living into community | interfaith thanksgiving service

Deeply honored to have had the opportunity to live into community and abide in Spirit with friends on the path last night.

Bowing with gratitude to Rev. Jen Tafel for the energy of her vision and voice to widen the circle of inclusivity on multiple levels at the Interfaith Thanksgiving Service. You took no credit for all the work you did to organize this special event, still your magic shined through! Thank you for bringing us all together and for inviting me to weave my voice into this service.

Celebrating Rev. Phiwa Langeni for doing the damn thang and truly activating the call to embody gratitude for all who were blessed to hear your sermon.

Treasuring the gift of being able to bring radical bodhicitta — the awakened heart of justice, liberation and healing — into the sanctuary by sharing:

the practice of inviting the bell so that we may inhabit our bodies, hearts and minds with full and loving awareness;

and the wise and loving words of zen buddhist priest, Zenju Earthlyn Manuel.

Interfaith Thanksgiving Service Reading

For All Beings

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 afforded patience,

Be allowed to live without fear of having their lives taken away or their bodies violated.

May all beings,

Be well in its broadest sense,

Be fed,

Be clothed,

Be treated as if their life is precious,

Be held in the eyes of each other as family.

May all beings,

Be appreciated,

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,

Be given what is needed to live fully, without scarcity,

Enjoy life, living without fear of one another,

Be able to speak freely in a voice and mind of undeniable love.

May all beings,

receive and share the gifts of life,

Be given time to rest, be still, and experience silence.

May all beings,

Be awake.

from Chants Against Hatred

on refuge + resistance | the ghostlight project

A brave space

Not a left space

Not a right space

Not hard space

Not a soft space

A space willing to endure the harsh light of scrutiny

A space prepared to turn that light on life itself and explore the cracks and blemishes, yet still celebrate the magic and mystery of our existence

In spite of all the protestations in the world to the contrary, this space bravely seeks to find the commonality and love at the core of all people.

~ jeff croff, Artistic Director of Ixion Theatre Ensemble

Twenty-four hours ago, I was knocked down by food poisoning and feeling that it was truly a befitting affliction — a purging out of toxins (body, heart, mind + spirit) — as we enter the Twilight Zone on tomorrow.

Strength regained, I spent Thursday evening doing what nourishes me most: being in community.

As a board member of Ixion Theatre Ensemble, I stood alongside our collective at the Ghostlight Project event in solidarity with eight other #LoveLansing theatres, including host/organizer Peppermint Creek Theatre, special guest Tony Award-winning playwright (and Lansing native!Lisa Kron, and many arts-loving community members in a nationwide initiative to pledge our commitment to inclusion, justice, equity, and compassion for all.

There, my dear friend and frequent collaborator Ann Lapo and her partner, theatre veteran Jeff Boerger, closed the event by leading us in a song resonate with the purpose of the gathering — a call to action to be a light and sanctuary as people of love. Afterward, when we connected, Ann reminded me that we are, in fact, the majority!

I know this to be true in theory but confess that right now it’s so very hard to see it in practice when the “few” are doing their damnedest to strip the “many” of our humanity.

I cannot wait to march on Saturday to be in the full presence of others who are committed to protecting, demanding and cultivating justice, equity, safety, liberation and healing. To sing, shout and shine through with darkness.

Read the full transcript of jeff croff’s vision and pledge to brave spaces that he shared at the event.