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For New Zealand: “If you hate one person, you hate the world. If you love one person, you love the world.”

Leaving flowers on an altar for peace after the New Zealand shootings

So spoke my Buddhist Dharma teacher last Sunday, as we 32 women sat in a circle, meditating for the day. We were grieving the shootings in New Zealand, the hopeful joy of the climate change striking schoolchildren, and the intimate loss of one of our women, who had just died from breast cancer, leaving behind two children and her husband.

The grace of Prime Minister Jacinda Ahern

A Prime Minister showing her heart #NewZealand #grief #heart #love @boneAndsilver

The teachings of the Dharma encourage us to take Wise Action, use Wise Speech, and choose a Wise Livelihood. Much has been made of the photo of New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern mourning after the shootings, and rightly so. It’s easy to see: she’s in her sad heart, feeling and expressing both empathy & sympathy for the Muslim community, and the larger New Zealand population and culture. Her wise speeches and actions are inspiring people all around the world.

Why is this such an unusual phenomenon? World leaders NEED to be empathetic, generous, kind, and most importantly, compassionate.

We all do.

The Dharma Circle involves meditation, sharing a brief check-in of where we’re at, listening to some teachings, meditating more, then witnessing 3 or 4 ‘deeper enquiries’ by individuals in front of the class with the teacher, before sharing a delicious lunch and more meditating.

It all feels like a cool drink for my soul on a hot desert day.

And more than anything, we practise compassion, and deep listening. We’re not charging in with aggressive solutions, such as our shameful Australian Prime Minister ‘ScoMo’ has suggested: more security, less immigration, less Muslims. For goodness sake!

This world needs more softness, kindness, and empathy. What I can practice on a micro level, sitting beside my son, my lover, or my friends, can ripple outward on a macro level, to touch communities, countries, even whole continents.

We can make space for wise action, wise speech, wise livelihood

Choose kindness. Take a breath. Choose softness #DalaiLama #gratitude #wisdom #empathy @boneAndsilver

New Zealand’s leader has shown this. She has stood quietly in front of grieving mothers (Wise Action), herself a new Mum (her daughter is less than a year old), and is refusing to speak the name of the killer to deprive him of the notoriety he seeks (Wise Speech).

I for one am incredibly grateful she chose the Wise Livelihood of ethical politics, and has risen up through the ranks to become the world’s youngest female head of government.

She makes me want to emigrate. She makes a lot of people want to emigrate. We are still struggling in Australia with idiotic male politicians who brought a lump of coal into Parliament to show their commitment to fossil fuels…

*blows steam out of her ears and gnashes teeth

May the young rise fast, and grab the reins of power before it’s too late. May women be fully empowered, and good men free of the toxicity which binds them. May we witness each other in heart-based actions, whether happy or sad, and model for young folk that we can choose kindness, compassion, and empathy under the most difficult of circumstances.

Leaving flowers on an altar for peace after the New Zealand shootings

Spontaneous altar in my nearby town #Lismore #NorthernRivers #muslims #love

In gratitude for meditation and wise elders, G xO 

 

27 Comments

  1. Thank you for your appreciation of our Prime Minister. Today a week after the shootings last Friday many non Muslims around the country stood around the mosques for Friday afternoon prayers, watching out for copycat attackers. The Christchurch Muslims had their prayers in Hagley Park near their mosque as the police can not yet allow people back in. As five thousand Muslims,many from outside Christchurch, even from outside New Zealand, turned up they would never have fitted them into the mosque anyway. Behind and all around the five thousand Muslims in Hagley Park stood 15,000 non Muslims sharing and watching. Unfortunately we do have our racist underbelly too. Women around New Zealand wore the hijab today in solidarity with Muslim women and plenty of them got some very unpleasant verbal attacks, especially white women.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Like you, I have come to admire Jacinda Ardern. Her poise and her empathy followed by action should teach other world leaders a lot. Let’s hope they’re willing to learn.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. What an incredibly powerful post. Thank you. I like you, have watched in my case despair, at the reaction of Australian politicians versus the New Zealand PM. What a difference. I was talking to my partner about emigrating there….just to get away from the toxic masculinity that is running our country at the moment, to the absolute detriment of the country, our communities…..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. ‘May the young rise fast’.
    Words of hope. It’s unfortunate that so many in the generations above them are stuck in their ways and can’t see past their nose, let alone their own lives. What a beautiful image of compassion told above, of the 15,000 non-muslims standing in solidarity and protection of 5,000 muslims whilst they prayed. Hatred is of the minority, their ability to harm is sadly disproportionate to their number.

    Liked by 1 person

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