#rise

Whether we remain the ash

or become the phoenix

is up to us.

~

Ming-Dao Deng

#TheLongArc #PlantingSeeds #StandUp #SpeakUp #Rise #TheResistance #MindfulResistance #MeditateAndResist #Phoenix #enso #FlameEnso #FireEnso #JMWart

a marathon, not a sprint…

so impressed with the multitudes marching yesterday. looking through the pictures i see so much to be inspired by.

a lot of love, passion, light and humor.

this is what democracy looks like.

and the continued persistence of this movement will be needed.

despite my critic friends, i would have loved to have seen the President do an about face and grow into this job, but many of us knew that wouldn’t happen and it hasn’t. i’ve been called out for not being fair and not carrying a neutral position. i disagree with that opinion. i firmly believe that a year in, any fair assessment continues to shed light on the consistent destructive nature of this Administration and Presidency. i believe it cuts through to the moral core of our hearts and the very fiber of our democracy. so being neutral in the face of such harm is not my path and not an option. i will continue to add my voice and my art mindfully and peacefully to #resist any actions that result in the degradation of our planet, any actions that target those on the margins and most vulnerable, and policies that deepen the divide of wealth in favor of the most elite. and i will continue to do so from a place of love and fierce compassion, calling out all forms of aggression and violence as best and consistently as i am able.

the road may be long, but it is well traveled by generations of open hearts before us who stood in the light with love, as they faced darkness.

~j

November 8th, 2018

#TheLongArc #TheResistance #PlantingSeeds #LoveWins #WomensMarch #MindfulResistance #MeditateAndResist #StandUp #SpeakOut

stand…

 

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.

~j
04.05.17

Practicing Dharma in Uncertain Times…

Wonderful essay by the incomparable Jack Kornfield. I have copied this from Lion’s Roar publication, but the essay originally posted at the Spirit Rock website.

May his words open eyes and hearts.
~j

Now Is the Time to Stand Up: Practicing the Dharma in Uncertain Times, Part 2

After the election of Donald Trump, Lion’s Roar shared a new teaching by Jack Kornfield, called “Practicing the Dharma Uncertain Times.” Now, Jack follows up with second, more action-oriented installment of post-election guidance and encouragement.

Ordained tree.

As long as a society holds regular and frequent assemblies, meeting in harmony
and mutual respect, can they be expected to prosper and not decline.
As long as a society follows the long held traditions of wisdom, and honors its elders,
can they be expected to prosper and not decline.
As long as a society protects the wives and daughters and vulnerable among them,
can they be expected to prosper and not decline.
As long as a society cares for the shrines and sacred places of the natural world,
can they be expected to prosper and not decline.
—Mahaparinirvana Sutta (a text of Buddha’s last teachings)

Whatever your political perspective, now is the season to stand up for what matters. To stand against hate. To stand for respect. To stand for protection of the vulnerable. To care for the natural world.

Do not believe that meditation and contemplation are the fulfillment of the Buddhist Path. Inner peace, freedom and joy develop only when paired with the outer teachings of virtue, respect and mutual care. The foundation of Dharma is relational, built on generosity, virtue and loving-kindness. The Path to human happiness and liberation requires Right Intention, intentions that are free from greed, hatred and cruelty; Right Speech, speech that is true and helpful, not harsh, not vain, slanderous nor abusive; and Right Action, actions that are free from causing harm, killing, stealing and sexual exploitation.

In his life, the Buddha intervened to try to stop wars. He counseled kings and ministers, and guided those around him with teachings of peace and respect. In modern times, Maha Ghosananda of Cambodia joined the United Nations peace process and led years of peace walks of loving-kindness through the war zones and killing fields of Cambodia. Thai abbots have taken their robes and ordained the oldest trees as elders of the forest to protect whole ecosystems from logging. Burmese monks and nuns marched in the streets to protect citizens from the harsh military dictatorship. A.T. Ariyaratne in Sri Lanka enlisted hundreds of thousands in a 500-year peace plan. Vietnamese, Chinese and Tibetan monastics have stood up for peace, justice and compassion, even immolating themselves to stop the harmful actions around them.

Gandhi explains, “Those who say spirituality has nothing to do with politics do not know what spirituality really means.”

This is not about red or blue. It is about standing up for the most basic of human principles, for moral action and the prevention of harm. It is embodying Dharma amidst the troubles of the world.

You are not alone. You have generations of ancestors at your back. You have the blessing of interdependence and community. You have the great trees of the forest as steadfast allies. You have the turning of the seasons and the renewal of life as your music. You have the vast sky of emptiness to hold all things graciously.

With peacefulness and mutual respect, our Buddhist communities can become centers of protection and vision.

You have been training for this for a long time. With practice you have learned to quiet the mind and open the heart. You have learned emptiness and interdependence. Now it is time to step forward, bringing your equanimity and courage, wisdom and compassion to the world. The Bodhisattva shows the way to alleviate suffering amidst it all.

As Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh explains, “When the crowded Vietnamese refugee boats met with storms or pirates, if everyone panicked all would be lost. But if even one person on the boat remained calm and centered, it was enough. It showed the way for everyone to survive.”

Since the election, storms of uncertainty and fear have arisen. It is time to collectively stand up, calm and clear. With peacefulness and mutual respect, our Buddhist communities can become centers of protection and vision.

Protection can take many forms. Protection can be providing sanctuary for those in danger. Protection can be skillfully confronting those whose actions would harm the vulnerable among us. Protection can be standing up for the environment. Protection can be becoming an active ally for those targeted by hate and prejudice.

Vision means carrying the lamp of the Dharma. It means standing up for the truth—no matter what:

“Hatred never ceases by hatred, but by love alone is healed.”
“Greed, Hate and Ignorance create suffering. Generosity, Love and Wisdom bring happiness.”
“Mind is the forerunner. Speak and act with a pure mind and happiness will follow.”
“Plant seeds of goodness, and well-being will grow.”

Now a time of change has come.

We must listen deeply, bear witness, honor everyone, and choose our actions wisely and courageously.

Do not worry if the Right Action is not yet clear to you.

Wait in the unknowing with mindfulness and a clear heart.

Soon the right time will come and you will know to stand up.

I will meet you there.

 

This piece was originally published on SpiritRock.org.

 

Jack Kornfield is a founding teacher of the Insight Meditation Society and Spirit Rock Center and one of the key teachers to introduce Buddhist mindfulness practice to the West. He is a former Buddhist monk, a clinical psychologist, and a husband and father.