Today is the 21st Anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. We pause to remember that “perfect blue sky morning” that suddenly changed our world forever. We pause to remember those 3,000 lives lost–those who innocently went to work that day, and the brave rescuers that went in after to save all they could. We pause to acknowledge the continuing grief of survivors –and the suffering of those whose health has been greatly impacted by the devastation.
Yoga teaches us that we are all interconnected through a unified field of energy. We are connected through our shared experiences of suffering and compassion. We are also interconnected through a unified field of love, care and belonging. We often forget that-- we have to consciously choose to tap into that greater field of loving.
We honor the fallen by remembering them on this hallowed day. We also honor them through our own dedication to living a life of meaning and care.
As President Obama said in his 2011 radio address:
Even the smallest act of service, the simplest act of kindness, is a way to honor those we lost, a way to reclaim that spirit of unity that followed 9/11.
Sandy Dahl, wife of Flight 93 pilot Jason Dahl said in 2002:
If we learn nothing else from this tragedy, we learn that life is short and there is no time for hate.
This sentiment was expressed by the Buddha himself:
Hatred does not cease by hatred, ever. Hatred ceases by love. This is an eternal law.
The world does not know that we must all come to an end here. But those who know it, their quarrels cease at once.
The world needs us to wake up to the extent that we are able. To purify our minds and hearts of hatred. To cultivate kindness in thought, word and deed.
We can take care of our mental health and change our own internal state through meditating on loving kindness. By extension, if we are all energetically interconnected, our loving kindness meditation can change the world. Drop by drop is the cup filled.
That doesn’t mean to say that meditation alone is enough. Healing our own hearts and learning to flourish is necessary to fortify us as we step into the world. Then we take our strength into the world through kind action.
May all beings, everywhere, without exception be happy and free of suffering. And may all of my words and actions contribute to the establishment of that blessed state.