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Lions Roar : March 2018
are hungry, do I serve them a meal or do I come up with a way of helping them to feed and shelter themselves? I would say yes, you should do both. To bear witness is to embrace and recognize the whole situ- ation. On a personal level, you feed them. On a systemic level, you engage the system. There are many ways that witnessing can become an active expression of our awareness and our empathy. Right where we live, the city council, the mayor’s office, governors, or legislative assembly can be brought into this recognition of what is calling out for attention. At the federal level, your congressional repre- sentative or federal agencies can be held accountable to their responsibilities. Our personal witness includes supporting organizations that are pushing for legisla- tion and policies that address human suf- fering and that promote peace and justice. In a cultural anthropology class I took years ago, I learned about the notion of cultural maintenance, which describes how a culture, as a system, defends itself even if it means disguising the truth or absorbing what that culture perceives as threats. Bearing witness is a radical act— it is a way of shining a light on the truth and standing steadfastly in that light. The practice of bearing witness is not easy, but if there was ever a time when we needed to bear witness, it is now. Gone are the days when it was enough to march in the streets to bring about social change. Each of us is called upon to move beyond our own fixed views and open our eyes to penetrate to the true reality of the world as it is. ♦ “ I cannot recommend this work highly enough to anyone who wants to take better notice of what makes human life so exquisitely worthwhile. A TRUE TREASURE OF A GUIDE TO BEING REAL.” — Robert A. F. Thurman, Jey Tsong Khapa Professor of Buddhism at Columbia University markepsteinmd.com JEWEL HEART ONLINE & ONSITE PROGRAMS LEARN MORE AT JEWELHEART.ORG THE FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS DEMO RINPOCHE Onsite Jewel Heart NY Online via Webinar Thursdays, January - March, 2018 INTRODUCTION TO VAJRAYANA GLENN MULLIN Onsite & Online Jewel Heart Midwest Tour Cleveland, Bloomfield Hills, Ann Arbor, Chicago March 25 - April 8, 2018 JEWEL HEART SUMMER RETREAT GELEK RIMPOCHE’S GREEN TARA TEACHINGS WITH DEMO RINPOCHE Onsite & Online from Ann Arbor July 9 - 13, 2018 LION’S ROAR | MARCH 2018 33 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE