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.