Monthly Archives: September 2016

love as our first thought

Sitting with clients this week and sharing our pain, I came across these words from Greg Snyder (Brooklyn Zen Center)


“This morning I got really irritated about something not that important and realized I was resisting letting my heart break for Orlando. Then it just did. I have no idea what to say here, other than Charleston, Orlando, on and on – enough with the hatred, all of us. I am speaking from grief, so forgive my insistent tone; but we have just got to stop as a nation, as a people of many peoples, communities, and take stock, slap ourselves in the collective face and wake up to the ways we are creating the conditions for this. People are being executed… executed in nightclubs and churches, on streets for nothing. Nothing. Nothing. They are worshipping and dancing and walking. I pray every person with a shred of sanity – especially those of privilege and power – train her or his heart on love and, from that place, work to expose and heal hatred wherever we see it. I would encourage us all to take up the practice of watching our every word and silence, every action and inaction, every thought and distraction, every vote and political shrug of the shoulders, and ask ourselves – Am I right now cultivating a world of love or hate? Is the language I’m getting behind a language of love or hate? I know I fail at this intention everyday of my life, but all I feel right now is that we must work tirelessly to cultivate a society deeply rooted in love. Most of us will fear this because love is both personally and societally revolutionary. Love will shake us to our core as people and as nations. But it’s so long past time. It has been said so many times that it’s boring, but business as usual really has to stop being business as usual. I can already see the story unfolding in the news and soon it will be all too easy just to blame this on ISIS and take no stock of who we are. We too easily use this or that terrorist or sociopath as a free ticket for moving on. This too has to stop. We have to bring the world into our hearts and make love our first thought, our first intention for ourselves and every person we meet. That means we have to critically engage the mental and societal habits that resist love. Despite all we can do to each other, I choose to have faith in humanity. Yes, we can be a wind of fire that leaves scars and burning, but we are also dear and precious and deserving of our birthright of peace and happiness, every one of us. I vow to focus my heart on the latter, knowing that we must learn to clearly see and end the conditions for the former. May the mystery forever cradle those murdered in Orlando and may we all learn to care for each other while here. Love to the families and communities of those lost. Love to all of you, my sacred sisters and brothers.”