We are in a period of shifting ground in almost every area of life imaginable. Social forms, politics, communications, technology, work, personal relationships, education, the list is long and nothing seems fixed. In Shambhala buddhist teaching, we sometimes term this feeling, and it is both an external shift and an internal feeling, groundlessness.

Our response might be to fall into known patterns – get angry, fight it — or pull back, hold on, resist, hide. In a recent meeting, the word “coping” was used to talk about skills we need when turbulent times come upon us. So the question to me is: where are we shutting down and escaping — whether by showing up with anger, or withdrawing — and where are we genuinely acknowledging and coping?

One possibility to help us lean in the direction of noticing, acknowledging, “coping” and abiding is when we use our spiritual practices, not to bypass, but to allow feelings and reactions to flow through us. This is not being neutral or ignoring, but rather facing with fierceness the truth of groundlessness. It’s so hard to not recriminate, not ruminate, and not “us-and-themanate“!

As we give over to letting the feelings arise and letting them go, we open ourselves to a chance to move from us and them, to witnessing without disengaging. From there, we can make a true move.