How to die
Endings and the final lesson of Thich Nhat Hanh
Join us THIS THURSDAY for our first community gathering of 2022! We’ll be talking about what’s coming up this year and how we can continue to grow together.
With the passing of ancestor Thich Nhat Hanh this past weekend, we are once again blessed with his teaching - the mindfulness lesson of how to die.
Brother Phap Dung speaks of his final moments on this plane, “This transition period is his last and deepest teaching to our community. He is showing us how to make the transition gracefully, even after the stroke and being limited physically. He still enjoys his day every chance he gets”.
And this got me thinking about how we will navigate these end times that we are in right now. As systems of power die and collapse all around us, how will we transition? How will we resist the temptation to return to the familiar? How will we reduce harm for the most vulnerable? How will we ensure the transition is just? How will we care for each other? And as, Thich Nhat Hanh reminds us, how will we move through the transition between where we are coming from and where we are going with grace and joy?
This WELLREAD is about endings. But it is also about the beginning - and how each and every one of us are midwives for a future that is beyond our wildest imagination.
Breyer’s retirement is cause for relief—and a chance for progress. Time to keep your promise and nominate a Black Woman for SCOTUS. [click to tweet]
In 2022, SCOTUS weighs in on culture wars including cases that could affect people’s right to an abortion, their possession of firearms outside their home, their free exercise of religion and affirmative action at universities. [click to tweet]
Omicron is thriving off of America’s obsession with work. Our culture presses us to work through illness, and it’s the forced choice to clock in that will define the consequences of the pandemic’s next stage. [click to tweet]
Imagine your therapist were to tell you they look forward to helping you, but won’t be able to examine anything from your past that might make you feel discomfort. How we remember our past determines our future. [click to tweet]
Another world is possible. Lessons from movement conflict on how to divest from toxic systems and embrace imagination. [click to tweet]
Justice Breyer’s resignation is welcome news on a court that is heavily weighted to white men. The make up of SCOTUS has to reflect our nation if we’re going to build a society that serves the whole of who we are. Of the 115 SCOTUS judges to date, there have been 108 white men, 4 white women, 2 Black men, 1 Latino woman.
It’s (past) time for Biden to live up to his promise - to nominate a Black Woman to the Supreme Court (here’s a short list). His decision is something younger generations will have to live with for decades. Here’s what you can do.
Speaking of the Supreme Court, here are 5 ideas for how to make it more accountable to the people:
1) Enact term limits
2) Enforce ethics standards
3) Require financial disclosures
4) Expand the court
5) Rotate justices
Art by @cpdaction
Thich Nhat Hanh modeled with his life and labor not just how to live an “engaged” life but how to die. “Letting go is also the practice of letting in, letting your teacher be alive in you,” says senior disciple of the celebrity Buddhist monk and author, Brother Phap Dung. The challenge is that many of us don’t allow ourselves to die day by day. We hold on, we cling, we carry the burden of our attachments, we imprison ourselves to ideas of right or wrong. But this becomes a prison that holds us back from growth and possibility. Octavia Raheem wrote about this in her book Pause. Rest. Be. She says we can turn away from endings, but that doesn’t stop what is coming and it leaves us unprepared for the unraveling. Rather, she invites us to feel our way through. To rest in the space of ending, and open up to the possibility of beginning. Her book is an essential handbook for how to navigate uncertain times and build a new world where everyone can thrive.
Art by @octaviaraheem
Happy birthday Angela Davis!
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