"We have developed speed but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical, our cleverness hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity; more than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost."
—Charles Chaplin (speech from the Jewish barber in The Great Dictator) as quoted in Velma Cobb's article in the journal "Social Justice, Inner Work & Contemplative Practice: Lessons and Directions for Multiple Fields" (p.105, 2017).
“It is unapologetically black and vitally relevant.” (Detroit Free Press, Rochelle Riley, 2/19/18)
You may find this Black Panther Viewing Guide useful from movement builders creating beloved communities. It covers: 1) Governance, 2) Natural Resources, Economics, & Finance, 3) Gender, 4) Sexuality, 5) Culture (inc. spirituality), 6) Education, 7) Technology, 8) Imperialism/Globalization/Colonialism, and 9) Law Enforcement/Security.
Beyond being absent/invisible, token, comic relief, assimilated, negative stereotypes, or overcoming adversity, how many mainstream images of black people are there that are not from this list?
May we get deeper in the images we portray and our experiences of each other. It has been REALLY too long...
May we be kind, fearless and joyful.
I found this interview with Marianne Williamson very poignant in these extremely challenging times. She, like many, are calling us to something higher and deeper; calling us into our full, whole selves...
Of the many efforts out there, here are two amazing conferences coming up where people are joining together to vision, plan, heal and dream a new dream with each other. I will be at one:
Recently, I have had the great privilege of seeing publicly or speaking with these astonishing women. They are three extraordinary examples of human beings striving for our collective freedom:
Linda Sarsour, Former Executive Director, Arab American Association of New York
Ai-jen Poo, National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)
Park Cannon, Georgia Representative
Wonderfully inspiring videos. Full of love, life, joy and honor:
Shonda Rhimes’ TED Talk. Black, female creator of Grey’s Anatomy, Scandal and other TV shows, talking about deep, abiding joy.
Donovan Livingston's Harvard Graduate School of Education Student Speech; deeply moving; sharing the feeling of freedom...
The revolution has to be at the level of consciousness and our heart-minds. We must become love for one another… In order to heal; in order to do any (real) good in the world, we must become love; our very best selves – the clearest, most sane, most compassionate versions of ourselves. We must become the best that we can be, for the sake of everyone. Nothing less will do.
Let us "refresh and expand our awareness of the depth of this love that encompasses all of creation and dwells in the cavern of every human heart" (Wendy Farley, The Thirst of God).
What will save the world? Our love. The only way to love is to come home to ourselves.
What are we still holding onto? What are we holding onto so tightly that we can’t let go of? Hatred? Greed? Disrespect? Anguish? Hurt? Trauma? Vice? Fury? Rage? Control? Unknowing? Grief? What are we holding on to that is blocking us from our own innate wisdom? The drama of life?.. We can learn how to find our innate wisdom in this moment. We all know it is there; deep down, we know; our home is there / here. Our innate wisdom is t/here for the finding, for the taking, for the relishing, for the living in and with and at and to and from; for being t/here… Why are we holding on to so tightly, that we can’t let go of all our anguish and grief and sadness and trauma and hope and fear? That we would rather stay there suffering, than live well, for, with and by one another, happy, fearless and free? What are we holding on to that we wouldn't rather find our home, our innate joy, our innate friendliness to ourselves and to one another; our innate sanity? What are we holding onto that we would rather not live in our natural wisdom, our natural place to be free? At some point, you know; no one can keep it from you; no one can take it; no one can fool you anymore; and it’s a choice. Find this; and live.
Awakening Through Race, Sexuality and Gender, Zen Buddhist priest Zenju Earthlyn Manuel: “Only by facing the reality of our unique subjectivities will we gain access to our humanly divine potential to truly eliminate hatred, without the need for protests or legislative acts, simply because we value every life.” May we value and hold the exquisiteness and clear awareness of particularity alongside universality. May we not shy away from the fullness of who we are in an obscured belief that our specificity will (or can) truly divide us.
“Engaging and claiming our humanity… Being human is about being in the right kind of relationships. Being human is a process; it’s not something we’re born with. We actually learn to celebrate our connection, celebrate our love… If you suffer, it does not imply love; but if you love, it does imply suffering… To love and to suffer; to suffer with, compassion; not to suffer against. To have a space big enough to ‘suffer with’ and if we hold that space big enough, we also have joy and fun even as we suffer, and suffering will no longer divide us…” – john powell, podcast, on “On Being”, June 25th, 2015
Christian mystic Wendy Farley. Mind-blowing, heart-opening: "Attention to the interior landscape of human beings is not a rejection of the claims of justice. To the contrary, attention to our interiority deepens our capacity for justice. Or rather, it roots justice in the well-spring of compassion. Justice without compassion can make demands on us but fail to feed us..." See her book here.
Conference Pomona, CA, June 2015, on "Seizing an Alternative: Creating an Ecological Civilization." Presented on field-buildng and transformation in higher education. Discussion sections included ecological economics, art, media, education, re-visioning wisdom traditions (including African, indigenous, Buddhist, etc.), and many other areas... More on ecology cross-sector, inner work and systems change: Pandopopulous and Pachamama Alliance.
Summer Research Institute on "fear & trust" hosted by the Mind and Life Institute, June 2015. Including international researchers, contemplative practitioners, yoga, tai chi, a day of silent meditation, presentations, and group discussions.
Participated in UVa's Contemplative Sciences Center, K-12 Contemplative Institute in June 2015 to reflect and vision with field leaders about the potential future of the contemplative education field and how to strategically link efforts.