Today is Juneteenth, a holiday I never before celebrated or knew about, despite being in an inter-racial marriage and having two biracial children. The 1960s were a tremendous time of hope for progress for all humankind and our relationship with each other, the Earth, and the Cosmos, as we began venturing out into it.

I feel that hope and tidal swell again. There is again a mass will emerging to better our ways of being; and this time, the organizations and individuals guiding us feel so much better informed, more skillful, deeper connected in thought, word and deed.

We had a saying back in the 60s, “If you are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.” I need to demand of myself and share with you the need to engage. Begin simply. Educate yourself a bit, as painful as it feels, or boring as it feels, or unnecessary as it feels. I do appreciate Nelson Mandala’s quote on Dr. Joanne Kyouji Cacciatore’s email, ” “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.

Our liturgy in The Zen Garland Order has many purposes: to remind us of what is essential, to turn our attention to what we should strive for, and to remind us of what we should remember. We will begin celebrating Juneteenth in The Zen Garland Order as a manifestation of the Bodhisattva Vow, “Creations are numberless, I vow to free them.” Let us free ourselves from ignorance, greed and rejection and work to be fields of benefaction in the world.

Thank you,

Roshi Genki

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