Tuesday at our Fearless Compassionate Care training for clinicians working at the bedside of critically ill and dying children and adults, a seasoned pediatric intensive care unit nurse spoke about a difficult moment with the parents of a dying son. She said, “I didn’t know what to say. My mind was blank, so I took a deep breath and fell into my heart.”
This is the gift of her mindfulness practice; she knew to stop for a moment, take a breath, and listen. When the mind goes blank in a moment of fear, courage is calling us, “Open your heart! You can be with this!” Fear calls for compassionate awareness, asks us to trust that our loving quiet presence may be the most healing thing we can offer to ourselves and to another human being.
When we’re willing to feel our life fully instead of thinking about it, this is the power of mindfulness in action. Sometimes we don’t know what else to do but mindfully sit and walk and feel our way in to our deep heart of hearts. And in the midst of not-knowing, we can then know — know what to say or what needs to be done — or how to be simply silent and close. We can intuitively sense how to reach out and touch another person’s heart from the clarity and caring of our own.
Meditation encourages the intuitive wisdom of our own true nature to shine through our fears. We learn how to fall from our head into our heart and trust what we find there. When we open any door to our heart, it points the way to calmly abide with all the rest – within and all around us.