Don’t Wait – Participate

bowl with smokeI’ve been waiting for years to “see how things will turn out”.

Waiting for the time that I feel more peaceful, or happier, or when the time comes that I actually know all the way through me why I am here and what my life is about.

It’s been a long wait.

These days I wait to see what will happen with the new president in the US.  Will peace happen now?  Will our country find a way to live up to its ideals?  I’ve been waiting to see how I might be a part of the process.

I’ve been waiting and watching as frustration, anger, rage, and hate grow.  I find myself waiting to see what those angry hateful people will do next.

Then I picked up the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, written thousands of years ago.  I was stopped in my tracks when I read the following:

Sutra 2.34
“Uncertain knowledge giving rise to violence, whether done directly or indirectly or condoned, is caused by greed, anger or delusion in mild, moderate or intense degree. It results in endless pain and ignorance. Through introspection comes the end of pain and ignorance.”

And then these questions poured into me:
From my first breath to this breath, can I say that I have not been greedy?
Can I say that I have not been angry, hateful, or perpetrated pain unto others?
Can I say that I have not condoned the violence of others?
Can I say that I have not lied, cheated, or stolen?

No – I cannot claim any of that.

No more waiting, it’s time for me to participate.

What is the end of this pain and violence within me?
Patanjali gives a clear answer: “Through introspection comes the end of pain and ignorance.”

I set myself to the task of going inward to become aware of my thoughts, words, and actions.  I want to uncover the roots of my frustration, anger, hatred, rage, violence, and pain.  I am not attacking myself, but neither am I condoning myself. I am investigating my life, from my first breath to this one.

Yin-Yang Taiji Symbol


My actions and thoughts as a child were often beyond my control at the time.  But now as an adult, I take responsibility for myself.  I am on the trail of learning how to acknowledge and be responsible for my ignorance, my judgments, and the pain that I have caused others.  I am casting a light of curiosity and inquiry onto my shadow, onto that which I would rather not acknowledge.  I am learning the humility of being human, of being imperfect, of having high ideals that I cannot and have not always lived up to.


I am participating now, in the depth of my own being.
I am not waiting for someone else to mend the wounds that only I can know.
I am not hiding and waiting for others to admit their faults so that I don’t have to.

Now I am asking myself all the time, “how do negative thoughts, perceptions, and feelings actually transform into something positive?” I am asking this because that is what I see in Nature.  I see plants growing out of dirt, out of animal manure, out of compost, out of the asphalt.  I see fallen trees feeding mushrooms, ants, and moss.  I see the cycle of Nature, ever-flowing, this into that, that into this. Destruction into Life, Life into Destruction.

Yin-Yang Taiji Symbol

Through introspection, I am becoming less ignorant of the contents of my history and my heart.
Introspection requires time alone, quiet, not listening to or reading the ideas of another. It is not watching the news to “see what is going to happen.”

Introspection, that sacred journey inward that can only be taken alone.
Inward, to the place where I feel connected to everyone else. Since it seems that I am connected with others within the wordless depths of myself, as I mend the divide within myself between love and hate, peace and violence, truth and lies, I hope that I am participating in the mending of others.


Posted in

Cindy Black

Cindy Black is the Founder of Big Tree School of Natural Healing and the author of Meridian Massage, Pathways to Vitality. She is appreciated for her ability to make the complex accessible, fun, and practical.


  1. Michelle Zee on February 19, 2021 at 11:21 pm

    Hi Cindy, I came across your article and totally agree that more people need to be more introspective to gain better clarity and happiness for their life. A lot of times, we react on instinct without much thought which can lead to more stress and manifests itself in physical body aches that no amount of massages can erase away. I liked the list of questions you asked yourself and will be asking myself those same questions as well

  2. William Horden on January 25, 2021 at 3:21 pm

    Well said, well said: you bring the subjective forward and make it universal! thank you!

  3. Mark Shveima on January 22, 2021 at 8:56 pm

    This is such an elegant articulation of the inner struggle that human beings have had from time immemorial.

    Thank You so much for this offering. I can feel how it rises from your authentic nature.

    No matter what human foibles and idiosyncrasies we each have to face—and we each WILL have to face and surmount them to truly rise to the level of graceful nobility we each harbor inside—we have to face them with a compassionate heart. For if we cannot show ourselves compassion and kindness, then ultimately we cannot offer that to others.

    To add to your beautifully wise offering, that word delusion—in the sutra the word moha— is, to me the most powerful of the vitarkas, ‘negative thoughts,’ given. Because delusion is like a rolling fog covering the ground of ignorance, which is the root of all suffering. The fog of delusion comes and goes with each emotional wave to position us in extreme places of looking down in arrogance or looking up in despair, and various degrees of both.

    Thank You again for your insightful and inspirational post!

  4. Amy Whitney on January 22, 2021 at 8:11 pm

    Oh yes. Thank you, dear Cindy.

  5. Keith on January 22, 2021 at 12:17 pm

    Very profound, thank you, Cindy.

  6. Katherine L Raybould on January 20, 2021 at 10:50 pm

    Thank you, Cindy.

    • Marta I Valentin on March 15, 2021 at 7:10 am

      I enjoyed this reading, I myself am on the journey to unleash all that has weighed me down. It is a task worthy of becoming whole, because in healing oneself heals all.

  7. Ivonne on January 20, 2021 at 8:05 pm

    Beautifully said. It amazes me how somehow we are all interconnected by thoughts and nothing seems to be coincidence. I’ve been lately making a real efforts to go into my weaving thoughts = introspection, You how summarised here so insightful : )

  8. Atsushi Ikemoto on January 20, 2021 at 1:12 pm

    I learned years ago that one should not give treatments if one harbors anger, hate, rage, etc., nor should one receive treatments from a person who harbors anger, hate, rage, etc. There is a transfer of energy when one gives and/or receives acupressure treatments, that is why the practitioner must “cleanse” him/herself after giving treatments. I know a few practitioners who have gotten sick because they did not understand the importance of self-cleansing after giving treatments.

  9. Dale on January 20, 2021 at 11:41 am

    Oh my gosh….this hit a core deep deep within me today…. now ….
    Even here in Canada we wait with held breath
    every time violence erupts in the USA…praying for and sending love to our
    dear neighbour country

    I have not studied the sutras yet my Tibetan doctor mentor always reminds us
    to be in Love, send love and be open to love

  10. Bonnie on January 20, 2021 at 9:20 am

    Thank you for this Cindy. The healing MUST begin within me. So glad to read your words….so many, so very many are struggling. I am grateful you sent this today.

  11. Robin on January 20, 2021 at 9:08 am

    Profound Cindy. I do believe I may be on a similar road of discovery as well, painful, rewarding. Blessings and thank you for sharing this. It has struck me
    hard and I will be pondering these thoughts for days to come. Such a journey we are on. Namaste.

  12. DENISE A JACKSON on January 20, 2021 at 8:45 am

    Thank you Cindy. Oh how I value and miss your insightful, kind and hopeful energy. Be well dear friend. Please give my love to Andrea.

  13. Karen Ball on January 20, 2021 at 8:38 am

    Beautiful and brave words, my friend. Thank you for sharing.

  14. Lainey Papageorge on January 20, 2021 at 8:36 am

    Profound wisdom from a great teacher. Thank you, Cindy.
    For all my railing against enforced inactivity, a mystery blooms. A minutiae of light filaments reaching into the formless(?) are allowed to connect, inform one to Other. What this fine root system supports is as yet unknown, but welcomed. Your words help me to acknowledge it’s nourishment as I float in the dark.

    • Joyce on January 23, 2021 at 9:28 am


  15. Marti Mendoza on January 20, 2021 at 8:20 am

    Thank you for posting such beautiful and heartfelt words Cindy. I’m sure many of us have/are having the same feelings throughout this crazy unbelievable time and past four years. But you’re right, looking at ourselves and trying to discover what our part in it all is not only important but necessary. It is, perhaps, the most important work we can do. I think of you and Andrea often with love, respect and gratitude and I hope that I will be able to come visit sometime in the future when we are all safe to do so.


  16. Michelle Lewis on January 20, 2021 at 8:01 am

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful story of your introspection! It is inspiring in its authenticity & innocence of thought & emotion. We are all on this journey alone, together. The world benefits when each of us is more grounded in our own personal awareness & expansion. I appreciate your willingness to share openly your experience, knowing that we all have the same inner discovery to do. We tend to approach it with dread rather than the freedom we can experience at letting go of fear of the unknown. Thank you! Namaste

  17. Eva Smithee-Rowe on January 20, 2021 at 7:45 am

    So true. I studied the sutras back in the 70’s and 80’s. Thank you for bringing the message slap bang into the present for us all.

  18. Dawn on January 20, 2021 at 7:44 am

    Oh my gosh Cindy! I love this. You just put into beautifully flowing words that which is on my heart! I’m with you. Namaste’

  19. Barbara L. Harding on January 20, 2021 at 7:22 am

    Thank you Cindy for your blog post on introspection. How powerful taking my own fearless and moral inventory is. It’s a life long process that brings me peace, when I remember to just keep my side of the street clean.

  20. Cecilia Palmer on January 20, 2021 at 6:59 am

    Hi Cindy. Funny I was just thinking about you and Andrea yesterday. I’m retired now two years from being a LMT. I’m 71 years old now. FLSM was the best time of my life! I’m so happy to see what you both have done and achieved.

    I wish you both the best and continued success.

    Cecilia Palmer

  21. Lori Duchesne on January 20, 2021 at 6:18 am

    Thank you for this reflection, honesty, your truth and through this it rings true and vibrates connection.
    I am as well asking myself questions as I am at another turning point in my life. It’s not easy to know what direction to take?
    I will be turning 60 this year and I still would like to work and the question is what and how with the current situation.
    I was married, my husband who I loved and took care of during his illness of cancer and then he recovered. He then left me for a new life and
    a much younger woman. It was tough but I am healing and rebuilding my new life in a changing Covid world.
    I enjoyed opening up your mail to find your words and the sutra of Patanjali and this was a reminder of what touches my soul and a truth that makes sense.

    Thank you and may serenity be with you,

  22. Sally Tyler on January 20, 2021 at 6:02 am

    Thanks Cindy, since March last year, I have tuned inwards to see and feel the emotions that has laid dormant. I’m feeling more connected with my self and people around me. I share your journey and we will find that sweet peaceful spot, this then is sent out to all those we meet. Thanks very much for sharing your journey.

  23. Diane Lewis on January 20, 2021 at 5:09 am

    I think we must all ask ourselves how we are participating in the collective hostility. It is a deep question for us to find balance while living in a world of “differences”. We see hostility displayed on the news and perhaps feel separate from it, but I have seen it demonstrated in my personal life during this time as well and have wondered about how hostility spreads and grows in an unbalanced way. As I was threatened by an unleashed dog on my daily walk, and the dog owner who was hostile as he blamed me for being the cause of his dog’s aggression, I found myself responding with hostility as well. I have been thinking deeply about how the collective hostility going on around us seeps into our everyday lives in subtle ways and wondering how I might be contributing to it. I have concluded that the only way I can answer some of the questions I have been asking myself about my “high ideals” of being a peaceful person is by going within to discover the center where I might find some clarity about how I react in my life. I appreciate your thoughtful post.

  24. Kristín Sjöfn Valgeirsdóttir on January 20, 2021 at 4:10 am

    Thank you Cindy. I think everyone can answer your question the same way as you did. Thanks for the courage and for the inspiration. It made me wonder …. may the Light, peace and happiness guide you on your path.

  25. Eva on January 20, 2021 at 3:02 am

    Thank you Cindy for these incredible powerful words and message.
    I will take some out to do some introspection again.
    I am grateful for knowing you.

  26. Daphne Mundy on January 20, 2021 at 2:45 am

    Thank you for sharing this Cindy. Wise and inspiring words indeed 🙏

  27. Jorine Janssen on January 20, 2021 at 2:09 am

    Thank you, beautiful and helpful!

  28. Darlene Caldwell on January 20, 2021 at 2:00 am

    Thank you for sharing your insight. I hope you find that place within, that holds the answer to your questions.


  29. Shary Crocker on January 20, 2021 at 12:37 am

    Thank you, deeply for your honest sincerity of your humble heart. Self inquiry, Taking a reflective in breath. Accountability, and faith with allowing nature to always be our pure teacher….we are nature….much Aloha:-)

  30. Tony Catalfamo on January 20, 2021 at 12:28 am

    Hi Cindy,

    Your audience Loves you!

    In the elucidation and realization that we control our own “Sacred Earth Walk”, one recurring reflection seems to be that we Re-Discover the solace of introspective behavior is the rudiment of every indigenous teaching.

    We are not discovering it… we are Re- Membering it!

    Thanks for being authenitcly you. Your introspection IS your currency to your advocation. You are simply Re-Collecting the central nature of practicing it.

    Carry on Cindy… you ARE participating in the mending of others.

    With admiration,

    Tony C

  31. Rich Winters on January 19, 2021 at 11:57 pm

    I personally think the Beatles said it best, in a most relatable, simple way: “All you need is love.”
    Sending you all my love, Richard Winters.

  32. Hanson Barbara on January 19, 2021 at 11:52 pm

    Thank you Cindy for those precious gems of wisdom. We need healing words right now and to take responsibility for our part in all the chaos we’ve been seeing, and like you said, we can each do that through deep and honest introspection. Peace in the world begins with me.

  33. Joni on January 19, 2021 at 11:40 pm

    So insightful! Thank you for putting it into words. It helps me to organize my thoughts, which helps me to notice the negative ones, so I can replace them. I want to speak life into my soul, and not death and fear, which has been on a repeat loop for a long time now.

  34. MaryEllen Dorey on January 19, 2021 at 11:34 pm


  35. hr on January 19, 2021 at 11:04 pm

    beautiful writing
    thank you beloved friend

  36. Lee Hester on January 19, 2021 at 10:56 pm

    Yes. This is certainly the time for quiet, inner work. Thank you for your words of encouragement.

  37. Kate Boquet on January 19, 2021 at 10:54 pm

    Beautifully said and so profound, I enjoyed several of your webinars. I would like to thank you for caring.

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