“If I was a revolutionary, I would act. And my acting would change the world.”
Possibly the passion and support of the crowd prevented me feeling fearful of the police standing on top of the surrounding buildings holding large rifles when I spoke those words to thousands of black people gathered at the South Carolina capitol protesting the excessive killing of black men by the Highway Patrol. I was in my twenties then. Years passed before I fully understood what it takes to be a true change agent for good.
The only change I can really make in the world is to change my concepts, perceptions, and actions. When I realized spiritual practice is the first step to becoming a true revolutionary, my view changed. Now, even though police continue to murder innocent black men, it’s not just an ignored problem in South Carolina. Black lives matter has become an international rallying call for justice. And I understand my role now.
From my childhood, in one way or another, I've explored ways to ease the suffering in the world by being a better person. When I was young my spiritual practice was through Catholic prayer and practices. I was so serious, I spent my first two years of high school living in a convent as a candidate to take vows. My rebellious nature was not a fit for a Catholic convent. When I learned of the Church’s direct role in colonialism and grew tired of the hypocrisy of confession, I left the Catholic church. Unconsciously, I then began my quest for a spiritual home.
I stumbled, fell, collected rocks and broken branches like a tumbleweed on this spiritual quest. I worked as a performance artist, administrative assistant, non-profit director, writer, oral storyteller, and nurse. Black Muslim, Orthodox Muslim, Hindu, Sufi, Self-Realization Fellowship, and Babji Kriya Yoga were places I visited. When I found Vajrayana Buddhism I knew I was home.
Through conscious, consistent daily spiritual practice I've learned to recognize and control my anger, my attachments, diminish worry, accept change, practice compassion, patience, kindness, and gratitude.
Now I understand the words I wrote when I was twelve years old, “I always was and always will be.” I know I’m energy. Energy cannot be destroyed. The ultimate energy of all is eternal without beginning or end. All we see and do not see is part of this eternal all.
I know, without a doubt, when I see you, I see me and the recognition of our unity creates a freedom without bounds or limits. With this freedom it's easy to incorporate spiritual practice into your daily life.
Learn from my mistakes. You can have a life of happiness and equanimity in all circumstances. If you need some assistance, I'm here.