I had the great pleasure of practicing at YogaTree in San Francisco yesterday, with Darcy Lyon and a room full of delightful people including my beloved friend Trixie. Before we began the practice, Darcy set the theme to get us aligned. She spoke of the twin pillars of our practice: clear seeing & calm abiding. To me this meant lining up two aspects: developing the ability to truly see -- i.e., not just see everything as what's happening to me -- and the quiet wisdom to consider, peacefully, what is unfolding, then act. Slowing the mind down, thoughtfully.
To illustrate the theme, Darcy re-told the story of Julio Diaz which appeared on NPR Friday morning, and which you can read and listen to here:
Simply put, Julio was able to see past what was happening to him and saw instead what might be motivating his mugger and where that mugger's life was heading. His compassion for the teenager completely changes the situation, probably completely changes the kid's entire life.
As Julio says at the end of the story, "I figure, you know, if you treat people right, you can only hope that they treat you right. It's as simple as it gets in this complicated world."
Seeing so clearly, then acting quietly and thoughtfully from that seeing, has the potential to shift everything.