Week of 5/6-11/2024: Compassion, Activism, Wisdom

May 6, 2024: Compassion, Eckhart, and Humanity’s Future
Matthew is teaching a class on what Eckhart and other mystics can teach us about compassion. Matthew says he’s excited because when we talk about compassion, we talk about “the best humanity has to offer—and Meister Eckhart is a genius on compassion.” Compassion is recognized in all the world religions as a divine power we all have within us. Meanwhile, many consider Eckhart to be the greatest mystic of the West. Ever since he appeared to Matthew in a dream 46 years ago, Matthew has been learning about him and sharing this knowledge. And why are the mystics so important? They are an antidote to despair. As T.S. Elliot said, “The mystics. Or else despair.”

The 14th Dalai Lama greets Uzra Zeya, India’s Undersecretary of State, in 2023. Photo by the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi. Wikimedia Commons.

May 7, 2024: Gratitude for Youth Protest on Campuses in a Time of Moral Crisis
Many of us witnessed or participated in the protests against the Vietnam War in the 60’s. Today’s students protesting the horrors of war in Gaza are a sign of hope. The youth often have clearer insight about public morals than do adults invested in the status quo. The issue is about our government’s unabated financing of genocide in Gaza. To call all objections to Netanyahu and his decision-making “antisemitism” is absurd and a distraction. His decisions have already killed over 34,000 human beings, including 14,000 children, and smashed a city to smithereens. Many Jews and rabbis are vehemently opposed to the genocide going on in Gaza. To be opposed to the state of Israel’s decision-making is not antisemitism. It is what democracy is all about.

Senator Bernie Sanders (D.,VT) delivers an impassioned plea to Congress in support of the student protestors and a halt to support for the Israeli bombardment.

May 8, 2024: Youth on Campuses and Truth on the Rise: Thoughts from Heschel
Fascism distorts truth and sells denial. For example, what does it mean when an entire political party remains in denial of climate change? Maybe it’s because politicians eagerly accept fossil fuel dark money. If God is justice and God is compassion, then carrying that reality into one’s work and citizenship is what God talk is all about. “God-Talk becomes God-Action.” These words from Rabbi Heschel written in 1951 seem especially prescient today: The decay of conscience fills the air with a pungent smell. Good and evil, which were once as distinguishable as day and night, have become a blurred mist. But that mist is man-made. God is not silent. He has been silenced.

May 9, 2024: Youth: Speaking Truth to Powerful Guardians of Education
Often it’s up to the youth to speak truth to power. After all, the powerful are often tired guardians of the status quo and its mighty institutions. When one sees presidents of universities cower under questioning at congressional hearings, then rush back to their campus and call in the police to harass and beat up on their students and faculty, something is seriously amiss. It is for this very reason that, 45 years ago, Matthew turned his back on dominant academia because he sensed that one would not be able to teach spirituality in a Western university where the intuitive brain is ignored and values are ignored. California congressman Ro Khanna recently appraised the current situation on university campuses: We have to understand that this is a defining moment for this generation, similar to anti-Vietnam protests, anti-apartheid protests, anti-Iraq war protests.

Protest by students at the California Polytechnic State University, 2018. Photo by the Kennedy Library on Flickr.

May 10, 2024: Values, Education and Heeding the Wisdom of the Young
Why did Albert Einstein say, “I abhor American education”? He tells us that humanity has been given two gifts: the rational brain and the intuitive brain. The rational brain should serve the intuitive brain because that is where values are to be found. But our society and education value only the rational brain and ignore the intuitive brain. The youth protesting the war against Gaza are exercising the part of their brain that knows what is right. Further, they are acting on that Truth. If we don’t want to engage in adultism, we will support them. Or better yet, join them!

May 11, 2024: Mother’s Day 2024 & a Survey on Our 5th Anniversary
Daily Meditations were born on Mother’s Day five years and 1,825 DMs ago! We intentionally chose Mother’s Day for our launch because we are so conscious of the sacredness of this Mother Earth who makes our own lives possible. We remain committed to the survival of the Earth and all her creatures, including us! This year we developed a survey to check in with you, our dear readers. What do you like most about the DMs? How can we better serve your needs while honoring our own limits? We would be very grateful if you would complete the survey HERE. We also thank the DM team: Phila Hoopes, Ellen Kennedy, Cynthia Greb, Rosanna Tufts, Drake Moore and Dennis Edwards. It is a wonderful team effort!

Banner image: “Free Palestine” protest on Toronto’s University Avenue, 3/15/2024. Can Pac Swire on Flickr.

Recommended Reading

Sins of the Spirit, Blessings of the Flesh: Transforming Evil in Soul and Society

Visionary theologian and best-selling author Matthew Fox offers a new theology of evil that fundamentally changes the traditional perception of good and evil and points the way to a more enlightened treatment of ourselves, one another, and all of nature. In comparing the Eastern tradition of the 7 chakras to the Western tradition of the 7 capital sins, Fox allows us to think creatively about our capacity for personal and institutional evil and what we can do about them. 
“A scholarly masterpiece embodying a better vision and depth of perception far beyond the grasp of any one single science.  A breath-taking analysis.” — Diarmuid O’Murchu, author of Quantum Theology: Spiritual Implications of the New Physics

Meister Eckhart: A Mystic-Warrior For Our Time

While Matthew Fox recognizes that Meister Eckhart has influenced thinkers throughout history, he also wants to introduce Eckhart to today’s activists addressing contemporary crises. Toward that end, Fox creates dialogues between Eckhart and Carl Jung, Thich Nhat Hanh, Rabbi Heschel, Black Elk, Karl Marx, Rumi, Adrienne Rich, Dorothee Soelle, David Korten, Anita Roddick, Lily Yeh, M.C. Richards, and many others.
“Matthew Fox is perhaps the greatest writer on Meister Eckhart that has ever existed. (He) has successfully bridged a gap between Eckhart as a shamanistic personality and Eckhart as a post-modern mentor to the Inter-faith movement, to reveal just how cosmic Eckhart really is, and how remarkably relevant to today’s religious crisis! ” — Steven Herrmann, Author of Spiritual Democracy: The Wisdom of Early American Visionaries for the Journey Forward

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1 thought on “Week of 5/6-11/2024: Compassion, Activism, Wisdom”

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    Happy and Blessed Mother’s Day to all our beautiful and compassionate mothers around the world, to Our Beautiful Sacred Mother Earth, and to All our mothers in the spiritual realms.

    Addendum to my response to the DM Team in yesterday’s survey to followers of DM:
    My main suggestion as far as an addition was a recommendation of a weekly Zoom chat for us to have an opportunity to share more personally our comments to the week’s DM, and possibly thereby beginning to form a weekly Zoom Creation Spirituality Support Group.

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