International Women's Day 2021: SinghashriOn Sat, 13 March, 2021 - 08:59
I was ordained in 2010 while living in San Francisco. In 2012 I moved to the UK and currently live in London with my partner Shraddhasiddhi. I spend my days meditating, teaching mindfulness and the dharma, engaging in friendships with other Order members and mitras across the movement, writing, walking and helping out at the North London Buddhist Centre. I’m also actively engaged in various antiracism activities in and outside the movement.
The dual pandemics of coronavirus and systemic racism reveal a deep rupture in our relationship with the planet and each other. I have a sense that we are at the beginning of a massive systemic, even cosmic, shift in how we live our lives, treat one another, and respond to the challenges we face as a global community. This sense has guided me over the last year.
As soon as we entered our first lockdown I knew that people would need safe spaces to practice together and make sense of what was happening. I decided to start offering online classes, retreats and courses. I also started writing a daily blog, to help myself make sense of things and also because I didn’t want to forget what it was like in the early days of the pandemic.
Before March of last year I lived a life in two parts – either I was on long, silent retreats or I was in the world, engaging in my life, work, and friendships. Although there is nothing wrong with that, the last year has provided me the opportunity to integrate retreat-like conditions into my daily life and see that any division between on retreat/off retreat or meditation/non-meditation make no sense in the uninterrupted flow of moment-by-moment experience. The last year has provided me the opportunity to see more clearly the divided mind and explore the creative tension between things that initially appear contradictory.
The pandemic has forced us into a collective pause, an invitation to re-assess what is most important to us and deepen our commitment to co-creating a more loving, just world. Paradoxically, we’ve retreated into our homes only to connect more deeply with one another around the things that really matter - practice, friendship, community, love.
With love and in solidarity,
Singhashri (she/her or they/them)