Dalai Lama, despair…deal with it.

I recently saw the Dalai Lama, went to listen to what he had to say. I was not expecting to hear a message about climate change and sustainability, was a very pleasant surprise. Certainly validates the idea that it’s all connected, spiritual fulfilment, environmental sustainability and social justice. He talked about developing countries desire for material wealth and the finite resources available.

My colleagues in Changing the Dream recently heard Van Jones talk about the links and imperative of addressing social justice to be able to achieve environmental sustainability. I’ve known this intellectually but feeling it more in my body the last few days.

In my mediation during our Stillness in Action Group yesterday i was present to the connections with people as a spiritual act or ritual, to honour the interconnectedness, the spirit of a person is to connect with our divine nature. The idea filled me with joy, yet i feel the wounds of our spirit when i hear of the ghastly approach to aboriginal child abuse. It pains me to even think of the undercurrent of violence in this ‘solution’.

In the past i might get angry, i might try to take some action in the face of it but today i find myself wanting to run and hide, feeling like it’s all too hard. I am looking at the door to this grief and despair and not wanting to open it, but at least i’m facing it, on some level.

On some level it strengthens my commitment and has me glad i did anti-racism work in university, looked at linking oppressions and identified my own racism. And it puts me in touch with my own resignation and complacency of challenging the dominant paradigm.

These are things i don’t want to talk about or deal with, things that i feel obliged to face and know that my liberation is bound in the liberation of each other being on this planet. It really challenges my optimism and has me crawling slowly out of this pit, into a space of curiosity, what is it going to take, who do we need to be, what do i need to learn to be with the pain, the spiritual poverty, to listen to the voices i find most difficult to hear.

Another pertinant quote that fuels me in this moment

Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime,
Therefore, we are saved by hope.
Nothing true or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate
context of history;
Therefore, we are saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone.
Therefore, we are saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite a virtuous from the standpoint of our friend or
foe as from our own;
Therefore, we are saved by the final form of love which is forgiveness.

Reinhold Niebuhr