How do we respond to the endless images
reminding us that the world is at war?

How do we process the horror scenes,
the carnage in Israel, the massacre in Gaza?

How do we sleep, having witnessed
the cold murder of whole communities,
and now the horror facing a million children
in the world’s largest open-air prison?

How do we respond to the endless images
reminding us that the world is at war?

How do we process the grief?

To paraphrase our friend*, how do we pray,
how do we act, how do we think in ways that do not
perpetuate what has produced this war?

None of us can hold this suffering alone.
Some of us cry. Others take stands on social media.
And some find refuge in their spiritual practice.

But the pain flows on.

How does our spiritual realization
illuminate this darkness?
Can we find it in our hearts
to stop adding horror to horror,
violence to violence, injustice to injustice?
Revenge has never been a path to peace.
It only breeds more hatred and inevitably
comes back, the next time around.
By responding to atrocities with atrocities,
we are planting the seeds of our own destruction,
which begins with the destruction
of our own humanity.

Let our heart break wide open.
Let it help our mind sift out the narratives
that no longer serve life.
Let it pull the veils back, revealing
the long chain of relationships we belong to,
shaped over millennia by ancestors whose pain
we either perpetuate, or heal.

If you are called to be a fervent voice
for peace in the world, by all means!
Not everyone can.
Small gestures can also do gentle work.
Perhaps we can only prostrate when we feel
helpless and whisper, “I see you.”

Which new solidarity can we share?
Which initiatives can we embrace toward
a world more alive and just?

Peace and justice exceed borders,
blossoming through radical kinship.
For no one is free until we are all free.

May we uplift each soul's dignity.

Our lives are One Life, One Breath, One Mother.

when olive trees weep - 10/14/2023
zaya & maurizio benazzo, and the 'sand' team
Science And Nonduality (SAND) is a community inspired by timeless wisdom, informed by cutting-edge science, and grounded in direct experience. (*The "friend" mentioned above is an Arabic translator in Gaza, whose life is in immediate and great danger.)