Mindfulness for justice means seeing the truth in front of you and inside you. It starts and ends with "Beginners Mind." Always open.
A couple of days ago, a man I had never seen walked up our street. I was in our garage and he looked at me and greeted me: "How ya doin?" I greeted back. "Good, and you?" He stopped in front of our garage and said, "I'm going to the store." I replied, "Kroger? Well you're headed the right direction."
He came a few steps closer and looked at me. "You look like my brother," he said. That was amazing to me because we had different skin color, hair, and everything else. But maybe it went deeper than looks.
I said, "that's cool." He stepped into the garage: "yeah, he lives in Dewitt and has twins." I said "wow", knowing that raising even one child was hard love work. He tilted his head ever so slightly when he heard my response and said "God bless you." And I said, "God bless you!"
And then he reached his hand out to me, unconcerned about human contact and Covid. "I love you!" he exclaimed. And I shook his warm and calloused hand and was so happy to say it back: "I love you too!"
And then he turned and walked away, saying, "wow, just like my brother."
This has happened to me my whole adult life. Sudden connections that seem to come out of the blue. Our meeting was due to one simple attitude resident in both of us: openness. And it resulted in connection, trust, and love.
Meditation and mindfulness start and end in openness. Openness to see, hear, touch what is happening right now—all around you and especially inside. By staying open, the tangle of judgement, the diversion of mental stories, the burning anger and the grip of fear find no hold.
With practice, they disappear into a space of peacefulness. And from that resting place, you can see injustice more clearly and respond wisely.
In this way, mindfulness for justice means first uncovering a very basic truth: that we are one. And we always start in the present moment.
Why? Because the present moment is where life is happening and there is potential for change. It is always here, a space and place where we can engage, connect, and take the next step...together.