I'm doing a bit of self examination lately. Our world is not the same place it was 3 months ago. My biggest concern then was related to our house and when to schedule my next vacation. I was focused on getting myself ready for a possible move to a new location and opening up new opportunities for our future.

Buddha statue with incense bowl on a glass disk next to an acorn and a thimble
Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

Today we're actually talking about rationing items and not going out in public due to this virus.  The interesting thing is that I actually more worried about how other people are going to respond to this new stress more so than the actual virus itself.  I'm not saying or down playing the virus by any means. This is a very serious situation. I still see people on social media yelling that its a hoax or trying to turn it into a political issue. We need to really focus on what this is doing to our humanity.

Simple things such as supply chains seem to be totally foreign to the general public. If everyone went out at any time (virus or no) and purchased all of a specific product, that product would be scarce. Then it becomes a cycle. Because no one can get it, the next that comes in flies off the shelves and then it just repeats itself.  Panic buying leads to scarcity, which leads to more panic. Hoarding is something we as a society look at as being a negative, yet when billionaires hoard the nations wealth we call them successful.

Eastern Redbud Blossoms
Photo Credit Renee Sosanna Olson

As the blossoms on the trees begin to open up and the bees are flying about, take a moment to think about what you want to bring into this world today. What do you want to put out there.  I'm leaning towards sharing some happiness and positive energy.  I want those without to have what they need. I want those with to share what they can. I want those who need it, to realize happiness in there within them. Together we can move forward and make this world a better place. We have all that we need within us. We just need to open up and see it.

Wishing you a fruitful spring.

Melting Pot Boils Over - Racism Today

Dedication ceremony for the sculpture of Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at Magnolia Grove Monastery. Photo by Paul Davis

I want to feel integrated within myself, just feeling like all parts of myself can be present. But sometimes it’s hard to feel a sense of belonging when people tell us that we’re different or “not normal”. The work that ARISE is doing is to create an openness and a space of belonging for everyone.

— Brian, Multi-heritage, Queer, Person of Color

For more information on ARISE follow this link.

I wanted to write a bit about The recent drama around a Target commercial is making news. Beatrice Dixon, the founder of The Honey Pot was shown in a commercial for Black History month. Now white people are posting comments on her page and review sites trying to destroy her business. 

Here is the commercial.

The Honey Pot has a really great product in that they are all plant based and are available at a variety of retailers such as Target, Walmart and Whole Foods just to name a few.  As the controversy grew, I took some time to check our their website. I donate often to groups that provide resources for the homeless, and I was pleasantly surprised that this company offers support for those without access to feminine hygiene products. Another great reason to support this company.

I grew up in the 70s and 80s. I watched the shows and learned about the melting pot, while hearing my stepfather complain about black people in a derogatory way.

My school was mostly white while my teachers were mostly black. Being raised in the Confederate South I never knew about slavery or the struggles that I non-white people experienced.  I was ignorant to what white people had done and still continue to do to non-whites.  In my late thirties I began to learn more about American history and began to educate my self on what messages were left out of our history books.

As I begin to look into myself and take accountability for my actions I also have started to see where as a society we need to come together and realize just how horrible we gave been to each other.  We as white people, including and sometimes specifically white women, have used our positions of privilege to oppress and in some cases directly attack black people and people of color.

This lead to a discussion on my Facebook page where I tried to sum up my opinion with the following comment:

I agree that all should be supported. In this case she was commenting about what representation she had as a child. No black women were visible to her as successful entrepreneurs. When I was a child I only saw white men as being the ones who had the power or rules the household. Today I am a very successful primary breadwinner and I never knew that was possible. I want to be a role model for those raised in my similar circumstances that they do not have to stay in them. They can overcome where they are and become more. I cannot be a role model for black girls because I have no way of understanding the black experience. My perspective will always be one of privilege. I have no concept of what it feels like to be black.  I can only pass the mic and not speak for them but instead amplify their voices. She didn't say white girls shouldn't be successful. She didn't say only black girls should be successful. She said, I want to be a role model for black girls so they can see they have opportunities too. There is nothing wrong with that statement. We as white people have to understand  that not everything has to include us. We do not deserve to be included. If we look at history we take been front and center in the lives of black girls. They didn't even have dolls until the 60's and 70's that represented their skin tones. Little girls and boys are still being singled out for the way their hair naturally comes out of their head. We have had our say. I stand by my statement and fully support her for feeling she needs to be a role model for black girls. This isn't a job white people are qualified for.

We have a choice as white women to continue to stick our heads in the sand, preach messages like "I don't  see color" all the while benefiting from institutionalized racism or we can begin to allow this system to change. It starts with not speaking over marginalized voices. Stop getting defensive when black women support black women. Read about the Black experience. look up Black Wall Street.  Read The New Jim Crow.

We have the real history at our fingertips.  Forget what you though you knew and begin to learn again. There is no shame in admitting you were once ignorant on a subject. Shame comes with remaining ignorant.

What are the steps we can take?



Monday Meditation - Strive

On the title of my blog page I have the following subtitle:


Image Credit - http://buddhismpathtowellbeing.blogspot.com/

I created this as a way to help me learning the Four Noble Truths. For me it was easier to remember if I had just one word for each of the truths. This is the fourth of four blog posts related to the Four Noble Truths.

So we know that suffering happens.  We know that attachment is the source of our suffering and we know that there is an end to that suffering.  Next we're going to look at how we end that suffering.  Magga is the way to end suffering.

This video contains information on both the Third and Fourth Noble Truths.

I chose strive here because this is what I try to do for this truth.  The final truth is that we have a path to the end of suffering. If we follow that path we can end suffering.  The Noble Eight-fold Path shows us the way to end suffering.

The Noble Eight-fold Path tells us how to  end suffering.

Image Source - Quora.com

If we have the right view, the right intention, the right speech, the right action, the right livelihood, the right effort, the right concentration and the right mindfulness, each and everyone one of us can end suffering.

As always, your comments are welcome.  Feel free to post here or continue to use the form or email to send your questions/discussions.