Occupy Within | Take a Stand, SIT for Change

image credit: S4C Logo

For four years Transformative Change (XC) has hosted SIT for Change, an event designed to bring inner awareness practices to agents of social change. This year, to support the many Occupy movements around the world, XC is asking folks to SIT, Chant, Center, Asana, Pray, etc. at an Occupy site near you. Come out, help remind folks that the successful nonviolent movements we all admire were grounded in spiritual sustainability. SITting for Change at Occupy sites will also give everyone–those who work and so can’t Occupy, those who aren’t near an Occupy site–an opportunity to participate and let their voices be heard. So whether or not you decide to raise funds this year, come out, SIT, and support.

As the Occupy movements are sweeping the globe, a key feature stands out in all of the demands: sustainability. As the 99% what we are asking for is to live within systems that support our psychological, spiritual, and economic sustainability. We are asking to create a society in which we can be self-sustainable, where we can live with peace, and where we move in harmony with our environment. We are asking for trust and integrity to be restored into our public systems. For this to be effective in the long-term, we must recognize, exercise, and move from our own senses of trust, integrity, and sustainability. Movements are built long-term. The demands of Occupy are not about change for the short-term; we are asking for long-term transformation. This is where the importance of sustainability comes in. As we move and act, how do we continue to hold those things that sustain us (meditation, yoga, art, ciphering) in the center? How do we act in a way that presents the kind of society we are seeking to create?

This call for change is not new, nor are we asking for the impossible. Thousands of organizations have been doing this critical work for decades, and hundreds of thousands of people are engaged in justice efforts. What Occupy uniquely does is unearth and highlight the connections all of us have in calling for a more just, whole, and accountable society. It is the crux of the tipping point. With these connections, it still becomes more important than ever for us to recognize that transformation is long-term. It will not come overnight. How do we do this?

The same people (and many more) who have been involved in social justice work continue to do important organizing work. Occupy Oakland was the result of meetings of people in existing activist networks with existing infrastructural support. In order for it to continue and succeed, we must continue to support organizations that have developed long-term visions and are accountable to meeting the needs of the 99%. This is the importance of SIT for Change. This movement is asking us to Take a Stand, and SIT for what is dearest to us. First and foremost, SIT for Change is asking us to live up to the ideals we want to see in our new world. It is asking us to examine our own psyches and expunge that which will not be useful in this new society. Second, it is calling us to act and support those who have been building this new society. It is asking us to raise the consciousness of our work and make, direct, honest contributions to systems that are upholding our values.

On Saturday, November 12, connect with your deepest integrity, organize with others, and SIT FOR CHANGE.

Join SIT for Change on November 12

For ideas on awareness practices check out The Tree of Contemplative Practice.

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