August Greetings from Jonathan Foust: Healing Racism and Discrimination, A Meditative Journey and More



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  The World is One Family After a lifetime dedicated to spiritual practice including being in silence for 19 years and 10 hours a day of meditation, Swami Kripalu summed it up his ultimate realization as the experience of "Sanatana Dharma."   Sanatana Dharma translates as 'eternal truth.' This is the truth we share regardless of our culture, language, race, gender, sexual identity or age. "The world is one family," he said.   Despite this fundamental truth, our culture is struggling to find our commonality. In this month's missive you'll find some resources that may help you heal the divide.   May we find peace within and with each other.   spacer-25

Healing Racism and Discrimination

In light of the recent events in Charleston, the controversy concerning the confederate flag and the surfacing of deeply entrenched discrimination, a request was made for dharma teachers to speak on the topic of healing racism.   There are some powerful talks out there. If you are interested, here is a talk from Tara Brach Listen Here and here’s a talk from Ruth King Listen Here, a dharma teacher who speaks and leads trainings on the need for healing in this area.   I was reticent to speak as I’m not that conversant in the latest approaches to ‘white awareness’ and am not sure where one even begins when it comes to healing racism. The more I thought about my personal experience, though, as privileged as it’s been, the more sensitized I’'ve become.   I went to a Quaker high school. My sophomore year we got to choose our roommate. Gil and I were great friends and from different cultures. I was a white kid who grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania and he was African-American from South Philly by way of South Carolina. But our easy friendship made being roommates a simple choice.   The bubble in which we lived, a culturally-diverse boarding school, fostered acceptance and ease. That bubble burst one day when Gil came back to the family farm with me for a weekend. We were handing around town on a lazy Saturday afternoon. Gil was in a store and while I was waiting for him outside I saw a friend walking down the street with whom I went to public school a few years earlier.   He and I chatted for a bit, catching up. Gil came out of the store and walked up to us with a big smile. I started to introduce Gil. Before I could speak, my old classmate’s eyes narrowed. He glared at Gil, glared at me, turned and walked away without saying a word. I was stunned, hurt, embarrassed and angry.   Gil shrugged it off and we went on, but something shifted in me that day.   What stunned me was that I knew these guys could be friends. I knew both of them and liked them both.   But that wasn’t possible. My old classmate saw Gil as the enemy and by friendship and association, I was now an enemy as well.   I have come to realize that Gil didn’t just shrug it off.   Just as untreated hatred poisons the heart of those who hate, those on the receiving end internalize that vitriol. Healing this division is our shared work.   Follow this link to listen to the talk, "The World is One Family: Healing Racism and Discrimination."      

Upcoming Events

August 8:

Conscious Relationships (with Tara Brach) Learn More

August 10:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More

August 16:

The Still, Small Voice: Meditation, Focusing and Intuition Training Learn More

August 17:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More

August 29:

A Meditative Journey: Mindful Movement, Meditation and Deep Relaxation Learn More

August 31:

Evening Class at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington Learn More    

Summer Photos

  The will to live. A tree clings to the side of a small island on the Potomac River.   1 spacer-25 Flying into Provincetown. (It happened to be Bear Week.)   2 spacer-25 Bouys and Gulls. A distant storm churns the Atlantic.   3 spacer-25 Speaking of buoys and gulls, we celebrated a bay-side marriage proposal (and acceptance).   4 spacer-25 Morning shoot.   5 spacer-25 Low low low low tide.   6 spacer-25 Hauling off a snack.   7 spacer-25 The first signs of Fall. Back on the river, grasses begin to turn.   8 spacer-25

Video Clip

  Here’s another "Five Breaths / Five Scenes" video for you, this time featuring Low Tide.      

A Meditative Journey: Mindful Movement, Meditation and Deep Relaxation

August 29 Insight Meditation Community of Washington (IMCW)   A daylong retreat in the DC Metro area.   Why did the Buddha emphasize mindfulness of the body as the primary foundation of practice?   The body lives only in the here and now. As you train your attention to rest in your senses you learn how to be present to whatever arises.   You can’t make a state of inner quiet happen, but you can create an optimal environment through conscious movement and breathing.   Through the day you’ll learn movement sequences that help to release deep-seated tension and help to draw your awareness inward. Two deep guided body scan experiences help to cultivate a sense of ease and integration.   No prior experience of yoga or meditation is required. If you do have extensive experience, you’ll find the guidance spacious and inviting. Come and explore relaxation as a doorway to presence.   Visit:   IMCW-aug29 spacer-25

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The World is One Family: Healing the Wounds of Racism and Discrimination

July Greetings from Jonathan Foust: Intention and Karma, Apps that Support Mindfulness, and More


Seeking Freedom

  Swami Satchitananda on what it was like to be a Hindu..."I don’t think I’m a Hindu," he said. "I think I'm an Undo." I don't think of myself as a Buddhist, but simply as someone seeking freedom.   While these links refer to those who identify as Buddhist, nonetheless, you may find them helpful as you look for resources that may help you bring more awareness to the issue of healing racism and discrimination.   An Open Letter to Dharma Teachers   An Call to White Buddhists   A Call to People of Color Buddhists   Shared Resources



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