Valerie Kaur

A guided inquiry for this moment in time.

September 25, 2021

“I am haunted not by the shock of the images; I am haunted by their familiarity.”

Valerie Kaur

 #revolutionarylove

‘…her letter to us about the Haitian refugee crisis.

DONATE + SIGN + CALL 

My letter to you: Haitian Refugees & Seeing No Stranger

#1 DONATE: Haitian Bridge Alliance is on the ground helping Haitian refugees in Del Rio seeking asylum. Click here to donate now to support their efforts.

#2 SIGN: Families Belong Together has organized a petition to demand that the Biden Administration halt all deportations to Haiti. Sign the petition here.

#3 CALL: Dial 202-224-3121 and use the sample script below to contact your Congress members today to urge them to take action to protect Haitian and other Black asylum seekers at the border.

Valerie:

“The word ‘refugee’ melts away and slowly his full humanity comes into view. I imagine his children, the home he left behind, why he has risked everything to seek asylum, the fear in his heart as he runs.”

“To the white officer on the horse: “I choose to wonder about him as a human being. What makes him cruel? Then it happens: I see a frail white man driven by illusions of duty, power & aggression that permeate the culture of the institution he serves.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection mounted officers attempt to contain migrants as they cross the Rio Grande from Ciudad Acuña, Mexico, into Del Rio, Texas, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021. (AP Photo/Felix Marquez)

What if…

September 13, 2021

‘What if this is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb?’ -Valerie Kaur

The Revolutionary Love Project, founded by civil rights leader and prophetic voice Valarie Kaur, inspires and equips people to build beloved community where they are. We teach core practices of revolutionary love, backed by research and infused with ancestral wisdom. Our team produces educational tools, training courses, artwork, films, music, and mass mobilizations that center the voices of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) communities. In an era of great transition, we believe that we can birth a world where we see no stranger. Each of us has a role. When we lead with love, we labor with joy.

Radical love.

September 9, 2021

#1 DONATE: Haitian Bridge Alliance is on the ground helping Haitian refugees in Del Rio seeking asylum. Click here to donate now to support their efforts.

#2 SIGN: Families Belong Together has organized a petition to demand that the Biden Administration halt all deportations to Haiti. Sign the petition here.

#3 CALL: Dial 202-224-3121 and use the sample script below to contact your Congress members today to urge them to take action to protect Haitian and other Black asylum seekers at the border.

~Valerie Kaur

The Revolutionary Love Project

This month: ‘Loving ourselves…breathe and push.’

August 3, 2021

Valerie Kaur

Breath: A Guided Inquiry

“You don’t have to make yourself suffer in order to serve. You don’t have to grind your bones into the ground. You don’t have to cut your life up into pieces and give yourself away until there is nothing left. You belong to a community and a broader movement. Your life has value. We need you alive. We need you to last. You will not last if you are not breathing.”

Place your hand on your heart and another on your belly. And now let the breath come, feeling your belly fill up. Hold for four. Let it go. What does it feel like to let this deep of a breath into your body?

Take in your surroundings. Let your eyes fall on the most beautiful thing around you. Notice its color and shape. Notice the way the light falls on it. Notice its beauty. No matter what is happening out there in the world right now, no matter how dark, or violent, or cruel, this beautiful thing also exists. The world right here is just as real as the world out there.

Take another deep breath. Notice if it’s a little easier. When we give our attention to wonder, we call it breathtaking. But perhaps we should call it breathgiving. Awe stretches out our capacity to be present and let in even a sense of joy. Notice what you feel in your body.

Is this feeling in your body familiar or is it rare? How have you been breathing? What do you need to be able to breathe like this every day? Get quiet and listen.

What activities invite this breath in? They may be singing, chanting, dancing, drumming, bathing, burning, walking, writing, eating, sleeping, retreating, being in nature. Notice what practices your body wants. What are you longing for? What gives you pleasure? What would it mean to weave just a little bit of this into every day?

Push: A definition
“To push is to choose to enter grief, rage, or trauma as part of a healing process. Pushing requires us to discern the right times to breathe and rest, and the right time to push through painful sensations, emotions, and thoughts to birth new possibilities in ourselves and others.”

Transition: Ways to Practice

“Transition is both a noun and a verb. Transition is the fiery process that is required to move from one reality into another. To transition is to summon the courage to stay in the labors of love and justice, even when we want to give up. It requires us to draw upon collective wisdom to birth something new together.”

Create a wisdom practice. Choose ways to listen to your deepest wisdom, the parts of yourselves that are wise and brave and unfailingly loving. This might mean protecting a few minutes daily to journal, meditate, draw or color or create—whatever gives you the stillness to quiet the noise of the world and listen to the wisest voice within you. If you do not yet hear anything, that is okay. Keep breathing.  Keep listening.

Surround yourself with sources of bravery. Who makes you brave?  These may be people in your life, or they may be ancestors, authors, artists, or activists you have never met. Keep these people and their voices close to you so that you can nourish the root of your own deepest wisdom.

Transition requires endings as well as new beginnings. As individuals we can ask: What stories am I willing to let die in order for new possibilities to be born? As a society we can ask: What stories about our nation have to die for a new America to be born?

Reflect in your wisdom journal. The wise voice in you will tell you what practice you need on the revolutionary love compass — when you need to breathe, push, grieve, rage, fight, and on. What do you need on any given day, in any given moment?  Calling forth our deepest wisdom is not just how we love ourselves. When we lead with our deepest wisdom, not our fear, we can play our role in transitioning the world around us. Imagine a critical mass of people leading from their deepest wisdom: We can transition humanity as a whole.

“Joy is the gift of love. To let in joy is to give our senses over to what is beautiful, delightful, pleasurable, or wondrous in the present moment. Joy returns us to everything good and beautiful and worth fighting for. It gives us energy for the long labor.”

What brings you joy? Choose one thing that is simple and accessible. A person, a place, or an activity that you could go to right now if you wanted to.

Notice what it is about this thing that brings you joy. See it, touch it, taste it. Remember how it felt when you were fully in it. The  sensation could be very strong. Or just a slight feeling. Place more attention on it. Let yourself enjoy it.

What does joy feel like in your body? Notice where you feel sensation, ease, and tingling. Place your attention there and notice what happens. Go back and forth between your source of joy and the sensations in your body.

Notice any blocks to letting yourself feel this joy. Feelings of guilt or shame? Stories about what you deserve? Call upon your deepest wisdom to speak to yourself as you would your own beloved child or best friend. What do you hear?

You can’t force joy. You can only create the conditions to let it come and take you. In the Sikh tradition we call it Chardi Kala — ever rising high spirits, even in darkness; joy even in the midst of labor. Our brother Sonny Singh, Sikh musician, singer and songwriter, captures the essence of Chardi Kala with his uplifting song of the same name.

The Revolutionary Love Project envisions a world where love is a public ethic and shared practice in our lives and politics. We generate stories, tools, and thought leadership to equip people to practice the ethic of love in the fight for social justice.

Stardust & Consciousness

July 25, 2021

Fr Richard Rohr:

Living in a transitional age such as ours is scary: things are falling apart, the future is unknowable, so much doesn’t cohere or make sense. We can’t seem to put order to it. This is the postmodern panic. It lies beneath most of our cynicism, our anxiety, and our aggression.

Chaos often precedes great creativity, and faith precedes great leaps into new knowledge. The pattern of transformation begins in order, but it very quickly yields to disorder and—if we stay with it long enough in love—eventual reordering. Our uncertainty is the doorway into mystery, the doorway into surrender.

Center for Action and Contemplation teacher Barbara Holmes:

The crisis begins without warning, shatters our assumptions about the way the world works, and changes our story and the stories of our neighbors. The reality that was so familiar to us is gone suddenly, and we don’t know what is happening. . . .

If life, as we experience it, is a fragile crystal orb that holds our daily routines and dreams of order and stability, then sudden and catastrophic crises shatter this illusion of normalcy. . . . I am referring to oppression, violence, pandemics, abuses of power, or natural disasters and planetary disturbances. . . .

I consider crisis contemplation to be an aspect of disorder that prepares communities for a leap toward the future. This is a leap toward our beginnings. We are not just organisms functioning on a biological level; our sphere of being also includes stardust  and consciousness. We all have a spark of divinity within, a flicker of Holy Fire that can be diminished, but never extinguished.

Knock Knock,

who’s there?

Mystery and Surrender.

Please, invite me in.

  • Order
  • Disorder
  • Reorder

“Chaos often precedes great creativity.”

K

A

I

R

O

S

 

“People are attracted to that that makes them feel love.”

-Marriane Williamson, A Course in Miracles

 

Try. Intersect great ℒℴve love with great surrender.

 

Inhale.

 

jai

 


A meditation from Megan McKenna on the importance of translation. Scholar and author Neil Douglas-Klotz has worked for decades with the Aramaic language, which Jesus most likely spoke as a first-century Jewish man from Nazareth. Because translation is never an exact science, Dr. Douglas-Klotz offers several possible understandings of Jesus’ teaching “Blessed are they that mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

Blessed are those in emotional turmoil; they shall be united inside by love.

Healthy are those weak and overextended for their purpose; they shall feel their inner flow of strength return.

Healed are those who weep for their frustrated desire; they shall see the face of fulfillment in a new form.

Aligned with the One are the mourners; they shall be comforted.

Turned to the Source are those feeling deeply confused by life; they shall be returned from their wandering.

Dr. Douglas-Klotz continues:

Lawile can mean “mourners” (as translated from the Greek), but in Aramaic it also carries the sense of those who long deeply for something to occur, those troubled or in emotional turmoil, or those who are weak and in want from such longing. Netbayun can mean “comforted,” but also connotes being returned from wandering, united inside by love, feeling an inner continuity, or seeing the arrival of (literally, the face of) what one longs for.

Dr. Douglas-Klotz offers this embodied prayer practice to help readers sense the powerful message of this beatitude.

When in emotional turmoil—or unable to clearly feel any emotion—experiment in this fashion: breathe in while feeling the word lawile (lay-wee-ley) [longing]; breathe out while feeling the word netbayun (net-bah-yoon) [loving]. Embrace all of what you feel and allow all emotions to wash through as though you were standing under a gentle waterfall. Follow this flow back to its source and find there the spring from which all emotion arises. At this source, consider what emotion has meaning for the moment, what action or nonaction is important now.

-Center for Action & Contemplation

Your corner of the sky.

April 3, 2021

“Liminal space, the time between waiting and knowing.” -Fr. Richard Rohr

‘Our only truly essential human task here is to grow beyond the survival instincts of the animal brain and egoic operating system into the kenotic joy and generosity of full human personhood.’ —Cynthia Bourgeault

‘…it is to look upon the face of anyone and choose to say: You are a part of me I do not yet know.’ ‘When I get overwhelmed, I ask: What is my role in this moment? I only have to shine my light in my corner of sky.’ —Valarie Kaur, Sikh activist & civil rights lawyer

 

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