Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Via JMG: More Corporate Support For Equality Act

Via press release from the HRC:
Today, just days after the introduction of the historic Equality Act in Congress, five new major American companies announced their support for comprehensive, federal LGBT non-discrimination protections. Each of these new leading corporations -- American Airlines, Facebook, General Mills, Google and Nike demonstrated their belief that all LGBT Americans should have the protections from discrimination in federal law that they deserve. These companies join Apple, The Dow Chemical Company, and Levi Strauss, & Co. in supporting comprehensive federal LGBT non-discrimination legislation.

STATEMENT BY AMERICAN AIRLINES -- "We at American Airlines are proud of our long history of supporting LGBT equality. Now is the time for full equality for the LGBT community in the United States. Ensuring fairness in our workplaces and communities is both the right thing to do and simply good business."

STATEMENT BY FACEBOOK -- "We are open and vocal supporters of equality. Ensuring fairness in the workplace is a fundamental principle at Facebook and we support legal protections for LGBT Americans as outlined in the Equality Act."

STATEMENT BY GENERAL MILLS -- "At General Mills we have a long history of supporting LGBT equality and the time has come in this country for full, federal equality for the LGBT community. Ensuring fairness in our workplaces and communities is both the right thing to do and simply good business."

STATEMENT BY GOOGLE -- "Diverse perspectives, ideas, and cultures lead to the creation of better products and services and ideas. And it's the right thing to do. That's why we support protections for LGBT individuals as outlined in the Equality Act."

STATEMENT BY NIKE – "At NIKE, we are committed to diversity and inclusion, and we strive to treat our employees equally. We believe that diversity drives innovation and allows us to attract and retain world class talent. We need fair and equitable laws that prevent discrimination, and NIKE supports the Equality Act introduced by Senator Merkley and his colleagues in Congress. This is another important step in the fight for equality."
While few expect the Equality Act to get much traction in the current Congress, this sort of groundwork is critical. It's going to be a very long haul.

Reposted from Joe Jervis

Thich Nhat Hanh: On Homosexuality

Posted on March 29, 2009

Thich Nhat Hanh, the noted Zen monk, poet, teacher who is the inspiration behind Deer Park Monastery and the Plum Village tradition, shares these words about the Buddhadharma’s view of “homosexuality” in the latest book, ANSWERS FROM THE HEART.

Thanks, Julia — for sharing the dharma for us to read!

excerpt from Thay’s new book Answers from the Heart

Q. What is the Buddhist view of homosexuality?

A. The spirit of Buddhism is inclusiveness. Looking deeply into the nature of a cloud, we see the cosmos. A flower is a flower, but if we look deeply into it, we see the cosmos. Everything has a place. The base-the foundation of everything-is the same. When you look at the ocean, you see different kinds of waves, many sizes and shapes, but all the waves have water as their foundation and substance. If you are born gay or lesbian, your ground of being in the same as mine. We are different, but we share the same ground of being. The Protestant theologian Paul Tillich said that God is the ground of being. You should be yourself. If God has created me as a rose, then I should accept myself as a rose. If you are a lesbian, then be a lesbian. Looking deeply into your nature, you will see yourself as you truly are. You will be able to touch the ground of your being and find peace. 
If you’re a victim of discrimination, then your way to emancipation is not simply by crying out against injustice. Injustice cannot be repaired by recognition alone, but by your capacity to touch the ground of your being. Discrimination, intolerance, and suppression stem from lack of knowledge and lack of understanding. If you’re capable of touching the ground of your being, you can be released from the suffering that has been created in you through discrimination and oppression.

Someone who discriminates against you, because of your race or the color of your skin or your sexual orientation, is ignorant. He doesn’t know his own ground of being. He doesn’t realize that we all share the same ground of being; that is why he can discriminate against you.
Someone who discriminates against others and causes them to suffer is someone who is not happy with himself. Once you’ve touched the depth and the nature of your ground of being, you’ll be equipped with the kind of understanding that can give rise to compassion and tolerance, and you will be capable of forgiving even those who discriminate against you. Don’t believe that relief or justice will come through society alone. True emancipation lies in your capacity to look deeply.
When you suffer because of discrimination, there’s always an urge to speak out. But even if you spend a thousand years speaking out, your suffering won’t be relieved. Only through deep understanding and liberation from ignorance can you be liberated from your suffering. 

When you break through to the truth, compassion springs up like a stream of water. With that compassion, you can embrace even the people who have persecuted you. When you’re motivated by desire to help those who are victims of ignorance, only then are you free from your suffering and feelings of violation. Don’t wait for things to change around you. You have to practice liberating yourself. Then you will be equipped with the power of compassion and understanding, the only kind of power that can help transform an environment full of injustice and discrimination. You have to become such a person-one who can embody tolerance, understanding, and compassion. You transform yourself into an instrument for social change and change in the collective consciousness of mankind. 
Thich Nhat Hanh, Answers from the Heart: Practical Responses To Life’s Burning Questions (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 2009), 119-122.

Are Gay Leaders a Threat to Boy Scouts?

Via Shambala: 5 Practices for Nurturing Happiness

The great Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh suffered a serious stroke in November. (You can contribute to his relief effort, here.) We join practitioners around the world in sending our prayers and good wishes for his full recovery. Thich Nhat Hanh’s life is inspiring, his benefit great, and his teaching, like the dharma itself, profound and practical.

We all want to be happy and there are many books and teachers in the world that try to help people be happier. Yet we all continue to suffer.

Mindfully make the jump here to read the full article

Via Science and Nonduality Conference / FB:

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do Dia- Flor del Día - Flower of the Day 28/07/2015

“Nós somos diferentes somente por fora. Por dentro nós somos iguais. Quando experimenta essa realidade, você se torna o amor. Então não é uma questão de amar, porque o outro te dá alguma coisa; você ama porque você é o amor. Tudo que sai da sua boca torna-se uma prece para o eterno Um. Tudo se torna sagrado e divino.”

“Somos diferentes solamente por fuera. Por dentro somos iguales. Cuando experimentas esta realidad, te vuelves amor. Entonces no es una cuestión de amar porque el otro te da algo, amas porque eres amor. Todo lo que sale de tu boca se vuelve una plegaria para el eterno Uno. Todo se vuelve sagrado y divino.”

“We are only different on the outside. On the inside, we are all one and the same. When you experience this reality, you become love. Then, you no longer love because the other gives you something; you love because you are love. Every word that comes out of your mouth becomes a prayer to the Eternal One. Everything becomes sacred and divine.”

Today's Daily Dharma: Waking up to Racism.

Waking up to Racism

Waking up to Racism

I am often asked when talking about racism in Buddhist circles to be specific, give examples. In part, this longing emerges from the reluctance of white people in power to accept, and see clearly by opening their eyes, that white supremacy informs the shaping of Buddhist communities, individual interactions, publications, etc. That reluctance can only be transformed in spiritual practice, not by proof. There is never enough proof.
- bell hooks, "Waking up to Racism"