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Lions Roar : May 2018
ADVICE FOR DIFFICULT TIMES My Child Fears the Future SYLVIA BOORSTEIN on how to give our children— and ourselves—hope in a worrying time. Question: I grew up under the shadow of nuclear war. Today, my children fear for the future of the world because of climate change and Donald Trump—and nuclear war too! While I know that Buddhists are supposed to transcend hope and fear, I don’t think it’s good for children to grow with a feeling of hopelessness and impend- ing doom. How can I give them hope for the future when it looks pretty bleak? Answer: Even a small moment of clarity in a mind filled with confusing, afflictive energies is like a break in the clouds that allows light to shine in. Find some hope yourself and then you can inspire it in your children. Here’s an example. I was waiting for the red light to change, my foot on the brake and my mind churning with anger, dismay, and despair. I had been reading the distress- ing morning news and watching the TV commentators. I was scheduled to teach that morning about cultivating compas- sion in a crazy world, but it felt like I’d just be preaching to the choir. My faith in fundamental kindness was being tested. It was raining as I waited at the light. The older man who works as the traffic guard was wearing a bright yellow rain slicker and a matching hood with a visor. He had a big red stop sign in one hand and an umbrella in the other. He held the umbrella over the heads of groups of two or three children as he walked them across the busy street, all the while holding the stop sign aloft so he could regulate traffic. Something about the exquisite, unrushed, 100 percent attention that he seemed to give his charges captivated my attention, and I loved him. My mind cleared. In recognizing goodness in the world, I remembered that fear clouds the mind and keeps it from see- ing possible solutions. “The world is going to be all right,” I told my class at Spirit Rock Meditation Center. “Think of it this way. Imagine the world surrounded by a rain of troubles. We each only need umbrellas and stop signs and the intent to protect. We don’t need to do the whole job ourselves.” ♦ ISTOCK.COM/SASIISTOCK SYLVIA BOORSTEIN is a psychologist and leading teacher of Insight Meditation. Her many bestselling books include Happiness Is an Inside Job. Send your question to email@example.com Trainings & Retreats in Santa Fe, New Mexico SEE ENTIRE CALENDAR, TEACHINGS, AND MORE AT WWW.UPAYA.ORG SANTA FE, NM 505-986-8518 ext. 112 REGISTRAR@UPAYA.ORG may17-20 Varela Symposium (formerly “Zen Brain”): Transforming Conflict – From Science to Real World Applications Joan Halifax, P l Kaszniak, P d Davidson, P J aul Leder D yalpa; Adam Frank, P may25-27 Real Freedom: A Meditation Retreat on Courage, Love, and Compassion S on Salzberg; Joan Halifax, P july6-8 Poetry of K abir and Zen Sensei Kaz T inda Hess, P july13-15 Calligr aphy: Heart of the Brush Sensei Kaz T august 9 - 12 Attending to Pain and Suffering with Compassion, Wisdom, Clarity and Resilience Fleet Maull, P august 17 - 19 Social R esilience Model (SRM) Level 1 LION’S ROAR | MAY 2018 21 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE