Dear LY, I’m coming to you from a very fragile place. As a black woman, I’ve experienced the worst facets of humanity, and I find it hard to meet these situations with love and careful attention. Currently, I have to switch study abroad programs due to extreme racism in the country I’m currently in, and I feel as if I have no where to turn since this is a universal issue. My heart is sick and heavy and I’ve lost every hope. Your blog has always comforted me over the years–any words of wisdom?
The reality is that we cannot afford to wait for the world to change before allowing ourselves peace. But once we have found some measure of peace, we will also find ourselves better equipped to meet the challenges of this world.
I cannot possibly understand the blind hate and cruelty you may have experienced and witnessed in your lifetime. All I can do is remind you that you can know peace regardless. From there, the insight and inspiration that will greet you may save the lives of many who have shared suffering similar to your own. You have the capacity to become a catalyst in your own right, simply by offering your own awakening.
The ignorance inherent in racism and discrimination is that we judge a living being by its appearance. We don’t see that aliveness, we see that skin color. We don’t see that existence, we see that gender.
We all experience this world differently. But if we turn within, the experience of existence is undivided.
Who are we without mind and body? What becomes of identity when identifications cease? Death will end all of that regardless, so why not explore it now?
If you identify with your physical body, then you will see other beings in terms of their body. If you judge yourself according to your gender identity, you will do the same for others.
This is why our own awakening is a service we can render unto the world. Your own liberation grants the liberation of others. If you turn within to rediscover and recognize the awareness that is more “you” than any transient appearance, the very radiance of which bliss and peace are made, then things are never the same again. You relate to other beings in a very different way. It’s impossible to say how, but changing the way you relate to others can often be an agent of change for them.
It does not mean you cannot appreciate your body, your culture, or your heritage, yet at the same time it frees you from being confined by and limited to them. You are incapable of getting pinned down by the judgments of any mind—be it your own or others.
Positive thoughts and ideas are not enough. We must practice and we must experience. There is no substitute for daily meditation, for enduring mindfulness, and for sincere prayer. These are the things which shake us out of our habits and transient identities and reveal the eternity within and around us.
Whichever country you are leaving, it is their loss. But this experience, so long as it urges you toward awakening and peace, is your gain.
Namaste sister. Sending you love.