I don’t feel to do a Dharma pep talk to make you, or myself, feel comfortable right now. I don’t wish anyone to be uncomfortable either, but the truth is that we’re in the death throes of what seemed comfortable but was actually constructed from convenient, yet ill-fitting illusions. So here we are, being dismembered while flying half sighted between a stalking invisible virus and a courageous and just rebellion facing down racist fascism.
Frankly, it’s hard to do justice to this moment. It’s simply all too big, a kaleidoscope of everything landing at once. “I can’t breathe,” to that old slaver’s statue pulled down and hoisted into Bristol harbour, have finally collided into this great gestalt for freedom. Like a boil bursting, what is toxic has to come out; those held down have to be free, and all the ways we’re wired through with white supremacy has to be undone.
Not knowing how to proceed is a good starting place. It’s real. A sort of karmic reckoning place as the colonial world we were all threaded into unravels. It’s a moment for sitting in the heart of Kuan Yin’s quantum energy field, listening at ease, as she runs through her attentive fingers, like beads on a mala, every terror and scream unleashing through time and space. It’s a lot, and there’s more to come. So breathe deeply.
This is also a time filled with much potential, a time of urgency and a time to act. With everything at stake, what can guide us? Whatever takes millions onto the streets, in spite of the stalking virus, will guide us: this courageous heart with its need to evolve beyond hate. Our curriculum is to keep close to this heart, because there, we will intuit the next steps, as we will find our way together.
Tips for Practice
Gently breathe deeply: inhale a full deep breath through the whole body, hold for a few moments, suffusing the body with oxygen and warm awareness. Breathe out and release whatever you’re holding onto. Do this 5 times.
On the 4th breath, when holding the inhalation, bring a wholesome intention to heart. Suffuse that intention through your body with awareness and breath.
On the 5th breath, suffuse your body with kindness, allowing for what is, and project that out, with your intention, into what you’re with, and what’s ahead.
Intersectionality of Climate & Racial Justice through a Buddhist Lens
This longer piece was written a few years ago, but may offer a template for those seeking to place racial justice within climate movements like XR where there’s an urgent imperative to move from an intersectional paradigm.