before the mind craves
the moment yet born
before the pain unravels
into rambling story
before a tempered heat
reaches a boil
before the tears dry
and the heart shifts to close
take heart and take heed.
there is hope – it is found in you, it is found in me.
it is found in hearts open to empathy, in open minds, in beings tireless in their compassion and love for life.
where there is chaos, be the calm steadiness that is needed.
where there is destruction and devastation, be the healing that is needed.
where there is darkness, shine your light, in your unique and gifted way.
remember the forgotten.
stand with and for those who cannot stand on their own.
raise your voice for those without words spoken.
love those around you, stay focused, smile, and breathe.
the basic Buddhist understanding of life is one of interdependence, that we have no independent self, that many co-arising conditions have come together to manifest this body and life. this is the case with all things, including all people. as it has been often quoted and re-quoted (to paraphrase) we are related to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, and to the entire Universe atomically. all have their rightful and honored place in this web-like tapestry of Life.
understanding this, how can anyone say that one thing is more important or superior to another?
this is Achilles Heel of the White Supremacist movement, the White Nationalists movement, the Nazis, the Neo-Nazis, the KKK, the Alt-Right movement, and all the other racist movements that have sprung up through time over and over pitting one group of people against another manifesting in physical violence, economic/structural/institutional violence, and political violence.
They are all eventually doomed. Why? Because they act contrary to Life itself which is at its foundation interdependent and always changing. Yet, these movements rise up again and again – sometimes hiding under a rock sheltered in darkness, until finding home once more in fragile egos and closed hearts. This is why it is so important that we stand as allies to Life and to all who are oppressed. Life acts through us, and sometimes in spite of us, so it is each one of us who have to wake up, listen, stand, speak, write, create art, practice and serve, as allies to Life and all who are oppressed finding themselves on the receiving end of the fear, anger, bigotry, racism, aggression and violence that has found its way into the light. We MUST be engaged. Naming the darkness and what lies beneath it, so that we can defeat it, without becoming it.
in this moment our greatest enemies are what we call in Buddhism, The 3 Poisons – our tendency to avoid the discomfort of our situation of this life by either grasping (greed), being aggression (hatred), or lost in our ignorance (delusion – ignorance is NOT bliss). these are the driving reactive force for those who would put themselves above others, the roots of the fear and anger we see motivating racism and these hostiles groups. we counter these by authentically engaging life in all of its challenge and discomfort with an open heart through practicing The 4 Immeasurables, which are lovingkindness, compassion, joy, and equanimity. these aren’t to be confused with being “nice” as we may think. compassion can be fierce, cutting and precise. we need the fiercest compassion at this time.
the rock has been turned over again and what has been hiding underneath once more is in the light. what will we do? the world is watching and history will record these moments.
“Our lives are like the plants, floating along the water’s edge, illumined by the moon.”
of this life
for a time.
just as easily
and all too quickly.