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Archive for August 14th, 2012

When will it end?

"Quintessence of compassion"

“Quintessence of compassion” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was so disheartened when I ran home tonight for my dinner break to see the headlines down in a neighborhood by  Texas A & M…

When will we start to look at domestic terrorism, gun control, the mental health system, campus violence, etc?  When are we going to identify the crisis of conscience?  Apparently law enforcement went to deliver an eviction notice and they were fired upon from inside the residence.

I worry.  I have some I love dearly who is a police officer.  This officer was going about doing something mundane and a part of their everyday job.  And another person, a bystander, killed for being in the “wrong place at the wrong time….”  not that that ever comforted anyone.

And why does this shooting get national attention while shootings in neighborhoods of minorities of all sorts, of the disenfranchised, of  those who are disadvantaged, are tolerated and we accept “that’s just the way it is?”

It break my heart to know that another community is shaken to its core.  More families are grieving.  More students will feel unsafe, in the very place we entrust them to learn and foster a new and educated population.

How did we foster a world where the only answer is to get on the internet and buy SWAT equipment and tear gas?

I used to believe that people wanted to get better, that they wanted to flourish, live the good life as best as they can.

I guess I used to be really naive.  But I grew up to say please and thank you, to be of service to the old and infirmed.

And even as I type these words, I think about the violence that so many of us do to ourselves. .  . the hatred and  vitriol of our own thinking and judgments of our selves.

The family violence.

The broken communities.

I think about the terrible pain that is in our world, our communities, and in our hearts and minds.

Oṃ Tāre Tuttāre Ture Svāhā

Wildmind.org says this about this mantra. . .”in particular she represents compassion in action, since she’s in the process of stepping from her lotus throne in order to help sentient beings.”

I think that for the next few weeks, this will be my mantra though it’s not my normal mantra.  But this is also not normal times.  Tara is a bodhisttva of compassion.  Her name means “she who ferries” and I think the mantra is appropriate.  We feel like we are shuffling along and a desert shore, thirsty and trying to get to the sea in order to heal ourselves.  But we are blinded by the sun and parched from the heat.  Our shoreline is crumbling beneath us and we are searching.

Perhaps Tara will hear our prayers and hearts and disillusionment.  Perhaps she will come to bring us to a new land where compassion is fostered, not hatred.  Where we don’t worry about who marries whom or fight over feeding children and the elderly.

I’m not much for believing in mythology being real but I think we need to look at the metaphors for our times.  I don’t think it is any surprise that we are seeing all kinds of superhero movies.  We want to be saved from a world we think is unstable.  But we need to stop searching “out there” for someone to save us and look instead at our own motivations and aspirations.  I don’t think that the Hulk or Iron Man are the answer though… Though, Tony Starks is a bit of a dream.

We need to really take up the cause of our true heroes. . . HH the Dalai Lama, Rosa Parks, Mother Teresa, Ghandi, Thich Nhat Hanh, Martin Luther King Jr, JF Kennedy . . . whomever it is. . . we need to stop posting their quotes on facebook and instead, start living our lives modeled after our idols out there on the street and in our own heart/mind.

We can be our own Tara, our own version of a bodhisattva of compassion.  We are here and now and we are a being that is always moving forward and looking backwards.  Perhaps we can bridge the shore that we are on with a bridge to a more compassionate land.

For the families and individuals who were affected by today’s shooting.  To the kids who will be starting school all over the country next week, I wish for them peace, safety, comfort, lovingkindness, and deep abiding calm.

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