black churches, boxes, Buddha, Buddhism, Buddhist, Buddhist leaders, Buddhist prayer for peace, color, Daily Show, differences, fear, Gandhi, hashtag, hashtag generation, hatred, ignorance, Jon Stewart, love, Malala Yousafzai, Martin Luther King Jr, metta prayer, Mother Teresa, Namaste, peace, positive energy, prayer, race, racism, skin color, the Buddha
Our nation has yet again been subjected to the fear and ignorance of hate. There is no real logic, no real justification, and no real argument for taking lives based on something so simple and insignificant as the color of ones skin. I say “real” because in the minds of those that discriminate, they have logic, justifications, and arguments that make sense to them, but are based in misinformation, and mostly just plan ole fear of differences. Sometimes it’s just hate for hates sake; something to take them away from the lack in their lives. Our nation is in mourning yet again, and the worst part about it, our nation will continue to be in mourning more times that it should be. It’s hard to just write a blog about my life when so many are in need. I wanted to write something different today in honor of gay pride month but I just felt the honor needs to be with humanity as a whole. Today I send out a prayer for peace.
I go to bed after watching the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I love how he cuts through all the BS, every single time speaking my inner thoughts. Last night, he turned away from his regular format, too much in pain for our country to make jokes. He has often times, even in the midst of his comedic routine, giving us sound, frank talk related to whatever topic was on the agenda, but there are no jokes with this situation. A young man with his whole life ahead of him decided to create chaos and devastation based on fear and ignorance. A young man was taught different was wrong, menacing, and against him. A young man was the tenth victim; lost to us all due to our countries inability and unwillingness to create understanding in love.
I see this young man as a victim of our inaction. We love our country, but it seems not enough to make its base strong. We don’t sow enough seeds of love in this country and many others, and while I understand hate and devastation is universal, I can only speak to my country and its history of turning against the citizens that make it great. But even there, it’s not the countries fault. This situation was created by a lack of direct solutions to race in our country. This situation was created because we all continue to go about our lives, separated from what doesn’t have direct impact on us, but can we really say we all aren’t directly affected by the senseless killings at the historic black church in Charleston, SC? Many will say no, giving only watered down sentiments on social media to seem compassionate. I’m doing my best to stay calm but I need more than what seems to be the standard from this hashtag generation.
I had a friend of mine say he didn’t feel Buddhist leaders and organizations should speak directly on political issues. He felt other religions spend so much time and money pushing their understanding of their faith into the political arena, that Buddhist would be better served maintaining distance in an effort not to cause conflict. I feel he sees actions on one side or another causing suffering for someone, which in all honesty is true. When you choose a side, the other side will suffer, as they are going to try to fight for their ideals and idea. I understand his position but I like to look to Martin Luther King Jr, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Malala Yousafzai, and so many others that used a firm spiritual base to affect positive change. I look at the Buddha himself, who decided the status quo was incorrect, and against true healing from suffering. None of these people used violence or even harsh words to make a difference, but they made a difference with heart and compassion. If Buddhism is anything, it is heart and compassion so I respectful disagree.
I confess I am not much of an activist. I hold too much fear I’m not enough to create change. I understand change doesn’t have to be global. I understand I don’t have to be recognized, or have a desire to be for the change I want to help foster. I try as much as I can with my current situation and feelings; working very hard to move beyond my blockage. I feel a lot turning within, and yes I will become that person who champions change beyond just writing about it. As much as my heart hurts with the country, I don’t want to bash this young man. I don’t want to bash the police that took him in safely, while others want to comment on the disparity when dealing with people of color who don’t commit this kind, and sometimes any chaos. I don’t want to focus on the negative because it just adds to the pool of negative energy we are already swimming in. I am deciding to offer my own spin on the Buddhist prayer for peace. I am deciding to be the change I want to see in the world, because I want desperately for us all to be love. We are all love and it’s beyond time to make love the only thing that guides us.
May all beings everywhere be freed from suffering. May your hearts be filled with hope and knowledge of your divine reason for being. May the spirit and strength of the Universe flow through your actions and words. May those struggling with terror, fear, hatred, and anger be washed by the waters of peace, wisdom, love, and joy. May all beings see themselves in others. May we resign ourselves to look deep within to release our pains and sow positives seeds that will grow and blank the world. May we look to the spirits of our ancestors, the spirit of the Divine, and the spirit that is boundless to be unleashed. May we all come home.