The well-informed bodhisattva has a much more difficult and radical undertaking demanded of him or her than limiting herself to giving everyone a big smile, using bio-friendly washing-up liquid and radiating good vibes to distant prisoners of conscience.
Without reservation she strives to respond to the three great moral imperatives of our time - to heal the violated planet, and to enable both the underclass at home (one in five of the population) and the wretched of the earth to win dignity and freedom. To the traditional Buddhist task of calming the mind is added that of employing it to transform and dismantle social systems and processes which supercharge the suffering of humanity as well as encompassing the ruin of the planet and its creatures. Without the inner work we become part of the problem rather than part of the solution, as the history of communism has so tragically demonstrated and as the history of capitalism is on headlong course to demonstrate in an infinitely greater tragedy. As Mahatma Gandhi observed, the belief (whether of Lenin or Adam Smith) that we can devise a social system so perfect that no one will need to be good, is one of the great delusions of our time. But without the outer work the inner work cannot be socially manifested on the scale that is now required.
Cacophony of small birds at dawn May it continue Sticky monkey flowers on bare brow hills May it continue Bitter taste of early minors lettuce May it continue Music on city streets on summer nights May it continue Kids laughing on roofs, on stoops, on the beach, in the snow May it continue Triumphal shout of the newborn May it continue Fine austerity of jungle peoples May it continue Rolling fuck of great whales in turquoise oceans May it continue Clumsy splash of pelican in smooth bays May it continue Astonished human eyeballs squinting through aeons at astonished nebula squinting back May it continue Clean snow on the mountain May it continue Fierce eyes, clear light of the aged May it continue Right of birth and of naming May it continue Right of instruction May it continue Right of passage May it continue Love in the morning, love in the noon sun, love in the evening among crickets May it continue Long tails, by fire, by window, by dusk in the mesa May it continue Love in the midnight, fierce joy of old ones loving May it continue Live music May it continue Grunt of mating hippo or giraffe, foreplay of snow leopard, screeching of cats on the backyard fence May it continue Without police May it continue Without prisons May it continue Without mad houses, high schools that are prisons May it continue Without empire May it continue In sisterhood May it continue Through the wars to come May it continue In brotherhood May it continue Though the earth seems lost May it continue To exile and silence May it continue With cunning and love May it continue As woman continues May it continue As breath continues May it continue As stars continue May the wind deal kindly with us May the fire remember our names May springs flow, rain fall again May the land grow green, may it swallow our mistakes We begin the work May it continue The great transmutation May it continue A new heaven and a new earth May it continue
(diane di prima)
Away with us he's going, The solemn eyed: He'll hear no more the lowing Of the calves on the warm hillside Or the kettle on the hob Sing peace into his breast, Or see the brown mice bob Round and round the oatmeal-chest. For he comes, the human child! To the waters and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, From a world more full of weeping than he can understand.