Lojong 47 ~ Keep the Three Inseparable

This is part 47 of my series on Lojong, Buddhist mind-training.

justice is love in publicWhen practicing lojong, it’s easy to think of it as simply a mental exercise. This slogan asks that we look at our thoughts, speech and body. I’m reminded of the Ralph Waldo Emerson quote “What you do speaks so loudly I cannot hear what you say”. We can meditate on the idea of lojong, of building compassion and loving-kindness, but if what we say and do doesn’t reflect that what’s the point?

Ask yourself if what you do and say is synonymous with what you believe. If it isn’t either you don’t really believe it, or you need to start practicing what you preach, so to speak.

Gentleness, awareness and openness are needed to build more compassion. Instead of spewing hatred toward those with vastly different points of view (yes, I’m thinking of racism and discrimination), we can stand our ground, we can be unequivocal in our thoughts and actions and still maintain a gentle attitude toward the other party. We don’t have to agree with them and we certainly don’t have to silently sit by and watch and wait for someone else to fix the problem. But we can remember that this is a human being that has been taught hate and fear and condemn the actions while maintaining compassion for the soul.

Spreading loving-kindess doesn’t mean that we must just sit idly by and pray or hope that things will change. We still must act.

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A conversation that must keep going

pull back the veilFor the first time in the 3 plus years that I’ve been with my partner, who is black, I’ve wondered about potential for violence because of our ‘mixed race’ status. He’s probably wondered about it all along, because he’s experienced racism first hand over the years, as every person of colour has. My privilege is showing.

I was looking at him asleep beside me last night and had an overwhelming urge to protect him, to curl myself around him and not let anything bad happen. But, of course, even if I could wrap myself around the one black man I happen to love, where would that leave everyone else?

As uncomfortable as it may be, we must keep exposing and talking about racism in the US, Canada and in the world. Let’s keep exposing this, it’s the only way to combat it. We don’t have the luxury of burying our heads in the sand anymore. That’s a privilege white people have had. It’s time (long past time in reality) to look critically at what people of colour have been experiencing for a long, long time. It’s time to start listening to people of colour and being vocal about the issues. It’s time to learn; to take our privilege as white people and actively work at ending racism. It will take time for sure. But let’s start.

The first thing we can do is notice where we experience privilege in our lives. For me,

Anderson Cooper did a piece on the events in Charlottesville that is quite poignant. Here’s the link:

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Here’s a post from Upworthy about what you and I can do: 16 Ways you can make a big difference.

Here’s a link to the Interdependence Blog which has a 21 day Racial Equity Habit Building Challenge .

There are videos (starting with one called Deconstructing White Privilege with Dr. Robin Di Angelo) about white privilege available here: UCC Resources

Let’s make sure we are educated on these issues. We can fight this together.

 

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