Thursday, November 17, 2011

Lesson is Simple; Student is Complicated

Wisdom Quarterly; Dan Millman (; Laura Murphy
What can just one person do?

Mark Twain once said about worrying, "I've had a lot of problems in my life, most of which never happened." We get in our own way. The Path is there. The Path is clear. Wherever we step, it appears underneath our feet -- if that is the direction we have set ourselves in. The Path is not the problem. The student is.

The student is complicated. The world spins around us. Occupy this, occupy that, Occupy Samsara. We already here, being crushed by the Wheel of Death and Rebirth. We are suffering. And it need not be that way -- except for the craving, hate/fear, and delusion that overwhelms us and gets us to buy in.

"I always wanted to be someone," Lily Tomlin observed, "maybe I should have been more specific." Today Foley Square is on fire (Occupy Wall Street's massive protest). Berkeley is burning (after being doused again).

Burma, paradoxically, is cooling. And taking a stand is Los Angeles means going to UCLA, Occupy LA, or Cal State University Dominguez Hills. I want to sit down, not by going to work, to take a stand.

"It begins on the ground. Strong roots help a tree to bear fruit; the same is true of human beings. Magical thinking is popular, always has been. But reality rules. Observe and listen to nature's whispers, and all will be well."
- Dan Millman

Wisdom Quarterly invited Amma, and a dozen meditators crowded into Magdha Rod's Meditation Temple at Occupy LA to hear Amma speak and lead meditation.

What Can One Person Do?
Laura Murphy, CC Liu
The Buddhist nun Amma (Bhikkhuni Thanasanti) has been in Los Angeles.

Wisdom Quarterly along with the Occupy LA Interfaith Council and Against the Stream, she was brought down to speak at City Hall and lead a meditation.

It has been an honor to meet and share space with her and other engaged Theravada Buddhist meditators.

Her efforts and willingness to be of service have inspired. Her presence has benefited many. She moves on to Santa Barbara as the movement expands or breaks with a 1,000+ SEIU (union) members, students, and LA occupiers.

Occupy LA may expand to an additional site. Nonviolence may provoke police to behave like soldiers on foreign soil. It has elsewhere -- in a nationwide sweep of Occupy Movement encampments and preemptively violent police tactics.

Hold the ground for a more mindful, peaceful, safer movement to benefit all (even the 1% who benefit when the 99% benefits).

What can I do? Walking meditation, water-only fasting, refrain from speaking in observance of nonviolence (ahimsa), when even words may do harm.

I am inspired to investigate true freedom and how I may achieve that in my own way, in my body, using my mind, and filling my spirit with breath.

"The First Law of Planning:
Anything that can be changed will be changed until there is no time left to change anything."

- Arthur Bloch

JoAnna Harper and Amma's meditation/dialogue at ATS, 11-16-11

What are the Buddhist precepts for?

Amma chants to close a mindful exercise of deep listening she led.

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