A MEDITATION ON COURAGE
When I was in my twenties I suffered from severe agoraphobia, an affliction I eventually overcame through meditation. I’m sure there are good therapists out there who help people, but for me personally therapy has always been a crock. I have yet to find a therapist who has more insight into God, Life, and” What’s it All About Georgie” than me, and I’m no prize in that department. For me, meditation has been the great healer.
All that was some 50 years ago, buI I have continued to have little bouts of agoraphobia here and there throughout my life. During one such episode, a year or two ago, it occurred to me that I could have courage. I could define myself as someone with courage and act with courage. I could march out the front door, Arupa the Lioness-hearted facing her demons. That helped.
Then, very recently, the thought occurred to me that courage is from the French word for heart, and courage can be defined, and often is, as having heart. So, it is going out into the world, not with bravado, but with heart. What does that mean? For starters, this trip to the outside world is not about me, or at least not entirely about me. What can I be out in the world, even if it is just a trip to the supermarket. I can smile at people, especially those who seem lonely or sad. Such smiles have cheered me up many times. I can be Buddha meeting Buddha wherever I go. I can appreciate the clouds, the trees, the gray squirrels who dart across the street ahead of us, or sit precariously on a telephone wire.
There is a world out there that needs to be loved, and, to paraphrase Hillel, if not by me, than who?