On Saturday, along with a few thousand other people, I went to the March for Our Lives at the base of the Washington monument. Set out before the monument, in even rows, were thousands of vases of white and orange flowers (orange for the most recent) hundreds deaths from gun violence. it was raining off and on; the speakers were on a platform with loud audio-video, people held signs–some expressing rage, discuss, and frustration, some suggesting productive action. Near the vases, apart from the crowd and the noise, a person dressed in purple sat in meditation. After spending some time in the crowd and focussing on the speakers, I went and joined the person who was sitting. We talked a bit; Satyani acts as a “mindfulness mentor” and can be found on Facebook as “Kosmique Light Meditation.” Satyani did not identify as a protester and felt uncomfortable fighting and felt moved to act, which was what led to coming and sitting for meditation. I suggested, referencing Gandhi and Quaker practices, that being here meditating, holding the space, connecting with those who have died while being present for the living is very much participating in protesting.
On Sunday (before going down to the Capitol Pride Festival), I took a class on Zoom with Michele Cassandra Johnson for Patreon subscribers. She offered a soothing/cooling practice, and invited us to consider how we can cultivate cooling and soothing while saying amidst the fire and engaged in the fight?
To stay in it for the intensity it is now and the life-long practice it must be, that is an essential question, the answer to which will shift depending on circumstances.
Pictures from the March for Our Lives, the Capitol Pride Festival, and some fabulous bird sightings at Kingman and Heritage Island the Friday before, are posted on Instagram and Facebook.