Some of my bestest and smartestest, committed 64-72 year old friends, thinkers and activists “as a cohort of like-minded spirits”, have decided not to retire–from their important and impactful roles in society– for another 5 years, at least till the Trump era is over, although some have been slowing down, rewiring and their institutions were ready for them to retire. I found that quite heartening and “some good news for a change.”
As a lama and writer, spiritual teacher, and often a nonprofit board of directors’ advisor, I’m not sure what retirement would ever mean to me, except less travel and a little more family and nature-mysticism-cum-poetry time. Not retirement but Rewirement, perhaps. Just keep on keepin’ on, keep on awakening, cuz the ugliness in our world can be frightening. The meanness, fear, destruction, and cruelty I see and hear about daily can be depressing. We gotta rally harder to save ourselves, our children, society, and environment. We need to open our hearts and borders outer and inner, and we must learn how to work together and genuinely respect each other.
I was recently invited to and enjoyed a temple-raising at Jigme Kilung Rinpoche’s newish and somewhat traditional center on buddhaful Whidbey Island, off the coast of Seattle, Washington. There I witnessed continuing to creep along into these modern times, even while the post-modern era is almost coming to an end! Adapt and evolve or die, as they say—but so many of us find hard to apply. Let us pray. Let’s keep goin’, together.
We so often say we wanna and gotta get outta our ruts, but who’s ready, willing, and able– and who knows how, and can follow thru? Here in the US, the next fourteen months will shed a lot of light on the future of not only our nation but perhaps our civilization as well, so the time to act is now. I ask you to join me and my “cohort of like-minded spirits”, a group I am proud to call my brethren, as we try to right this sinking ship of fools.
There’s a lot of sittin’ and bowin’ goin’ down in the Buddhist ghetto. Wake up, come alive, stick together. Let us pray and get our sittin’ asses in gear!
Howard Thurman said: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”