I intended “Just This” as a place to share what’s going on for me: what I’m reading, thinking about, listening to, watching.

“Just this” is a reference to the Buddha’s instructions to Bāhiya on liberation; that when we see (hear, taste, smell, sense, know) things truly, without distortion, just as they are, just this is the end of suffering.

Well, what’s going on for me these days is the despair and rage I feel about the recent grand jury verdicts and also the energy and power I sense in myself and others in response — the many incredible expressions and actions taking place across this city and country.

The teachings of the Buddha are about liberation. Liberation includes undoing oppression internally and undoing oppression externally (and undoing oppression both internally & externally).

My spiritual practice is not about pretending to be peaceful, calm and well when what is going on around me is not peaceful, calm and well.

Liberation is a vision and practice of joy.

Joy that is an expression of the true heart. What just is. The undivided heart does not separate anger and despair from happiness and hope.

Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge the other night with thousands of righteous beings, my voice raised in chant — joy. As the police helicopter lights shined down on us and we raised our hands in a simultaneous–silent “don’t shoot” — joy. As tears fall — joy. As laughter rings — joy.

Right now, for me, joy is my ability:
* to create space and time for connecting to presence and power
* to live in the midst of rage and fear with my soul intact
* to imagine kinder, more spacious ways of being

I am taking time, space and care with myself and others. Doing less, connecting more, choosing better, letting go of what does not feel absolutely vital and essential right now.

May all beings be free. May joy prevail.

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