This is, more often than not, the nature of deep practice: It isn’t convenient. It doesn’t fit your schedule. It doesn’t conform to your whim. It isn’t selectable for good days instead of bad. In short, it isn’t a hobby…it’s a practice…Now is not the time to hold out. Not on your commitments, not on your practice, and not on change. Change IS on the horizon and the best thing about it is that, at this moment, we can’t actually make out what it’s going to look like. Like much of the unknown, that’s either a mark of real danger or real hope. I’m opting for the latter, but practicing comes what may.
But when Death comes to Friend you, as it will, you can’t ignore it. Where will your vast but virtual network be then? Will they be there to sing songs, share stories send your ashes back to ashes, and dust back to dust? Will they memorialize Yes, connections can be made quick, Friends, Followers, and Fans, but relationships are still slow…and the best ones are grown over time. No matter how lofty, your leadership, status, role, or position won’t separate you from Death, so don’t let them separate you from real life: one that is in a true relationship with others.
Together we are the Jedis of Justice. We are The Ones that We have Been Waiting for to illuminate the Matrix and reveal the passage out of Babylon. We are the Agents of Transformative Social Change. X-Agents for short. (Yea, I know, but X-Men was already taken and it’s chauvinist anyway…)
Just three days after the New York Post’s brazenly racist cartoon managed to slip past all editorial checkpoints to subtly (or grossly) depict the nation’s first Black president as a rabid chimp gunned down by NY’s finest, the online Opinion section of NYTimes ran an article on race.
Negotiating relationships of any kind–with God, Country, or Lover–is a temperamental and intensely personal affair. I admit I don’t feel left out of those nasty divorces in which the state gets to have a say in who gets to keep everything from the cars to couches to kids.
“…we are embarking upon a new year, a new era, and a strange, new hopefulness that real people, tired of being polarized by fear, hate, and separation, can organize for hope, progress, and change. And together, our collective will can make a difference.”
“Your human form took millions of years, millions of years, to be an expression of the universe wanting to be awake to itself. Who are you to deny that responsibility? How could you possibly do anything else? How could you waste your time scratching emotional itches all the time instead of rising to the occasion of what you were born for, to see yourself, you, as the universe, as all consciousness? Recognizing the truth of that is what you’re here for.”
It’s in this fire, truth, and love…the truth that can only spring forth out of love. We think we get clever and we speak the truth. There is no truth if it does not come out of love. None. The only truth there is must necessarily come out of love. Not squishy appeasement, not fuzzy feel-goodness, not progressive-perkiness. Rooted, heartful, open, exposed, devastating, precise, unpredictable, messy, messy love.
Each of you is here during what is known as the practice period, a 27-day
the period during which people take on the choice effort of fine-tuning their
intentions. Traleg Rinpoche in his Essence of Buddhism includes two chapters on the paramitas and introduces them: “If we want to obtain enlightenment by becoming a Bodhisattva, it is necessary to actualize wisdom and compassion. This is done by the practice of what is called the six paramitas, or ‘transcendental actions.’
At one time, slavery was considered an economic necessity, but new ways were found because society could no longer bear it. Angel asks, can today's society reject individualism on that scale?