Posts Tagged ‘courage’

Moral Courage

December 2, 2016

As I sit through a dark night of my soul and that of our country, and sort out what I need to say, I want to share this sermon by Rabbi Sharon Brous of IKAR in Los Angeles. She is my heroine when it comes to a spiritual leader’s use of her pulpit. Rabbi Brous gives perfect voice to what I want my son, when he is old enough, to know and act upon as well.

from IKAR’s website:

“November 19 – Shabbat Vayera
This. Is. Not. Normal.
To my daughter, who becomes bat mitzvah in a time of moral crisis for our nation: Practice resistance. Step up. Speak out. Don’t cozy up to power; don’t forget that your inheritance is willful opposition. Honor your moral intuition and remember that this is not normal.


Making a place for uncertainty

November 16, 2009
As part of the “Women on the Edge of Evolution” series being presented (free!) by the team at New Feminine Power, I listened to an interview with the Zen Buddhist teacher Diane Musho Hamilton. She spoke of the necessity that we become able to hold opposites within us for living these paradoxes is what it means to be human.
I began to wonder if my arch nemesis – uncertainty – could somehow find a comfy home within me along side my yearning to know. Normally I try my damndest to make uncertainty disappear just as fast as it came deeming it wrong, harassing, and unsafe. Perhaps its presence isn’t so bad after all.
Another wise friend, who is entering into a potentially amazing or potentially heartbreaking situation with ease, said that she was “making a place at the table for uncertainty” because it was not hers yet to know the outcome. She was so calm. I want that…
Gracefully making space in me to hold both the excitement of new love and the fear of being abandoned… The tender and profound memory of my father’s last weeks of life and the agony of witnessing his journey towards death… A clear and cherished vision for a family and career while not knowing in what exact form either will unfold.
I feel repeatedly asked to say goodbye to one safe harbor, surrender to unpredictable seas, and become willing to land in a place that is perhaps different (and I believe always better) than my planned destination.
Allowing these paradoxes to live within me takes an enormous amount of courage. Sometimes I don’t think I can do it because the fear of failure and disappointment is too huge. Then I ask myself, “What if I give up? I will miss so much beauty. I might even miss a miracle.” 
The surety of life’s majesty makes me willing to hold it all and keep milking every last drop while I gradually accept the certainty of my ultimate death and of those I love.
As you live with your own internal paradoxes, I bow to you and my heart is with you. I would love to hear from you here or privately your own experience and practices with this aspect of being human.