we must tend to our suffering, not ignore or suppress it, but tend to it with a love that is both tender and resolute, so that we may not add to the suffering of this world, but benefit this world with our own healing and transformation.
as the contemplative Franciscan Priest Richard Rohr has said, “What we don’t transform, we transmit.”
may our authenticity, our beautiful diversity open hearts to genuine love, where ignorance and fear, where hate, aggression, and bigotry find no home. all life is sacred and imprinted with the divine, with buddhanature, that is to say, with luminous love and wisdom.
may we all live our lives in such space and may such beneficial qualities be our practice, that this world may be better for it.
we are the ones through whom the pain and suffering in this world can be transformed, through the love and compassion of our open hearts and our luminous minds. may we be such instruments of peace in this time of need. don’t give up. this is where hope is born.
bomb threats? is this the path we want to walk? we need more thoughtfulness, less regurgitation.
claim: Target is sexualizing children by selling Pride merch, teaming up w/ a Satanic designer to create merch for children w/ pentagrams, horns, & the phrase “Satan Respects Pronouns”. Another claim is that Target is selling “tuck friendly” bathing suits for children.
Target purchased select merch from British company Abprallen, a company who does have some apparel w/ pentagrams, horns, & the phrase “Satan Respects Pronouns”. However, NONE of that was being sold at Target. Target did purchase & was selling from Abprallen, a bag w/ the phrase “We Belong Everywhere.” the AP investigated the other claim & it was disproven. the “tuck friendly” bathings suits are only in adult sizes in the adult section.
representation matters. Target does have inclusive Pride merch in kids section, because there are kids w/ LGBTQ+ parents, teens coming to terms w/ their gender & sexuality, & adults who want to celebrate love in their family as an entire family. Target has had this merch for years, so why the controversy now?
in April of this year, conservative blogger Matt Walsh tweeted out the following, “Here’s what we need to do: Pick a victim, gang up on it, and make an example of it. We can’t boycott every woke company or even most of them. But we can pick one, it hardly matters which, and target it with a ruthless boycott campaign. Claim one scalp then move onto the next.” (see below). this was a planned manipulation of people’s fears.
result? Target has lost $9 billion & has received bomb threats resulting in evacuations & temporary closures, & removal of Pride merchandise. real harm is being done.
if we don’t like a product or a designer for whatever reason – don’t buy the merchandise. that’s how capitalism & consumerism work. but launching a holy war?
misinformation is the tool of tyranny & we should beware of a political agenda that masquerades as a moral cause.
may hearts open, may thoughtful, sane minds arise.
without a doubt a one of a kind, trailblazing artist who has inspired generations. many will speak to her art and music career, along with her fierce courage. i too have been a fan since i could say her name, but in this moment i want to share about her spiritual practice and journey, because it has resonated so much with me.
although raised Baptist, in 1973 Tina was introduced to Nichiren Buddhism and its primary chant Nam-myoho-renge-kyo (Japanese name for the Lotus Sutra) and converted to Buddhism. she has shared about her practice in her writing, interviews, and in both the film “What’s Love Got To Do With It” and the documentary “I, Tina”. she has shared how meditation and chanting have buoyed her and given her strength, courage, and grace through the ending of her relationship with Ike Turner and through her various illnesses, and how it has also inspired her to inspire and help others.
and although she considered herself Buddhist, she was also able to navigate the rare place of holding her Baptist upbringing with love and inclusiveness rather than rejection and negativity. sometimes referring to herself as “Buddhist-Baptist”. this has resonated with my own personal path and in the last couple decades drew me even more to her. in 2009 she released an album titled “Beyond” filled with both Buddhist and Christian prayers through chant and song. the album was a collaboration with the Swiss-Tibetan Buddhist singer Dechen Shak-Dagsay and Swiss Christian singer Regula Curti. it’s an album i’ve listened to with regularity for encouragement and inspiration since its release.
thank you, Ms. Turner, for so much. and may you be welcomed and held in the Great and Luminous Love, Beyond.
let’s go, bodhisattvas. there’s a world in need and we have the love and wisdom within us to be of benefit for now and future generations. with open hearts, intention and practice, this can be our path.
it is fear that underlies the gun violence we see & obsession with accumulating weapons, the anti-Semitism, the hate towards the LGBTQ+ & especially trans community, the racism, the oppressive politics & aggressive policing, the banning of drag shows & of books, the eroding of educational institutions, & revising/erasing of history by those on the far right. it is fear that paves the path to theocracy & authoritarianism, the path to hate.
it is fear that betrays our original nature & who we are in the deepest sense.
this leads to suffering.
fear is a poison & too narrow a path for life to flower. it leads to death. death of a moment, death of ideas & dreams, death of opportunity, death to growth, death to relationship, death to hope. this is why those who wish to manipulate, control, & oppress, spread fear in their rhetoric & policies both as an overall message & more specifically toward groups as the blame.
this isn’t freedom, no matter how often or how passionately some will chant that it is.
fear freezes us = death
love frees us into movement, into flow, into relationship = life.
only love brings freedom & love is the antidote to the poison of fear. love celebrates the beauty in diversity, promotes life, health, & well-being for all. love is life finding & lighting a way through the darkness, no matter the obstacle.
i do believe in the end love prevails. love IS the ultimate reality, the absolute truth, the unborn, luminous wisdom that has no beginning or end, the ground of being, which pervades & gives life to all things.
fear is a perversion of this, born from ignorance. it isn’t the truth. it is a lie. we have the immense opportunity & responsibility to bring it into the light by calling it out for what it is.
may hearts open, may sanity arise, & may we find our refuge, our courage, our path, our practice, in Love.