“The Tactic of Nonviolence is a Tactic of Love” – Thomas Merton

ConjecturesMertonMy wife recently attended a leader’s conference in New York City in which Thomas Merton’s writings played an unexpected, serendipitous role.

The conference host shared with his audience this quote from Merton’s book Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, page 86:

Douglas Steere remarks very perceptively that there is a pervasive form of contemporary violence to which the idealist fighting for peace by nonviolent methods most easily succumbs: activism and overwork. The rush and pressure of modern life are on a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit oneself to too many projects, to want to help everyone is to succumb to violence. More than that, it is cooperation in violence The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his work for peace. It destroys his own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.

I turned to that page in the book this morning, and began reading.

And I found something even more serendipitous, given Continue reading

“Spirituality, just like love, is the human base station” – Doug “Ten” Rose

Screen Shot 2013-05-08 at 9.18.30 PMThe Only Love Project’s Bill Murphy (BM) conducted this interview with Doug Ten Rose (DTR) via Skype on April 24, 2013. Many thanks to Mr. Rose for his time, wisdom, and delightful sense of humor.

BM: Briefly tell us your background. What would you like others to know about you?

DTR: I was born a poor black child. Oh no, wait. That’s Steve Martin. That’s not me. [laughs] It’s not about me, you know, it’s about the project, and there’s a much bigger picture. But I guess within the context of this, we’re going to have to go into it a little bit. It’s pretty much all described in the Fearless Puppy book [Fearless Puppy On American Road]. Or at least the first 40 or 50 years are. I was born in Brooklyn, New York, grew up in the Coney Island area, and started selling drugs at an early age. Decided when I was in my mid-teens that this was not going to go very far. [laughs]. There was all kinds of stuff to deal with. Besides the obvious, which is that the drugs can kill you, you’ve got the ripoffs, and especially in a big city like New York, you’ve got the mafia wanting to deal on the same corner, so there’s only a short time you can be there, and you have to dodge them. Then of course there are the legal complications and the police. And then of course you’re acting like a jackass because you’re whacked out all the time.

Screen Shot 2013-04-24 at 1.09.41 PMSo anyways, the thing to do it seemed was to get outta there pretty quick, and so I did. Started hitchhiking and it worked out so well that I just kept going. Now of course, part of what’s responsible for that was that era in history. Because in the mid to late ‘60s, every Volkswagon van was a guaranteed ride, people would stop and pick you up, it was a rollin’ party. Since things have changed so much over the past 40 years, I don’t think anybody could do that kind of lifestyle now. It would be intensely more difficult to do. People just aren’t as trusting, they’re not as friendly in a lot of ways, and so it probably wouldn’t work as well now. But at the time we lived more for the love and happiness, and the book Fearless Puppy is about that time.

All the profits from book sales are going to fund Continue reading

Simplicity

Wonji Dharma, a very dear friend of mine, posted a video titled “If You Give A Little Love, You Will Get A Little Love” to his blog (called Zen Mirror) today, along with these words:

there is only one reform in life
and that is to become more loving.
it is so simple to do something kind
or take a moment out of a busy day
to stop and notice what is around us
yet we blindly follow our lives
lost in our thinking
about this or that
and don’t see it when
that small gesture
or that passing smile
might not change
the expression of
life all around.
we are all interconnected
we are one planet and one species
that carries the future
in our hands,
just pay attention
and you will know
the right thing to do.