Loving Kindness

Loving Kindness

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Who is it?

Trigger Warning: Sexual exploitation, sexual violence, violence, and looking at our own possibly disowned and unacknowledged hatred, bigotry, and emotional directed hatred and violence

Who do we believe it is OK for us to marginalize, disenfranchise, dehumanize or hate? Is it convicted pedophiles, convicted rapists, transgender people, gay or lesbian people, women, the far right, murderers, serial killers, white supremacists, atheists, immigrants, refugees, sex workers, people who work in the porn industry, people involved in human trafficking of all imaginable kinds and expressions, women who have abortions, black people, various other people of color, rich, white, heterosexual men, members of the so called 1%, billionaires, corporate executives whose companies are destroying the earth and exploiting millions perhaps billions of people, people who oppose marriage equality, leaders of organized religion, Christians, Muslims, Christian extremists, Muslim extremists, Jews, Palestinians, homeless people, people on public assistance, anyone who is actively and seriously religious in any way, lawyers, bankers, phone solicitors, Mormons, Democrats, people who owe us money, people who have sexually exploited us in some way, people who are responsible for the deaths of people we knew and loved, your parents, family members other than parents, creditors, Satan, devil worshipers, pagans, drag queens, addicts, people with intellectual limitations, people who cut us off on the road, people who discriminate against us. Who is it? Who?

Do we truly believe this is consistent with our professed Buddhist practice? Do we truly believe this is consistent with our professed Christian practice? Do we truly believe this is consistent with our Muslim or Sufi practice? Do we truly believe being a professed atheist gives us a pass on this?

My current facebook cover photo contains a quote by Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh. It says, “We are here to awaken from our illusion of seperateness.” I believe addressing these type questions is consistent with that awakening. Thich Nhat Hanh has also written a poem entitled, “Call Me by My True Names,” sometimes presented as, “Please Call Me by My True Names.” This poem also addresses this to some degree though not perfectly, of course. It is very easily found on the internet.

Finally, my goal with this status update is absolutely not to guilt or shame anyone. The other day I read an article about an adult male celebrity who was sentenced many years ago for having sex with a young girl. There was no evidence it was consensual and he also tried to blackmail the girl. As I was reading the article I could feel a sickness slowly developing in my stomach and I began to notice that I started looking at the photo of the celebrity that accompanied the article with something very closely resembling disgust. I was shocked that this was occurring to me. But, BAM! There you go. As my Dharma Brother Seiho Morris is fond of saying, “We All Share the Same Sky." I love you.

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