A Mindfulness Meditation To Help You Cope In The Aftermath Of Tragedy

Illustration: Chloe Bulpin / mbg creative

Another day, another senseless act of violence. This morning, two explosions in the city of Brussels left at least 34 people dead and 170 others injured. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attack. Our news feeds have been inundated with disturbing photos of blood- and dust-covered people. Emergency services are still combing through the rubble of Zaventem Airport and Maelbeek Metro Station. It is clear that the full scale of the devastation will take days, if not weeks, to assess.

And just a few days ago, two bombings took place in Turkey. On March 13, a car bomb exploded in the capital city of Ankara, leaving at least 37 people dead and over 100 injured. And then Saturday, an ISIS-connected suicide bomber killed at least four in a busy tourist area in Istanbul.

Obviously, it's impossible to know what to think or do or say in the wake of such horror. But we can't just ignore it. We have to process it.

So, we turned to mindfulness expert Susan Piver for a guided meditation to help us cope in the aftermath of these atrocities. We hope you find it useful—even if just a little.

A short practice for the people of Brussels and Turkey

This is a small offering to help work with the torment, sorrow, and rage in our minds.

Sit quietly for a few moments and breathe.

Then, rouse the aspiration to take in some of the pain of this world and send out some relief from that pain. When you are ready, think the following:

For all of you men and women who lost your lives in violence and may now be wandering terrified and confused, I share your suffering with you. In return, I offer you my peace.

Breathe in their suffering. Breathe out your peace.

For all of you who witnessed this horror, I share your unspeakable shock. May I take even the tiniest bit of your sorrow and rage into my own heart and relieve you of it. In return, I send you my strength.

Breathe in their suffering. Breathe out your strength.

For all of our brothers and sisters in Brussels and Turkey who are living through these horrific days and must now make sense of it, I share your confusion with you. May I take in your fear, rage, and concern for your children and loved ones. In return, I send you my bravery.

Breathe in their suffering. Breathe out your bravery.

For the politicians, doctors, nurses, police, and first responders who have born witness and must now act, I share your despair with you. May I take in your shock and confusion. In return, I send you my confidence and open heartedness.

Breathe in their suffering. Breathe out your confidence and open heartedness.

Finally, spend a few moments wishing that all beings may be safe.

When you are ready to close, sit quietly for a few minutes before resuming your day.

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