Today, the most disturbing piece of news was that of a police officer body slamming a girl to the ground at school. Of course, it had complete video accompaniment. If I hold this piece of news in the same hand that our largest schools have more security officers than counselors, I am struck by the absurdity of managing middle-school with policing rather than with compassion.
We treat youth as monsters. Body slamming, arresting, incarcerating, and failing. When the failure is ours. We fail to understand trauma. We fail to respond to temper tantrums with compassion. I remember when my kids had their first temper tantrum. I simply walked away. Made sure they were safe and nobody was being hurt, but walked away. That happened about twice and the temper tantrums ceased. That has to be other choices to engage with an out-of-control 12-year-old than body slamming and arrest.
A quick review of internet literature reveals, yes! there are ways to disengage a teenager tantrum without physical assault. But we knew that, didn't we. It is sad that our schools are not equipped with as many counselors as police (and hello! the case loads are tremendous for counselors). This trend will only lead to more violent behavior from students and officers.
Market-Share mindset to Mind-Share mindset. Let's move from scarcity and control to sharing and connection.
Today's practice is inspired by music from Eminem and Rihanna, poetry from Christina Rosetti, and sacred wisdom from Michael Meade along with readings from the Jewish and Christian lectionaries, the Qur'an, and the Bhagavad Gita. The photo is mine.
Let my heart rise up to meet mercy, my voice to meet compassion, my hands to meet action.
BIBOLOVE: Breath In, Breath Out--hum
The Monster by Eminem and Rihanna
I'm friends with the monster that's under my bed
Get along with the voices inside of my head
You're trying to save me, stop holding your breath
And you think I'm crazy, yeah, you think I'm crazy
Echo by Christina Rossetti
Come to me in the silence of the night;
Come in the speaking silence of a dream;
Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright
As sunlight on a stream;
Come back in tears,
O memory, hope, love of finished years.
Oh dream how sweet, too sweet, too bitter sweet,
Whose wakening should have been in Paradise,
Where souls brimfull of love abide and meet;
Where thirsting longing eyes
Watch the slow door
That opening, letting in, lets out no more.
Yet come to me in dreams, that I may live
My very life again tho’ cold in death:
Come back to me in dreams, that I may give
Pulse for pulse, breath for breath:
Speak low, lean low,
As long ago, my love, how long ago.
1 Peter 1:13-16
Qur'an Surah 3.68-74
Bhagavad Gita 3.40-43
Please bring your own sacred readings to the daily pattern. If there is something else you'd like to see, let me know! The readings are from the Daily Torah Study, the Christian Lectionary, and reading the Qur'an and Bhagavad Gita straight through.
“The real education is when you awaken and nourish and guide the inner spirit, this inner genius. The community grows from the giving of the gifts of the people in it, which is really giving from the genius.” -- Michael Meade
For the oppressed and weary
Especially for #blacklivesmatter and
for the LGBTQIAP community.
For signs of despair and violence,
for the news of Panama investors including suspected terrorists
for refugees being deported from Greece to Turkey
for the body-slamming of a 12-year-old girl by a police officer
for US victims of gun violence in the last 72, hours,
206 incidents, 54 killed, 122 injured
For signs of hope and peace,
for the call for peace between Basque separatists and Spain
for the Pope's call for greater understanding of modern families
for the temple in India that will now allow female worshippers
for the movement of WWII refugees writing letters to Syrian refugees
For Brunei, Malaysia, and Singapore
For those who suffer, are homeless, or are sick
For those we love, those we hate and those we are indifferent to
For the transformation from ME to WE
Let peace prevail on earth.
So may it be.
Translation by Neil Douglas Klotz, Sufi
O Birther! Creator of the Cosmos,
Focus your light within us— make it useful:
Create your reign of unity now-
Your one desire then acts with ours,
as in all light, so in all forms.
Grant what we need each day in bread and insight.
Loose the cords of mistakes binding us,
as we release the strands we hold
of others’ guilt.
Don’t let surface things delude us,
But free us from what holds us back.
From you is born all ruling will,
the power and the life to do,
the song that beautifies all,
from age to age it renews.
Truly— power to these statements—
may they be the ground from which all
my actions grow: Amen.
May Peace Prevail on Earth. Amen. So mote it be.
"Amen" means "may it be so."
"May peace prevail on earth." is an addition inspired by Michael Dickel
BIBOLove is an addition attributed to the work of Soyinka Rahim, InterPlay practice, BIBOLove
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
40 If a man loses the hair on [the back of] his head, he is bald. He is clean.
41 And if he loses his hair on the side toward his face, he is bald at the front. He is clean.
42 If there is a reddish white lesion on the back or front bald area, it is a spreading tzara'ath in his back or front bald area.
43 So the kohen shall look at it. And, behold! there is a reddish white se'eith lesion on his back or front bald area, like the appearance of tzara'ath on the skin of the flesh,
44 He is a man afflicted with tzara'ath; he is unclean. The kohen shall surely pronounce him unclean; his lesion is on his head.
45 And the person with tzara'ath, in whom there is the lesion, his garments shall be torn, his head shall be unshorn, he shall cover himself down to his mustache and call out, "Unclean! Unclean!"
46 All the days the lesion is upon him, he shall remain unclean. He is unclean; he shall dwell isolated; his dwelling shall be outside the camp.
47 [And as for] the garment that has the lesion of tzara'ath upon it, on a woolen garment, or on a linen garment,
48 or on [threads prepared for the] warp or the woof of linen or of wool, or on leather or on anything made from leather.
49 If the lesion on the garment, the leather, the warp or woof [threads] or on any leather article, is deep green or deep red, it is a lesion of tzara'ath, and it shall be shown to the kohen.
50 The kohen shall look at the lesion, and he shall quarantine [the article with] the lesion for seven days.
51 And he shall look at the lesion on the seventh day. [If] the lesion has spread on the garment, or on the warp or woof [threads], or on the leather or on any article made from leather, the lesion is a malignant tzara'ath; it is unclean.
52 And he shall burn the garment, the warp or woof [threads] of wool or of linen, or any leather article which has the lesion upon it, for it is a malignant tzara'ath ; it shall be burned in fire.
53 But if the kohen looks, and, behold! the lesion has not spread on the garment, the warp or woof [threads], or any leather article,
54 the kohen shall order, and they shall wash what the lesion is upon, and he shall quarantine it again for seven days.
The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
David composed this psalm against his slanderers, especially the chief conspirator Doeg. Anyone confronted by slanderers should recite this psalm.
1. For the Conductor, a psalm by David.
2. Rescue me from the evil man, protect me from the man of violence,
3. who devise evil schemes in their heart; every day they gather for wars.
4. They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; the spider's venom is forever under their lips.
5. Guard me, Lord, from the hands of the wicked, protect me from the man of violence-those who plot to cause my steps to slip.
6. Arrogant ones have hidden a snare for me, and ropes; they spread a net by my path, they set traps for me continually.
7. I said to the Lord, "You are my God!" Listen, O Lord, to the voice of my pleas.
8. God, my Lord, the strength of my deliverance, You sheltered my head on the day of armed battle.
9. Grant not, O Lord, the desires of the wicked; fulfill not his scheme, make it unattainable forever.
10. As for the head of my besiegers, let the deceit of their own lips bury them.
11. Let burning coals fall upon them; let it cast them down into the fire, into deep pits, never to rise again.
12. Let not the slanderous man be established in the land; let the evil of the man of violence trap him until he is overthrown.
13. I know that the Lord will execute judgement for the poor, justice for the needy.
14. Indeed, the righteous will extol Your Name; the upright will dwell in Your presence.
This psalm teaches an important lesson: One should pray for Divine assistance that his mouth not speak that which is not in his heart. The gatekeeper only allows the gate to be opened for a purpose; let it be the same with one's lips.
1. A psalm by David. O Lord, I have called You, hasten to me; listen to my voice when I call to You.
2. Let my prayer be set forth as incense before You, the raising of my hands as an afternoon offering.
3. O Lord, place a guard for my mouth, keep watch over the door of my lips.
4. Do not incline my heart to a bad thing-to perform deeds in wickedness, with men, doers of evil; let me not partake of their delicacies.
5. Let the righteous one strike me with kindness and let him rebuke me; like the finest oil, let my head not refuse it. For as long [as I live], my prayer is [to preserve me] from their harm.
6. For their judges have slipped because of their [hearts of] rock, though they heard my words and they were pleasant.
7. As one who chops and splinters [wood] on the ground, so have our bones been scattered to the mouth of the grave.
8. For to You, God, my Lord, are my eyes; in You I take shelter; do not pour out my soul.
9. Protect me from the hands of the snare they laid for me, and from the traps of the evildoers.
10. Let the wicked fall into their own nets together, until I pass over.
1 Peter 1:13-16
The Voice version
13 So get yourselves ready, prepare your minds to act, control yourselves, and look forward in hope as you focus on the grace that comes when Jesus the Anointed returns and is completely revealed to you. 14 Be like obedient children as you put aside the desires you used to pursue when you didn’t know better. 15 Since the One who called you is holy, be holy in all you do. 16 For the Scripture says, “You are to be holy, for I am holy.”
Quran Surah 3.68-74
Quran: A Simple English Translation
68 Surely, the people who are closest to Abraham are those who followed him and this Prophet [Muhammad], and those who believe in him. God is the guardian of the believers.
69 Some of the People of the Book wish to lead you astray but they only lead themselves astray, though they do not realise it.
70 People of the Book! Why do you deny God’s signs, having been witnesses thereof?
71 People of the Book! Why do you mix truth with falsehood and knowingly conceal the truth?
72 Some of the People of the Book say to one another, ‘Believe in what is revealed to the faithful in the morning and deny it in the evening, so that they [the Muslims] may themselves abandon their faith [in confusion].
73 Believe only in those who follow your own religion.’ Say to them, ‘Surely, the true guidance is the guidance from God.’ [But you think it is impossible that] someone else may be granted [revelation] such as you were granted— or else that they should contend against you before your Lord. Say, ‘All grace is in God’s hand; He grants it to whom He wills: for God is boundless, and all knowing, 74 He singles out for His mercy whoever He pleases. God is the Lord of exceeding bounty.’
Khan, Maulana Wahiduddin; Goodword (2013-12-11). Quran: A Simple English Translation (Goodword ! Koran) (Kindle Locations 969-979). Goodword Books. Kindle Edition.
Bhagavad Gita 3.40-43
Desire dwells in the senses,
the mind, and the understanding;
in all these it obscures wisdom
and perplexes the embodied Self.
Therefore you must first control
your senses, Arjuna; then
destroy this evil that prevents you
from ever knowing the truth.
Men say that the senses are strong.
But the mind is stronger than the senses;
the understanding is stronger than the mind;
and strongest is the Self.
Knowing the Self, sustaining
the self by the Self, Arjuna,
kill the difficult-to-conquer
enemy called desire.
Mitchell, Stephen (2007-12-18). Bhagavad Gita: A New Translation (Kindle Locations 541-542). Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony. Kindle Edition.