Although the world is full of suffering, it is full also of the overcoming of it.
May we let go, and grow bright as stars in a clear, frosty night, the more we are stripped of what we thought we could not do without.
BR. DAVID STEINDL-RAST
Pema Chodron, the great Buddhist teacher, asks us (paraphrased): "Can you live in the area of uncertainty when it comes to issues, allowing that we may not be always right?" In shooting for "Right View" according to local teacher Heather Mann, we may find that sometimes it is helpful to start from a place of "there are no right views" when discussing topics with friends. You may ask, well what about the Truth then Ed? In my humble opinion, we will more likely come to the truth of an issue by taking this approach. It will take much longer if we try to outsmart, out-rationalize our "opponent". Another good tip, drop the opponent stance!
While the news often features the worst of humanity, there are a billion acts of human kindness every hour of every day! Take another breath and sense this truth.
Love, oneness, is no separation between you and life. It is a progressive letting go, a progressive not fault finding… It’s very beautiful and very deep.
The People's Inauguration is offering us today the opportunity to take a personal oath.
Perhaps you'd like to join me in taking this oath.I, Ron Alexander,do solemnly vowthat I will faithfully execute my rolein healing, reimagining, and rebuildingour country,and will to the best of my ability,preserve, protect, and defenddignity, justice, and joyfor myself and for all around me,and that I will do so with love.This is modeled after the presidential oath of office from theUS Constitution.
Hola Relatives - In light of positivity from new and healthy energy coming to power in Washington D.C. opening a doorway for our nation to begin dealing with truth instead of lies, I offer the following statement by James Yandell for reflection to empower hope for what can be and what role we can each play in bringing our gifts to help create a better world for all.
See you at our next LiveLoveNow joining on Feb.3rd.
Indigo Sangha A mindfulness practice center in the Plum Village Community of Engaged Buddhism
Core Values We honor interbeing—the reality of interconnection between all people, societies, and the earth
We know peace in the world begins with peace in ourselves.
We ground our actions in mindfulness, compassion, joy, and inclusiveness.
We work to transform “power over” to “power with.”
Joyful Protests at the Confederate Monument
Time: Sundays, approximately 9:30 am , plus every other Saturday. Please contact Ron to coordinate your action: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each week you’re invited to join Indigo Sangha members and friends in mindful walking and peaceful protest at the Confederate Monument near Charleston’s Battery.
Eight Vows to My Spiritual Ancestor: Martin Luther King, Jr.
Thich Nhat Hanh was nominated for the Nobel Prize by Martin Luther King, Jr.. Quotes by Dr. King, Jr., Vows by Heather Lyn Mann
With this practice of deep looking into gifts given to me by my spiritual ancestor, Dr. King, I make these vows to embody his teachings in my daily life and actions.
1. Embrace Justice “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Inspired by Dr. King, and aware of the systemic unfairness and cruelty baked into our policies, institutions, and relationships, I vow to name, heal, and transform the injustices in me, in my life and within my reach.
2. Wake to this Present Moment “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. This is no time for apathy or complacency.” Inspired by Dr. King, and aware that life is only available in the very here and now, I vow to diligently observe life as it unfolds, see the potential for healing that is present in each moment, and honor the power of this moment to transform both the past and future through my skillful thoughts, speech, and actions.
3. Speak Out “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Inspired by Dr. King, and aware of the ‘beneficial regret’ I feel about my past ignorance, indifference, complacency, and silence, I vow to find my voice and speak truthful and healing words that bring wellbeing and justice to all people, animals, plants, and minerals— even when doing so may threaten my safety.
4. Practice Nonviolence
“The way of acquiescence leads to moral and spiritual suicide. The way of violence leads to bitternessin the survivors and brutality in the destroyers. But the way of nonviolence leads to redemption and thecreation of beloved community.”
Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and aware of my deep aspiration to ‘be peace,’ I vow to deepen my understanding, skills, and practice of Nonviolence toward myself, my relationships, and between people, societies, nations, and the earth.
5. Build Community
“Resistance and nonviolence are not in themselves good. There is another element that must be presentin our struggle that then makes our resistance and nonviolence truly meaningful. That element is reconciliation. Our ultimate end must be the creation of the beloved community.” “The end is the creation of the beloved community. It is this type of spirit and this type of love that can transform opposers into friends.”
Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and aware that my happiness is inter-dependent with the happiness of humans and non-humans everywhere, I vow to build beloved community by committing to a path of daily action that redeems and reclaims my membership in the human family, cultivates reconciliation in myrelationships—even those that are deeply challenging—and helps others do the same.
6. Forgive & Love
“We must develop and maintain the capacity to forgive. He who is devoid of the power to forgive is devoid of the power to love ... The degree to which we are able to forgive determines the degree to which we are able to love our enemies.”
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and aware of my deep aspiration to be a light in the world, I vow to understand and transform my hate by looking deeply into its causes and conditions; practice forgiveness toward those who cause harm to myself, others, and the earth; and cultivate love towards all people and beings by seeing their capacity for enlightenment.
7. Commit to Service
“Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?”
Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and aware of and humbled by my unearned privilege, I vow to livelightly on the earth, to take less so others might have more, and to joyfully devote my time, skills, and material resources to the healthy continuation of all people, animals, plants, and minerals—especially to those who have been or who are oppressed and exploited.
8. Cultivate Courage“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl; but whatever you do,you have to keep moving forward.”
Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and fully aware that I’ve inherited a fear of pain and death, I vow to cultivate fearlessness on behalf of myself, all beings, and the earth by looking deeply into the reality of Non-self, Inter-being, and my true birthless/deathless nature; understanding my actions are my only continuation;and undertaking Right Action in each moment and for as long as possible.
Today is the day:
Hola Relatives -
Today we celebrate the memory and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, assassinated over fifty years ago In 1968, the same year his last book was published, Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community? His clarion call echoes even louder today with the tumult of white supremacy-based racism and discrimination ravaging our land.
Listen to his counsel: “Every society has its protectors of the status quo ….but today our very survival depends on our ability to face the challenge of change. The large house in which we live demands that we transform this worldwide neighborhood … Together we must learn to live as brothers and sisters or together we will be forced to perish as fools. We suffer from a poverty of spirit for the richer we become materially the poorer we have become morally and spiritually.”
Today’s threats of revolution from the reactionary right makes it more evident than ever that our material and technological abundance does not produce peace of mind. The revolution we need today is a revolution of consciousness towards a new value system, a new way of living that recognizes our interconnectedness with each other, with the Earth, with All of Life. One that deconstructs the militarism, the materialism and the racism that so characterizes our society.
Martin's call from long ago reaches down into our souls. He called us to grow a worldwide fellowship that “lifts concern beyond ones’s tribe, race, class and nation into an all embracing and unconditional love for all for it has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of humankind.” He pointed out that love is an often misunderstood and misinterpreted concept and that what he meant by love is " that force which is the supreme unifying principle of life, the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality…..Humanity’s last chance to choose between chaos and community.”
Today we are all called to envision and pray for a peaceful, healthy and just world of equity for all but as the Elders say, “We have to meet our prayers halfway”. We need to cultivate awareness with the spark of divinity within us and take action coming from love to transform our society so that it lives up to its professed values which we have not done. It starts with each of us deconstructing the mythic untruths of our history and taking action to create social, economic and environmental justice for all because the only way it is going to work is that it works for us all.
We are all together on Lifeboat Earth and a leak anywhere in the boat sinks us all. We all make a difference. We all have gifts to give. We all carry the sacred medicine of love and deep inner peace beneath the chaos of swirling waters of fear, anger and reactivity.
Our time on this precious body of Mother Earth is limited but while we are here we can each show up to do our part accessing the infinite potential for fullest blossoming and greatest good that is our birthright. It is our challenge and our opportunity. We took birth in this incarnation to do precisely that so let us get on with it honoring the beauty, wisdom and power available to us when we remember that we are love and our love is for giving.
This is Thay's on how to stand up for justice, not be a door-mat. We are to help others transform their notions and ideologies through loving speech and dialogue.
In sum, you ask how we "do not appear to push or force their [our] opinions or ideas on others?" It is because we do not push our opinions or ideas on others. That is the practice at the heart of mindful advocacy.
Become a prayer-maker. Why? Because what you face in your life is bigger than you can handle. It is. Go to a place with shadows and privacy, and just start talking. There is some ancient Friend that wants to hear from you.
The Ancient Armaic Prayer of Jesus by Rocco Errico
Let the sound of heart-filled stillness ring throughout the world, cut through the confusion and call us to our highest!
Hola Relatives - Following up this evening's LiveLoveNow sharing on responding to all that is happening in today's tumultuous times with love instead of fear, here is a quote I have above my computer that helps me focus my intention and connect with inner peace:
Holy Spirit Everywhere Present
I Behold Love in Me and Share It
With All Life and All Humanity.
Summary of Pathway to Inner Peace
1. choose inner peace as your only goal
2. Be a Love-Giver; Tune into and extend unconditional love
3. Attune with and listen to intuitive wisdom guidance
Remembering the work is about seeing and dissolving the barriers to the awareness of love's presence.
May we live the love that we are bringing healing, justice, peace, beauty, kindness, courage, generosity and healing through us and into the world.
Dr. Tomas Pinkson's Christmas group about "Forgive them for they know not what they do." has had a great impact on my keeping my own peace. It was really tested as the ringleader of the Confederate flag bearers had a image of hangman nooses with the words, "time to put some of these back in practice." (implication of returning to lynching).Here is the Confederate's post recently: How do I not judge him? Due to this, there were a lot of angry BLM counterprotestors across the street from the Confederate Monument in Charleston, S.C. today with moi walking between the groups with my Veterans for peace flag supporting BLM:
Angels can fly because they take themselves lightly.
This goes along with not pushing, forcing things..."Forgive them for they know not what they do..."really helps in my work with anti-racism...
Welcome the present moment as if you had invited it. Why? Because it is all we ever have.