פעילויות קרובות עם סנגהה-סווה

קיוויתי שבימים אלו נוכל לפרסם הזמנה לעוד פעילוית בולאג'ה. לצערי, המצב בכפר הוא מצב חירום כשמצד אחד כל מיני דברים שאמורים להתרחש – כמו המשך הדיון בבג"ץ – תקועים ומצד שני החומה ממשיכה להתקדם במרץ. ההפגנות של ימי ששי בצהרים ממשיכות להתקיים ואתם מאוד מוזמנים להגיע.

חדשות יותר טובות, וגם משמחות באופן אישי בשבילי הוא שאנשי סנגהה-סווה הגיעו שוב לארץ. השבוע נהניתי לבלות עם זוהר וניית'ן במשך כמה שעות ואחרי סוכות הריטריט של מסיק הזיתים שהם מובילים מתחיל. כתבתי עליהם בעמוד שסוקר ארגונים של דהרמה מעורבת חברתית ולפני מספר שבועות פרסמתי כאן ראיון שערכתי איתם לפני מספר שנים. אם זה עוד לא ברור, אני מאוד אוהב אותם ומקבל מהם השראה רבה. זוהר וניית'ן מצאו דרך להביא את השקט, החכמה והלב הפתוח של הדהרמה אל הקונטקסט של הסכסוך והכיבוש. הפעילות איתם מאפשרת לפעול בנחישות למען חברה טובה יותר ולהישאר עם לב פתוח. בפעילות שלהם היא עשיית שלום בדרכי שלום.
במהלך אוקטובר הם מקיימים 3 פעילויות בישראל ובשטחים הפלסטינים ואתם מוזמנים להצטרף:

ריטריט "להיות שלום" יתקיים בתאריכים 3-18/10. בחלק מהמזמן נתארח בכפר דיר איסטיה (ליד אריאל) שם נעזור במסיק הזיתים וניפגש עם תושבים. בשאר הזמן נישן בירושלים ונצטרף למסיקי זיתים יחד עם מתנדבים של רבנים לזכויות אדם. כמקובל בריטריטים של סנגהה-סווה, העבודה בשטח משולבת בתרגול מדיטציה, מפגשים עם פלסטינים, פעילי שלום וגם מתנחלים. יוקדש זמן לשיתוף קבוצתי ולעיבוד של החוויות השונות. יתכן ותהיה אפשרות להשתתפות חלקית. פרטים נוספים והרשמה כאן.

ביום שבת 16/10 יתקיים יום לימוד משותף לסנגהה-סווה ול"הפסקת האש שבלב". ביום הזה נבחן יחד מה הרלבנטיות של איכויות ההתבוננות, ההבנה והחמלה בהקשר של המציאות הקשה של חיים בסכסוך היהודי-פלסטיני האלים. ננסה לברר האם וכיצד ניתן להגיב לסבל באהבה תוך כדי עמידה נחושה מול עוול. נעמיק את הכרותנו עם עצמנו ונמצא דרכים חדשות להיות עם קונפליקטים בתוכנו ומסביבנו.

היום יכלול מדיטציה, תרגילים חוויתיים ושיחה ויתקיים באזור ירושלים בין 10:00-17:00. פרטים נוספים והרשמה כאן.

למי שרוצים להכיר את העבודה של סנגהה-סווה אבל אינם יכולים להגיע לריטריט הארוך יש הזדמנות להגיע לסוף שבוע שיתקיים ב-22-23/10. ניסע יחד לדיר-איסטיה שם נצטרף למסיק בתהליך דומה (אך מקוצר) לזה של הריטריט הארוך יותר שמתואר למעלה. פרטים נוספים והרשמה כאן

ולקינוח הנה משהו שזוהר וניית'ן כתבו לפני כמה חודשים.

Recently I was talking about the situation in Israel/Gaza with a stranger. She was a very sweet, soft spoken person. And she said that she really couldn’t understand how although most of the Israelis she met wanted peace and opposed violence, so much violence was still happening from the Israeli ‘side’. She was perplexed why all these people didn’t make their government stop.

I asked her to try and imagine what it was like to grow up in fear. To have fear in the background throughout your life, and to feel it pouring down to you through previous generations of your family. And for this to be so strong that a lot of the time it goes unnoticed. And then I asked if she could imagine being conditioned to fight in order to protect herself. And that this is the only sure way of protecting herself. And then to imagine a situation which feels really dangerous, really threatening and very complex. What would she do?

This interaction really got something going within me. I began reflecting on the ways we respond to situations of conflict, pain and suffering that we see happening outside of ourselves, either through media or history or just in other people around us. I feel that we have a lot to learn both by observing these situations, and our own reactions to them.

When hearing about a difficult situation somewhere, a situation of war, injustice, suffering and violence, some of our common reactions are pain,outrage, anger and perplexity. We don’t want suffering like this to take place around us, in the world we share. So we look for solutions. Sometimes we look for who is responsible, and we even look for someone to blame. Because it is so difficult to be with suffering, with injustice, we move very quickly from the pain to the judgement to the view to the solution. We move from the feeling of being overwhelmed, from helplessness, to the power of ‘knowing’, of upholding truth and justice. We become someone who has answers.

By doing this we create a separation between us and them. We shut down while still maintaining an outer image of being involved. And this depletes our energies and actually stops us from taking positive action, or supporting fully the positive action of others. It adds to the kind of separation and negativity which started the whole cycle in the first place.

A different option for us is to stay with our initial reaction. Or if we find ourselves further along, judging or blaming, to trace our steps back to the original impact. To be fully with the suffering. to allow ourselves to feel the injustice. And to allow ourselves to also feel the hope. It can help to imagine ourselves in the situation we encounter. Gandhi said that we cannot help someone until we know what it is like to be in their shoes. Or to find paralells between the situation and our own lives. We can see when we look at situations more closely that everything ‘out there’ in political situations or in other peoples lives, is mirrored also ‘in here’, in our own conditionings and habits. So when we look at two nations who are constantly at war, where the violence is escalating, it seems totally clear from the outside that this is just leading to more violence, and that it makes the chances of each side living peacefully ( which is what everyone wants) slimmer and slimmer. We can see that it is wrong, and even stupid, but if we look closer we can also see that we too have certain habits and patterns that we keep repeating even though they lead us away from peace or joy. We can actually learn from this about all of us, and have more motivation to work on ourselves, as well as more empathy and understanding for others. This can help in nourishing and opening our hearts. And from this other space, we can actually bring change to the world. We can support the kind of actions that help transform suffering. An American friend who works as a consultant to NGOs and charities around the world shared an experience of crossing the checkpoint between Israel and Gaza. She was in a line of NGO workers, standing in the hot sun. She was late to the course she was leading, as the security checks by Israeli soldiers were taking longer than usual. The queues for Gazan residents where a lot longer, and a lot slower. She could feel herself getting frustrated and angry. Then she looked around at the queues and the booths and the soldiers with their guns and she suddenly felt the fear that was at the root of it all. She felt that whoever created such a situation must be overwhelmed by fear. This understanding allowed her heart to open. She looked around and felt empathy for the Palestinians and the hardship they suffered, and also for the young Israeli soldiers who were so tense with fear. Her heart was big enough for both. And she said that this allowed her to just be with that experience of waiting to go into Gaza, so that when she finally joined the people waiting for her, she could be there fully with them and for them. She could do what she was there to do, she could help people in Gaza.

Allowing ourselves to be with things as they are doesn’t mean letting go of a deep sense of what is right or just. or letting go of trying to make a difference. But when we want to make a difference, that has to be a double sided mirror. we need to attend to what is calling our attention out there, as well as whithin ourselves. We have to maintain a deep honesty with ourselves.

I recently read a true story of a young woman who lost her whole family in a concentration camp during World War Two. She survived because when it was her turn to enter the gas chamber, it was too full. She said that what kept her alive during the next months in the concentration camp, was the commitment to live to tell of the horrors that she and others were subjected to. But when the moment of liberation came, she looked at the faces of those that had freed her, and she felt that to tell them her whole story would be to continue the cycle of hate and negativity. In her words, she realized that within each of us there is a potential Hitler, and she didn’t want to trigger a Hitler in any one. She wished to nurture the Love that is within each of us. And her life’s work became this awakening of love in everyone she met, as well as working with the Hitler inside herself. She said that if she could touch one single human life and turn it away from negativity, from hate, from revenge, from bitterness into a life of service and love and care, then her life may be worthwhile and she deserved to survive.

The Dhammapada says “hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed”. I really wish for all of us to have the courage and honesty to learn from everything that is around and within us. To align our lives with what matters most. And to remember to keep opening our hearts.

Transformation is possible in our lives and in this world. We have a responsibility to do everything we can to make ourselves available to it. And we share the responsibility to support each other, the familiar and the unfamiliar, the known and the unknown, in this process. Change is possible, it happens all the time.

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