Equal Justice Initiative
Ahimsa.January 12, 2021
[A 10-year-old girl’s letter to the police officer seen being crushed in the insurrection riot at the Capitol building on January 6th, 2021.]
“Sorrow is my meditation.” -Dr. Jan Peppler
‘Our suffering has been trying to communicate with us, to let us know it is there, but we have spent a lot of time and energy ignoring it.
The suffering inside us contains the suffering of our fathers, our mothers, and our ancestors.
Our suffering reflects the suffering of the world.
Understanding suffering always brings compassion.’
-Thich Nhat Hanh
We are beaten and blown by the wind, blown the wind, oh when I go there, I go there with you, it’s all I can do.
‘Despite the terrific beating we were experiencing at the hands of fate, each of us still living out his faith. Even in the presence of extraordinary pain, we were taking right action, we were attending to our practice, each in her own way.
As I listened to the lyrics of this song, the depth of my commitment to my own spiritual path became clear to me.
Marianne Williamson, in her spiritual guidebook a Return to Love, “If you want to end darkness, you cannot beat it with a baseball bat, you have to turn on the light.”
We do not need to enter a showdown with our self-destructive behavior, nor can we deny its existence. We must simply come to now it, and move on. We learn to focus wholeheartedly on positive behavior.’
-Rolf Gates and Katrina Kenison
Additionally, ahimsa/non-violence practiced not only in behavior and thought, but also a vow to disrupt violence.
From Bryan Stevenson, founder of the Equal Justice Initiative, lawyer, author, and professor: “We are all implicated when we allow other people to be mistreated. An absence of compassion can corrupt the decency of a community, a state, a nation.”
From yoga teacher, practitioner, author and activist Seane Corn.
I intended this letter to be about the New Year, wishing you all the brightest and the best for 2021.
Sadly, so quickly into the year, the Capitol building in the US was assaulted by domestic terrorists, and, once again, this nation is in trauma and turmoil.
I am devastated by the events in DC and horrified by the people who caused so much suffering to democracy in the US. It’s tragic but not surprising. It felt like it was moving in this direction for a very long time.
Although this moment in history is sad and discouraging, I continue to commit to re-imagining a future that is happy, healthy, and peaceful for ALL and holding on to hope that justice will prevail and healing will occur for us in the US and throughout the world.
I hope you are doing okay. That you are breathing, staying in communication with your friends, family, and support system, and doing your yoga, meditation, and healing work.
I am sending you so much love to you and your family.
The world cries out for compassion.
Universally shared.November 23, 2020
Fr Richard Rohr, Center for Action and Contemplation:
Order becomes opportunity, stability melts into movement and change, status-quo government gives way to a revolution of community and neighborliness, policy bows to love, domination descends to service and sacrifice, control morphs into influence and inspiration, and vengeance and threats are transformed into forgiveness and blessing.
Contemplation: a long loving look at the real.
Smart, generous and kind.
The Ngram tracks words used in books over the last 200 years. Here’s what a million authors and a billion readers think:
‘We may not each be called to the same work in the same ways, but we share the responsibility to repair the conscience of our nation, to stand up and stand in the gap for those who have lost hope, lost their way, lost their voice.’
Science of Mind Magazine named Stevenson their Spiritual Hero of the Year for 2020.
In an adapted excerpt from Rohr’s A Spring Within Us, Father Richard Rohr says that mystic “simply means one who has moved from mere belief systems or belonging systems to actual inner experience. All spiritual traditions at their mature levels agree that such a movement is possible, desirable, and even available to everyone.”
“A mystic is an ordinary person who does ordinary things and experiences these moments of profound union with The Source, Mirabai Starr says.
Another sign you may be a natural mystic? An extreme affinity for nature.
Mirabai Starr: “That’s why there’s the term “Mother Earth.” For a lot of people with mystical inclinations, it’s a felt relationship with the earth, as a cherished loved one, as a relative. It’s about fully embodying our humanity and our relationship with the natural world, but that’s still a mystical experience, because we, our separate ego self dissolves into that vast mystery of The One.”
Boise WeeklyJanuary 9, 2020
‘Just’ About Perfect
July 11, 2016
Comments from Just Mercy author and Equal Justice Initiative Founder Bryan Stevenson:
“We have a history of racial inequality that we really haven’t adequately acknowledged.”
“And then we codified our racial hierarchy through segregation. We passed the Civil Rights Act but we never dealt with this presumption.”
“Our failure to take seriously this problem is rooted in an unwillingness to acknowledge the damage done by slavery, lynching & segregation.”