Triratna Highlights

For Nothing Is Fixed - Getting Real with Viveka and Paramananda, Episode 1

On Tue, 2 June, 2020 - 02:16
Centre Team's picture
Centre Team

For Nothing Is Fixed

For nothing is fixed,
forever, forever, forever,
it is not fixed;
the earth is always shifting,
the light is always changing,
the sea does not cease to grind down rock.
Generations do not cease to be born,
and we are responsible to them
because we are the only witnesses they have.
The sea rises, the light fails,
lovers cling to each other,
and children cling to us.
The moment we cease to hold each other,
the moment we break faith with one another,
the sea engulfs us and the light goes out.

James Baldwin

N.B. This episode was originally recorded on May 18th, before George Floyd’s May 25th police encounter over a minor incident that ended tragically and unjustly in the loss of his life.

As we move into the next phase of pandemic and social crisis around the world, a changing shape for the podcast. We’ll be trying some new things on for size, experimenting, hearing voices in different ways as we continue to try and bring you a sense of wider, supportive community and inspiration, whatever your context.

This episode was intended as an internal pilot for a new live series of the podcast we’ll be announcing soon. But in a week of the most painful violence against black and other people of colour in the United States, it was so relevant and moving we decided to share it now… 

Two good friends, Viveka and Paramananda, sparking off each other around this beautiful poem by James Baldwin, ‘For Nothing Is Fixed’. Being each a deeply experienced and respected meditation teacher, their initial threads of exchange and sharing are how to live, practice and work in the body; perspectives on awakening; how to be with others energetically; matters of identity.

Soon enough, they draw each other on into a space of grace, where the amazingly complex felt experience of life as something sacred is palpable. Come and witness to something vital and affirming: a meeting of friends trying to move through the world with bliss-bestowing hands and minds and voices.

This podcast episode ends with a 2-minute meditation inspired by the space of Baldwin’s poignant, resonant words.

James Baldwin’s 1968 Q & A on Race in America

‘I Am Not Your Negro’: a film about James Baldwin

Watch James Baldwin debate William F. Buckley (1965)

James Baldwin: Pessimist, Optimist, Hero

Read more about ‘For Nothing Is Fixed’


Watch out for the live online series of Getting Real with Viveka and Paramananda, coming soon to the Dharma Toolkit. 

Sign up for the Dharma Toolkit newsletter for dates of the recordings and how you can attend.

Viveka is the former Chair of the San Francisco Buddhist Center, a dynamic and popular meditation teacher and retreat leader, with profound experience in the arena of social justice work.

Paramananda from London is the founder of the San Francisco Buddhist Center, a successful author and renowned meditation teacher. 


Check out our Dharma Toolkit space for details of all we have on offer to help you make it through the weirdness and stay inspired.

Come meditate with us any week day!

Theme music by Ackport! Used with kind permission.


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Christine's picture

Lovely conversation by lovely people. Thank you!

Centre Team's picture

Here is the podcast as a mp3 file for download.

rodashruti's picture

I appreciate this conversation very much. Thank you for publishing it a little earlier than you’d planned. I wanted to take a moment to share a link to Vimalasara’s powerful book of poetry, I Am Still Your Negro, published earlier this year. An important offering, a gift.

nagesvara's picture
A heartfelt thank you for your words which touched me deeply. Yes! Let’s get real together. Vibing away through the ether and beyond. Much love and appreciation. You folk rock