Put It All Down, Fighting For Rights Rights For LGBTQ+
Question: Can a teacher please say something about the phrase ‘put it all down’? What does it really mean?
Jason Quinn JDPSN: "Put it all down" is another way of saying "let it all go". What is it we are letting go of or putting down? That would be our attachment and holding to our strong opinions, beliefs, ideas, judgements, like/dislikes, and so on. These things in and of themselves are neither good nor bad, but if we cling to them it blinds us to what is happening in the moment. Our practice can help us let them go or "put it down" so we can perceive this moment clearly so we can respond with love and compassion.
Question: 🙏🏻 😃 Thank you, Jason. Recently there was some suggestion on the LGBTQ+ page that ‘put it all down’ could be applied to a person’s sexual identity and gender. Many LGBTQ+ people, including members of this sangha, have gone through a lot of pain before they realised and became comfortable with such an identity. So the suggestion caused feelings of anger, tension and vulnerability - of not feeling safe. As you know it’s still considered a very serious crime or ‘sin’ in many countries and cultures. So ‘pride’ in this identity is often very hard-won, very fragile and very cherished. Many people, including members of this sangha, continue to fight for equal rights for LGBTQ+ people. So I suppose my question - and an apt question for ‘Pride’ month! - is: how does all this fighting for rights and all this ‘pride’ sit with ‘put it all down’? Is it all just ‘clinging’?
Jason Quinn JDPSN: We all have unique karma. We are not our karma. We are something before karma. That said, our school has a very clear teaching about karma. Are we using our karma to help other people, or is our karma using us? It’s not about getting rid of karma or changing our karma. How can we use it? When we “put it all down”, we experience the mind before thinking. It is before our idea about the world and ourselves. We experience “before karma”. When we experience this and see karma for what it is, we are not attached to it and we can use it in a way that helps. Fighting for rights is about using karma to help others. Our actions are not just for us. You already mention how many LGBTQ+ people are going through a great deal of pain. So, fighting for rights is necessary.
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