I want to honor
the Venerable Chogyam Trungpa,
of blessed memory, and whoever he is in his current incarnation.

I bow in respect.

To His Holiness the Dalai Lama,
And to my own Dharma bearers
in the Hasidic and Kabbalistic lineage,
To my Christian mentors
To my Sufi Pirs, Shaikhs and Murshids
To the Native American grandfathers and uncles
I offer sage and cedar.

To my Hindu teachers of the four yogas
I offer a deep Namaskar.

To the modern teachers of wisdom,
the cosmologists, psychologists,
Rolfers, Feldenkraisers,
the body workers and the healers,
I offer affirmation, awareness, positive feedback,
reinforcement and gratitude.

And to my academic instructors and professors,
I offer gratitude in proper acknowledgements and footnotes

What can I say that you do not know?
I offer reminders
of what you already know in your innermost
The current situation
The psalms have a hope for us
as we find ourselves in a dark tunnel,
There are many sore places of the planet.

Our mother the earth needs healing
from her ecological wounds.
From clear cutting, strip mining,
deforestation, damage to the ozone layer,
monoculture of crops
to the polluting or soil, air and water.

The social fabric of our culture
is brittle and short fibered.
Intimate relationships are sustainable
only with intensive and serious maintenance.

Our government has turned against the poor
while lining the pockets of the rich.

Lavish budgets are invested
in what they euphemistically call "national de-fense"
investing more than any nation
in building armaments of mass destruction
while education, health and welfare are languishing.

The tax burdens are being shifted
Onto the shoulders of nearly bankrupt states.

The road ahead is not smooth.

Extract from Graduation Address, May 8, 2004
Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, PhD

back to "Voices"