"For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life."
-- President John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address
What President Kennedy said in 1961 still holds true today -- which is a terribly sad commentary on the decades since his election. "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are not clothed." -- President Dwight D. Eisenhower Clearly though, this is not the just the fault of governments: we are all complicit because we are all involved in every way, especially through economics, through everything that we either buy or sell... It is not our "charities" that define us, rather, it is the sum total of our "political" connections: look at your shoes: where were they made? Consider the food that you eat: how local are the farmers who are working for you? Are all of the workers with whom you are connected being paid a living wage? Do your representatives consider the rights of the Planet and of the children who will be alive seven generations from now?
According to the United Nations approximately 30,000 children under the age of five die of hunger and diseases related to malnutrition every day... While at the very same time, the assets of 3 families, Bill Gates, the Walton's, and the Sultan of Bunei have a combined wealth of around 135 billion dollars -- equaling the income of 600 million people living in the world's poorest countries: yet, each of these 600 million persons are of equal value to the Big Three...
Okay, so we have this Twelfth Mindfulness Training, but what is it that we really want? We very seriously ponder this question... as did Mahatma Gandhi, one example from among many others... Huh? What is it that we really want, we ask again? Only too aware of the subtle power of our Shadows, we must pause before the Altar of Power... Is it here that we secretly, yet truly, wish to kneel? Gandhi, upon the liberation of India could have acquired the Presidency, Prime Minister-ship, or Kingship of his beloved Mother Land. What did he do instead? He fasted for peace, for nonviolence, for reconciliation.. he refused Power, and instead chose Place... the only place for the Lover of the One, for the Servant of All, to stand is in Peace: in the "not yet" of the New Creation, in the only rEvolution that matters... Gandhi walked away from the seductive lure of the Dominator Paradigm and into the Divine Wholeness that is even now, once again, being born upon this precious blue Planet: This Is What We Want!
So the question this Mindfulness Training proposes is how do we get a little bit closer to "there"? Consider this: "Arise, then, women of this day! Arise all women who have hearts, whether our baptism be that of water or of tears! Say firmly: 'We will not have great questions decided by irrelevant agencies. Our husbands shall not come to us, reeking with carnage, for caresses and applause. Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn all that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy, patience. We women of one country will be too tender of those of another country to allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs'... From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says 'Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice'. Blood does not wipe our dishonor nor violence indicate possession. As men have forsaken the plow and the anvil at the summons of war, let women now leave all that may be left of home for a great and earnest day of counsel. Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead. Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means whereby the great human family can live in peace, each bearing after their own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar, but of God... In the name of womanhood and of humanity, I earnestly ask that a general congress of women without limit of nationality may be appointed and held at some place deemed most convenient and at the earliest period consistent with its objects, to promote the alliance of the different nationalities, the amicable settlement of international questions, the great and general interests of peace." -- Julia Ward Howe, Boston, 1870 (The original Mother's Day Proclamation) [Note: their was no call for anyone to buy cards or to send flowers: the call was to action for peace!]
Again, we are confronted with the need for the beginning of a Plan for Action... we might begin with these salient points: 1) Practice Beauty -- in a world confronting massive disparities of wealth and power... in a world being crushed by violence and injustice... and in a world failing to confront the haunting specter of global climate change: we desperately need to fashion meaning and purpose through an active reverence for our place... 2) Practice the 'One Love Blessing' daily -- there is no more radical an action than that of blessing everyone and everything and willing the very best for everyone (even one's "enemies")... an activated intention is an open door into creative possibilities... 3) Network and collaborate -- division is the way of domination, exploitation, and oppression: by the practice of unity the world will change... 4) Cultivate a Contemplative Consciousness -- in a world addicted to "entertainment", contemplation is an overt revolt! Garden, slow cook, read and write poetry, learn how to play a musical instrument, practice yoga, meditate... 5) Free Sensuality -- in a world cluttered with sexism and domination: learn how to relax and enjoy your body! Giving and receiving pleasure in the mutuality of dedicated delight is our birthright! 6) Enter Sophia / Wisdom -- in a world serving the Dominator Paradigm: make room for the Divine Feminine! Intuition, service, compassion, kindness, equality, reverence, justice, Earth-centered, and commitment are essential tools of manifesting our Original Blessing of Oneness...
"With the power of motherhood within her, a woman can influence the entire world. The love of awakened motherhood is a love and compassion felt not only toward one's own children, but toward all people, animals and plants, rocks and rivers -- a love extended to all beings. " -- Amma
"Our Mother the Earth needs our help... It is time to gather the women to save the world." -- Jean Shinoda Bolen, M.D.
"Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach." -- Clarissa Pinkola Estes
"I give you a large piece of paper, and ask you to fold it over once, and then take that folded paper and fold it over again, and then again, and again, until you have refolded the original paper 50 times. How tall do you think the final stack is going to be?" If it were possible to do, "the stack would be as the distance to the sun. And if you folded it over one more time, the stack would be as high as the distance to the sun and back." The tipping point occurs when a critical number of people embrace a new idea, value, or perception... -- Michael Gladwell
In summary, patriarchy and every aspect of the Dominator Paradigm, is going to be transformed: by you! By us! From the inside out, from the bottom up! This is already happening -- it is happening all around us, everywhere. Sacred Circles have been forming all across and around this precious blue Planet. Women and men are gathering and standing for peace and justice, for the children and for the Earth. We are on the verge of tipping, finally, and returning to where we wanted to be all along... we are just about to the door of our Home...
"Suppose it never, ever comes true, and there is no paradise... well, I'll go on preaching. And yet how simple a matter it is: in one day, in one hour it could all be brought about at once! The chief thing is to love others as oneself, that's the main thing, and that's it -- absolutely nothing more is necessary: you would immediately discover how to bring it about." -- Dostoevsky, The Dream of a Ridiculous Man
The Twelfth Mindfulness Training
Aware of the failure of the dominator paradigm, I am choosing to write a new story with my life: it will be a story of Divine, and Every kind, of connection. It will be a story of fraternity with this precious blue Planet and with a beautiful future for every child. It will be a story of gratitude, sufficiency, graciousness, and harmony. It will be a story of Beauty and Paradise, wild with passion and infinite possibilities! Watch me!
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher.