An open letter to the citizens of Los Angeles
The following is a letter for all citizens of the city of Los Angeles. I understand it may cause some discomfort or even downright hostility. I'm sorry about that. But this is the best way that I can think of to express to my fellow Angeleno's my feelings regarding Monday's impending marches. Some may wonder why I haven't directed this same open letter to congress or the office of the presidency. My response to that would be that I have far more confidence in the individual than in the politician. So this, then, is for the people.
Dear Citizens of Los Angeles,
I am writing you this letter in hopes that I can reach some of you. If I can speak to a handful of people, of those who might hear me, then I will be deeply gratified. I have been instructed to write you this letter. However, the author does not physically reside here in the City of Angels. Then again, he does. He resides in all of us.
I understand the deep seated need to mobilize at this time in our history. It is fully understandable. The last number of years has opened a can of worms that absolutely needs to be addressed. The continuing impact of our current administration, both parties unfortunately, has left many of us with a sense of dread and hopelessness. Mobilizing is an act of courage and change. I applaud you all for wanting to take place in that way.
And yet, I still can't help feeling that, for as long as I've lived, the problems of the mind have never been solved at the level of the mind. When I speak of the mind in this instance I speak of the Ego. Not Freuds Ego, but the Ego as expressed in the great teachings of the East. The false self as revealed in Buddhism, or the Baghavad Gita, or in Zen. The sense of our being a separate self cut off from who and what we really are. The dream self, unconcious and idling. The self that is yearning, particularly at this moment of our history, in awakening to itself.
While collective political action is admirable, it is my feeling that the energy expressed externally in such an action actually deprives us of what in fact we are seeking, and in what we need at this time in history. What we really need is an act so revolutionary and radical that all questions of division and motivation becomes moot. What we need is an act of collective silence.
This upcoming Monday I would like to ask that all citizens of this great city of Los Angeles use this day as a day of deep and collective protest by being quiet for 24 hours. Not to shut up, not at all. But to go inside, to be deeply present, to be aware of our world as it is now. Take to your daily activities, do what you feel is right, whether it is going to work or school, or even showing up at the march. But I ask that you do it in silence. I ask that you become aware of your breathing, of the sounds of nature (which include people and noises), to absolutely resist nothing. See what happens. Be Here Now. If a handful of people begin this act of protest, this inner act of transformation and transmutation, it is my belief that we will begin the process of real change which can only begin at the level of the heart. Until we change we cannot expect the world to change.
the time for meanness has ended. We are on the cusp of a great awakening, only we don't understand this yet. The collective energy coming together is no accident. We can make this about the hate towards one man or to make this about love for all. About love first.
This is my hope for my city.