We deeply grieve the hate-charged murders that occurred in the sacred space of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. We are also profoundly moved by their response to this tragedy. Our hearts go out to every member of the AME community in Charleston and beyond.
We are also deeply dismayed at the several fires this week burning traditionally black churches, three of which to date are considered arson.
May hate not kindle hate, but remind us to recommit to sharing kindness and wisdom with all. As human beings, as Buddhist practitioners, this is our deepest wish.
Therefore we are profoundly inspired by the Emanuel Community’s response to this tragedy. We recognize their forgiveness as the fruit of spiritually ripened hearts. This hallowed forgiveness in no way blinds us to the immensity of the crime committed or the grief it precipitates over long years, lifetimes, of mourning.
Moreover, as people who do our best to practice compassion for all, we are deeply moved by how the Emanuel Community opened space at this time for reveling in the amazing grace that allows human beings to embrace goodness and each other. Love and grace are at the core of all our traditions.
When the laws of the land support human connection, conditions for everyone grow more favorable. We see grace in the Supreme Court’s decision of an inclusivity that honors all human love. We recognize and regret the enormous pain that exclusion and worse have brought our LGBT brothers and sisters. We wish them all deep happiness. And for all who have struggled for this moment and are relishing their joy in it, we share your elation. May we continue to deepen our appreciation of one another as human beings deserving of respect, honor, and autonomy.
Our lived lives are indeed our field of practice. May all live in grace.
Harvey B. Aronson, Ph.D (Lama Namgyal Dorje) & Anne C. Klein, Ph.D. (Lama Rigzin Drolma)
Founding Spiritual Directors, Dawn Mountain Center for Tibetan Buddhism