Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Zen and the art of social movement maintenance

Prayer, Meditation, Mindfulness.  What have these to do with social justice?  What have these to do with penetrating and  putting right the structural wrongs of society?

From the Christian tradition we can take a look at Jesus himself, move forward to the seventeenth century and Quakers, and into the twentieth century where we can find that notable mystic and anti-war activist, Thomas Merton. At this point, it seems good to ask that readers contact Beyond The Creek with people of mindfulness/mysticism who were/are also social justice activists.

The title of the story is, for those too young to recall, a pun.

At the event tweeted above, Angela Davis asked Jon Kabat-Zinn a question:

In a racially unjust world what good is mindfulness?

I am indebted to my Friend, Dale Hess who is a Quaker, for the provision of this article.

A Memory
In 1985, I attended the UN Women's Forum in Nairobi, Kenya.
Angela Davis - at the height of controversy in her life and career -
turned up.
Not for Angela a formal speaking platform or workshop.  No!

I have a fond memory of sitting on the grass at the Nairobi University
below a knoll on top of which Angela Davis stood and spoke to us.
I can't recall what she said - only how I felt.
I felt amazed to be in the presence of a great mind - 
a mind clear, trained, incisive.
For a girl from a remote northern town, this was a wonder!

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