Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What is Freedom Beyond Conditions?

I've got a new hero!  Thanks to Tricycle.com's latest email article entitled The Heartful Dodger.
I mean, com' on, you gotta love a dharma teacher named Vinny, am I right?  Plus, look at the guy, he's like an urban buddha with a handlebar mustache and tats...
Vinny Ferraro is a teacher-trainer with the Mind Body Awareness Project in Oakland, California, nonprofit that uses mindfulness to give youth the tools to make better decisions and to consider more skillful options than violence, self-harm, drugs, and crime.
“All my work revolves around the same conversation: What is freedom beyond conditions? Beyond this school, this prison, this hood, whatever your conditions are...   Any condition can be a vehicle for bondage—or freedom and awakening. And that’s fucking deep, man.
“The Buddha taught that freedom is going beyond conditions.  For me, the people who have been through the harshest conditions—and survived—have the greatest potential to transform the madness of their lives. ..
"Thomas Merton said that prayer and love are learned when prayer becomes impossible and the heart has turned to stone. Know why? Because that’s where the action is, Jack.
“Look, my practice is simple. What if nothing is wrong? What if it all belongs—everything around you? Just see if you can approach every moment with kindness. Know what that does? That allows you to live in a kind world. And that slowly helps you deal with whatever comes up, when motherfuckers don’t act right.”
He pauses, cocks his head, and gives a grin.
“And y’all motherfuckers ain’t acting like I need you to act, most of the time.”
I'm in love, motherfuckers, pure mother-fuckin' buddha-love.

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