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Rev. Vicky's Message May 23, 2024

MINISTER’S MESSAGE: 

As we honor those who have given their lives in the service of our nation on this upcoming Memorial Day…I can’t help but lament that humanity has still not learned how to live together peacefully and co-create a world that works for all. It is my heartfelt prayer, that there will come a day when we end all wars and the death and destruction they cause.

 

I particularly grieve the current conflict in the Middle East – a situation that challenges us to expand our minds and evolve our thinking such that we are able to hold two or more seemingly opposing ideas/truths at once (e.g., anti-Semitism is real and unacceptable, AS IS  the catastrophic suffering in Gaza).

 

We don’t live in an “either–or” world…and to effectively address the existential issues we’re now facing requires that we evolve into a higher level of thinking (because we can’t resolve issues at the same level of consciousness with which we created them).

 

So, with this in mind, and in light of my personal commitment to “Do Justice, Love Kindness, and Walk Humbly with my God” I’ve been deeply contemplating “What is mine to be and do and/or say” in this situation? And honestly, I don’t have any answers…except that I know I must not turn away. Rather I must allow my heart to be broken open in oneness with all the people caught up in this nightmare.

 

I recently read a blog entitled, “Reflections on Gaza and the Bodhisattva Path” by Tara Brach, who is a Ph.D, psychologist, author, and teacher of meditation, emotional healing and spiritual awakening. She focuses on the questions: “What is Love Asking from Us?” and “How can we take action in ways that liberate ourselves and others?” 

 

I found her reflections to be very meaningful and instructive, and I highly recommend reading her full blog, which can be found here: https://www.tarabrach.com/blog-reflections-gaza-bodhisattva-path/?cn-reloaded=1

 

But her bottom-line message to us is this:

 

“Breaking free of dehumanization and awakening compassion requires a courageous, honest, and sustained mindfulness. It is natural that Palestinians, Israelis, and others who are most traumatized in this conflict may not be capable of a mindful presence right now. However for those of us who care and have the willingness, this crisis calls on us to deepen our dedication to the Bodhisattva’s inner work. As Thich Nhat Hanh taught, ‘Man is not our enemy.’ We need to open wide our hearts so our actions serve the healing and freedom of all beings.”

 

“The moment we choose to love, we begin to move towards freedom, to act in ways that liberate ourselves and others.”  

––bell hooks

 

Namasté

Rev. Vicky




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