Systems of discrimination and oppression are created by us. Our systems can be re-created by us.
This past week I’ve been making connections between what is happening in the US, the events of the last 7 years in Turkey, what is happening in Bolivia, Israel, and more. I’m having moments of wakefulness when I see some tragic patterns repeat themselves in seemingly very different contexts and places. It feels strange to be so globally connected, to grieve the losses of nations across oceans as my own, to celebrate their humanistic wins as my own, and to notice the same old patterns of how as humans we so horrifyingly destroy and so beautifully create. Interestingly, what I learn in one place very frequently applies to another. I’m starting to believe that there is a very clear path to changing our world without losing ourselves in the process.
I’ve also been reflecting on the connection between our inner mindfulness practices and our wise action out in the world. They are so interdependent. Our inner work is a source of inspiration and nourishment for all the change we want to bring to the world. Our wise actions are fuel, fire and food for our deepest inner work.
There is a common misunderstanding of mindfulness as a passive and neutral stance. I suspect that mindfulness (and the ancient Buddhist tradition) are misunderstood in this way due to their emphasis of cultivating equanimity and a steady mind, but mindfulness is the opposite of passive and neutral.
Mindfulness is about courageously facing the reality as is, and responding to that harsh reality and to the hurt with a deep and compassionate presence. Compassionate presence doesn’t mean weak, soft, passive or neutral. To the contrary, this kind of inner and outer care takes years to build and strengthen.
I share some ideas down below for what actions I gravitate toward these days, and if you’d like to investigate these ideas more, I invite you to join us tomorrow June 10th at 19:30 pm Paris time for our community talk on Mindful Activism and Wise Action, followed by a meditation and a discussion of what these concepts mean to you.
From a rainy day in the South of France, with love and care,