Thursday, 15 December 2011

Engaged Means Engaged. Need Some Inspiration?

The human body is limited in time and space, but the human spirit may be another matter.

The point is, that a Buddhist need not only look to those that self identify as other Buddhists as a source for how enlightened and compassionate people behave. We can sit with our legs crossed and meditate, which is very good habit indeed, but we can always use our hands if our bodies are able. My hands are not well trained so I have to look at others no matter what their religious tradition for how to use them.

Need some Inspiration?

Here is the current mission statement for the Inspiration Café and a short history of who founded it:

“Located in Uptown on Chicago's north side, Inspiration Cafe provides restaurant-style meals, case management, support groups, life-skills training, financial assistance and other services to homeless men and women in a therapeutic community that promotes dignity and respect.

Guests of the Cafe have access to the full range of Inspiration Corporation's programs, including employment training and career services, voice mail, and subsidized housing. Inspiration Cafe's goal is to help men and women overcome the causes of their homelessness and find stability by securing income and affordable housing.

Inspiration Cafe was founded in 1989 by Lisa Nigro, a Chicago police officer who began searching for a personal response to the homelessness she encountered in Uptown. She began by loading up a red wagon with sandwiches and coffee to distribute to homeless individuals on the streets.”

I am a consumer of the Café, not in the sense that I frequent as a customer, but in the sense that I will use the lessons learned from selflessness in my own life. I am, in a sense, a consumer of the inspiration.

There is certainly suffering from the illusions of separateness we all embrace, and one way to relieve this suffering is certainly through our peaceful processes.

Make no bones about it, this is a call to action for self identified Buddhists to arise from the Zafu and get to work. If you can’t think of anything contact me because I know of a certain someone that is founding another mission based organization.

Here is a video (as requested from the moderator to liven things up) from Lisa’s blog

Sean E Flanigan

Evanston, IL

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