how to live…


if not all of us, but even most of us could abide by this philosophy…
may it be so and may it begin with each of us.

~j
#BodhisattvaVow #bodhisattvas #bodhicitta #empathy #compassion #FierceCompassion #MeditateAndResist #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #LoveWins #Shantideva #Buddhism #Metta

empathy, our greatest weapon…

What we are seeing is a grasping, blinding, lust for power and wealth, rather than a love for life.

We see it in how it affects human life, and all life really, including the life of this planet.

We are out of balance.

I think if we each take a step back, a step out of our identifications, a step away from our screens, and just sit for a moment. Just sit and breathe. Just sit as a simple human being with all that makes us so – one quality stands out, our capacity to have empathy.

That’s what is presently lacking: empathy. Without it, we lose our humanity. And I do believe we are dancing dangerously on the brink, led by a pied piper or team of pied pipers, toward increased suffering and loss. It is already happening.

There is a wonderful Rumi quote, “Sit, be still, and listen, because you’re drunk and we’re at the edge of the roof.” The drink of those currently in power is narcissism paired with a world view that in its exclusion of the “other” denies a basic universal truth, we are not separate.

A world view that says we are somehow separate from everyone else is a lie. Plain and simple. What is being fed to us is a lie. It goes against nature, life, and the better part of our humanity. It puts profit over the health and lives of others. It excludes and fears anything it deems different. It proposes a false security through walls, aggressive laws and violence.

Put yourself or a family member in the place of the person who suffers health issues while on a fixed or limited income. Put yourself or someone you love in the place of the undocumented person now being separated from their children or spouse, having to leave the home they’ve known for decades. Put yourself or a friend in the place of a person who is seen as evil based on their religion, because fanatics have committed atrocities under its name. Put yourself in the place of someone who is seen as an abomination, because of who they love, yet they continue to love. Put yourself in the place of someone who lost their job, who feels like they are drowning in life and unable to provide for their family.

This is called empathy. And it is our greatest weapon against the tyranny of authoritarianism. Empathy aligns us with each other, it aligns us with life. Empathy opens our heart and draws out our other great weapon – compassion. Compassion is a boundless and fierce power.

This current trial is beyond political or religious affiliation. It is a human challenge, calling all of us to respond together as one family, one community to defeat the lie of separateness, to pull the walls of this harmful ideology down.

~j

03.12.17

because love calls us to…

pride-peace-art-update-2017

Despite what this Administration says, the welfare and safety of our transgender youth is not a States’ Rights issue.

It is a Human Rights issue.  Plain and simple.

Creating and supporting an environment that is safe and affirming for all of our youth, including and especially those who are marginalized and vulnerable is in the best interest of all of us as a society and only asks that we open our hearts.  It does not require our agreement, or even our full understanding.  All it asks of us is our empathy and compassion.

If you find yourself resistant to this, there is a wonderful Buddhist meditation practice called Metta, or Lovingkindness meditation.  It is a training in opening the heart.

In Metta, we begin with offering to ourselves, using the phrases:
May I be happy
May I be safe
May I be free from suffering

Then we offer to others, using the phrases:
May you be happy
May you be safe
May you be free from suffering

Offering to a loved one, then to a benefactor.  Offering to someone we may be aware of, but do not really know.  Then to someone with whom we may be in disagreement or find we have some negative feelings toward.  Then we offer to all beings, all of life.

We can surely also offer this practice to those whom we may not understand, for those who are different from us, who hold different views, who have a life experience different from ours.

Compassion is love offered and put into action out of the tenderness and softness of our hearts.  It is not something we give to only those we agree with or for whom we think merit its benefits.  It is a gift we give, simply because it is there and it is needed.  It benefits the giver as well as the recipient.

Stand with our youth, stand with our transgender family, because love calls us to do so.

~j
02.22.17

 

Nuggets of wisdom from Ms. Streep…

wow, what a speech. class, grace, dignity, and integrity we could use more of.
Nuggets of wisdom from Ms. Streep:
“That instinct to humiliate when it’s modeled by someone in a public platform, it filters down into everyone’s life because it gives permission for others to do the same.”
“Disrespect invites disrespect, violence incites violence, and when the powerful use their position to bully others we all lose.”
“The responsibility of the act of empathy.”
“Take your broken heart, make it into art.”
#empathy #wisdom #art #MerylStreep