Fierce Grace in 2018: Bryan Stevenson

More than 4,300 men, women and children were lynched by white mobs between 1877 and 1950. As America’s first memorial and museum dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people opens in Montgomery, Alabama, Guardian US chief reporter Ed Pilkington meets founder and racial justice lawyer Bryan Stevenson.

America Remembers its Past

Chorus, from the Cure of Troy

Human beings suffer.

They torture one another.

They get hurt and get hard.

No poem or play or song

Can fully right a wrong

Inflicted and endured.

History says, Don’t hope

On this side of the grave.

But then, once in a lifetime

The longed-for tidal wave

Of justice can rise up

And hope and history rhyme.

So hope for a great sea-change

On the far side of revenge.

Believe that the farther shore

Is reachable from here.

Believe in miracles

And cures and healing wells.

Call miracle self-healing,

The utter self-revealing

Double-take of feeling,

If there’s fire on the mountain

And lightening and storm

And a god speaks from the sky

That means someone is hearing

The outcry and the birth-cry

Of new life at its term.

It means once in a lifetime

That justice can rise up

And hope and history rhyme.

  • Seamus Heaney

 

Listen

…how vital it is for all of us to listen to all the sounds of this unhappy nation. What suffering has led to the anger and hatred that has arisen?  And, why are so many of us surprised at this outpouring?  Perhaps we have not been listening to the cries of the world with ears of wisdom and determination. – by Roshi Pat Enkyo O’Hara, Village Zendo

 

I caught this quote from Lions Roar. It was a piece by Rod Mead Sperry that gathered responses from Buddhist teachers about Trump’s win in the 2016 Presidential election.

Listen, Connect to Others, Do Something, and Listen : repeat.

I feel called to embody compassion and empathy. I will do this whilst I grieve the loss of momentum.  The progress I thought we were making was to limit the over-sized influence of the financial services industry and the military industrial complex.

Now the oligarchs are in charge and that should concern all of us who are not in the top 1%.

Guide for spiritual activists

One time the Buddha told a king, “You should be just, you should be fair, and you should be generous.” But the king forgot to be generous and so people started going hungry and they started stealing. Then the Buddha said to the king, “The point is not to start making laws against theft. The point is to look at why people are hungry.”

So that is the prompt: Look deeper. Look at all the causes and conditions. But that kind of assessment is so rarely applied in this country. – Sharon Salzberg, excerpt from Lionsroar interview