Kaira Jewel Lingo is a Dharma teacher and lived as an ordained nun for 15 years in Thich Nhat Hanh’s Order of Interbeing, and is now based in New York. She provides individual spiritual mentoring and leads retreats internationally, offering mindfulness programs for educators, parents and youth in schools, in addition to activists, people of color, artists and families. She mentors with the Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Certification Program, was lead teacher for Mindful Schools’ year long training for educators, teaches teens and adults with Inward Bound Mindfulness Education, and is a guiding teacher for One Earth Sangha. She edited Thich Nhat Hanh’s Planting Seeds: Practicing Mindfulness with Children and has been published in numerous other books and magazines. She explores the interweaving of art, play, ecology and embodied mindfulness practice and is an InterPlay leader. Read her recent article, In Times of Crisis Call Upon the Strength of Peace, published in Lion’s Roar magazine.
Given on Dr. King's birthday, we explore how we can each give rise to bodhicitta and support the realization of justice: the expression of love in public. Kaira Jewel first shares about the personal impact of Dr. King on her life, introducing her father, Al Lingo, who makes a cameo appearance to briefly share about working with Dr. King in the Civil Rights Movement in the South. She then explores the friendship between Thich Nhat Hanh and Dr. King and their common effort to build the Beloved Community. Then we look at how caring for ourselves is caring for others and vice versa, and how bodhicitta is an inexhaustible source of energy and confidence, because it helps us clarify what our ultimate concern is. We end with how we can engage in activism, and work on behalf of the world in a way that doesn’t lead to burnout.
We begin with metta as heart training, a practice of awakening and growing our heart and explore how our practice of metta can also support and help to transform others. Then we move into obstacles to metta meditation and how to practice with them, covering when metta feels mechanical, distractions, grief, doubt, anger, and struggling to offer metta to ourselves. We close looking at how metta can be a protection and also how the Earth can be a source and inspiration for metta.