If we awaken from the American Dream, what do we wake up to? How do we get ourselves to sit up, place our feet on the floor, and go forward? Some of it is sheer trust that there will be something to stand on, even if the surface is unknown at first glance. Some is knowing that we are not alone on this journey; it’s collective. It touches everyone, the 99 percenters and the 1 percenters. We are, like it or not, unified in our experience in this one world, in this one moment. We are fighting for one another, not against. And it is possible to wake up and to win, collectively. Funnily enough, the Buddhist perspective on Occupy Wall Street could also be named the Human perspective.
A man stands on a bench in Zuccotti Park on Wall Street and chants a phrase from a meeting last night: “We don’t want a higher standard of living, we want a better standard of living.” He’s wearing a crisp navy blue suit and typing tweets into his iPhone. Next to him, Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Žižek, wearing a red t-shirt, is surrounded by at least a hundred people as he makes his way onto a makeshift platform. Since the protesters aren’t allowed to use megaphones or amplifiers, they have to listen carefully to the speaker’s every sentence, after which the speaker pauses, and those close enough to have heard repeat the sentence in unison for those farther away.
Original post, “Remaining Human: A Buddhist Perspective on Occupy Wall Street,” in Elephant Journal, written by Michael Stone