"Mindfulness Practice isn't just about escaping to some magical inner realm devoid of life's challenges. The Practice is about progressively opening your heart and calming your mind enough to engage Life directly, to be more fully Present in a kind, clear, and helpful way."

Your MMM Courtesy Wake Up Call! Musings on Life and Practice by a long time student of meditation.

Friday, November 11, 2016

In Sickness and In Health

"In this world, hate never yet dispelled hate.  Only love dispels hate.  
This is the law, ancient and inexhaustible. "
-- Buddha

"I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."
-- Jesus

After a long day, I fell asleep election night at about 9:40 PM with Amy Goodman and her Democracy Now! guests discussing what appeared to be an extremely close contest for President of the United States.  When I awoke, it was 12:30. and the iPhone craddled on the pillow next to me had gone to standby.  When I brought it to life, before I heard a word, I knew.  The shock, sadness and fear etched on the face of the African-American commentator made it clear.  

Living in the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts, none of my personal friends and acquaintances voted for the man who will become President on January 20.  In fact, some of them didn't vote for his Democratic opponent, either.   They chose the Green Party candidate, Jill Stein, a person who more clearly reflected their views -- and mine.  

Buddha spoke of the Three Poisons. In his Teachings,  Greed, Hatred, and Delusion are seen as the root source of human suffering.  I believe that the materialism, militarism, and close- minded, mean spirited hyper-individualism that increasingly characterize America today, are exactly that.  Conditioned as we are to experience ourselves as isolated and separate beings rather than as the fundamentally interdependent manifestations of One Universal Energy, we all are prone to view and react to our world in ways that have us collectively heading towards hell in a hand basket.  It's sick.

And yet...
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There are the Teachings.  We have it on good authority.  Jesus and Buddha, as well as many of the myriad seers, sages and saints of the world's religions seem to agree with the Hippies -- and the Beatles.  In the final analysis: All you need is Love.  It's that simple.

Yet, simple doesn't mean easy.  The journey of moving beyond the fearful self-absorption of our conditioning takes courage, diligent effort, patience, and skill.  This doesn't happen without CommitmentYou need to really want to do it.  The path towards the Healing that emerges from Enlightenment is not a part time gig.  

Yet, your Life -- and the fate of this planet -- depends on it.  The only thing that is going to save our tails is learning how to love one another -- loving even those whose fear, pain, and grasping make them a pain in the butt.  In fact, it is especially those folks who we need to reach.   

Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. saw this clearly.  Even if we find ourselves faced off, nose to nose in opposition with those who don't get it yet, we have to keep our hearts open.  This is going to take what a young man who Sits with the Wednesday Mindfulness Circle, called Radical Empathy.  We need to cultivate the Boundless Compassion and Wisdom inherent in our True Nature. 

And that takes Practice.  

Each morning I recite the Bodhisattva Vows of Zen Buddhism.  Although the translations vary, the essential idea is to commit to getting your act together well enough to really help out.  Each day, I vow to pull that off.  For better or for worse, 'til death do us part, I'm wedded to this mission.  

How about you?  Got anything better to do?

1 comment:

Children of The Light said...

Great one lance, loved it...many thanks and much much love brother!

Brandon B