an ideology of violence…

the ideology of White Supremacy is at its foundation, within its very core, violence. the moment one race has been placed in a position of superiority to another, thereby diminishing the humanity of the other race, an act of violence has taken place. whether it manifests in thought, word, deed, through a platform of economics, institutions, laws, politics, it is violence. whether under the label is White Nationalist, Neo-Nazi, Nazi, Confederate, or Alt-Right, it is violence. there is no such thing as a “peaceful” White Supremacy rally.I have to remain hopeful that hearts can be awakened, but we don’t awaken them by sympathizing with the true enemies which are delusion, fear, aggression and hate, or excusing the violence that manifests from these sicknesses. we must name the suffering, shining light into the dark abyss which is racism, which includes an honest and real look at this country’s foundation, its history, and our own privilege. so many want to claim they are pro-life. this is a moment to prove it. one cannot claim pro-life, yet sympathize with, excuse or ignore an ideology of death. and although they may not recognize it and we may not want to see it, those who identify with the White Supremacist ideology are also victims of its destructive power. there are no winners in hate. so, we must stand firmly as an ally to life and those who have and are suffering at the hand of the destructive and dark force of racism.

~j

no one superior…

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.

~j
08.14.17

luminous beings…

 

a little late, but…
May The Fourth Be With You!

much needed after today, here are some favorite Force and wisdom quotes from Star Wars:

“It’s an energy field created by all living things.  It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.” ~ Obi-Wan Kenobi

“Luminous beings are we. Not this crude matter.” ~ Yoda

“Close your eyes.  Feel it.  The light…it’s always been there.  It will guide you.” ~ Maz Kanata

“I’m one with the Force.  The Force is with me.” ~ Chirrut Imwe

“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” ~ Yoda

“Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.” ~ Yoda

“To answer power with power, the Jedi way this is not.  In this war, a danger there is, of losing who we are.” ~ Yoda

stay with it…

our tendency, our pattern is to avoid our heartbreak, our fear, our discomfort at all costs.
a relationship ends, a job is lost, a loved one becomes ill, the world is spinning out of control and we react.  sometimes we grasp at the next person or possible relationship, at every little thing that promises good health.  sometimes we attack aggressively to protect ourselves. and sometimes we avoid at all costs, “ignorance is bliss.”

these ways of reacting to what makes us feel uncomfortable in life – grasping, aggression, ignorance (also sometimes called greed, hatred, and delusion) are what we call in Buddhism, the Three Poisons.  they perpetuate suffering – the very thing we are desperately trying to avoid in our patterns of reactions.  the antidote to these poisons is a broken heart, an open heart.  and the only way to give our hearts a shot at being open and opening wider – building its capacity to be with life – is to allow our hearts to break.

ugh, right?  who wants to do that?  not most of us, which is why we can look around and see ourselves and other hurt people jumping from one relationship to another, see ourselves and other hurt people trying a new fad diet or health claim one after another, see ourselves and other hurt people aggressively attacking “friends” on social media who have opposing views, or even simply wanting social media to return to cat memes and name games, because it has gotten too “political.”

but the truth is, our discomfort will not go away with the next person in our bed, or the loss of a certain number of pounds, or getting that last word in, or turning off the tv/computer and pretending the world isn’t burning.  none of these will make a difference if we can’t sit still and allow our discomfort to break open our heart, to open it, to teach us.  a broken heart, an open heart allows our love to be free.

Pema Chödrön wrote a book titled, “The Wisdom of No Escape.”  I love this little phrase.  it is counter intuitive to our habitual pattern of running away, running through, and going to war with ourselves and others.

can we see that we need not go to war?  that we are inherently strong enough, courageous enough to not only be with our pain, but to allow our love to heal it?

we must learn to sit with ourselves and our discomfort, gently and compassionately allowing our hearts to break open and our love to flow, if we want to be free.  this is our life calling us to awaken.

stay with it…

~j
03.05.17

we are one…


let us continue to use our voices, our art, our power to shine light on that which is delusion, fear, division and hate – by offering up the opposite which is truth, wisdom, awareness, inclusion, and love to the altar of life ~j
One’s sense of separation – that I’m separate from you and the rest of the world, so my well-being is separate from yours – is the fundamental delusion that needs to be overcome…

When we feel a deeper connection with other people in the world, then naturally there’s going to be compassion and concern and wanting to live in a different kind of way. When this happens, the meaning of my life changes. Instead of thinking “What’s in this for me?” we find ourselves asking “What can I do to make this situation better for everyone?”
~

Sam Mowe

#interdependence #sangha #community #WeAreOne #One #empathy #compassion #truth #wisdom #life #meditation #enso #JMWart