Dale S. Wright

‘It is very easy not to perceive injustices that we ourselves have unknowingly helped to institute. It is even more difficult to see these injustices when they are embedded in routine practices that have come to be assumed in our social world. The “normal” way things are done can hide insensitivities in which we are all complicit. Racism was not intended by many of us who lived in twentieth-century America, but that lack of intention did not prevent extensive racial injustice. Ecological disaster is not intended by those of us in developed nations with typical habits of consumption, but that lack of intention does not remove the responsibility that we will share for having brought that outcome to pass. Meditation names the activity that strives to engender mindfulness through a variety of reflective and unreflective means. It can be structured to yield forms of awareness that put us in touch not just with the overt and obvious ramifications of our acts but also with a much richer and more comprehensive account of how we effect the world around us.’ (The Six Perfections)

From the morality chapter; while I was typing this out, I thought to highlight that this book was published in 2009, so he is not responding just to the current waves of awareness around both of these topics, but that this is part and parcel of living an awakened life in the twenty-first century. But I was also feeling anger in my fingertips that actually, some people did intend harm, for whatever reason, in both spheres, and we have to reckon with this side of humanity as well. At times I feel pessimistic about these things; and, as I believe I have posted elsewehere, as a Bodhisattva, the effort we can make is to be as good an example as we can, to act with our best efforts, again and again, trusting that there will be a difference made.


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