Meditation and the Crisis
I am reposting this article from an outstanding new blog, "Diary of a disparaged CNA". It is by a nursing assistant who is trying to make sense of the caring work she does every day in a capitalist society that just does not care. This piece really shows the importance of meditation and contemplation as part of the struggle, a theme we've been discussing on here recently. I encourage everyone to check out her blog, it's updated regularly and its very inspiring.
***for those who might not know, POC stands for "people of color"
Every Tues, I try to go with my friend R, to a POC meditation circle.I need the space for my mind to quiet, to meditate on survival and its trials. This summer/fall has been very strange. I have had very emotionally exhausting drama with people whom I thought were my good friends, and feeling betrayed by them. I suppose all relationships go through these kinds of tribulations, and you just have to grow from it.
R. and I talked alot about how in today's world, as the world seems to be increasingly collapsing in front of our eyes -- perhaps not in a dramatic apocalyptic manner, but in a manner of disintegration, chunks dropping off, increasing fire, increasing hazards, food riots, race war, future nuclear wars, etc -- it all seems very plausible. Everyone I know is feeling lost. We utilize, urgently, Marxist theory to try to explain the world, to try to intervene, to build organization, but the objective conditions are that the world is crumbling before us and we dont know really, what to do.
I think that the sense of helplessness I feel from the spate of publicized queer suicides and anti-queer violence, is exactly going to be the kind of emotions I increasingly feel -- extreme anger at the system but also a forboding sense that the problem is too big, too massive, and not knowing WHERE or HOW to start.
As more and more of us get unemployed, as more of us get shut out from school, as more of us who thought we could get a decent job w a BA degree find ourselves doing menial, undesirable work or worse still, be unemployed AND strapped w mountains of student loan debt -- we will feel the same: Helpless and massive demoralization cos what's pushing us down feels really really big and heavy and all-around. It is the State, it is Wall Street, it is the fucking WORLD ECONOMY.
We need to strategize and build organizations to resist, to articulate the problems, to start from somewhere. But more than ever I think, we need to create communal spaces for people to process pain, confusion and sorrow. This is increasingly where we are going to be headed: an emotional vacuum.
That's why I love going to POC meditation with R, and E and be in the presence of folks whom I dont organize with, but whom I respect deeply for the calming and honest vibe they bring to my life. I know I need this quiet space to share survival stories and boost up my emotional strength to face the ugliness of the world everyday, to organize with people who might not show me the same respect that I deserve, to face the bosses. To do that, I need emotional resilience and strength.