I am still feeling raw around Trayvon Martin’s death, but also the way some people are still in denial that his death symbolizes the inherent racism that still exists in this country. The challenge for me is to not stay in the anger around his death and the denial I am seeing around his death. I work with kids like Trayvon. Trust me, they are discriminated against because of the color of their skin and because of the clothes they wear. My buddhist practice teaches me to look at things exactly as they are, even if it is uncomfortable. And this is uncomfortable. Very uncomfortable. So rather than stay in the anger, I will continue to talk constructively with my students about racism, justice, and compassion. And I will share with my readers the Metta Sutra, also known as the Loving Kindness Meditation. It has been around for over 2,500 years. These words are over 2,500 years old, but still hold meaning today. I chanted them aloud today. Feel free to absorb this sutra however you deem fit.
For Trayvon Martin and his family, and for George Zimmerman and his family.
LOVING KINDNESS MEDITATION
This is what should be accomplished by the one who is wise, Who seeks the good, and has obtained peace.
Let one be strenuous, upright, and sincere, Without pride, easily contented, and joyous.
Let one not be submerged by the things of the world.
Let one not take upon oneself the burden of riches.
Let one’s senses be controlled.
Let one be wise but not puffed up and Let one not desire great possessions even for one’s family.
Let one do nothing that is mean or that the wise would reprove.
May all beings be happy. May they be joyous and live in safety, All living beings, whether weak or strong, In high or middle or low realms of existence. Small or great, visible or invisible, Near or far, born or to be born, May all beings be happy.
Let no one deceive another nor despise any being in any state. Let none by anger or hatred wish harm to another. Even as a mother at the risk of her life Watches over and protects her only child,
So with a boundless mind should one cherish all living things. Suffusing love over the entire world, Above, below, and all around, without limit, So let one cultivate an infinite good will toward the whole world.
Standing or walking, sitting or lying down, During all one’s waking hours, Let one practice the way with gratitude.
Not holding to fixed views, Endowed with insight, Freed from sense appetites, One who achieves the way Will be freed from the duality of birth and death.