in case you are wondering, now is the time to engage this life, to stand up and speak out for justice, equality and peace.we do so with empathy, compassion and courage. we do so with open hearts and steady minds rooted in meditation and contemplative practice.
we are interdependent and each of us has a role to play, a job to do, working to retain sanity and peace and to heal suffering for the benefit of all people.
#Bodhisattvas #MeditateAndResist #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #TheMettaGarden
A monk asked Xinghua Cunjiang, “What should one do when things come from every direction?”
The master said, “Hold to the center.”
The monk bowed.
The master then said, ” Yesterday, as I was on my way to a dinner in the village, I was caught in a sudden storm with heavy rain and violent wind, so I headed for an old shrine and found shelter.”
~ Entangling Vines: A Classic Collection of Zen Koans,
trans. Thomas Yuho Kirchner
I read the above story in the latest edition of Tricycle Buddhist Review, from an essay written by Wendy Egyoku Nakao Roshi. I was moved by this story and inspired to create the artwork above.
Where do you find your center? What anchors you as the waves crash around and against you? Where do you find your ease and calm as turbulent winds swirl around knocking you off balance? How do you keep awareness focused, when distractions vie for your attention?
For me it is my meditation practice, it is nature, it is the tenderness of an open heart, it is love. It is staying with all that is and bearing witness, anchored in my breath and them from a place of compassion, moving into some sort of action that feels beneficial, that hopefully serves love and light.
I suppose everyone’s center may be different. It seems increasingly important to know what it is. There seem to be some who are intent on knocking us off balance repeatedly, wearing us out. But what they have forgotten, or may not be aware of, is that there is a place for each of us where we can find our balance, our focus, and a calm resolve to stick with it for the long arc.
The President has called for May 1st to be a National Day of Loyalty.I agree. But being that this is not an authoritarian state (yet), rather than being loyal to one man, the office of the Presidency, or the government, let’s be loyal to the causes that speak to our hearts:
justice, equality, compassion, generosity, empathy, and peace.
And in light of those causes, let us remember the real focus of May 1st, or May Day – Immigrant and Workers’ Rights.
haters gonna hate, as it’s been said.
there will always be critics. don’t be ruffled, just do your thing. answer the call in your heart that speaks to the needs of those who are suffering, of those who seek justice, of those who are oppressed or discriminated against, of those who have been left outside and in the margins of society. love leaves no one out. stand with love.
Kuan Yin, also known by the names Guan Yin or Kannon is the feminine personification of Avalokitesvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion who hears and answers the cries of the world.
inspired by a well known statue, in this image she sits calm and steady, ready to unleash her fierce compassion. she’s saying, “I got this.”
may we all be so inspired on this International Women’s Day and everyday to join in fierce compassion, stating with steady resolve, “We got this.”
#InternationalWomensDay #internationalwomensday2017 #MeditateAndResist #resist #FierceCompassion #TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #LoveWins #Bodhisattva #Avalokitesvara #KuanYin #compassion #Buddhism #JMWart
Interdependence is a cornerstone of Buddhism. The idea that “I” only exist, because of the dependent co-arising of the elements that make “me” exist. My human body has about 30 trillion human cells in it and about 40 trillion non-human microbes in it. I am more “not” human, than human! These cells and microbes aren’t “me.” However, I wouldn’t be “me” if they didn’t exist and make up this body that I have identified as “me.”
Likewise, I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for my parents, or their parents, or their parents’ parents, on back. I wouldn’t have my current employment if it wasn’t for the person who hired me, or if the person that hired them hadn’t hired them. My food that I generally do not take enough time to appreciate would not sit before me, if it weren’t for the grocery store, the farmers, or the sun and the rain. So, my health and welfare are in many ways contingent on elements and people outside myself, that I depend on.
Beyond these every day situational examples of interdependence, there are the very foundational elements of who we are – elements! As Neil deGrasse Tyson has been often quoted as saying, we are related to each other biologically, to the earth chemically, and to the Universe atomically. We simply share more in common with who we are on a fundamental level, than not.
One doesn’t have to be a Buddhist or a scientist to see this as true. A Muslim, a Jew, or a Christian can draw the same conclusion based on their belief that all life has come forth from God (or Yahweh, or Allah). If my life has come forth from God and your life has come forth from God – then are we not basically the same at our core, the source of our lives coming from the Source of all life?
In this perspective it seems insane if not just ridiculous to fabricate more ways to divide us from others. But the fabrication of division, through manipulation, drawing upon peoples’ fears, anger, and ignorance is what we are currently resisting in the form of bans and walls.
We are resisting such ideology, because it is harmful. We are also resisting such ideology, because it is simply not true. It is not authentic to the reality of life. The reality that all of our lives are interdependent. The reality that I am, because we are.