how we sunday

friends on the path: weeding and tending the labyrinth. walking in awareness, aligning with intention, praying with our feet, moving into clarity and wisdom. nourishing ourselves and one another with laughter and good eats.

on refuge + resistance | reclaiming king’s dream

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We begin this historic week with the commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the National Day of Racial Healing as we trudge toward the final day that our country’s first Black president, Barack Obama, will stand as head of state. Fueled and aflame, with our hearts and minds resting on justice, liberation and healing, we take refuge in the good works, legacy, and words of wisdom from emissaries of light.

In intimate circles, we draw closer, lean into, speak truths and listen deeply to one another — resisting the temptation to be pulled under by despair, fear, hate, and hopeless.  En masse, we gather, convene, rally, and march — using our voices and bodies to resist the normalization of this new swell of injustice and violence that seeks to impoverish, divide, and oppress us. Wherever we are, we reclaim the integrity of King’s vision: to stand firmly in our commitment to serve, liberate, heal, love and cultivate, demand, and protect justice and equity in order to restore ourselves and our communities to wholeness.

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“You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?”

You are quite right in calling for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.”

I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, so must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.

The purpose of our direct action program is to create a situation so crisis packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. “

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Letter from a Birmingham Jail


#ReclaimMLK

Movement for Black Lives ~
Resist + Reclaim   |   
Schedule of Actions

March on Lansing ~
What We Stand For

Mashable ~ 8 Quotes

Take Part ~
‘Reclaim MLK’ Protesters Kick Santitized King Ideology to the Curb

Zenju ~
Now Is The Time We Have Been Waiting For

from the 3 Jewels Yoga dhamma shelf
toward wholeness: nurturing interdependence in honor of mlk jr

touching the earth | reflections on zenju’s “way-seeking mind of martin luther king jr.”

#ZenThanksgiving: A Prayer for Remembering

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i move along a rain-soaked path

pink tubular bodies stretch out
in full prostration across my trail, beckoning:
feel your heart into those feet,
so every step blesses the earth.

a few, once desiccated, now rehydrated, leave coiled graffiti-like impressions:
life wuz here!
keep it movin’!

gravity relinquishes its pull on my body, offering it up
into the ever-ready hands of spirit

briefly i levitate…
soles soar over a smattering of broken branches + wrinkled leaves…

i see nature’s clues
(autumn’s stand-in for rose petals, i joke)
and picture a young wood nymph pointing me to the altar

trees line the sanctuary aisle
as holy witnesses to my prayer
and as lofty pews
for curious squirrels who ring around the trunks to peek over at me
while jays, perched on high, trumpet my procession

i glide faster,
sweat and breath awaken
memories of land ancestors

i sense the hearts and spirits of
native-born brown
and stolen black bodies

thrumming life — once desiccated — nourished now by over-saturated clouds replenishing the soil

my waltzing cadence drums out the beat of their sacrifices:

tilled, toiled, kept.
loved, honored, bled.
harvested, shared, fed.

song penetrates deeply —
a systolic pressure burrowing
from head to ears, heart to toes
rhythm from beyond yonder
touching me touching the earth

because of them
i continue solid, whole, and free

TrailBlazers Launch

We’re so thrilled to have launched the pilot session of our new walk-to-run program TrailBlazers last Monday!

The day began stormily with hourly forecasts that nerve-wrackingly shifted bouts of rain to land before, during or after our scheduled meetup time.

Alas, finger-crossing and fervent hoping prevailed (despite the afternoon flash flooding around town)! The skies calmed, the sun burst through, and the streets dried up so that we could blaze a new trail with this great crew of women.

embodied practice [7/5]: walking in freedom

This Sunday, we will walk in freedom and dedicate the merit of our practice meditateoncamus.3jyto those who relentlessly pursue, speak out, and fight for the RIGHTS of all to LIVE + LOVE FREELY. #‎LoveWins‬

Join us at Moores Park Labyrinth | 11 am – 12 pm.

touching the earth: spring revival

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whipping wind,

conductor and choreographer.

snow-bleached leaves lifted from the composting bed

into a swirling tornado ballet.

brittle and brown — some cracked with lacy veins of decomposition, some waxy-smooth and preserved.

all, frenzied and alive.

reanimated to dance upon the whistling breeze.

good spiritual friends: walking the path together

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When a fellow member of my running group shared this image and quote with us all, I was “AUM-ing” and “AMEN-ing” at the simple truth of this message. The 8 miles I logged this morning in the company of friends made every step easier. Laughter, insights, wise counsel and encouragement filled every moment of our two-and-half hour excursion.

It did not matter that everyone could not go the full distance.

Showing up, being committed to ourselves, and supporting others in the commitments they make to themselves is the stuff that running buddies and good spiritual friends are made of!

It is a treasure to have partners who help keep us accountable, on the pavement and on our chosen life paths, as we make bold proclamations for our self-care and aspirations. In my twenties, I longed for this type of loving support and was grateful to find it when I needed it most. Just as crucial — I learned through those relationships (and continue to refine through my dharma practice) to be the same kind of friend I value.

Becoming a good spiritual friend (kalyanamitra or kalyanamitta in Sanskrit/Pali) takes time, experience, maturity, skillfullness, discernment, the willingness to be vulnerable and, in turn, to bear witness to vulnerability in others. It demands that we learn not to “co-sign crazy” (a mantra and rule that I lovingly and frequently remind friends, old and new, will be upheld)! Rather than join in on a rant-and-rage session or hold our tongue when a friend is out of order, we invite these dear ones to pause and look deeply when they are caught in harmful/unskillful patterns. We shine the light — helping them wade through the muck toward clear intentions and possible resolutions. We ask what they think they need or, when they’re uncertain, simply step back while offering to be there whenever they are ready to work through it. But other situations require that we share our direct observations because our friend’s perspective may be the source of the difficulty.

For those who lament the lack of sleep or time to relax, we support them in finding moments of peace. If they say they’d like to exercise more often, we invite them out on a walk. For the friend who has difficulty asking for help, we remember to reach out first. We learn better than to give the workaholic or the people-pleaser, who can’t say “No,” one more task to juggle.

The good spiritual friend learns to see clearly and to respond wisely to the need or challenge in the moment. No dictating, judging, or chiding. They deliver the appropriate support with compassion and understanding. They help us to go deep in our self-inquiry, to acknowledge our true desires and quiet fears, and to live authentically and wholeheartedly.

They sweeten the journey and cheer us on as we come back, again and again, to our true selves.

More on Spiritual Friendship

Kalyāṇa-mittatā  [definition]
Admirable Friendship
Mitta Sutta

#magic + #mindfulness + #movement: the best medicine

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The moment when I realized that the “ICKs” I’m feeling are not from sleeping too little but rather from MOVING too little! #SelfCareSunday #OnMyWayOut #TouchingTheEarth

embodied practice: walking the labyrinth

we meet to walk in silent contemplation

of earth, cooling our feet

of air, tickling our skin

of water, rushing as sound + current to dampen our ears

of sun, blazing warm on head + hearts

we spiral in + quietly in

stepping

breathing

cleansing

clearing

sorting

settling

centering our awareness on new beginnings, grace, gratitude, friendship

we spiral out, expanding once more

greeting one another on the path

a momentary pause

a deep bow

a gaze into eyes of compassion

we sit then, steady of heart + mind

soaking in the suchness

of the four elements

of dear companions

of movement that awakens understanding