“All Rise!” With these words Toni Award winning actress Celia Keenan-Bolger begins Broadway’s recently re-opened, “To Kill a Mockingbird. “ She explains that although these words regularly announce the arrival of judges in court rooms all over the country, they hold special weight for this particular trial as an obviously innocent black man is accused of the rape of a white woman. In her role as Scout, Bolger challenges the jury: can you be the instruments in allowing this town to rise above years of racism and embrace this moment of truth?
How often have we wished our own country, our world, and yes, if the truth be told, even our own selves would respond to those words? Yes, rise above racism; yes, rise above sexism; yes, rise above myriad forms of violence, subtle as well as overt; yes, go the extra mile. We hear these words and others like them so often in the stillness of contemplative practice, don’t we? That’s when we know sitting meditation is no walk in the park. That’s when we know Love asks nothing less than we actually become love in the world today.
The holidays are fast approaching. What greater gift to give our world then, in the words of Teilhard de Chardin, “…through every form of effort to raise the powers of love upward to the next stage of consciousness.” May deepened contemplative practice empower each of us to respond to the invitation: “All Rise.”
A Blessed Thanksgiving to each and all!
Margaret and Nancy