Elizabeth Adams – how can we not support them?
I am very excited about the upcoming Sit-a-Thon to support the Awake Youth Project, sponsored by the Brooklyn Zen Center. The program offers teens from under-served communities in Brooklyn the opportunity to practice meditation and mindfulness in supportive settings and to lead meditation groups in their own high schools. Meditation offers these young men and women a powerful way to cope with the enormous hurdles and stresses they are facing in their daily lives.
I discovered the gift of meditation and mindfulness much later in life than the participants in the Awake Youth Project. And in the few years that I have been meditating and attending Brooklyn Zen Center, I have been amazed at how profoundly transformative this simple act can be. I think back to my experiences as a teenager– full of emotional turmoil, anxiety, and confusion about who I was. Needless to say, these struggles did not simply disappear as I got older. While I have found various resources over the years to help me deal with these issues, the practice of meditation is bringing me a newfound freedom. Increasingly, I am learning to separate from the negative patterns of my past, to respond instead of simply react, and, in the process, to begin to discover my true self.
It’s never too late – or, as in the case of these teens, too early – to discover such a gift. I am so happy and impressed that they are seeking the freedom and peace and generosity that can grow from this practice. I want to do everything I can to support them in their bold and courageous effort. When young people who are facing so many challenges respond in such a positive way, how can we not support them? I strongly believe Buddhist teachings and practices should be made accessible to all who seek them. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to sit on behalf of these amazing teens and their powerful initiative. I hope that you will make a donation and consider sitting yourself.