Heart Happy (cathy_edgett) wrote,
Heart Happy

Another book -

I just read Pavement: Reflections on Mercy, Activism, & Doing "Nothing" for Peace by Lin Jensen.  After the invasion of Iraq, Lin decided to sit on the pavement and meditate one hour a day in the town of Chico, CA.

He introduces the book like this:

Over 2500 years ago in ancient China, Lao-tzu wrote a little book of eighty-one verses called Tao Te Ching, or in English, The Book of the Way.  Without exception, every verse bears witness to the wisdom of "doing nondoing," what the Chinese call wei wu wei.  Wei wu wei is not a kind passive inaction, but rather a movement in concert with circumstance.  "Nondoing" ultimately means trusting the wisdom of the universe to show the way rather than imposing one's arbitrary will upon it.  As Lao-tzu puts it, "The Tao never does anything, yet through it all things are done."

Lin goes on to tell all the things he tried to do for peace, none of which seemed to have affect, so he decided he needed to learn how to do nothing for peace.    "Peace, as it turned out, was less a matter of something you do than one of something you are - and I soon learned that the ends I sought required of me more than simply sitting protest on the sidewalks of my hometown."

He began to see where he was not peaceful, and where he had to allow peace to come.

He came to see that peace "isn't a fixed condition of any sort but rather a continual open-hearted adjustment to shifting circumstances, a living response to be renewed again and again."  He learns that peace is "its own agent and I - at best - merely its instrument."

He sits in silent witness to those who die each day in Iraq.


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