Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Stephen Colbert: Despair Is A Victory For Hate

Anderson Cooper pushes Pam Bondi on LGBTQ issues

Via LGBT Brasil / FB:

‘The guilt of being alive is heavy’: Orlando massacre survivor describes encounter with gunman

Via Lion's Roar: Buddhist figures, communities respond to Orlando massacre

Buddhist flad and pride flag.

The Buddhist flag (right) debuted in Sri Lanka in 1855 and was adopted internationally in 1952. The rainbow pride flag, designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978, has become a symbol of LGBTIQ hope and progress worldwide. 
After the almost incomprehensible news of the early-Sunday morning mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, Buddhist teachers and communities began to share their grief and support for and with the LGBTIQ community. Here’s a sampling of what they had to say.

Note: this page has been updated with additional comments since it was originally posted. These most recently added comments start immediately following here.

Larry Yang, East Bay Meditation Center:

In the chaos of violence, senselessness, carnage, and despair, we can take care of each other. We can hold each other with the most precious thing we can offer, our compassionate attention. Unwavering, we can love one another without questioning or second-guessing any aspect of that love or anyone’s life experience or identity. There is great Power in that coming together from wherever we are. In that solidarity with the deepest of places of our tender humanity, we begin to live the truth that the Buddha spoke of:

Hate never yet dispelled hate. Only love dispels hate.
This is the law, ancient and inexhaustible.
We begin to create justice in the only ways possible—through just means. Instead of trading Homophobia with Xenophobia as an insidious pattern of the market economy—Instead of displacing and playing off the oppression of one, for the oppression of another—we endeavor to dispel all oppressions, for the freedom of all beings. We can only create justice through just means—that is the law, ancient and inexhaustible.

San Francisco Zen Center:

Dear sangha,
Today, many of us are experiencing great sorrow and disbelief at the recent tragedy in Orlando. We are deeply saddened that one individual, whose mind may be clouded by ignorance and hate, has taken the lives of 50 people at a gay dance club in Orlando and injured 53 more. At this difficult time, we turn to our practice – to our loving, compassionate heart-minds – and hold everyone tenderly in Buddha’s embrace.

May we focus our hearts and minds now on unity, acceptance, and resilience rather than blame and hate. May we bring the world into our hearts and extend our loving kindness to those affected by this violent act.

May we turn our hearts and minds towards the conditions for realizing our Bodhisattva vow of freeing all beings from suffering and the causes of suffering.

Eyes of Compassion
Observing Sentient Beings
Assemble an Ocean of Blessings
Beyond Measure
—Chapter 25, Lotus Sutra

Adapted from City Center Tanto David Zimmerman’s opening remarks at a memorial service today for the victims of the recent shooting in Orlando.

Tara Brach:

The tragedy in Orlando brings us together in deep sorrow and prayer.
May those suffering loss feel held in our love;
may those suffering from hatred be healed with compassion;
may yet more violence awaken our collective dedication to living from peaceful, open hearts.

Lama Rod Owens of Natural Dharma Fellowship:

Remembering the loss of life everywhere this morning. I continue to watch, fight, and pray. May you continue to do the same.

The Dalai Lama:

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama today led a minute of silent prayer, in recognition of the events in Orlando, noting that he “is quite skeptical about the effects of prayer. The real change, effect, comes through action.” Watch his full comments here.

Mushim Patricia Ikeda:

This morning I offered a Dharma talk titled “Let’s all become buddhas together: the importance of spiritual friendship” to the full house Sangha gathering at Insight Meditation Center of Redwood City, California. When I left my home in Oakland, the first report of 20 people who died in the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida was in the news; by the time I returned home, there was a report of 50 dead and 53 wounded.

Acknowledging this hate crime in my talk, I said: “I propose that, considering all of the desperate and liberatory people’s movements now happening all over the world, that we need to look deeply and continuously — as continuously as we return to the physical sensations of the breath or whatever the object of our meditation practice is — to ask whether we are creating not only community, but whether we are creating *beloved* community. After all, this is more than an abstract question. We live in earthquake country, and at any moment those of us gathered in this meditation hall, whether we know one another or not, might need one another in ways that are highly intimate and highly unromantic. The Big One could happen at any time. 

Then we would need to rely on that essential human bond, in moments of crisis, which asks: ‘Even if I am not your parent, your child, your sibling, your coworker, your neighbor, will you help me? Will you be my spiritual friend?’ When I was in the Korean Buddhist monastery in 1988, I learned the phrase ‘songbul hashipshio,” which I was told translates into English as ‘Let’s all become buddhas together.’ Creating beloved community this year and next year and beyond is an urgent matter.”

Insight Meditation Society:

IMS stands in solidarity with the LGBTIQ community grieving over the Orlando Massacre. May you rest in abiding love during this tragedy.

Maia Duerr of the Liberated Life Project:

Feeling kind of stunned today, in the aftermath of the news from Orlando… I am remembering back to years that I lived in Oregon when hate crimes against LGBT were commonplace, and when legislation to discriminate against our community was being pushed on everyone.

This level of violence, hatred, and bigotry is traumatizing… any group of people that has experienced oppression has experienced that. May we never forget what this trauma can do to people, and let that help us to have great forbearance with each other in the days to come.

I keep remembering something that dear Frank Ostaseski has said — “There is endless suffering. There is also endless compassion.” Let us abide in that place of compassion in the days and weeks ahead…

Kalu Rimpoche:

I heard and saw on television news the tragic event that happened in Orlando Florida for those who were simply having fun in their life. I am strongly doing my prayers for those who have passed away, those that are hurt and those who are going through a difficult time. All my love and caring and respect to the LGBT community and individuals around the world.

All the teachings from the great masters comes with nonviolence, kindness, love and compassion. This is the foundation of the teachings of all religions and all the great masters. We must continue with that direction for what we believe.

Be proud of who you are and don’t let any religion tell you what you have to be. Just look for happiness and quality and wisdom in mind. Happiness and truthfulness is never based on lies, violence and ignorance. It Is always based on wisdom and equality and living the life we want with simplicity and freedom.

Love and care from your Kalu Rimpoche

Jack Kornfield:

As I learn of the shootings in Florida, I am filled with tears and an ocean of compassion for so many who have been harmed. Sitting quietly, this tragedy strengthens my resolve to not let terror and fear take over my heart.

As we move through this beautiful and troubled world, may we vow to be a beacon of peace, a fearless carrier of respect and lovingkindness for all life, a teller of truth , a voice for justice, a protector of those who are vulnerable or targeted. May the power of wisdom, integrity and compassion be our guide.

And may I/we follow these instructions of the Buddha…….

Others will kill. We shall not kill. Thus we should direct our hearts. Others will be cruel. We shall not be cruel. Thus should we direct our hearts. Others will speak falsely. We will speak what is true. Thus we should direct our hearts. Others will be fraudulent. We shall not be fraudulent. Thus we should direct our hearts. Others will be hateful. We shall become loving. Thus we shall direct our hearts. Others will be unwise. We shall become wise. Thus we shall direct our hearts.
May I/we carry these intentions with courage, as a beacon and a medicine, as a blessing to all we touch.

Metta, Jack

Lama Zopa Rinpoche:

Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families and all those affected in Orlando, FL.

When Rinpoche heard about this tragedy he immediately started doing prayers.

Lama Zopa Rinpoche always advises to make strong prayers to Medicine Buddha for anyone who is dying, sick, injured or who has already passed away. Also this can be dedicated to anyone who needs protection, support, strength and love.

Lodro Rinzler:

I am very sad and tired today. But posting things on the internet doesn’t seem like enough today. So I’m committing to volunteering for a nonprofit that does gun violence prevention work going forward. Do you have one you’d recommend? Willing to put in a few hours a week.

[Rinzler also wrote a piece for Huffington Post called “Meditation Isn’t Enough: A Call to Take Action Against Gun Violence.”]

Miguel Chen:

This pain belongs to all of us. Senseless, awful violence. May we unite from a place of compassion, rather than divide from a place of fear. Our brothers and sisters need our love.

Greg Snyder of Brooklyn Zen Center:

This morning I got really irritated about something not that important and realized I was resisting letting my heart break for Orlando. Then it just did. I have no idea what to say here, other than Charleston, Orlando, on and on – enough with the hatred, all of us. I am speaking from grief, so forgive my insistent tone; but we have just got to stop as a nation, as a people of many peoples, communities, and take stock, slap ourselves in the collective face and wake up to the ways we are creating the conditions for this. People are being executed… executed in nightclubs and churches, on streets for nothing. Nothing. 

Nothing. They are worshipping and dancing and walking. I pray every person with a shred of sanity – especially those of privilege and power – train her or his heart on love and, from that place, work to expose and heal hatred wherever we see it. I would encourage us all to take up the practice of watching our every word and silence, every action and inaction, every thought and distraction, every vote and political shrug of the shoulders, and ask ourselves – Am I right now cultivating a world of love or hate? Is the language I’m getting behind a language of love or hate? I know I fail at this intention everyday of my life, but all I feel right now is that we must work tirelessly to cultivate a society deeply rooted in love. Most of us will fear this because love is both personally and societally revolutionary. Love will shake us to our core as people and as nations. But it’s so long past time. It has been said so many times that it’s boring, but business as usual really has to stop being business as usual. I can already see the story unfolding in the news and soon it will be all too easy just to blame this on ISIS and take no stock of who we are. We too easily use this or that terrorist or sociopath as a free ticket for moving on. This too has to stop. We have to bring the world into our hearts and make love our first thought, our first intention for ourselves and every person we meet. That means we have to critically engage the mental and societal habits that resist love. Despite all we can do to each other, I choose to have faith in humanity. Yes, we can be a wind of fire that leaves scars and burning, but we are also dear and precious and deserving of our birthright of peace and happiness, every one of us. I vow to focus my heart on the latter, knowing that we must learn to clearly see and end the conditions for the former. May the mystery forever cradle those murdered in Orlando and may we all learn to care for each other while here. Love to the families and communities of those lost. Love to all of you, my sacred sisters and brothers.

Spirit Rock Meditation Center:

May we be free from hatred and the suffering caused by hatred. May we hold our suffering and the suffering of the world with fierce, deep, and tender compassion.

The Orlando Shooting: A Closer Look

Via Sri Prem Baba: Flor do dia - Flor del dĆ­a - Flower of the day - 13/06/2016

“O desvendar do amor Ć© um processo que se inicia com a identificaĆ§Ć£o das capas que o encobrem. Ao identificar seus padrƵes destrutivos, vocĆŖ dĆ” o primeiro passo em direĆ§Ć£o ao amor. E essa identificaĆ§Ć£o sĆ³ Ć© possĆ­vel se houver honestidade – honestidade para aceitar suas imperfeiƧƵes.”

“El develardel amor es un proceso que comienza con la identificaciĆ³n de las capas que lo encubren. Al identificar tus patrones destructivos, das el primer paso en direcciĆ³n al amor. Y esta identificaciĆ³n solo es posible si hubierahonestidad - honestidad para aceptar tus imperfecciones.”

“The unveiling of love is a process that begins with actually identifying the layers that cover our capacity to love. When we identify our destructive patterns, we take the first step in the direction towards love. This identification is only possible if we are capable of honesty. We must be honest enough to accept our imperfections.”

Via Daily Dharma / June 14, 2016: The Consequence of Understanding

When you understand interconnectedness, it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying.

—Robert A. F. Thurman, "Rising to the Challenge: Cool Heroism"