I had the great honor and joy to spend a beautiful weekend holding space for my Quaker friends to discern how we skillfully engage in practices of justice, liberation, and healing.
Leading with Spirit + Faith, practitioners were guided to focus on “discernment over data” in order to:
GET GROUNDED — Cutting through the noise in order to get clear about one’s intentions and to honestly assess what one feels compelled and equipped to do.
BUILD CAPACITY — Cultivating an intimate understanding of one’s self and one’s values; examining the ways we each embody privilege and risk as well as each individual’s unique relationship to injustice, power and oppression; fortifying one’s self through transformative practices of deep listening and skillful communication. Discerning how each of us shows up, lends our presence and privilege, and can learn to apply our skills without creating more harm.
CENTER OUR WELLNESS + PRACTICE ACCOUNTABILITY — Using sacred tools and skillful strategies to restore, nourish and sustain healing, well-being, and wholeness; and establishing the circles of trust to support our learning and growing toward compassion, connection, and reconciliation.
When I took the test for the 5 love languages years ago, it came as no surprise that my primary love language is acts of service (followed by quality time).
Last Wednesday, I was invited to give a dharma talk on social justice at my root sangha and opened with Dr. Cornel West’s oft-quoted observation that:
“to be human, you must bear witness to justice.
justice is what love looks like in public —
to be human is to love and be loved.”
It is a powerful reminder that love and justice are seeded in the heart.
As often as I have revisited this quote, it was only in that moment — in the quiet, sacred space of the Temple and in the presence of fellow dharma practitioners who offered their full awareness and open hearts to bear witness to my insights about the dharma and its threads to justice — that I realized that I feel most embraced, understood, and cared for by those who speak to me from a heart centered in justice, liberation, and healing.
I receive and express love in the form of justice, liberation, and transformative healing. This is how I embody the call to serve and how I put my faith into action: by turning toward and lifting up that which helps us to reclaim and prioritize our joy, wellness, and wholeness over and above the madness of hate, violence, and oppression.