Right Action, Right Mind An Experiment in Activism

This morning I was reading through testimonials of Standing Rock violence with an accompanying image of police pointing guns at unarmed citizens. The image is just horrible, I wanted to turn away.

Police confront protesters with a rubber bullet gun near Cannon Ball, N.D., on Sunday, during a protest against plans to pass the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
Police confront protesters with a rubber bullet gun near Cannon Ball, N.D., on Sunday, during a protest against plans to pass the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Stephani Keith/Reuters

Instead I forced myself to take a deeper look into the picture. I saw darkness, I saw cold, I saw images of black ops.   I saw overarmed police in riot gear.  I saw some faces.

I zoomed in on the faces and tried to imagine what they were thinking in that specific moment.


What I saw and felt told me that I’ve got it wrong. I sent a wave of hatred, anger, shock and fear towards black ops oppressors prior to seeing the faces.

That is what is wrong. Wrong Mind.

I did to them the exact thing this face shows me, when he looked at the people standing unarmed in front of him.


This is a face of a predator, a predator only gets more aggressive when they sense hatred, anger, shock and fear in the eyes of its victim.

I then saw this face and this face.

police-2 police-1

These are faces of people who are caught in a bind.  Having to obey orders, understanding that these are people in front of them, yet having to obey orders and keep their jobs, position, ego in tact etc…

That’s when I got the idea.  Perhaps we can do activism differently.

We should continue to call and write to our senators, congressmen, governors, sheriff departments, local and national media and most of all the president and president to be, perhaps we can add one more thing to our list. That one more thing is right mind.

I know and believe that when I send love into another person’s heart they feel it and the coldness in their heart melts just a little. The coldness in my heart melts as well.  When I do this with a group the power of that action gets stronger. I also know that when I send the energy of revulsion to a person it only makes them stronger in their conviction.

This is the experiment I would like you to join me in.

  • At noon of every day, or when the sun is at its highest.
  • Take out a picture of one of these officers.
  • Focus on the eyes.
  • Send them understanding, compassion and if possible love.
  • Send them thoughts that the people in front of them are their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and children.
  • End the meditation with thoughts of peace and compassion for their lives and families.

The meditation could take as long as 5 minutes or as little as 30 seconds. Do it daily, when the sun is at its highest which is when the light is brightest and easiest to see clearly. Once we are able to focus on the officers with clarity, we should focus our attention to Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier of Morton County ND and move up the chain of individuals who have had a hand in these actions of the past few months.

No, I’m not suggesting we sit around and sing Kumbaya. I’m suggesting a different form of Tonglen Meditation.  Tonglen is a form of Tibetan meditation which is best described as giving and taking.

There is one more thing.  Is there a way to offer some of these police officers other ways of making a living? A way that is more true to the oath they took to protect the people rather than obeying orders?

6 thoughts on “Right Action, Right Mind An Experiment in Activism

  1. Wonderfully True! We’ve mistaken this method of “Shakti Pat” (Love) to be applied to only family and friends. As a result this, along with other human Offenses , are now so prevalent, this method of healing self and others is most imperative of solutions.

    1. At the Nov 15 Stand by Standing Rock Abq rally we thanked.the police officers and praised them for what they do;the elders included the police in prayer. Right mind is so important I would add to your exercises the recognition of the mirror. What we see in others is inside our selves.

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