Speaking with friends the other day, a question arose: “What is #MindfulAdvocacy?” Here is the gist of my response.
Mindful Advocacy begins with awareness. Our hearts open as we fall in love and come to understand our connection with our beloved. We cherish our dependent co-arising or inter-being with another. Awake to our connection, our hearts naturally break when our beloved suffers and it is our broken hearts that prompt us to act.
But Mindful Advocates do not act with anger, hatred, or fear in an “us-or-them” dualistic conceptual frame; we do not compound pain with pain. Instead, soft, broken hearts inspire us to act with skill and embody a peaceful, healing path for all beings– without discrimination.
Mindful Advocates therefore do not differ from traditional activists in our passion or commitment to a cause. All advocates aim to stop abuse, exploitation, and oppression with strong holding actions that bring an end to harm. We all envision an alternative way of being that brings an end to future suffering. But Mindful Advocates are radically different in our response to injustice because our actions disrupt and transform habitual patterns in society with peace, loving kindness extended to all stakeholders (issue allies and opponents alike), increased communication, deep listening, and non-violent non-cooperation with systems that institutionalize greed, hatred, fear, violence, and craving.
Importantly, Mindful Advocates also practice self-care to take care of our own strong emotions. We protect and restore our limited energies so we can be a resource of freshness and well-being to others. We achieve well-being in the world by embodying well-being in the present moment in our hearts, minds, and actions.