"The heart is the most important thing in the world. Therefore, look after it well." Ajahn Mun (1870-1949)
Now more than ever….
As we already are feeling divisiveness of current politics and upcoming elections—
As we feel into pain and complexity of people holding seeming irreconcilable positions which cause great harm to each other, on events and issues like the ongoing violence towards African American communities, the ever-increasing economic disparities that continue to marginalize people of low-income and without stable homes, the arrogant and mean-spirited policies towards immigration, and even the intrusions upon people being able to perform intimate bodily functions without state intervention—
Now more than ever we need our Mindfulness Practice grounded in our highest forms of Ethics and Integrity. We need the Freedom that Mindfulness into which invites us—the Freedom that we do not have to follow the patterns of acute reactivity embedded in our larger unconscious culture. We need to remember that it is possible to explore deeply what is happening, understand it with some wisdom, treat it with the compassion inherent in our humanity, and move into responses and actions that are both of justice and of benefit to us all.
What we do to create clarity in our minds, openness in our hearts, and mindfulness of our thoughts, emotions and actions is not any different than the work we do in the world to create greater equity and safety for all. Many spiritual masters and social activist elders have told us, “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” We cannot choose to create Justice through unjust means—that is not only hypocritical, it is impossible.
One of the characteristics embedded in Mindfulness is the capacity to remember that our personal and collective Freedom is not dependent on any external conditions. Justice, as worthy a task as it is in our lives, will take longer to fulfill than any of us would like. It will require the efforts of the many rather than the few. And it will require every spiritual attribute and resource we can muster. There is tremendous injustice and unfairness in our cultures, our society, and our world. And our Freedom is not even dependent upon Life being fair or just. True Freedom does not mean to be in a place where there is no problem, struggle, or oppression. True Freedom means to be in the midst of those things, and still have clarity in our minds, openness in our hearts, and integrity in our actions. This is the kind of Freedom that will allow us to move through even our most difficult struggles with greater effectiveness, ease, and benefit for us all.
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The Teachings of the Buddha are regarded as priceless, so Larry offers his experience with the Dharma, freely without cost in all of the above venues. The intention is to make the teachings as accessible as possible. Whatever you offer is so greatly appreciated as his livelihood is reliant solely on individual and community support of his life work. Your contributions will allow him to continue to provide access to the Teachings to diverse, multicultural communities, as well as do multicultural awareness and change work within sanghas, dharma communities, and spiritual institutions.
Many blessings and "Anumodana" (Sharing in the Joy of Your Goodness) for your offering.