Friday, October 28, 2011

Wisdom Quarterly's Occupation Meditations

Wisdom Quarterly, Occupy LA, Against the Stream,

Following a tradition of sacred activism Wisdom Quarterly has been organizing Occupation Meditations at Occupy Los Angeles, Berkeley, San Francisco, and Oakland. The same wish to raise consciousness, promote peace, and to engage in the issues that affect 99 percent of us moves us to take our cushions out into the world.

There was once a war brewing on the frontiers of ancient India. The Shakyans and a neighbors were at odds. The Buddha, pulled by affinity to his relatives and former neighbors, went there and sat down.

What was sitting meant to accomplish? Just his presence, just the emanation of his loving-kindness, just his being there was a condition for peace. More than that, it demonstrated peace. Anti-war activism? Anti-war is subtly violent. Pro-peace is peaceful. Occupying, sitting, being peace is peacefully demonstrating.

Thursday night (Oct. 27) as Occupy LA wobbled with at least one erratic protester, engaged Wisdom Quarterly activists saw the need to bring meditation back. There is already a permanent presence on the north side next to the free Collective University in the form of a sacred space tent called the Meditation Temple. The south side lawn has a Mother Earth peace ring. But we thought it important to occupy cushions in the center of site just before the General Assembly.

Asher led a guided meditation, inspired his evolving practice at Against the Stream and his own spiritual travels in Israel and Asia. The next action will take place Sunday, when we will also be joined by Pasadharma Zen group and Long Beach's Bodhi Mission. We are working on a visit by Amma Thanisanti, a Western Theravada Buddhist nun.

Protester awakens to how our society really operates