To cultivate mindfulness is to cultivate conscious awareness of present experience without judgment.
To empower people with profound contemplative practices that support their aspirations to become better people and to make a better world.
I go about my own personal practice and my teaching of Active Compassion in what can be called a “hotbed” of social activism, of resolute commitment to justice, of dedication to a “preferential option for the poor,” and of standing up boldly to “speak truth to power.” I’m talking about Union Theological Seminary in New York City. Both in my own participation in these goals of Union and from what I have heard from numerous students and faculty colleagues, our teachings on Active Compassion have brought what many have described as a missing ingredient in their understanding and practice of working for justice.
Numerous students and colleagues have expressed their gratitude for the help that our FAC practices have provided in realizing how easily our actions and passion for the oppressed can becomes detached from compassion for the oppressors. To speak truth to power out of anger or hatred is to close the ears of those in power. Our FAC practices and teachings have reminded me and many at Union that only when truth is spoken with compassion can it be heard.
My wife, Cathy, and I continue to offer wisdom and compassion meditations twice a month here on Union’s campus. This semester I am teaching a course on Buddhist-Christian practice that focuses primarily on Lama John’s book, Awakening Through Love.