Palm Sunday reflection…

doing lovingkindness meditation today for so many at the receiving end of horrific violence including Egypt today, and Syria.  sitting with the darkness of such anger and violence, in contrast to the Palm Sunday message of Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem on the humble donkey as a prince of peace, as opposed to a king of war.

the transformative message of the deep and lasting power (love) present in openness and vulnerability – seemingly powerlessness – is still waiting to take hold. it has to take hold in each of our hearts first…  
#LovingKindness #metta #meditation #love #vulnerability #peace #PalmSunday #Jesus #war #violence #anger #darkness #light #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds

Answering the cries of the world…


For those of us in the LGBTQ community, for people of color, for Muslims, for the differently abled, for women, for the immigrant, and for anyone else who feels a sense of being the “other” or oppressed, the results of this election may feel frightening and concerning. Our hearts broken, vulnerable, and tender.
Stay with this. 
STAY with this. Do not cover it up, do not hide from it, do not run from it. There is no need to pretend.
This brokenness, this vulnerability, this tenderness of heart, IS our strength and our power.
It is the same strength and power imbued and made manifest throughout history by artists, peacemakers, spiritual warriors, and lovers. This is what the world needs right now. Perhaps, more than ever.
For those of us who are LGBTQ – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are people of color – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are Muslim – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are women – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are immigrants – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those who are differently abled – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
For those whom I may not understand, who may hold opposite views (even views I consider harmful), who also seem to be feeling frightened, disenfranchised, and angry – I love you, you are valued, you are loved.
The road ahead will surely be work. Perhaps, very difficult to work. But I vow to continue to work in service of the values and principles that define my life, my art, my writing, my spiritual practice.
I vow to continue to work in service of the same values and principles that moved me to vote for whom I continue to believe is the most qualified and representative candidate. 
I vow to continue to work in service of all that speaks to the best of who we are and can be. 
I vow to continue to work in service of all that opens hearts, nurtures kindness, motivates fierce compassion, elevates the “other”, and opens doors to the immigrant – the hungry -the poor. 
I vow to continue to work in service of all that produces dialogue, civility, nonaggression and nonviolence.
This is what I can do, what WE can do, no matter who is President or who is in Congress or who is on the Supreme Court.
This world desperately needs healers, lovers, peacemakers – bodhisattvas.
Will we hear the cries of the world and answer the call?

~j
11.09.16

anger…

  

in my anger

i became a ghost
here, in my love

i become human
~j

Zen Parable of the Monk and the Samurai
A big, tough Samurai once went to see a little monk.
“Monk!”
He barked, in a voice accustomed to instant obedience.
“Teach me about heaven and hell!”
The Monk looked up at the mighty warrior and replied with utter disdain,
“Teach you about heaven and hell? I couldn’t teach you about anything. You’re dumb. You’re dirty. You’re a disgrace, an embarrassment to the samurai class. Get out of my sight. I can’t stand you.”
The Samurai got furious. He shook, red in the face, speechless with rage. He pulled out his sword, and prepared to slay the Monk.
Looking straight into the Samurai’s eyes, the Monk said softly,
“That’s hell.”
The Samurai froze, realizing the compassion of the Monk who had risked his life to show him hell! He put down his sword and fell to his knees, filled with gratitude.
The Monk said softly,
“And that’s heaven.”

Commentary:

anger in and of itself is just energy. like any other emotion. we are human and we experience anger. and when the sometimes intense, hot energy of anger is put into responsible use, it can be beneficial too! anger can be a powerful motivating force in our work to end injustice, for instance.

our experience of anger can also be an opportunity to investigate what gets under our skin and eats at us. what makes us lose our cool, how fast do we lose it? are we acting out of anger with our words and actions, adding to the harm and suffering in the world?

the celebrated Franciscan, Richard Rohr has said, “What we don’t transform, we transmit.” if we allow the experience of anger and the investigation of anger to transform us, we may find as the Samurai did in the Zen parable above, the healing energy of compassion as we connect to our own humanity and the humanity of others. 

in this way, our experience of anger is just another teacher on the path to our own transforming and expanding heart, rather than the further transmission of aggression and suffering in this world.

~j 

the wisdom of The Force…

  

~Yoda Explains About the Force~
Yoda: A Jedi’s strength flows from the Force. But beware of the dark side. Anger, fear, aggression; the dark side of the Force are they. Easily they flow, quick to join you in a fight. If once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny, consume you it will… 
Luke: Is the dark side stronger? 
Yoda: No, no, no. Quicker, easier, more seductive. 
Luke: But how am I to know the good side from the bad? 
Yoda: You will know… when you are calm, at peace, passive. A Jedi uses the Force for knowledge and defense, NEVER for attack.