WITH EACH BREATH
Our focus was on Chapter 6, the last full chapter of this book. The remaining portion is on doing the practices.
As always, the conversation was rich and varied with 15 of us in attendance. We grappled with the opening statements from the author, remembering that “we are partly right.” Listening to others’ perspectives stimulates our evolvement. Here’s what the author wrote:
“We’ve seen that our suffering is connected with the suffering of our ancestors, our loved ones, and with the planet itself, so we know our happiness is not an individual matter. If we are able to breathe happily, we can invite our ancestors to enjoy breathing in with our lungs. If you are able to enjoy walking, we can invite our ancestors to walk with our feet. . .
This body is not yours alone. It is also the body of your ancestors. Your body is a collective product of your nation, of your people, of your culture, of your ancestors. So, you are not strictly an individual. You are partly collective.”
Other authors were mentioned who support the concept of ancestral legacy: My Grandmother’s Hands: Racialized Trauma and the Pathway to Mending Out Hearts and Bodies by Resmaa Menakem; and Post Traumatic Slave Syndrome by Joy A. DeGruy.
Sitting Bull’s great-great grandson spoke about knowing who he was even before the DNA connection was confirmed.
To subconsciously connect with one’s ancestors does not ignore or invalidate the inherent power we all possess to consciously transform your life. We are powerful beings! We belong to one another!
SUMMARY CHAPTER 6
“HAPPINESS IS NOT AN INDIVIDUAL MATTER”
Significant quotes from this chapter:
- The more we can teach each other about the art of suffering well, the less suffering there will be in the world overall and the more happiness.
- We all need help sometimes when suffering threatens to overwhelm us.
- Other people want to help, if we only ask them.
- The most precious that that you can offer your beloved [beloved community] is your presence.
- Anger & Fear . . . It’s very dangerous if we unconsciously allow that kind of energy to penetrate and harm us.
- Create a healing environment wherever you are.
- The most precious thing that you can offer your beloved [beloved community] is your presence.
- With each breath, we ease suffering and generate joy. With each step, the flower of insight blooms.
QUESTION TO PONDER
Is it difficult or easy for you to ask for help? Why?