seeds of untruth, of conspiracy and aggression came to fruition in the violence we saw on Jan 6th. seeds of hope, powered by fierce compassion and engagement came to fruition on Nov 3rd and Jan 5th. there’s also another seed that i’ve seen posted this week quite a lot. the seed of cynicism.
here’s the thing. we exhaust ourselves trying to be something, trying to prove our worth, to attain and then hold onto some portion (or all portions for some!) of power. we dream of being super heroes with super powers. and the whole time, we have the greatest powers available right at the end of our tongue and at our finger tips – our words and our actions. what seeds are we planting? what words are we planting? what actions are we planting into this world?
train your mind to be steady, balanced, grounded and spacious. train your heart to be open, tender, warm, and resilient.
what seeds do you want to plant into this flowering garden that is our life?
These photos came up in my FB memories today. The first Women’s March on Jan 21st 2017. We didn’t carry guns, we didn’t threaten violence, and we didn’t overtake National or State Capital Buildings. We chanted, we sang, we marched in diverse unity joining millions not just in the US, but around the world to publicly oppose the harmful, sexist, racist, xenophobic rhetoric, incitement of violence and discriminatory policies we had and were already seeing from Trump, long before separating families/caging children, undoing climate initiatives, attacking minority rights or the pandemic. We were scared, worried, deeply concerned, but also filled with a sense of resilience, and joyful energy that comes from unity in common purpose to shine light and stand on the side of love. Grateful for the people in these photos and that first of many days, but even more grateful today that he is no longer President or holding such power. 🙏🏻
heading to sleep on this inaugural eve with a sense of deep hope and a sense of exhausted unease. an opportunity to turn a page on the cruelty and harm of the past four years. and a long, challenging road ahead. holding all of it in this tender, resilient muscle in my chest.
top photo of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and whom i consider my root teacher, Zen Master and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh in 1967 meeting to talk about the war in Vietnam. Dr. King nominated Thich Nhat Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize.
below is a photo of a statue erected to honor these two great men who had immense mutual affection and respect, both desiring to build the “beloved community”
do you notice? she doesn’t say we shouldn’t oppose. we must oppose harm and destruction from hate in all of its forms – in racism, anti-Semitism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, and all ideologies and movements that marginalize and oppress. but we do so from love and a fierce compassion to end suffering, not from hate. to do so from hate, is to cut our feet off even as we walk and our hands even as we reach out to help. we rise up with compassion to bring healing and transformation.
we must embody, what those lost down the rabbit hole of aggression and violence seem incapable of at this time, a path of nonviolence.
there must be those who are willing to shine bright, even when the darkness seems to be encroaching further and apace, for there to be a future for humanity, for there to be a future that is even recognizable as the incarnation of love that we truly are at our core, awake and free.
connect to a practice that grounds you in the stability and strength of the earth, yet lifts you into the clarity and vastness of the deep blue sky. you are both, both are in you. keep your heart open.
i originally wrote the statement and posted the art below 4 years ago on January 11th 2017, just prior to Donald Trump taking office as President, expressing serious concern along with many others regarding the path we were on and where it may lead. what happened on January 6th 2021 although horrifying and of grave concern, was also not altogether surprising. this is where we have been headed, despite the many warnings by so many of us.
we must stand for and shine the light of truth no matter the cost. the alternative is far worse.
Speak no “post-truth”…
The spreading and celebration of incoherency, where all facts and truths are subjective and subject to what serves one’s own agenda from which only oneself and one’s insider family and friends benefit, is a degradation of the morals and ethics upon which the foundation of civilized society is built. This incoherency, rather than mutual understanding and acknowledgement based on facts, spreads unease and fear. A society living with unease and fear is in danger of losing itself in what can be a self-fulfilling abyss of distrust and paranoia. This distrust and paranoia can lead to an increase in greed, aggression, violence, and despair.
Though there may be no real thing such as “post-fact” or “post-truth,” the consequences from practicing such charlatanism can be real and harmful, as we are already witnessing.
Does this sound an alarm?
Then be an unwavering, inexhaustible advocate for truth. Stand and speak up for what is based on fact and not self-serving vagary, beginning with your own speech, writing, and actions. Hope is born on the words and actions of those who stand on the side of what is authentic and true, who call upon the better quality of all people to answer that call, by example. We need these examples, these bodhisattvas, we need to be the embodiment of the hope we seek and a reflection of what is authentic and true.
A “post-fact” and “post-truth” world is a world spinning out of control with no ground beneath it. The world may continue, but we may not. And if we do, we may no longer recognize who we are or what we have become, having only a fuzzy memory of what it meant to be human. A memory the “post-fact” and “post-truth” gatekeepers will slander, as they label it a myth.
But many of us, I hope most of us, will know better and will continue to shed a light of what is factual and true.