"Not-knowing, thereby giving up fixed ideas about ourselves and the universe;
Bearing witness to the joy and suffering of the world; and
Healing ourselves and others."
These tenets are very important to me. They rest on the belief that the universe is non-dualistic and interdependent, so that doing for myself is doing for others, and vice versa.
One of the lojongs (sayings/teachings) of tonglen Buddhism is "When practicing unconditional acceptance, start with yourself." Pema Chodron says about this: "What you do for yourself, you're doing for others, and what you do for others, you're doing for yourself. When you exchange self for othersin the practice of tonglen [receiving pain and sending joy], it becomes increasingly uncertain what is out there and what is in here." She says elsewhere in a related vein that when you have compassion on humanity in yourself, you develop compassion for all of humanity. As we begin to have compassion for our own failings, our anger, our ignorance, our greed, our self-interest, we can then have compassion on others who exhibit the same qualities.
Perhaps this is a hypocritical example, but when obliquity said--"all these neo-marxists forget that communism was an early form of globalisation"--it struck me as an failure of following the tenet of "not knowing." (The Commoner is a good example of Marxism that that wouldn't apply to.) But perhaps I don't know what he means by "neo-Marxist."
Bearing witness sounds simple--look at the world as it is--but it's not. We often shut down and make up stories to ourselves about why things are this way (esp. stories about why we're right and others are wrong).
"Healing ourselves and others." Pema went to a talk by Bernie, in which he said he worked with the homeless of New York because by working with rejected parts of society he was working with himself. He wasn't giving handouts or doing condescending charity work, he was engaged in his own liberation by helping those ignored and oppressed by society.
For what I consider the most important point of this, I would like to quote from both Buddhism and Christianity.
"All the teachings and all the practices are about just one thing; if the way that we protect ourselves is strong, then suffering is really strong too. ....
"One might think that we're talking about ego as enemy, ego as original sin. But this is a very different approach, a much softer approach. Rather than original SIN, there's original SOFT SPOT. The messy stuff that we see in ourselves and that we perceive in the world as violence and cruelty and fear is not the result of some basic badness but of the fact that we have such a tender, vulnerable, warm heart of Bodhicitta [Enlightened Mind], which we instinctively protect so that nothing will touch it.
"There seems to be a need to change the fundamental pattern of always protecting against anything touching our soft spot. Tonglenpractice is about changing the basic pattern."
A Methodist ministerwrites:
"Abiding in God�s love means that we need that love like the air that we breathe; it means that we depend on it for everything we do and for all that we are. It means coming so face to face with our own limits, our own sin, our own brokenness, that we know that without God�s love we would be lost, as lost as the branch would be without the vine that gives it life."
God's love & "the tender, vulnerable, warm heart of Bodhicitta" are the fundamental nature of our reality. Though existence is characterized by impermenance and dissatisfaction, it is fundamentally joyful and loving.
This is the heart of a politics/spirituality of engaged and transformative nonviolent love.
(Sidenote: Rabbi Waskow of the Shalom Center has a good quote about politics and spirituality: "politics may be the deepest prayer, and prayer the deepest politics. We may realize that we are always choosing between a politics that may be prayers to idols, mere carved-out pieces of the Whole, things of partial value that we elevate to ultimates, and a politics that we may shape with such deep caring that it becomes prayer to the One.")