From the Minister, Sun Mar 17

Fri Mar 15

Dear Ones,

I got a call from Yency today that I wanted to tell you about. Down in Charlotte, NC, where he lives, a new sheriff was elected for the county (Mecklenberg) in 2018 Nov. The new sheriff, Gary McFadden, had campaigned on a promise to end the county’s participation in 287-g – a controversial program in which the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) deputizes state and local law enforcement officers to enforce federal immigration law.

On McFadden’s first day in office he made good on his promise, and ended local law enforcement’s participation on immigration law. Yency told me that the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) was not pleased with McFadden’s decision and has been exacting retribution against Mecklenberg County by stepping up the number of raids. In vans disguised to look like a construction company vehicle, ICE has been all over town, day after day. They nab the undocumented at convenience stores or at their homes. They block off intersections and check each car they suspect of containing undocumented workers.

Miguel Maldanado was recently taken into custody – Miguel is a cousin of Yency’s spouse, Evelin. Miguel had no criminal record, and so was allowed to go – provided that $12,000 in bail was posted. A friend of Miguel’s, apprehended at the same time, had a traffic violation. It was probably Driving Without a License, Yency said. The undocumented do a lot of driving without a license since North Carolina law doesn’t allow them to get a license. Because of the violation, Miguel’s friend was deported.

$12,000 for bail represented a significant hardship for Miguel – and for the extended family and friends who chipped in to raise the amount. But it would have been even worse to not have been able to get back to work.

The immigrant community in Charlotte – as in much of the country – lives under a constant threat of their families being torn apart. Tragic and cruel deportations are common and the shadow of fear is unrelenting.

This wrong is devastating to its direct victims and distressing to all people of conscience. The fact that it is happening to my own family doesn’t make it more distressing. But it does have a way of sharpening my awareness of it.

Yours in faith,

Practice of the Week: Being Animal We are deeply embedded in a grand story, an epic tale beyond any we could imagine -- a small part of which tells of our own waking up to the beauty of the interconnected web of which we are NOT at the center. Surely there is spiritual sustenance here: wonder, awe, and common ground to bind us. We have only begun to appreciate the fullness this spirituality offers. READ MORE

Your Moment of Zen: What Is Mind? Grandma was in #63-#68. Then Grandma and Granddaughter together were in #73 (where Grandma told Granddaughter to follow her bliss) and #80 (where they discussed reading).

Dogen (1200-1253) said, "Mind is no other than mountains and rivers and the great wide earth, the sun and the moon and the stars."
When asked "What is Buddha?" Mazu (709-88) answered, "Mind is Buddha." (But Mazu later said, "There is neither mind nor Buddha.")

As for whether anything will do, it's like what the life of your as-yet-unborn grandchild will be about. Although it could be anything, not just anything will do. What doesn't fit doesn't fit.

Sitting around after supper one night, Granddaughter looked up from a book she was reading and asked, "What is mind?"
Grandma said, "Kitty is crying for food."
Granddaughter asked, "Do you mean anything will do?"
Grandma said, "No."
Granddaughter waited for more, but Grandma had returned to her knitting. She sighed and got up up to feed he cat.
Later, Turkey reported this to Raven and asked her opinion. Raven croaked, and then croaked again.
Turkey asked, "Will that do it?"
Raven said, "Apparently not."
It's like this, I've heard.
The brain -- yours, mine, a beetle's,
A dolphin's, a dog's, a bacterium's,
a turtle's, a penguin's, a carp's --
Extends through the nervous system,
And to the body, and to the world
That tickles the senses,
To fire motor neurons, or something,
To tickle back.

This being so --
The world being made of micro and macro
Tickle-loops everywhere, endless and beginningless --
Where is mind to be found?
Where not?
Case by Robert Aitken, adapted; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon

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