I do not wish to dwell here upon our [Palestinian] national struggle, but to share with you instead something of my own experience. I will speak about the personal changes and insights that came to me after I had the good fortune to encounter the art of mindfulness. The encounter both changed my life and enabled me to reach out to other people and invite them too to try this way. The experience awakened my heart and connected me to the joy, love and wisdom inside me. It enabled me to recognize and see angles and corners of myself that I neither knew about or believed existed. I grew aware of possibilities and quantities of freedom which freed the locks and chains that had gathered rust over so many years. Slowly I learned to feel that a human being is free and whole, whereas previously fear, anxiety and anger had gnawed at me, dictating my way of thinking and acting. I had acquired these from my environment and took them to be the most suitable armor for defending myself against a sea of pain, fear and desperation. All that happened in circles, either close to me or further away, pained my body and soul. And indeed, the people around me seem to function like a factory with a never-ceasing production line of suffering.



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