Black Lives Matter! What should I do? – Join Me Online on Wednesday, June 10 at 8 p.m. (EDT)
Black Lives Matter! Not, “White Lives Matter,” or “All Lives Matter.” Make no mistake – unless you are a person of color, there is no way you or I could ever know the experience of being black in America. Sure, I experienced sexism and discrimination as a woman pastor as an Air Force chaplain – both overtly and often quite subtly – but my experience could never compare to that of my colleagues of color. Racism has been and continues to be a tragedy of our American experiment.
As I have watched and read the news of the past few weeks – the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery and George Floyd, the protests across our country, the President’s uncensored words – I am saddened, enraged, and, especially during this time of COVID-19, I feel helpless. I worry about my neighbors’ health as they gather. Never in my 50+ decades of life have I wanted so badly to join the protesters and lend my voice and my indignation – to somehow help to make things better.
What should and can I do?
During this COVID-19 epidemic, I know that I should not put myself and others at risk by gathering with protesters – even if I wear a mask. I am not ready to not do social distancing. But what I CAN do is use whatever resources are at my disposal to speak out and act out AGAINST racism in any form. As a meditator and as a Christian, I have resources that I can use today and every day.
I can refuse to return evil for evil. I can love my neighbor – even the neighbor who disagrees with me. I can pray for that neighbor and all my neighbors. I can offer Metta to all beings. I can work for justice remembering Dr. Cornell West words when he said, “Justice is the public face of love.”
Join me online on June 10 at 8 p.m.
On Wednesday, June 10 at 8:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, I will offer a virtual protest of love meditation. This 40 minute “sit” will consist of a silent meditation for 8 minutes 46 seconds – the length of time it took for George Floyd to breathe his last. After that we will practice Metta – a formal loving kindness meditation for safety, happiness, health and love to all people, people of who have been adversely affected by racism, ourselves and those working for justice, our COVID-19 victims and all health care workers and first responders, our law enforcement officials and military members, and finally, our entire world.
(Coincidentally, on June 10, 1964, the United States Senate breaks a 75-day filibuster against the Civil Rights Act of 1964, leading to the bill’s passage.)
To register for this event, please go to https://mindfulnessjax.com, scroll down and sign up for “Black Lives Matters Meditation Online,” and I will send you the Zoom link and password to attend our protest of love. As the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, “I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.” May the loving kindness of our open hearts transform our world!