Lama Rod Owens

‘To hold space for our pain is a way that we begin to take care of our pain. Taking care of our pain softens our hurt as we do the work of empathizing with ourselves. Empathizing with ourselves makes it easier to empathze with others around us. This empathy is at the root of the love and compassion that will begin to disrupt the systems that create harm.’ (Love and Rage)

This illuminates one of the central ‘paradoxes’ of a life of practice. Mostly, we think that we need to push pain away to function, or that if we ignore it, it might go away. Once we do hold space for it, our relationship to it changes, and softening can occur, loosening the hurt, and the power of pain.


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