Dear Thay, dear Beloved Community,
We are grateful for the breath to bring us back home to our body. This simple and profound act of breathing in awareness is a skillful means to come back home during these chaotic times.
The Mangala Sutra (Discourse on Happiness) offers the Buddha’s response on how we assure blessings and protection upon ourselves. It reminds us that when we practice to be an anchor, a blessing to ourselves, this is the greatest gift we can offer to the world.
We offer this reminder during these ungrounded times. We remember that we are the anchor, the protection, the blessed ones that assures we act into peace and step fully into justice. From this place of patience, clarity, humility, compassion, and generosity we lay bare the need for justice for all those suffering from the insurrection that occurred in the US Capitol. We lay bare the need for justice for all those who continue to suffer from similar acts of violence across the United States. We acknowledge this history of violence and we acknowledge the suffering.
We will not skip over justice in a rush for peace because we know one cannot happen without the other. True peace is the settling of the violence which justice attempts to name and take care of. We will not be able to have true peace, until we address the injustices. As Thây says, it’s peace of something…it’s a peace of the violence and injustice. Let us not shy away from naming the injustice that we are practicing to find ways to bring into peace. With true justice as our practice peace is the only way.
These are the times we have been practicing for and this we joyfully and reverently embrace as our true home. Welcome home dear Thây, welcome home dear Beloved Community.
Breathing in I am a blessing to myself and the world
Breathing out I embody this truth
Breathing in I acknowledge the harm caused by white supremacy
Breathing out I feel steady as a mountain
Breathing in I take good care of my suffering
Breathing out I feel calm
Breathing in I abandon the path of suffering of white superiority
Breathing out I release and flow like a river
Breathing in I realize the blessings of my true home
Breathing out I am home, grounded and connected in my body
Breathing in I practice the path of healing from inferiority, superiority and equality
Breathing out I am solid like the earth
Breathing in I know my liberation is connected to yours
Breathing out I smile
Perhaps you may be stunned, shocked, angry, hurting, confused, unsettled, anxious. Or perhaps you may not know what you are feeling. Our practice invites us to embrace our emotions, notice them, be with them. Hold them and breathe with them as you would a young child. Notice the sensations in your body, and move your body and do what can help release — touch the earth, touch the ancestors, be in nature, sing, dance, engage with your creative self, etc.
We invite you to be in the company of others with whom you will feel nourished — your Sangha, a listening circle, close friends.
We also invite you to take mindful care of consumption of social media, the news, conversations, e-mail, technology to care for yourself and the collective body and consciousness.
Together we remain anchored in our body, in love, in our ancestors, and the earth. We cultivate our joy and freshness and offer this to hold the sorrow. And we do this over and over again, with each mindful breath.
With the strength and joy of the sangha, in solidarity, and in love,
ARISE Core Group
Awakening Through Race, Intersectionality and Social Equity