Dear Joyfully Just community,

We are so grateful for your subscribing to our website and wanted to share with you some updates, plans and encouragement for these challenging times.

First off, we offer deep gratitude to you for all that you are doing to care for yourselves, your loved ones and your community in the face of the COVID 19 outbreak. This pandemic is a painful reminder of our profound interdependence and the need to practice fierce compassion for ourselves and others.

In our dialogue on Self-Compassion and Interdependence which is still available on our resources page, we discuss how self-compassion often involves a disciplined way of being with and caring for ourselves and others. Limiting and/or eliminating the forms of social interaction we love, everything from hugs to shared meals in restaurants is as difficult as it is necessary. In light of that we encourage you to conduct the required washing, cleaning and physical distancing as practices in being fiercely compassionate. Rather than doing them out of a rote sense of drudgery or out of fear and angst, we can set the intention to do them with a grateful spirit, appreciating the capacity we have to care for ourselves and others. We encourage you to set an intention daily on how you will enact fierce compassion towards yourself and others including some creative reflection on action steps you can take each day to support wellness for yourself and those around you.

In November, during our discussion at the National Women’s Studies Conference on being Jubilant in the Journey towards Justice, we had the opportunity to engage with participants on facing pain with joy. While this may sound contradictory, it is always true that some joyful exist alongside painful ones. It is useful to notice both suffering and joy in order to have a comprehensive picture of reality. Vaishali’s workshop on Engaging with our Feelings about Climate Disruption highlighted how we have to move through painful feelings such as anger at injustice in order to access authentic joy without spiritual bypassing.

Kamilah shared more on practices to keep us grounded in joy during the Black Wisdom online Summit which you can access via the Vimeo link on the Joyfully Just website. Vaishali’s ongoing facilitation of Compassion training invites people to drop into deeper awareness of our shared stewardship of the entire earth and the well-being of our fellow human beings. Kamilah was honored to be amongst the 70 Buddhist teachers at The Gathering of Buddhist Teachers of African Descent, an historic event culminating in 300 Black Buddhists at Sprit Rock engaging with Angela Davis on Buddhism and justice. More will be shared from that event in the coming weeks.

In January, Vaishali participated in an event where 700 people in Maine celebrated the life and work of Dr. King that highlighted our responsibility to and as ancestors. In an event whose title draws from Dr. King’s speech, Kamilah hosted “Tied Together In a Single Garment of Destiny”- A Contemplative celebration of the Life and Work of Dr. King.  In February, Kamilah collaborated with Dr. Murphy- Shigematusu to host a contemplative celebration of the contributions of Black people to the world. Kamilah also hosted a dialogue on “Speaking Justice In to Reality, The Language of Liberation from Racism” at Gavilan College in honor of Black History Month.  Valentine’s Day came early to Maine: On February 13 and 14 Vaishali hosted Dr Lenwood Hayman who talked about “Cultural Compassion and Radical Love as the Key Components of Beloved Community.” These events -attended by health care providers, community members and social and racial justice activists – brought to the fore the coalition building we will need to undo alienation and acknowledge and build upon the depths of love and kindness we have for each other.

Vaishali and Kamilah have also recorded several podcasts to expand and sustain profound joy amidst our efforts for justice on the Liberate Meditation App. Please download the Liberate Meditation App and type in the search icon Vaishali Mamgain and/or Kamilah Majied to see our talks.  Also, please check our upcoming events page for upcoming activities. We will share more insights and events with you as we move forward toward completing the Joyfully Just book.

 Finally, please register for our June 18th online dialogue “Sheltering in Joy”.  We recognize that we are called to create a more just, compassionate and integrous world, to care, to protest and to organize across ethnicities, national boundaries, class backgrounds and other divides. This is both vital and taxing so this workshop will offer resources that sustain us. Vaishali and Kamilah will use art, free writing, and music practices to invite participants to “be” with themselves, with each other and with the environment. By contemplating suffering as a reality that unites us, we will access the joy inherent in our fundamental connections. Together we will model building alliances that dismantle the patriarchal, hierarchical, racist, and sexist norms of the dominant culture and put in practice Alice Walker’s declaration that “resistance is the secret to joy”. Follow this link to register.

Please know that we are holding you in our hearts and sending you big waves of emboldened hope and courage. See you in June!

Joyfully and justly yours in community,

Vaishali and Kamilah

Link for Guided Practices and Dialogue on Fierce Compassion with Vaishali and Kamilah

Ethical Consciousness in the Classroom: How Buddhist Practices Can Help Develop. Empathy and. Compassion.

Download the Liberate Meditation App and check out Vaishali and Kamilah’s guided meditations there!