Every life is special, and each is a little different than every other, but some things remain constant in this ever-changing world. There will always be births and deaths, laughter and tears, the greatest joys and the deepest sorrows. The mystery of the human purpose is not new, and entire careers have been dedicated to finding an explanation for the beauty of life.
For Almine Barton, climbing has helped open the door to deeper understanding of her own world as much as the human condition. At C.H.A.N.C.E., we strive to refocus our lens- to see the world through different perspectives, and to find inspiration in others who do the same. Barton is one such person, and she beautifully captured the essence of life when she described how it feels to climb, reach a high point, and observe.
“When I look down on the earth, from on high, I see an exquisite tapestry of pain and beauty on the ground. A never-ending dance of loss and gain, death and birth, suffering and joy. When seen from this point of view, removed from it all, you realize the human drama will continue. A deep sense of empathy wells up in your heart, knowing that the ground below, is where the human soul strives to evolve, through the myriad cycle of heartbreak and love. You then realize that everyone is suffering, on some level,” she says.
Suddenly, in realizing that all people, no matter how fortunate or how much they have struggled, it becomes natural to empathize, to let go of emotional pains in line. Barton uses climbing and meditation to find peace among the chaos. She employs Tonglen, a form of meditation in Tibetan Buddhism, to center on her thoughts.
“Tonglen is a meditation on compassion for those who have hurt you. Realizing at a deep level that they too, are in pain. When you consciously work on realizing that, then you realize that all beings really just want to be happy and free from pain. Truly sitting with this notion, in a deep state of meditation, is life-transforming, and chips away, little by little, at the emotions of anger, envy, sadness, and hurt,” Barton explained. Letting go of these stresses can be profoundly powerful when working to focus on happier moments.
It may not always be easy to refocus life’s lens, but as Barton explains, it will do wonders for the soul to focus on serenity. How do you keep grounded? Tell us how you refocus your lens in the comment section below.