#OccupySamsara: Lessons from Preschool
November 1, 2011 § Leave a comment
Saturday afternoon at Occupy Wall Street
It’s snowing and raining, hard, three days before Halloween. Thanks, Global Warming (causing extreme weather patterns).
My cousin and I are carrying bags with blankets and sleeping bags to Occupy Wall St. Making our way through the encampment we ask someone, “Which way to the Comfort station?”
“Donations?” he asks.
“Ok, cool. It’s right over there.”
I take a few steps in the direction he pointed. Then I turn around.
“Here, take my gloves. I can get more.”
“Really?” he beams.
“Sure,” I reply as I hand over the gloves, a little damp from the snow but definitely better than no gloves at all.
He’s tugging the gloves on. They were a little big on me and they are a bit tight on him.
“Thank you. This really helps. I’m out here on patrol.”
“No, man. Thank YOU!”
There is a brass band marching around and through Liberty Plaza. The small group of musicians make their way through the soaking wet tents as the snow gets whipped around. The wind picks up and so does the music.
We follow the band and stop by the Shrine Tree, lovingly covered with tarps to protect the many symbols of world religions left here. Michael is standing nearby. He’s smiling. Michael’s an occupier whom I recognize easily. I see him often taking care of the shrine. We stop to chat.
Olga in covering her camera with her scarf. She left her hat in the car. Michael comes closer so that she’s protected from the sleet under his large umbrella.
“Sharing,” he says.
“Sharing is caring.” I nod in agreement. Doesn’t everyone remember that old slogan from preschool?
All three of us are smiling despite the bitter cold. I’m shivering and so glad I came out to Liberty Plaza today.
“Sometimes this is what democracy looks like. A wet democracy.”
Olga and I wave and walk off, back to our car and then our warm dry apartment. The heroes stay at Liberty Plaza braving the elements to protest corruption, greed, and injustice.
#OccupySamsara is a column dedicated to the heartfelt yearning for all sentient beings to be safe, happy, healthy, and free from suffering. Samsara is a Sanskrit word used by Buddhists to describe the cyclical nature of our own and societal suffering and dissatisfaction.
Big thanks to Olga Timofeyev for the Occupy Wall Street photographs.