Black Lives Matter:

Photo source: https://unsplash.com/@mana5280

Black lives are significant. Black voices are important. Black men are precious. Black women are worthy. Black children are sacred. Black families are sanctified. Black communities are divine. Black history is holy. Black wealth (& reparations) is Deserved. Black art is awe- inspiring. Black elders are miraculous. Black wisdom is respected. Black literature is beloved. Black LGBTQ are cherished. Black people are human.

Please try to remember that what they believe, as well as what they do and cause you to endure does not testify to your inferiority but to their inhumanity

James Baldwin, The Fire Next Time

Black Lives Matter: A Prayer

Inspired by Yehudah Amichai z”l and Rabbi Rachel Barenblat. In memory of Mike Brown Eric Garner, and many, many others recited as part of a Pilgrimage of Lament. Author(s): Menachem Creditor

Berkeley, CA 12/14/14

We stand before you because we must.

We stand before You because

truths that should be self-evident

are not so evident in our country.

And so we turn to you to breathe

ever more of Your Spirit into us

because we find we cannot breathe,

the arms of armed forces wrapped around our throats

when we call out for justice.

We call to you in defiance of

of a national system that betrays our noble ideals,

where tanks and blood fill our streets,

where every Black man, woman, and child is

twenty times likelier to be killed by police.

We shout to the Heavens with one, unified voice:

Black. Lives. Matter.

We are called by scripture to pray for the day when we will

beat swords into plowshares and study war no more,

when the surplus of war led by greed and deception

will not spill into our streets,

where swords and tanks and rubber bullets and tear gas

will be beaten thinner and thinner,

the iron of hatred vanishing forever. (Amichai)

We pray to you because,

as our prophets have taught us:

human suffering anywhere

concerns men and women everywhere.

We call to you, O God,

because Your Image

was abandoned on rainy concrete for

4 and a half hours.

We call to you, O God,

because Your Spirit

was choked out of a father who

called out 11 times’ “I can’t breathe.”

We raise our hands to you,

knowing that the work is ours to do,

black, white, Jewish, Christian, Muslim,

Hindu, atheist, young, old, gay, straight –

These are your images, battered

By those sworn to protect and serve.

We are all responsible for what happens next.

And so we pray to You,

Source of Life,

raise up our eyes

to see You in each other’s eyes,

to take risks for justice,

to bring through our unified prayer today

more Love and Compassion into the world.

Ignite us to combat the hidden prejudice

which causes police to open fire in fear,

which transforms a child in a hoodie

into a hoodlum, a person into a threat.

We pray today not for calm but for righteousness

to flow like a mighty river, until

peace fills the earth as the waters fill the sea.

Comfort the families of all who grieve.

Strengthen us to work for a world redeemed.

And we say together:

Amen.

Do not call to mind the former things…

“Do not call to mind the former things,
Or ponder things of the past.
Behold, I will do something new, now it will spring forth;
Will you not be aware of it?
I will ever make a roadway in the wilderness,
Rivers in the Desert…” ~Isaiah 43:18-19

dolphin watching

Hafiz: Ghazal 1

Photo by Stephen Zachary Scott 2014

O beautiful wine-bearer, bring forth the cup and put it to my lips
Path of love seemed easy at first, what came was many hardships.
With its perfume, the morning breeze unlocks those beautiful locks
The curl of those dark ringlets, many hearts to shreds strips.
In the house of my Beloved, how can I enjoy the feast
Since the church bells call the call that for pilgrimage equips.
With wine color your robe, one of the old Magi’s best tips
Trust in this traveler’s tips, who knows of many paths and trips.
The dark midnight, fearful waves, and the tempestuous whirlpool
How can he know of our state, while ports house his unladen ships.
I followed my own path of love, and now I am in bad repute
How can a secret remain veiled, if from every tongue it drips?
If His presence you seek, Hafiz, then why yourself eclipse?
Stick to the One you know, let go of imaginary trips.

Prayer for true love

May divine grace be your companion as you hold the vision in stillness
And find the faith that true love is real;
May the path be clear for you to act in wisdom
Know courage in devotion,
And find laughter along the way.
May you be enriched by the wonder and majesty of love.
Love that tends to all, love that cares, love that IS in the silence.
May true love be the expression of power in the world
And may we be the ones to bring it.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

NATIVE VISION: Ode to the Spirit and Native Soul by Walter Alfredo Martinez (1948-2006)

Ode to the Spirit and Native Soul by Walter Alfredo Martinez (1948-2006)

Dearest one . . .
So you have disappeared
So you have gone and left me
Here on usurped holy lands
And desecrated burial grounds
You have gone and left me dear
Like the wisp of blue smoke
Lost in the firmament
You have gone and left me dear
Graced by your mystical designs

Dearest one . . .
So you have disappeared
So you have gone and left me
Here on the crumbling ramparts
Of an expiring Twentieth Century
Crisscrossing the twisted mind
Immersed in the tortured soul
Of a dismembered and proliferating humanity!

Here down the streets
Made of asphalt and glass
In a great uproar of steel and cement
And an endless onslaught
Of faces and noises and voices
That rush through the vortex
Of my confused and bloody historical roots
Of my uprooted and hysterical drunk life
The song of this wandering half-breed
Tortured poisoned mangled half-blind
Is like the Eagle guiding the Swan
To the majestic arch of your brow

Dearest one . . .
So you have disappeared
So you have gone and left me
Like the trickle of a weary river
Lost in the blue vastness of the sea
You have gone and left me dear

All alone I have dwelled
In your moist soiled darkness
All alone I have awaited
In the spiraling echoes
Of your sweet conch shell
Circumscribed by the noble trade route
Of your glorious and clandestine enterprise

Dearest one . . .
Here almost five hundred years after
Veni vidi vici shifted you place
In a great realignment of fate
In a thunderous a clash of blood
And songs and semen for land
In and out of the ever darkest of ages
Your warriors once again people this land
Like stars the sky in the wake of the sun
And like an omniscient comet
Caressing my face in the darkness
Your voyaging soul passes through mine
Above our tenuous and tortured bloodline
Past the inexorable historical deadline
Of our true Manifest Destiny:
To mingle beneath and nourish this land
With our blood and our war weary bones
And to bloom like shoots of the sun
In festive song of corn water and lime

Dearest one . . .
So you have disappeared
So you have gone and left me
In your trails of tears and blood
Rivers of flowers and love songs!
You have gone and left me dear
Blessed by your mystical chants

Oh in time in time I will dance
And I will sing with clarity
Like an exalted Indian
Ablaze in the skies!

My long feather headdress
And my lovingly painted face
Like the fan of the luminous peacock
Will span forth to the four corners of the night!

And yes the serpent will grow wings
And it will uncoil itself in the desert dust
And it will recoil itself in the azure skies
For your arrowhead to strike its bullseye
And then form the great arch to your house
And once again you will distribute
The sweet fruits of these lands
Like the rivers distribute the earth
That flows to nourish the source of this life
That rose from the grace of the sea
To depart through your wistful pupil
In a distant reflection of magic and bliss …

Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez (1927-2014)

“To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else’s heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.”

~Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez from Love in the Time of Cholera

Declaration*

We the Indigenous Peoples of the world, united in the corner of our Mother the Earth in a great assembly of men of wisdom, declare to all nations:

We glory in our proud past:
when the earth was our nurturing mother,
when the night sky formed our common roof,
when Sun and Moon were our parents,
when all were brothers and sisters.
when our great civilizations grew under the sun,
when our chiefs and elders were great leaders,
when justice rules the law and its execution.

Then other peoples arrived:
thirsting for blood, for gold, for land and all its wealth,
carrying the cross and the sword, one in each hand,
without knowing or waiting to learn the ways of our worlds,
they considered us to be lower than the animals,
they stole our land from us and took us from our lands,
they made slaves of the Sons of the sun.

However, they have never been able to eliminate us.
nor to erase our memories of what we were,
because we are the culture of the earth and the sky,
we are of ancient descent and we are millions,
and although our whole universe may be ravaged,
our people will live on
for longer than even the kingdom of death.

Now, we come from the four corners of the earth,
we protest before the concerns of nations
that, “we are the Indigenous Peoples, we who
have a consciousness of culture and peoplehood
on the edge of each country’s borders and
marginal to each country’s citizenship.”

And rising up after centuries of oppression,
evoking the greatness of our ancestors,
in the memory of our Indigenous martyrs,
and in homage to the counsel of our wise elders:

We vow to control again our own destiny and
recovery our complete humanity and
pride in being Indigenous People.

 

* Source: Douglas E. Sanders. The Formation of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples. IWGIA Document No. 29, 1977. This declaration was agreed upon by the delegates to the first international conference of Indigenous Peoples in Port Alberni, Britisth Columbia, in 1975, which led to the establishment of the World Council of Indigenous Peoples (WCIP).

Buddha Quotes

“If you are quiet enough, you will hear the flow of the universe.”

“Those who are free of resentful thoughts surely find peace.”

“There has to be evil so that good can prove its purity above it. ”

“Better than a thousand hollow words, is one word that brings peace.”

“In separateness lies the world’s greatest misery; in compassion lies the world’s true strength.”

“In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions out of their own minds and then believe them to be true.”