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Lions Roar : September 2019
“Monks, the All is aflame... Aflame, I tell you, with birth, aging, and death, with sorrows, lamentations, pains, distresses, and despairs.” —Adittapariyaya Sutta: The Fire Sermon ALL IS AFLAME. The scale at which hatred and despair are spreading feels exponential to me these days. There is fear that democracy, never a perfect MUSHIM IKEDA is a social activist and core teacher at East Bay Meditation Center in Oakland. She also works as a diversity and inclusion consultant. ©LÉAJONES/STOCKSYUNITED system, is being eclipsed by totalitarian- ism and fascism. Whether you identify as a social justice activist or not, if you’re alive, you’re acting in the world, and your thoughts and actions have consequences. How can we act in alignment with our spiritual values for the long haul? If we’re feeling anxious, angry and fearful, we need to take good care of our- selves, so rest up and gear up, bodhisat- tvas, because this time of trouble won’t be over anytime soon. We talk about meditation, study, chanting, and bowing as Buddhist “practice.” Now is what we’ve been practicing for. Here are some tips that I hope may be helpful. Clarify and Strengthen Your Intention and Purpose Do you know your true calling, your deepest intention, the sturdiest reason why you go through the day and resist overwhelm and collapse? It might be the bodhisattva vow. It might be something else. Whatever “it” is, it has to become your body, it has to be in the marrow of your bones. It needs to be the first thing HEART & MIND We Can Do This! As long as we don’t burn out and give up, we really can change the world. MUSHIM PATRICIA IKEDA on self-care for activists. LION’S ROAR | SEPTEMBER 2019 15 CULTURE • LIFE • PRACTICE