Innovative Ideas: A Letter to the Mayor of Minneapolis

 

Dear Mayor Jacob Frey,

Thank you for speaking with such clarity, understanding, and compassion to the people who are in a rage about the unjust murder of George Floyd. The Fire that is burning was actually ignited a long time ago, as you rightly pointed out. Sparks from 400 years ago are raging now, and it will not be enough for politicians to simply *talk* about being peaceful.

Under these conditions, only people who possess a high level of awareness, and a high level of emotional maturity, would be able to remain calm and express their anger peacefully. Those nonviolent people are rare, such as Martin Luther King, Jr., Mahatma Gandhi, and Thich Nhat Hanh. The majority of people do not possess those qualities, and so speaking about being peaceful to them will not work. And, their rioting will not work because violence simply begets more violence.

But there are other possibilities, in a middle ground in between nonviolence and violence. Please consider these innovative ideas ~

~ Each day over the next few weeks, hold many three-hour conflict resolution sessions, in which you have City Council members, Police officers, Religious leaders (and so on) sitting on one side, with skilled Mediators in the center, and then you have the Protestors and Rioters (who feel rage) sitting on the other side. The Mediators facilitate the discussions, and if the Protestors and Rioters complete the sessions nonviolently, then as they leave they are each given a consolation check in the amount of $2,000.

~ Use the National Guard to hand out invitations to the above sessions, and either assign dates and times, or do a lottery system to determine who gets to go to the sessions.

~ Ask corporations, millionaires, and billionaires to fund the checks. Money *talks*, whereas “talking” about peace does not talk. Give to these people very generously, as if they were your own family. People say “Money can’t buy happiness” but that is wrong! Money can buy a lot. It can bring peace to a rage-torn mind. It can help to cool the fires, while mediation can help to heal the wounds.

~ On the streets at night, give out free food, toilet paper, masks, and other essentials. Get corporations to sponsor these free hand-outs. Use the National Guard to make sure people stay six feet apart in the lines, since we are still immersed in a virus pandemic crisis.

~ On the streets in the daytime, give out free coffee and information about the mediation sessions. Spread the word about the free food and essentials that will be happening each night.

Please seize this golden opportunity for Minneapolis to heal some deep wounds in innovative ways.

May Minneapolis become a guiding light, a way-shower community, for other communities around this wounded world.

Thank you for considering these ideas.

May the Force of All Light be with you,
StarFire Teja

 

 

Image by WikiImages on Pixabay.

 

Happy Gandhi Jayanti

“Mahatma Gandhi is still alive, and he is very strong now. He is in everyone of us.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, in a five-minute video (“Martin Luther King, Gandhi are as alive as ever”), in which he speaks about why it is wrong to kill…

Today is the birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, so this post is to honor that great soul… Let us be forever grateful for all the high beings who grace this planet Earth!

My favorite quote ever by Gandhi-ji is:

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Do you have a favorite Gandhi quote?

 

Flowers photo by Serafima Lazarenko on Unsplash.

 

Gandhi Quote on Happiness

“Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony.” ~ Mahatma Gandhi

When you read Gandhi-ji’s words, what arises for you?
Do you feel that your thoughts, words, and actions are all in alignment?

If you feel this harmony, can you hear gratitude bells ringing?

If you do not feel this harmony, what can you do today to work towards it?

May All Beings Be Free of Suffering.
May All Beings Feel Harmony and Happiness.

 

Bird image by Gentle07 on Pixabay.

 

Contributing to the Ancient Tradition of Ramayana

Reading the Ramayana takes you on a magical journey through your own deepest self. Through the timeless wisdom of this ancient story you will recognize your own wisdom. That has certainly been my experience each time I have read the Ramayana, and I have studied nearly one dozen versions of this tale over the past fifteen years. The Ramayana originated in India, but it has spread throughout South East Asia, and around the world. More than three hundred versions have been recorded, and millions of people deeply love this story.

I also deeply love this sacred story, and, at times I have struggled with the Divine Avatar Rama’s actions. In many of the versions, in certain scenes he performs controversial actions such as killing and hunting, even though the highest Vedic principle is Ahimsa, which means non-harming. So, at a painful moment in my spiritual journey, I felt like I had to choose between my highest ideal of non-violence and my Hindu Yogic Path. They suddenly did not seem compatible. At that black-and-white juncture, I dove deeply into many questions and into some profound soul-searching, and from that query arose a bright, full-colored, new possibility: Instead of throwing out the Ramayana and all of my other yogic spiritual practices, I could write my own version of the Ramayana, and elevate all of Rama’s actions to be in alignment with the highest Vedic principle of Ahimsa (non-harming).

In his rendition of the Ramayana (1957), Chakravarti Rajagopalachari (Indian politician and close associate of Mahatma Gandhi-ji) writes, “Let those who find faults in Raama see faults, and if these critics faultlessly pursue dharma and avoid in their own lives the flaws they discover in Raama, the bhaktas of Sri Raama will indeed welcome it with joy. If they exhibit the virtues of Raama and add to these more virtues and greater flawlessness, who can complain?”

Yes, that is exactly what I have done! As StarFire Teja, I see killing humans and demons as a flaw, and I do not kill humans nor demons in my own life. I also see hunting animals and eating their meat as flaws, and I do not hunt animals nor do I eat any animal products in my own life. In The Tejaswini Ramayana, I exhibit the virtues of Rama and add to them the virtues of the highest Vedic Ahimsa: elevating others instead of killing them, and eating plant-based foods instead of hunting animals. Thus Rama has greater flawlessness in The Tejaswini Ramayana…. Chakravarti Rajagopalachari would be proud.

And, when you are reading this book, you will enjoy a magical journey through your deepest self, recognizing your own emotions as expressed through the Divine Super Heroes. As you journey with Rama and Sita, their experience will give you hope for the human condition. I pray that my contribution to the ancient tradition of Ramayana will elevate you and many other beings!

Om Shri Shakahari Rama!
StarFire Teja’s Book is now on Amazon!
Amazon Author Page here: Teja Shankara