words matter…

dear friends ~
i will repeat this until my dying breath Words Matter. our voice has tremendous power and where we lend our voice, the seeds we plant, can have immense implications. it is not beneficial to be careless. the misdirected fear, the unreasonable paranoia, and impassioned vitriol can cause harm and motivate violence. now is the time to stand up and shine a light on the dark that is ignorance, that is fear, that leads to hate and violence. a Muslim member of congress received a death threat. on Monday (you’ve probably seen this) a friend of a friend posted on FB that she was spat on by a man in a business suit while commuting. he yelled at her calling her a “sand n**ger” and told her she is the problem and she should get the f*ck out of his country. 
if you think the current talk and climate of fear has had nothing to do with this, i believe you are mistaken. you have the freedom of speech. use that freedom to lift and enlighten, to be of benefit, rather than adding to harm, aggression, and violence.
as a Buddhist i have taken a personal vow of non-harming, which even while impossible fulfill, i am committed to through practice of Right Speech and Right Action. i take this seriously, so i will not demonize those whom i believe are mistaken, who feel differently and may have become lost in the mire of fear and panic.
but i will speak up and stand with my Muslim brothers and sisters. i will stand with all Muslims whom i have worked with in the past and currently. i will stand with all Muslims whom i am grateful to call my friends and whose welfare i care about greatly, as i care for my Christian, Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, and Atheist brothers and sisters. why? because i remember that we are interdependent, because your heartbeat is my heartbeat, your breath is my breath.
i will share messages of unity and beauty – reminding you of who you are, of who we are. not this hyped up bullshit, but the stardust and ancient love that is you, that is me, that is us no matter our religious tradition.
and this first message, i am sharing?

it is my favorite poem, from my favorite poet. his name? Hafiz…a Muslim.
~j

  
#StandingWithMuslims #WeAreOne #interdependence #RightSpeech #RightAction #unity #ShineYourLight #buddhist #bodhisattva #Hafiz

The ends do not justify the means…

…this quote from, dear Jack Kornfield, seems as beneficial and present as ever.

“The ends do not justify the means. If our actions will bring harm to others, even in the service of some ‘good,’ they are almost certainly deluded. If our actions do not come from a kind heart, from loving courage and compassion, they are deluded. If they are based on a distinction between ‘us’ and ‘them,’ they stem from delusion. Only to the extent that we act from the wisdom of no separation, understanding how we are woven together, will our intention bring benefit.”

~ Jack Kornfield
(The Wise Heart)

compassion in the face of hate…

Thich Nhat Hanh praying...
Thich Nhat Hanh praying...

dear friends ~

below is a poem that graces the first pages of Thich Nhat Hanh’s book, “Calming The Fearful Mind: A Zen Response To Terrorism”.  it is the first Buddhist book i read and this autumn marks the anniversary of my reading it and the beginning of me following this path.

it speaks today, as it did then, to the very heart of how we see our interdependence – our relationship – to all others, even those who seem to be enemies.  we are seeing, in this election and attempted passage of propositions such as Prop 8, a not-so-subtle attack on those who are “other” to what we have been taught through ideology and religion is “normal”.

when faced with such hate, anger, or indifference as some of us are finding ourselves it is easy and even seems just to react with hate and anger in retaliation.  Buddhism teaches something different (and so do the teachings of Jesus Christ, even if Christianity as a religion sometimes fails to).

with his well known elegant, compassionate style Thich Nhat Hanh expresses this teaching of the Dharma in the following poem. 

be well friends and peace to you ~ j

Recommendation

Promise me,
promise me this day,
promise me now,
while the sun is overhead
exactly at the zenith,
promise me:

Even as they
strike you down
with a mountain of hatred and violence;
even as they step on you and crush you
like a worm,
even as they dismember and disembowel you,
remember, brother,
remember:
man is not our enemy.

The only thing worthy of you is compassion-
invincible, limitless, unconditional.
Hatred will never let you face
the beast in man.

One day, when you face this beast alone,
with your courage intact, your eyes kind,
untroubled
(even as no one sees them),
out of your smile
will bloom a flower.
And those who love you
will behold you
across ten thousand worlds of birth and dying.

Alone again,
I will go on with bent head,
knowing that love has become eternal.
On the long, rough road,
the sun and the moon
will continue to shine.

-Thich Nhat Hanh, 1965