Planting Seeds of Compassion in Israel
TODAY IS A CELEBRATION DAY. It is the celebration of love over fear, of light over darkness, of attentive open-heartedness over closing and exclusivity, of joy over sadness, of common humanity over isolation.
It is of no use trying to look at your calendar for a holy day coming from any religion or faith. You will not find the answers there because it comes from a celebration of love that began months ago as the pandemic was taking hold around the world.
In my home country of Israel, as we watched the COVID virus touch so many families and friends, a group of women friends and I created a new compassion program to help our community cultivate inner peace. We called it PLANTING SEEDS OF COMPASSION and offered it as a bilingual program taught in Hebrew and Arabic for Jews and Arabs in Israel.
One of the secret dreams I had in my pockets since hearing of Mindful Self-Compassion years earlier was to offer these transformative practices to the people of my country—Jews and Arabs alike. Learning and teaching Mindful Self-Compassion is a privilege by itself and I am grateful to Chris Germer and Kristin Neff who dreamed and created this well-tailored program and who inspired my dream, which I silently kept as I waited for its moment to appear on the surface again. It’s hard to imagine a silver lining inside the pandemic, but I would include this program as one.
This ripple effect brought together a beautiful circle of women whose intention was, and still is, to heal the collective trauma as well as the personal, ancestral, cultural, and planetary traumas that common humanity experiences. With a vision in our eyes, conviction in our guts, and a determination to serve the best we could, we gathered as one. Recognizing the mutual suffering that we all share, we were able to bring a healing vibration to this part of the planet that is in such a need for mutual compassion.
For the first time, Arabs and Jews sat together and learned a mutual MSC program in the languages that touch the deepest part of their hearts—their mother and father tongues. Without struggles or politics involved (although politics is always associated with any action done here) and no peace organizations supporting us (as far as we know), our small circle of women began planting seeds of compassion. These are tiny seeds but very meaningful to our hearts. We might never get to sit under the trees from which these seeds will grow. However, we felt an urge to make this move, believing that while we may not move mountains, we can attempt to make small differences with caring attention on the land we live in and with the people we meet.
We trust our efforts will continue this vibration of compassion in ways that are still invisible to us yet if we link our intention to a higher vision, the dream will manifest itself.
I am grateful for all the love, opportunities, and interconnections that have led us to this moment. I am grateful for everything and everyone being my teacher. In some way or another we are all interconnected, we all are human beings and go through similar life phases. Supporting ourselves and each other is the least we can do on this journey. This is what creates a circle of compassion.
I am grateful for all the ancestors, teachers, friends, family and nature itself that made this pregnancy and birth of compassion possible. I am grateful to the wise and intimate circle of midwives made out of the gentle, believing hearts of so many amazing people gathered to contribute to that healing. And I am deeply grateful for being alive.
In the hardest of times, it is up to us to shine our brightest and to evolve together. Our circle of women is helping each other do that by planting seeds of compassion, and then letting go of what may come. Planting seeds of love without expecting love in return. Planting seeds of peace, without expecting the world to always be peaceful.
In the end, this is what we can do—plant our seeds, water the plants, and then let them take their own course, while celebrating each other and our growing community of compassion.
As my brother, Nimo says:
Whatever grows will grow,
Whatever dies will die,
Whatever works will work,
Whatever flies will fly,
Whatever fails will fail,
What’s meant to soar will soar,
We are planting seeds, nothing more.
Thank you for celebrating with us and listening with your amazing hearts.