Go As A River at the Women’s March on Washington
Saturday, January 21
~ Meditation is no longer the work of individuals; meditation in our time should be a collective practice. Thich Nhat Hanh, Calming the Fearful Mind, p22.
Call to Action
Join members of the Thich Nhat Hanh Sangha and other traditions from across the country as we march together in peace for justice for all at the Women’s March on Washington. People of all genders are invited. We will practice Marching Meditation to hold love for each other as a Beloved Community committed to justice for the disenfranchised as so many of our ancestors have done before. Sangha members will also participate in marching meditation in New York City, San Francisco and other sister cities.
Click here for the Sangha facebook page organizing housing and events in Washington DC (including sitting meditation, Dharma Sharing, Deep Listening and more) to turn the march into a true Day of Mindfulness.
Call to Practice
We invite all practitioners and Sanghas in the United States and beyond to dedicate their practice during the week of Monday, January 16th (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day) to Sunday, January 22nd (the weekend following the inauguration) to cultivating understanding and compassion for ourselves and our country, and healing from the violence, hatred, and fear that has intensified during the past year’s election. We recognizing there is no true peace without justice and equity for all and that peace begins within.
We encourage you to dedicate your walking meditation and sitting meditation practice to generating the energy of compassion and healing with each step and each breath you take. Practice Deep Listening with someone you don’t understand and bring Loving Speech into your conversations (see the 4th MT below). Read Thay’s “Calming the Fearful Mind: a Zen Response to Terrorism” and practice Dharma Sharing on the topics raised. These teachings are remarkably relevant today. Practice Touching the Earth (below). Listen to and meditate upon Alone Again, the song created from Thay’s poem Recommendation. See a full list of resources for practice here.
We cannot escape our interdependence with other people, with other nations in the world. Let us take this moment to look deeply and find a path of liberation. (TNH Calming the Fearful Mind, p.9)
This call to practice and to action is supported by the ARISE Sangha – Awakening through Race, Intersectionality, and Social Equity.*
The Fourth Mindfulness Training: Loving Speech and Deep Listening
Aware of the suffering caused by unmindful speech and the inability to listen to others, I am committed to cultivating loving speech and compassionate listening in order to relieve suffering and to promote reconciliation and peace in myself and among other people, ethnic and religious groups, and nations. Knowing that words can create happiness or suffering, I am committed to speaking truthfully using words that inspire confidence, joy, and hope. When anger is manifesting in me, I am determined not to speak. I will practice mindful breathing and walking in order to recognize and to look deeply into my anger. I know that the roots of anger can be found in my wrong perceptions and lack of understanding of the suffering in myself and in the other person. I will speak and listen in a way that can help myself and the other person to transform suffering and see the way out of difficult situations. I am determined not to spread news that I do not know to be certain and not to utter words that can cause division or discord. I will practice Right Diligence to nourish my capacity for understanding, love, joy, and inclusiveness, and gradually transform anger, violence, and fear that lie deep in my consciousness.