Boss Up with Bevin Your dream life is at the end of your comfort zone

2020-06-21

Mass Meditation as Resistance

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — Bevin @ 6:05 pm

(This post is a series of daily letters from me to my future children reporting from the emerging paradigm.)

Dear Kids:

I just got finished participating in a global meditation for peace. I have noticed that the fervor by which some of my activist friends run out to protest injustice in the streets is the fervor I now feel when asked to participate in mass meditative action.

I think it’s incredibly powerful what organized people can accomplish together with a common vision. I learned that early on from my work with Girl Scouts and later participating in the building and dismantling of a temporary village of women every year for much of my young adult life. Together, we can accomplish far more than separately. We need leadership, support and action.

I’m not much of a protestor–I went to a Prop 8 protest in 2008 wielding a cardboard sign that said, “I deserve the right to be the Lesbian Liz Taylor.” That was the first time at a protest I was physically penned in and started to feel intense panic. Slowly but surely over the years I’ve been recognizing feelings of stress in large crowds. I dealt with that by developing coping skills for when I need to be in large crowds and avoiding them when I can.

I don’t feel disempowered or bad about not going to in person protests, there are so many great ways to participate in movements. (I talked about five big roles in the Showing Up Imperfectly for Change episode of my podcast.) I had to learn to release the guilt and shame around resisting differently than my fervent activist friends.

As I’ve become more of a spiritual person and a meditator, I’ve met other folks who are very psychically connected who react poorly to large crowds. (Nice to realize I’m not alone or some kind of activist failure for not wanting to do crowded protests.) I’ve also witnessed the profound power of collective meditation and consciousness raising.

During today’s mass meditation Rev. Michael Bernard Beckwith charged us to ask God, “What does a kind and just global society look like? What does justice look like? What does proper policing look like? Where must we as a civilization grow? What is my individual role? What must we become?” It was a powerful space to open up to a vision of what’s possible.

We didn’t come here to fix a broken world, we came to create the world of our dreams. That starts with the boldness of dreaming.

If you want to see it (maybe this link will still work in 25 years when my kids actually read this or maybe someone reading this wants to get in on this meditation) here’s the link to the mass meditation. The video starts about 10 minutes in and the meditation starts 40 minutes in.

Orange mushrooms I found on my walk in the forest yesterday. It was a belligerently rainy cloudy summer solstice.

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2012-06-28

United in Anger: A History of ACT UP at a Theater Near You!

Filed under: Events and Announcements — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Bevin @ 5:48 pm

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I was invited to a press screening of United in Anger: A History of ACT UP last week.

I highly recommend it. The 90 minute movie is a beautiful summary of the organization in great detail and so tangible. The movie is full of archival footage of radical, inventive, creative and well-organized protest actions by the coalition of folks who were in the thick of the AIDS crisis. The story is told in the words of the folks who were doing it, meeting every Monday at the LGBT Center, making media and strategizing. The press information from the movie says the archival footage “puts the audience on the ground” with protestors and that is incredibly accurate.

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The film progresses through a dozen or so of the most infamous of the ACT UP actions and it was incredibly moving. I found myself chanting along by the end and cried during an action where ashes were spread on the White House lawn. It was so moving to see how folks were using their intense grief to also channel that into activism.

I also enjoyed that it addressed what it was like to be in the movement. I think it’s nice to know what folks did but it’s great to hear the dirt. There was a lot of personal impetus to be part of the movement–everyone’s friends were dying. And also, I liked that folks were honest about how they didn’t go cruising in bars, they joined this activist movement so they could cruise and also do something important with their time. I don’t know, it was an important thread of realness that definitely made this documentary feel like a homegrown history rather than a documentary from an outsiders’ perspective.

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This is still true. Also, I cheered out loud when this was raised during an action.

It is also so important for us to absorb the strategy. So often in queer generations we’re reinventing the wheel. ACT UP already did so much of that strategizing and organizing! We can learn so much from it.

United in Anger is touring film festivals. It opens at Quad Cinemas in NYC on July 6 for a week. Check out their screening schedule!

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