APPAMADA

There came a time when people decided to release themselves from the grip of their past history, which can never be improved, remedied, avenged, or expunged, and began in earnest the work of creating the history of the future. 

They turned to each other and said, the history of the future will not be like the history of the past. They became determined to be more loyal to the children of the future than to the losses and heartbreak and wars of the past. They decided to use the past as instructive, rather than prescriptive. The history of the future, they decided, would not include people killing each other, for whatever reason or imagined crime. It would not include people hating each other, but working together toward deeper understanding and mutual respect. It would not include the machinery of war, and the people turned to the makers of war and said, we will not purchase war from you any more. You must find other work to do, some way to benefit this world, the new world. They destroyed all of the weapons of war. 

They decided to write into the future a turning point for humanity, where the old ways of greed and profit would have no appeal, where the use of fear to control and subdue would have no effect, where the mechanisms of distraction and dissociation would utterly fail, where systems of surveillance and control would be abandoned.  They would not identify with tribes and places but networks and relationships, all over the world. 

The people would stay awake, focused on the well-being of the whole planet, the care of all beings, the creation of joy and possibility for all children, of every age. They would not be deceived by politicians, by corporations, by banks, by governments, by factions, by lies of any kind, they would not be distracted from the work of creation of the new world, they would not fall into destructive conflict and prejudice against each other, they would not lose heart in the challenges, nor be defeated by obstacles in the writing of the new history, the history of the future on this lovely, generous planet. 

This is the history we must write together, the history of the future for our children, our grandchildren, and all of the generations to come. This is the conversation we need to be having. This is the work we need to do.

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Appamada is not just the occasional mindful thought or attentive state of mind, it’s actually a commitment to being attentive. It’s more than just a meditative state of mind, it’s more than just being mindful. It has to do with that primary ethical or moral orientation we have in life, with which we bring into being whatever activity we’re engaged in. Whether in formal meditation, in our interactions with other people, in our social concerns, or in our political choices, it’s the energetic cherishing of what we regard as good.

—Stephen Batchelor

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