"I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." Martin Luther King Jr.
In the 1963 'I Have a Dream' speech, Martin Luther King, Jr. takes a passionate stand for equality, freedom and democracy. He was able to hold two contradictory ideas at the same time. While acknowledging the cruelty and injustice of racial inequality, he was also able to invite a sane and loving road back to wholeness.
"Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. ... we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force."
So, what is 'soul force' and how do you get it?
As we mark this historic day, it may be helpful to see the connection between King's wise words spoken 57 years ago, words that electrified the country and the emerging holistic worldview .
"For many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom...We cannot walk alone...We cannot turn back."
I think the power of his speech lies in its ability to resonate a deeper vulnerable truth of love and belonging. The nature of reality appears to be interconnected, not separate. We need each other and we belong together because we are one household, nobody is less or more important than another.
Martin Luther King Jr. was able to reach beyond anger and egoic mind structures ot offer a vision of what was possible. Like concentration camp survivor, psychiatrist and author of "Man's Search for Meaning," Vikor Frakl wrote that he gave up the notion of being rescued from the horrors of daily life but he knew that giving into his fear and rage would eat him alive and the Nazi's truly would've taken over his soul. Instead, he chose to see what was possible and spent his days offering comfort to other camp members. He took agency of his reality. Maybe that is 'soul force'.
On 60 Minutes last night there was a segment about the political unrest in the country and the question was asked. 'Who are we?' It may be worth starting with the question,'Who do we think we are?'
King's 'soul force' was felt that day in 1963 and still resonates. People's hearts lifted with a sense of possibility, connection and love. That was his dream and it feels like the collective couldn't be further from that right now.
Mindfulness practice helps us look within and see our 'soul force' and the fragmentation that blocks it.
Having the courage to mindfully see the way we show up in our own lives and lovingly heal our own wounds begins to melt the illusion of separation so we can learn to meet our intolerance and resistance with something more helpful, loving and creative.
Tomorrow we will meet online at 6:30pm. The focus will be on cultivating 'soul force' in a fragmented world.
Looking forward to seeing you!
"When we are no longer able to change a situation we are challenged to change ourselves." --Viktor Frankl
About us: This friendly, open-hearted group is for anyone interested in meditation and exploring awareness training. Newcomers are always welcome. The basic structure is guided meditation, conscious sharing and topic discussion. We go about 90 minutes, sometimes more or less but you are welcome to arrive and depart as your schedule allows. About Kim
Join Zoom Meeting https://zoom.us/j/117191836 (or call in only: 1 646 558 8656 Meeting ID: 117 191 836) Payment Link $10: https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=3MUYA43KYJEGG