Friday, May 28, 2010

Less outrage more outrageousness

I received an email today from a Shambhala center where I did a couple of weekend meditation programs a few years ago. It contained a letter from Paul Kelway, a member of Shambhala who is a regional manager of the International Bird Rescue Research Center, which has teams in the Gulf of Mexico. One line has really stuck with me this afternoon since reading it:

"I am also realizing, more powerfully than ever, that our response to this oil spill, as a community, should be less about outrage and more about outrageousness."

In the Shambhala tradition, outrageousness is represented by the garuda (pictured above), a mythical bird with human arms that is hatched from space, ready to fly. The quality is described on their website as:

"Unencumbered by the need to manipulate reality, we can use whatever happens to radiate compassion without bias."

That does seem pretty outrageous, but I like it! I also liked this part of the message:

"From all the emails and phone calls we have received, not just from across the United States but from around the world, I know that people beyond the Gulf are experiencing this violation to the marine environment as if it was an assault on their own body. It is an energy that seems almost impossible for people to hold and, more often than not, I see it manifest either as blame and anger or as utter hopelessness at the degradation that has occurred to our planet at the hands of human beings.

"As a Shambhalian I have been trying to reconcile all of this with my relationship and allegiance to basic goodness. More than ever before I realize that this journey is not for the faint hearted. I also realize that it is what the world needs more than anything else. It needs people who can hold this incredible amount of pain but who know that the energy of this suffering and sadness must be held with fearlessness and gentleness so that it does not become the fuel for further wars on whomever we decide is 'the other' to be blamed for this event."

If this interests you, you can read the rest of the message here.