What a vibrant team of healers to get the great honor to serve and hold space with! Saturday's wellness clinic brought together reiki healers, massage therapists, ayurvedic practitioners, acupuncturists, card readers and meditators with communities in Lancaster impacted by police violence. I lead a workshop on movement, breathing, meditation and the healing arts. A mother brought her three children and shared how the ringing of the bell invoked memories of her own Buddhist mother attending temple. And so the bell was infused with all our elders and lineages. And when I asked what community resilience looks and feels like to them, they painted winding paths folding onto themselves in vivid colors, the cleansing flow of rivers, and hands held under a sunset gradient. We closed our circle with a weather check-out and folks shared how their previous stormy or cloudy or windy internal weather conditions were now met with slivers of sunlight, with some steadiness and calm. DPN's Wellness Clinic was a rare moment when giver and receiver blended into One. I felt uplifted, not depleted, by caring for and with and cultivating more compassionate hearts for the thriving of us all.
Such a joy to co-facilitate this space with Neelam Pathikonda and circle up with queer South Asian fam in LA! We lead folks in reflection and ritual, letting go of what doesn't serve us and the dead weight of 2017 -- dissolving doubt, limiting beliefs, shame, fear and self-isolation. And then we called in some nourishment in the new year. Painting rocks with reframes -- sacred, hopeful messages to orient ourselves around and align with our divinity. And to place on our altars because humans were made for forgetting and remembering.
LAPD Headquarters | January 2015
“Do you wanna join us for meditation?” I asked.
“Naw. I’m too angry.”
I had caught him, mid torrent, his throat still strained and stretched from volleying, “Stop killer cops!” and “Justice for Ezell Ford!” across 1st Street. But no one responded and the words bounced then rolled still under the shade of trees. Unnoticed by the assembly of mourners. Mourning the French journalists of noxious lure, of churning hate bait breeding new “terrorists” from the Muslim ghettos of relegated scum. Their caricature hands and satire voices were cut short. And this crowd, this massive crowd gathered in the lawn of city hall in front of gallant salutes of LA’s finest in blue. Children perched on shoulders to peer at the pomp and honor showered on provocateurs who had no problem feeding the public fear. Misunderstanding. Zombie mob hate. Immigration Invasion. Mass immigration from the THIRD world. NON European. Fertile infiltration, litters of criminals, North African French Muslims, American Blacks. So their pens, protected. And our brown and Black children’s laughter and play sucked in to avoid reprisal. For living and undoing silence. The vigil for Hedbo reporter lives lost continued. Turning away from the black life and lives taken across the street by police that now pushed papers.
How barbaric and unjustified these terrorist assassins. All Muslims should apologize. How insensitive and aggressive these Black protesters. All Blacks should abide the law, be grateful and settle down. How disgusting to unsee humanity and blink away your neighbors’ suffering, to only grieve those that look like you. To grieve what you claim are the liberties they stood for when it was always and only your right to be blind.
I looked deeply at my Black brother.
“Everyone needs a break from anger.”
“My anger’s keeping me warm.” He said.
I spread out the blanket my Jiji had sewn; royal purples, midnight blues, spring greens to cushion us from the cold of grey. Our circle kept wiggling outwards, making room for more. An elderly woman in a chair. The lead organizer’s four children. I brought the bell from Deer Park. Cedar wood and Rosemary essence. Shawls to cover shoulders. Hafiz. Whatever portable trinkets so I could carry sacred with me. It’s hard to temper your voice, know when and how to insert instructions between horns and sirens and concrete geysers. We checked in with what filled us with happiness and out with hands clasped, filling lungs then letting air tumble out in cascades of laughter. Laughing yoga, my 8 year old guru requested. In between we sat. Breathed. Released. Tried. We adjusted numb feet, scratched elbows, straightened and slouched. I asked them to take a break from movement, from crafting and challenging and strategy. A break to catch their breath, and let it touch the parts that hurt.