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Buddha Dharma Practice

Acting on Behalf of Consciousness

I sit to write this reflection only hours after Trump supporters stormed the halls of congress to block President elect Joe Biden’s win. There are countless historic aspects of this day. In particular, though, I am present to the way in which these primarily white bodied protestors were treated. Being someone who lives in Portland, Oregon, I know all too well how Black Lives Matter protestors were treated following the murder of George Floyd. The difference is vast and severe.

Prior to today, I had already decided on a theme for Sunday’s teaching:
Acting on Behalf of Consciousness.
About this topic I wrote:

As we move into this new year, most of us are ready to leave 2020 behind. So much hardship, for so many, has arisen in the last year. Many of us felt more isolated, more separate, than ever before. As we transition into 2021, rather than live and act on behalf of that felt sense of separation, how might we act on behalf of consciousness? How might we live on behalf of Truth?
This theme feels even more relevant and timely now. What is the cost of delusion? What is the fall out of perceiving that we are separate, and then acting from that belief? We are watching these questions get answered in real time.

In our weekly meditation group tonight, I was struck by how many people reported feeling overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, and rageful. Of course, in practice, we are creating the space to accept and be with such emotions. What if we didn’t end there? What if we deeply explored what these emotions are arising on behalf of? Do they belong to the separate self? What shifts when we recognize their rightful owner? 

To be clear, I’m not suggesting that we shun what we deem as arising on behalf of the ego. Quite the contrary. I’m referring here to the ego as the activity of the illusion of the separate self. Imagine that this separate self has traces of the memory of wholeness embedded within it. Rather than enhance the beliefs of the separate self through activity that reinforces the perception of separation, what if we allowed these emotions to return to their rightful owner—consciousness itself? And how would our world benefit if we practiced this, collectively?

I hope you’ll join me to explore this theme on Sunday. From January 12th to February 7th we’ll be taking a deep dive into this topic as well. You are invited to Awakening to the New Year 2021: Navigating Chaos with Conscious Intention. I look forward to practicing with you soon!