abiding in light

We have not forgotten nor begun to recover from the massacre in Charleston on June 17, 2015. And here we are once again, nearly a year to the very day in a month that has become bloodied by another act of terror against people who were simply being themselves in what was thought to be a safe haven to celebrate, dance, laugh, connect with others.

With hearts heavy with sorrow, let us turn toward and abide in light to cast away this looming darkness. I bow deeply to dharma teacher Rev. Zenju Earthlyn Manuel for the healing wisdom she offers in this relentless cycle of violence and recent loss of 49 precious lives in Orlando.

 

 

For All Beings
excerpts from the chant written by Zenju Earthlyn Manuel

May all beings be cared for and loved,
Be listened to, understood and acknowledged despite different views,

Be accepted for who they are in this moment…
Be allowed to live without fear of having their lives taken away or their bodies violated.

…Be treated as if their life is precious,
Be held in the eyes of each other as family.

…Feel welcomed anywhere on the planet,
Be freed from acts of hatred and desperation including war, poverty, slavery, and street crimes,
Live on the planet, housed and protected from harm…

Read and share Zenju’s Chants Against Hatred.

 

HEAR HERE [for deep listening]: Opening The Question of Race to the Question of Belonging | On Being with Krista Tippett

And I think being human is about being in the right kind of relationships. I think being human is a process. It’s not something that we just are born with. We actually learn to celebrate our connection, learn to celebrate our love. And the thing about it — if you suffer, it does not imply love. But if you love, it does imply suffering. So part of the thing that I think what being human means to love and to suffer, to suffer with, though, compassion, not to suffer against. So to have a space big enough to suffer with. And if we can hold that space big enough, we also have joy and fun even as we suffer. And suffering will no longer divide us. And to me, that’s sort of the human journey.
~ john a. powell

I was invited to facilitate a dharma discussion for my root sangha to address the wellspring of emotions and concerns members have expressed following the tragedy in Charleston last week. Drawing on the Four Foundations of Mindfulness, I entitled the talk “Good Spiritual Friends: Taking Care of Ourselves & One Another in the Face of Racism, Bias, & Injustice” and asked that we actively investigate our own perceptions, intentions and behaviors as we reflect on how to apply and cultivate the dharma in response to such devastation. We expressed our confusion, anger, shame, fear, helplessness, outrage. We cried. We breathed. We sat with our discomfort. 

I asked that we continue to find refuge in practices that help to nourish and ground us as well as those that illuminate unskilfulness, awaken clear comprehension, and inspire compassionate actions.

That sweet space of refuge is fleeting: Our hearts burst open with the victory of the Marriage Equality Act last Friday. Then they are crushed once more with every church that goes up in flames at the hands of racist terrorists. 

For sanity and nourishment, I am mindful about what I consume–attempting to combat this madness by sharing this dose of sustenance (clear, compassionate understanding) for the mind and soul.

Hear Here: john a powell ~ Opening the Question of Race to the Question of Belonging

KnowTheirNames
artist: sarah green