Bob Stahl, Ph.D., has founded seven Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction programs in medical centers in the San Francisco Bay Area and is currently at Dominican Hospital and El Camino Hospitals in Mountain View and Los Gatos, Ca. He is also the Guiding teacher at Insight Santa Cruz and visiting teacher at Spirit Rock and Insight Meditation Society.
So, welcome everyone. Congratulations. Just there sitting in the retreat. ___. Someone I love once gave me a box full of darkness. It took me years to understand that this, too, was a gift. We work with the darkness wisely. We discovered the ruby that’s buried inside here. And to be honest, it’s worth everything. How did the rose open and show its beauty to the world? It felt the encouragement of the light against its being. How did the rose ever open and blossom and show all its beauty to the world? It felt the encouragement of the light against its bank. Otherwise, we will all remain too frightened. And hunting this ___. Otherwise, we will all remain too frightened. So the light and the bud, letting the heart rake open. Otherwise, we will all remain too frightened. And of course, it’s the time and place. I love—actually, I call the retreat. I like the retreat world. I love the retreat world. It’s just a sparkling, sparkling of love, ___, hope, despair, the joys, the sorrows, and you know, the opportunity to hear from many of you, be with all of you, the intimacy, it just doesn’t get more real than, yes. It’s this intimacy of sharing what’s true, and what’s painful, what’s alive, what’s discovered. This very much moves me.
Often here in retreats, ___ of life is–. You know, in some ways, it’s so common, so universal, the longing to belong. The longing to experience happiness. And there’s a lot of reasons that we don’t experience, and a number of us, we’ve been betrayed, we’ve been hurt, we’ve been smashed, we’ve lost trust. Trust with others and trust in our hearts. And it’s huge. So many of us, this ___, the loss of trust, the loss of the sense of separation, the loss of belonging, the loss of connection, the loss of interconnection. ___. It’s about the sense of being lost and disconnected and finding away in the family of things. So, it’s called ___ by ___. She’s a Palestinian-American poet. So, she’s wandering around the ___ airport terminal. After learning that my flight had been detained for hours and they heard the announcement. Is there anyone here near Gate 4-A that understands any Arabic? Please come immediately. I realized that if 4A was your gate, and she did know a little bit of Arabic. And so she went over, and there was an older woman in full traditional Palestinian embroidery dress just like her grandma, and she’s crumbled on the floor, she’s wailing loudly help! And the flight attendant said, Help! (laughs). She didn’t understand any English. ___ said, “What’s going on?” The flight attendant said, “Talk to her. Please. Talk to her. We told her the flight was going to be late, and she just jumped to the ground and she’s just wailing and screaming and yelling in Arabic, and I don’t know what to do.” Well, I began to speak, it’s probably is, my Arabic is, I know a little bit of Arabic, and she immediately she stopped crying. And what I could understand, is that she thought that the flight had been canceled, and she needed to be in El Paso for medical treatment the next day. And I said, “You’re fine. You’ll get there. Who’s picking you up?” “___”. And so we called her son, and I spoke to him in English, and I told him that I’d stay with his mother until she gets on the plane and I would ride next to her. She talked to him and then we called her other sons just for fun. Then, we called my dad. And she spoke for a while in Arabic and found out of course that they had ___ friends. Then he thought, what the heck, when I called some of my Palestinian poet friends, and have them have a chat with her. This all took up about two hours. She was laughing by then, telling me about my life, patting my knee, answering questions. And she ___ this homemade ___ cookies. The little powder-sugar, crumbling mounds stuffed with ___ and nuts out of her bag, and she bluntly offers them to all the women around the gate. And to my amazement, now, the single woman to cry, there was like a sacred sacrament. ___ from Argentina, the mom from California, the woman from the ___, we were all covered with the same powdered sugar. All smiling. There was no better cookie. ___ beverages. And each cooler, and two little girls running around serving all the apple juice and they were covered with powder sugar, too. And I noticed my new best friend, now we were holding hands, and she had a potted plant, she pulled out of her bag, some medicinal thing with green furry leaves, such an old country, traveling tradition always carrying a plant. Always staying rooted to somewhere. I looked around at the gate at the late and weary passengers and thought, this is the world I want to live it. A shared world. Not a single person in this gate see the apprehensive anymore. Everyone took cookies. They all wanted to hug that woman. This is the world that I wanted to live in. A shared world. A world of belonging, of connection.
You know, it’s very interesting that the word “desire” has a Latin root ___, and it means from the stars. It’s interesting. From the stars. The longing to the stars. The longing to belong, to feel safe, to be home. In these moments in our lives, and we do experience this. But it goes away, you know, everything—contractions, expansions, expansions, contractions, but we all know what we’re talking about. We’ve all had moments—I trust of a shared world. ___ or perhaps it’s Paul Simons singing to a song called “You think too much,” where he says, “Have you ever experienced a moment of grace?” ___ just took a sit behind your face.
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Sean Fargo is the Founder of Mindfulness Exercises, a former Buddhist monk of 2 years, a trainer for the mindfulness program born at Google, an Integral Coach from New Ventures West, and an international mindfulness teacher trainer. He can be reached at [email protected]
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