beloved life practices 38: Speak Up! Speak Out!


The boy who played on a dirt cave floor
has been walled up.
The man who wove a bird’s nest for the world
has been taken away.
The sower who sowed one hundred million seeds
has been concealed.
Without tools, far from sunlight, away from rain
in hard ground.

So they came for the gardener
in the end
as they always do:
too close to the earth
too familiar with buds
too conscious of spring

But the dirt will sing out
and the flowers will bear witness
and one hundred million seeds will shout his name
Ai Weiwei!
Ai Weiwei!
Ai Weiwei!

©Ian Adams 2013 ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

REFLECTION: “If you don’t act the danger becomes stronger.” / “Once you’ve experienced [freedom], it remains in your heart.”  –  Ai Wei Wei in the 2012 movie ‘Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry’ directed by Alison Klayman

‘Our part in creating a path to a more just world can and must begin here and now. It’s time to Speak Up! Speak out! It’s time to tell the truth to power. And there have never been so many accessible ways to do this. The social media are changing the way that movements for justice can build momentum. The situation for which you seek justice may be five minutes walk from you door. It may also be 5000 miles away. It could be both. And you can be involved. It’s at your fingertips…’

beloved life: speak up! speak out!
beloved life: speak up! speak out!

PRACTICE: ‘Our capacity as human beings for creating injustice seems to be unlimited. The boulder field of injustice stretches beyond our sight. On the other hand our capacity to Speak Up! Speak Out! feels limited. Because of this dilemma this practice needs to be lived alongside other practices like Find your stillpoint and Live from your joy. The fight against injustice is all the more effective whenever it takes shape within people who have come to recognize their own imbalances, who carry a strong personal sense of peace, and who are already living a life of justice. In this context the struggle against injustice just becomes a natural part of who we are. The successes in the fight don’t define us, the losses don’t deter us. This gives us space to breathe. We can’t sign up for every struggle. But we can Speak Up! Speak Out! for the struggles into which we are called…’

©Ian Adams 2013 ‘Running Over Rocks: spiritual practices to transform tough times’ (Canterbury Press)

Look out for short daily posts around the week’s theme on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll be doing the practices wherever we are, and we’ll look forward to hearing how you get on – do let us know!

Unfurling: poems
Unfurling: poems

Ian’s new collection of poems Unfurling is out now on Canterbury Press, also via your local bookshop, and all usual online sources including Book Depository  with free delivery world-wide.

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