Voices are being heard


A day of remembrance

is better held

in the heart with love

instead of the mind with contempt.

Memories coveted in the heart

keep doors open, eyes alert

and a welcoming flavor of life as

we trudge on amid the struggling and strife.

There’s a deep healing going on

in this place called Earth, but before

we see the results of the healing,

the unearthing underbelly comes first

The unconscious collective is out of balance,

misaligned in shame with

the social sins gathered over

centuries in a mindless game

Voices have long been silenced

and generations taught

to turn an eye away

from the onslaught.

Times are changing

under our very feet.

Citizens are waking up

and choosing to speak.

In the name of all those humans,

men, women and child,

voices are being heard,

individual charges of light demanding right.

I follow the example of the trees

knowing their victory is held

in their steadfastness and courage,

weathering the painful unconscious actions.

Trees lose their loved ones

and in their plight, they reach

underground to each other to strengthen

their existence and continue their vigil.

Stand tall in your own skin

be true to yourself

live your life with standards

that hold integrity and love.

Each human deserves a space on Earth,

each life is fueled by the same flame.

Using an honesty mirror to see who you are

into the eyes of your truest friend.

The Only Sermon

by Andrea Ayvazian


if we dug a huge grave miles wide, miles deep and buried every rifle, pistol, knife, bullet, bomb, bayonet

if we jumped upon fleets of tanks and fighter jets with tool boxes, torches unwelded them dismantled them turned them into scrap metal

if every light-skinned man in a silk tie said to every dark-skinned man in a turban I vow not to kill your children and heard the same vow in return

if every elected leader agreed to stop lying

if every child was fed as well as racehorses bred to win derbies

if every person with a second home gave it to a person with no home

if every mother buried her parents not her sons and daughters

if every person who has enough said out loud I have enough

if every person violent in the name of God were to find God

we would grow silent, still for a moment, a lifetime

we would hear infants nursing at the breast hummingbirds hovering in flight

we would touch a canyon wall and feel the earth vibrate

we would hear two lovers sigh across the ocean

we would watch old wounds grow new flesh and jagged scars disappear

as time was layered upon time we would slowly be ready to begin


Participants’ Reflections:

  • What struck me today is the day of remembrance. My family member was living in New York City the day of 9/11 and it was a terrifying day. When I was able to reach her and find out she was okay, it was such a relief. For hours, I couldn’t reach her again. It was a horrific day for everyone. She was blessed. She wasn’t able to get back to her apartment for weeks. But today, also, it’s my grandchild’s birthday. So it’s a blessing. Today is a mixed day of all kinds of emotions that I am feeling today. I’m looking out the window and a neighbor’s flag is furling in the wind and it makes me feel that everything is going to be okay.

  • That was a great meditation. Sounded like it was going for the bigger things, the bigger lessons from 9/11, love, acceptance, building a more perfect world. What I reflected on during the meditation was going back to the small things with great love. Because I am limited. I cannot change the world. I can’t change my family. I can’t change the dysfunction in it. But I can do my part in it. And that’s what I have to be mindful of: do my part, try to be in the positive, part of the solution, not try to force people or make them yield to my will. That doesn’t work. But finding out what my gifts are and how I can contribute in the bigger picture, in the social justice picture. Calling people out when they say microaggressions to each other. A lot of things do begin in the smaller realm. That’s where I hang out. This is a really good reflection to be mindful of, not only of the tragedy that happened then, but all the things that have happened since then in our world and what we can do in love.

  • On that day, 19 years ago, I was working in Washington DC and standing on a balcony watching the black smoke coming out of the Pentagon right after the plane hit. And I was stuck there for more than a week, a very traumatic time. The poem you read was so very meaningful. I hope many people read that poem. It has so much meaning.

  • Thank you for the reading. During the meditation, I went to an experience I had yesterday which speaks to the idea about small things. I was at the car dealership where I bought my car. I was sitting outside and had to go in several times, and I was very stressed and scared and overwhelmed. In good times, it’s a place I’m not comfortable in. So I was going through my own drama. At the end of my stay there, the man who sold me my car noticed that I had a namaste sticker on my car. And he asked me, “Do you do yoga? I do yoga.” He tells me that his son was a heroin addict and died four times, they had to bring him back to life. And he’s getting married tomorrow. It was like a full circle for him. It was overwhelming how he shared that with me. Namaste opened this door. It was really quite extraordinary. I said I wished I could hug him. It was namaste, the little sticker, and it healed me too from all the stress.

  • It was a wonderful reading. It brings up memories. I worked in the World Trade Center when it was being built, and I got caught in Northern California for a week after 9/11. I have a lot of fear today that something will happen, but your reading calmed me down. Thank you for your words.

  • As we think about the sermon, and hope and peace, I’ve been looking at a sculpture of a little girl with birds around her. She is holding a bird in one hand, and another one is coming to her outstretched hand. It’s filled with hope and joy. It seemed appropriate for today.

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