In the past 2 months: 10 people killed, 3 wounded at a Buffalo, NY grocery store. Two teachers and 19 children killed and 17 injured at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.
Inconcievable. Horrifying. Tragic. Children, the elderly and everyone in between. Innocents, all.
Two troubled, deeply broken, misguided, impressionable, and confused young men were the shooters; one dead, the other in custody.
My heart was broken yet again. I offered prayers for those who have been lost, for those struggling with physical injuries, for the families, friends and neighbors of the victims and the shooters who will live with emotional wounds. Yes, of course.
It has taken a while for me to sit and write about these terrible events. Why? Because I wanted to say more than this. I wanted to do more than offer platitudes. Prayer is important; it is foundational to the catalyzation of healing energies for ourselves, our loved ones and beyond. It is one important pillar of practice in Sacred Activism for Peacemaking. So, yes, let us all pray fervently, with mind, emotions, body, energy aligned so that we put forth a powerful vibrational frequency of healing for all involved in these mass shootings and for the U.S. where these events are happening with greater and greater frequency.
There is, however, more that we can do, both energetically and pragmatically. We must start with the awareness that we contributed to the causes and conditions that led to these events and all others like them.
I know this may shock you. But, indeed, when we choose to rest deeply in the heart of compassion and awakened consciousness, we have to own every level and dimension of the web of life within which we are integrally bound. In Buddhism, this is called “interbeing.”
How does this work and what does it mean for us individually and collectively, as a nation and as a human family, in the wake of these events?
Creation is holographic with different domains and dimensions vibrating at different frequencies and levels, from the physical as we experience it, to what is lower and higher.
These layers and levels are all interconnected and interdependent, with varying degrees of vibrational impact on one another. There are dimensions in which we have greater or lesser degrees of individual and collective agency and free will. There are others that are well beyond our reach. For example, we cannot affect the movement of the planets around the sun, nor the position of distant stars. There are also slower and faster vibrational frequencies outside of our particular space-time continuum where there are whole realities and beings whose existence, purpose and work is well beyond our influence and whose attention is not directed at us--humans. At the same time, there are vibrational domains filled with beings whose own interests, work and purpose are integrally interconnected with ours and we with theirs.
Within this physical space-time continuum where what we call “history” exists along a linear trajectory from the past to the present, there have been multiple choices, actions, and influences that have led to our current state of affairs. Indeed, the proliferation of and over-weaning ego-identification with guns in the US has arisen out of many causes and conditions connected to a radical individualism that is a result of fear-based thinking. These have been added to forces of racism, sexism, ethnocentrism, homophobia and transphobia, and separatism that all of our ancestors going back hundreds of years participated in either passively or actively. Acts of violence have left unhealed wounds and perpetuated the disease.
What this means is that nothing that happens in our field of experience, from the personal to the collective, is separate from the whole. It does not matter if we are not the shooter or the victims. It does not matter if we have never picked up a gun. Even as we move in a unique, singular personality and body, we are also part of the human family. Therefore, what happens to one of our sisters and brothers across the globe not only affects us all, but, in fact, has been created along a shared destiny line through time and space that spans generations upon generations. It is also a result of soul choices made at the individual to the collective level. Those of us living in the US are part of a soul family with our own destiny line. All of us living around the world are part of an even larger soul group.
All are interwoven, from the cosmic to the individual, from the solely energetic to the physical and concrete. This means that, as sacred activists for peacemaking, while we can work energetically within the mystical consciousness that is the essence of the sacred with the tools of prayer, ceremony and energy healing, we can also focus our actions in the physical dimension.
I know there are many people who believe that spirituality should have nothing to do with politics. But one domain of our interwoven realities are expressed in the ways the world’s town, cities, governments, nations, tribes, religions, and institutions function. This is the socio-political. It is collective. Even if we do not actively participate on what could be called political levels or as activists out in the field, nevertheless, we are contributing to and impacted by it through the domains of the soul and through our ancestors and, ultimately, we will influence greatly our descendants.
While we may not have a direct, individual impact on the decisions made by courts and governments, we can recognize how our lives and the lives of our neighbors are affected directly or indirectly.
Sacred activism for peacemaking, therefore, acknowledges and embraces all of these domains of action—from the energetic to the concrete, pragmatic to the spiritual. Even while we might make phone calls to our representatives and senators to increase gun control, for instance, we can also call in divine, mystical assistance from those beings whose own mission and purpose is directly invested in our own—in whatever way is aligned with our beliefs, spirituality and/or religion.
Therefore, I am speaking out today for a multidimensional approach to addressing gun violence in the US. Yes, I believe we must enact and enforce laws to restrict access to guns. This is one step towards towards dismantling the entrenched and blistering gun culture that insists that the easy access to any and all guns by any and all gun users has nothing to do with the shooters in Uvalde and Buffalo. I also would like to see a media campaign on part of the US government to begin to reeducate the general public both about responsible gun use, as well as the dangers of guns—similar to what was done with tobacco smoking in the mid-20th century. This should include short features of people who have been affected by gun violence telling their stories. Storytelling is a powerful vehicle for opening and healing people’s hearts and minds.
I want to speak truth to power about the escalation over the past 6 years of violent rhetoric against Blacks, immigrants, Muslims--non-Whites and Christians—and the proliferation of poisonous conspiracy theories. Yes, our words matter powerfully. Speech is energetic and can carry poison with it. I do believe our system needs to change, but not in the ways a very toxic and mislead minority are trying to do it.
I also want us to learn more about how to heal individual and collective trauma beyond what mainstream medicine and psychology offers. The two men who did these terrible things were obviously deeply, psychically wounded. There obviously need to be better ways to flag such individuals and get them the help they need.
I am sure there are other creative ideas that could emerge if people on all sides of the divide could come together to talk reasonably, rationally about this problem.
And I will continue my work as a healer and teacher carrying a message of the multidimensional, energetic ways we can bolster a building wave of peace arising out of the awakening of all human beings into a frequency of compassion and love. I will also continue to seek out the wounds and grief of the ancestors I carry within me and heal myself—and them.
A complex, multidimensional problem at has to do with both consciousness and action calls for all of this. Let us save the children in the present and future!
If you want to learn more about what activists for peacemaking and ending violence are doing and how they see their work as sacred, join us for a FREE, 2-day online Peace Summit, July 21-22, 2022. Build a Great Wave of Peace: Sacred Activism for Peacemaking. Here the thoughts of current healers, thought leaders, authors, and peacemakers on how to shift humanity's destiny line into compassion, love and kindness. Click here for more information.