Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “compassion”

Little Quotes That Teach – Roger Ingalls

Freedom

“There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free.” Walter Cronkite

“A friend is someone who gives you total freedom to be yourself.” Jim Morrison

“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.” Abraham Lincoln

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.” John F. Kennedy

“The secret to happiness is freedom and the secret to freedom is courage.” Thucydides

Politics

“Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress; but I repeat myself.” Mark Twain

“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.” Plato

“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.” Aesop

“We have, I fear, confused power with greatness.” Stewart Udall

Religion

“The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.” Thomas Paine

“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” Albert Einstein

“Whether one believes in a religion or not, and whether one believes in rebirth or not, there isn’t anyone who doesn’t appreciate kindness and compassion.” Dalai Lama

“It is in our lives and not our words that our religion must be read.” Thomas Jefferson

“Superstition is to religion what astrology is to astronomy the mad daughter of a wise mother. These daughters have too long dominated the earth.” Voltaire

Peace

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” Jimi Hendrix

“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.” Mahatma Gandhi

“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. Peace begins with a smile.” Mother Teresa

“Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.” George Washington

Closing Arguments

“The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.” Plutarch

“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.” Winston Churchill

“Wisdom, compassion, and courage are the three universally recognized moral qualities of men.” Confucius

“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

Fat liberation – by RhondaJo Boomington

Buddah Seems Happy - and Not Thin

I attended a Fat Liberation class on Monday night. I had never even heard of such of thing and had no idea what to expect.

Even more intriguing to me was the fact that it was held at East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland (EBMC).

EBMC opened it’s doors about five years ago – specifically to welcome those who are often not welcomed at many local Buddhist Centers – specifically people of color; LGBTQI folk (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning and intersex) and people whose disabilities make a traditional sit challenging. And, amazingly, all of their programming is offered on a donation basis – insuring that economic circumstances do not hinder anyone’s ability to participate.

What a model for the rest of the world!

So, off I went to Fat Liberation class. After all – in every Buddhist group of which I have been a part of (and that’s quite a number), the people (except for me)  were exclusively thin. Very thin.  I’ve always thought it rather humorous that all of these thin people quietly sit around breathing. And almost always there’s is a statue somewhere around of a Buddha with a fat belly. But in my experience, many of these Buddhists haven’t achieved a state of non-attachment when it comes to prejudices against those who are not thin (sounds like great material for a future comedy routine : )

So, on Monday night – for the first time in my life, I sat in a room of about 25 people. None of whom were thin. And all of whom were meditating together. No longer “the other.”

It was a very intriguing and healing experience.

I do realize that perhaps the majority of people reading this post are thin. I am writing this post because I believe that the most powerful part of my Fat Liberation evening many be beneficial to you. Yes you.

I challenge you to spend ten minutes of your time expanding your horizon.

Here’s the simple instructions. Find another person. Sit (or stand) facing each other. For five minutes, one person (person A) will ask a question. The other person (person B) will answer. Person A then says “thank you” (and absolutely nothing more). And Person A asks the question again. Person B answers. Person A says “thank you.” And asks the question again, etc. At the end of five minutes, the two switch roles.

Now – here’s the question. “What would it be like if you offered kindness to your body. Just as it is. In this moment?”

When the instructor explained this exercise, I’ll admit. I rolled my eyes. And thought that this was one of the dumbest things I had been asked to do in a long time. But I did it. And I’m so glad that I did. It was so illuminating. And,from the discussion afterward, it was for everyone in the room.

Go ahead. It’s just ten minutes. It may transform the relationship you have with your body.

Compassion for Everyone - Including Yourself

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RhondaJo Boomington is a Southern transplant from North Carolina. She landed in the haven of Berkeley six years ago and never plans to leave. Formerly a fundamentalist who voted for Jesse Helms many times, she now relishes her liberal lesbian life in the Bay Area and is frustrated that Obama is not liberal enough. She has earned a J.D. and an MDiv., and performs in the Bay Area as a stand up comedian and solo performance artist.

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