Yesterday I did Satyena’s workshop “Mandala of Truth.” It sounded like it was developed by Joanna Macy as part of the work that reconnects. We were in the Farmhouse living room, sitting in a circle. There was a cushion in the center with four objects, a stick for anger, a stone for fear, dead leaves for grief, and an empty bowl for emptiness. I think we must have done a bit at the beginning which involved walking around outside, barefoot, to get in touch with the earth. We also did a five-on-five about what we were most upset with about the current state of affairs. I did it with Peter, who works in the health industry in the Berkshires. He was fearful about all the men with guns and pickup trucks, afraid of another Charlottesville. I talked about my feelings about the exploitation of the earth.
Then we sat around the four objects, with a pillow in the center, and when people felt called, they got up and picked up an object and talked about their anger and their fears. I was impressed with Tommy who said that he had focussed on recovery and was in denial about what was going on, and he wanted to change that. A lot of people spoke about both anger and fear about the gap between the rich and the poor. I spoke about my anger and fear that we would destroy the capacity of our planet to support diverse and colorful creatures, and grief for the whales, the polar bears… I was surprised by how much strength I got from hearing people speak their truth, even though it was all “negative.” I think part of it was just hearing truth spoken, and also knowing that I wasn’t alone.