

As with all these practices, please remember to bring along curiosity as your constant companion and to pat gently on the head any judgments that may arise, allowing them to move on through without your having to do anything about them.

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