Posted by: Michael Rickicki | 04/26/2019

Vulnerability: Fertilizer for the Heart

From time to time I will find that ill-will towards someone will become “stuck” in my mind. Whenever I think about this person, there will be an accompanying cloud of darkness and a general aversion. Naturally, such unchallenged aversion can’t be allowed to take up residence in my mind but I am often at a loss when it comes to finding effective antidotes.

This morning, during formal practice, the thought of one such person kept arising because I recently had occasion to interact with them on a collegial basis. I found myself penning an email to them (bad meditator!) and found the right turn of phrase to express myself and engender tenderness. The funny thing is that it required a small sacrifice of my own feelings of security.

It is this willingness to be vulnerable, to put yourself out there regardless of the negative or derisive reply you may receive that I think prepares the ground for kindness and compassion. I know I’m generally afraid to be seen as weird or inappropriate when I want to convey warmth, well-wishing and compassion but what am I really protecting? What do I lose by letting someone know I care even if they’re not someone who is “close?”

May I be vulnerable in the name of kindness and concern (in the name of love).

May I never forsake anyone out of fear of derision and self-serving pride.

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Shillelagh Studies

A hub for the music, culture, knowledge, and practice of Irish stick-fighting, past and present.