I am actively cultivating lovingkindness and equanimity today. I arrived home from my morning aerobics class at about 9:30 to learn that Rachel died last night. She was an amazing friend and tireless breast cancer advocate. (here's her blog if you want to see it.) Literally minutes after I heard it, I got an email with some excellent news about my daughter. The doorbell rang and FedEx dropped off my new laptop. It seemed like the universe was putting a net under me, so I wouldn't fall all the way to the ground.
Then this afternoon I learned that another young women and breast cancer advocate died. I didn't know Susan as well as Rachel, but the convergence and the deep dark holes these two leave in the lives of those they love have made me numb.
I sat for 20 minutes after all this crushing news. I knew trying to just focus on my breathing wouldn't work, so I listened to Sharon's lovingkindness meditation from her Guided Meditations for Love and Wisdom CD.
I felt my heart beating against my shirt. I feel a oppressive tightness around my chest. But I relaxed a bit. I am not judging what I feel, just sitting with it, breathing into it and reminding myself that nothing is permanent.