Greg Snyder of Brooklyn Zen Center shares a prayer — that we, as a nation shocked by racism and violence, may awaken and seize this moment.
I entered my dharma transmission ceremony yesterday afternoon feeling run through with violence and grief. I go offline now and will be disconnected from all of this information for the next nine days. It is a difficult time to separate in this way, but important. A good friend, Pam Weiss, and I are doing this ceremony together. Yesterday, we agreed everything we are doing over these next nine days must be about this current pain and violence — it must be about right now. In addition to so many affected by these ongoing tragedies, I’ll be praying for honest, clear and sufficiently nuanced discernment regarding systemic violence in our nation.
I’ll be praying for a national courage that doesn’t back away, but becomes even more insistent that we uproot the conditions for a society rooted in the historic domination of so many. If this all turns into the same stupid, polarized nonsense so adored by our national conversation, we are once again choosing to be doomed to blindness and violence. A single person’s horrific attack on innocent police officers is of course in no way a sane reason to silence the voices of so many working to end a history of horrific attacks on countless innocent people. Insisting on such a silence is not ensuring safety or peace. It is nothing more than the continuation of oppression.
I pray we can continue to deepen and broaden our recognition of the pain and suffering around white supremacy and racism in this country, not use this moment to turn away from it. It seems to me that turning away will do nothing but trap us deep in the fire, not lead us through. We are attempting to point to a social disease that will get all the more unpredictable and excruciating before the collective courage is stable enough to move beyond fear and create a space for full recognition and true healing. For everyone living love’s courage to end violence in our world, I will be praying for each of you.
May our minds be rooted in our hearts and our bodies in mother earth.
May we grieve all those murdered, for every life is sacred and opening our hearts to grief returns to us our humanity.
May we stand for justice for those oppressed, for every life is sacred and opening our hearts to justice returns to us our humanity.
May we remember and embody love with every tentative step as we awaken together as a people.